Today is my birthday! I’m 24 years old! That’s not the big news though. The big news is that…
We are now officially in New Seasons Market!!
I wanted to share a few things I learned for anyone who is looking to have products in a local grocery. For some (like New Seasons) it’s easier than most people think for local producers to get their products in stores. Here is what I did:
1. Find the manager of whatever department you are in and ask them who you should contact. In my case, I talked I the produce manager about our basil and he gave me the name and email of the buyer for New Seasons.
2. Send the buyer an email or two. I don’t think it’s a good idea to send them daily emails and pester them. They’re people too. They can get annoyed. Send them an email and wait for them to respond. After a week or two if you don’t hear back, send a follow up email. The email should include: who you are, what you do, what you sell, that you would like to talk to them about getting in their store. Keep it short and sweet.
3. If the buyer wants to meet you and see the product, be mindful of questions they might ask you. In my case it was things like “Do you use pesticides?” “How much usable basil is on one plant?” Or “How often do you deliver?” Ask yourself “if I owned a store, what would I want to know from my suppliers?” Being prepared and knowledgeable about your products will help you sell.
4. Have an idea of how much you want to charge the store, and then what they will charge their customers. Keep in mind, most stores charge at least a 30% to 60% markup on what they buy. Don’t try to sell them something for $$4.50 if they can only charge $5.00 for it.
5. Make sure you have liability insurance and packaging ready to go, because if everything works out, they might want you in their store tomorrow. Do you have labels, containers, and boxes? It might take a week or two to order these things so have it prepared ahead of time.
These are some things I learned from what I read about it, plus what I learned from doing it first hand.
We are in the Sellwood New Seasons Market, so make sure to look for us when you’re in there!
As always, remember to Live Local and support local businesses!