Bushwick Kitchen Startup Journey — Retail RSS



Williams-Sonoma: 534 Days, But Who’s Counting...

Bees Knees Meyer Lemon Honey, just hit the shelves of Williams-Sonoma stores around the country and online. But the journey from “Wouldn’t it be cool if Williams-Sonoma carried our stuff?” to “Williams-Sonoma carries our stuff!” was longer and pricklier than you might expect. Here’s how we did it and what we learned along the way. Round 1: Taking our First Shot On October 14, 2014, I received this email from a friend: “TED! Your timing is EPIC! They have a meeting with their president this afternoon to present honey concepts. Is there any Bees Knees Spicy Honey in the Bay Area that you could have expressed over to the Williams-Sonoma office today for her meeting? The buyer's information is below....

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Wholesale Update: 2015 Numbers & New Strategy

At the end of 2014, there were 19 retailers carrying Bushwick Kitchen products, heavily concentrated in Brooklyn & Manhattan. Fast forward to today and our products now grace the shelves of 265 retail locations in 38 states around the US & Canada. In other words, we grew our retail footprint by 734% in one year, which resulted in $220,000 in gross revenue in 2015. Not bad, right? To be frank, it was a ton of work, replete with nerve-wracking trials and head-scratching errors. We cobbled together strategies learned from fellow food entrepreneurs, tactics borrowed from the world of growth hacking, and some good ol’ fashioned sales moxy. (Thanks Glengarry Glen Ross!) In the end, we started to reap the rewards...

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Selling to Retailers: Part I

                    One Startup. No Secrets. Start at the beginning. Over the last 6 months, I’ve learned an incredible amount about selling a food product to retailers. So much so that I thought it would be valuable to share some of these learnings with other small makers that have big goals. Building a thriving wholesale business is tough work, but I’ve pulled apart the key things I wish I had known from the start. Depending on the type of product you sell, there are potentially thousands of retailers that could successfully sell your product, from local mom & pop shops around the corner to national behemoths like Whole Foods that can be found in every major city. In this post, I’m going to...

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Burning Cash and Slashing Profits for Growth

One Startup. No Secrets. Start at the beginning. I finally ran the numbers and called Casey, as promised, to report the actual cost of a bottle of our Bees Knees Spicy Honey. Sometimes the truth sucks – and this is one of those times. Despite having made our biggest batch yet, each bottle of finished product cost a whopping $9.01. Since we are selling at $14 a bottle the profit margin isn’t terrible, but our dreams of testing wholesale pricing for retail sales, free shipping and a scalable business seemed crushed. But within days, and after a discussion over a few cans of Rolling Rock, we began to offer free shipping and selling wholesale. And now, a few weeks later, our...

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