Sunday, August 17, 2008

Treasure Island Foods and Julia Child

Due to my blogging dormancy, some of you may be wondering what we've been up to lately. Just wanted to let you know we're still baking our Cupola Cookies & Cupola Clouds and boy, have these last couple of weeks been busy! We were were silly to think that after the Summer Fancy Food Show, things would calm down.

One exciting development as a result of the Show was that a large local specialty food chain in the Chicago area called Treasure Island Foods placed orders for both our Cupola Cookies & Clouds. Treasure Island Foods is literally a treasure trove of specialty and international foods. The first store was opened in 1963, and since then has grown to 7 locations, in neighborhoods like Lakeview, Hyde Park and Lincoln Park.In fact, the culinary legend Julia Child once called Treasure Island Foods "The Most European Supermarket in America."

Treasure Island Foods- Elm Street Location

Last weekend, we set out for Chicago to do a marathon of product demos at 6 of the 7 stores. I think that product sampling is really key to making those first initial sales- especially since our products aren't like the typical chocolate chip cookie or cheese straw. They've got such a different texture and taste. To be honest, I've always been a fan of the "try before you buy" mentality- I think it just makes for happier, more satisfied customers.

Because our products are brand new to Treasure Island Foods, we received great product placement in each location, and for the most part, our demos were situated in a high traffic areas of the stores.

One really important thing we learned though- product demos on Saturdays and Sundays are best after 11 a.m.- before 11, most people are not really in a chatty mood, are quickly popping into the store for just milk or bread, or consider it be wayyyy too early to be eating cookies or cheese snacks.

Speaking of Julia Child, did you hear that in her earlier years, she secretly worked for the OSS (Office of Strategic Services, the predecessor to the CIA)? I had no idea she was a female James Bond! You can read about the role she had with the OSS here.