Bushwick Kitchen Startup Journey — Year Two 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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Our second birthday! (And why we're re-branding.)

I can't believe it's been two years. And by that I mean it feels like it's been six years. It also feels like it's been five months. But it definitely doesn't feel like two years. [And let's just get this out of the way: we've been terrible about blogging and that's going to change in 2016. But thank you to everyone who has been reading from the start!] 2015 was a massive year for us: We moved into our very own space in March We launched Trees Knees Spicy Syrup in May We introduced Weak Knees Gochujang Sriracha in September We surpassed half a million dollars in revenue Bottles have gone to every state and territory in the U.S. plus...

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The Ugly Side of Customer Service

One Startup. No Secrets. Start at the beginning. Warning: We’re about to talk trash. In the spirit of transparency, which is the point of this startup journey blog, this post is going to cover (a select few of) our customers. We love our customers. We really do. But as anyone who has ever dealt with customer service knows, there are always the few who will drive you absolutely crazy. Admitting this goes against the golden rule of customer service: “The Customer is Always Right”. But we hope you’ll forgive our rudeness for just a moment while we expose one of the most important aspects of running a business. Onward. If you’re anything like us, your first months in business were smooth sailing...

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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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