14 Jun Solly’s – The Media is Always Looking for a Good Story So Find One, About Your Business
Coming from an advertising background my instinct, in my own business was to look for ways to leverage the power of the media to help build our brand. Publicity is valuable, especially if it’s on the 6pm TV news for free.
The local CTV television had a popular nightly feature, which aired during their highly watched news hour. Every evening at 6:20 Mike McCardell would bring a local interest story he found that day. His three minute segment was short but highly viewed.
One day while he was on his mission to find “today’s story” Mike and his camera man stopped by Solly’s for a coffee and snack. My marketing instinct took hold of me and I practically pounced on Mike with what I thought would be a great story to feature on his segment that night.
“Mike I want to show you our latest Solly’s product- Samosa Knish. It’s a fusion of two distinct food cultures; Jewish and Indian” This product came to life when I realized my east Indian bakers were bringing samosas from home that had much the same potato filling we made for a Jewish knishes, except a lot more spicy. Also our knish pastry is a filo dough that’s is baked not deep fried, which I thought was a healthier option. Not only that but we had the Indian baker, who made the filling in the kitchen baking bagels.
He was sold. Not only did we get to create huge TV awareness of our brand for the cost of a knish but our baker was thrilled to get a moment on TV for her family to enjoy. The media is always looking for an interesting story to tell. Find the interesting story your business has to tell and share it.
They say location, location, location is the name of the game in the retail food business. Generally that means high traffic, high rent. Finding the original location for Solly’s was both a vision and challenge.
While we were in the planning of Solly’s I would walk Main street early in the am for a coffee and donut (cake bagel). This spot just off Main on 28th caught my eye. I had a vision of chairs and tables outside on the sunny and quiet sidewalk. I was drawn to take a look at the space. It was filled with furniture like a storeroom with windows. In decided to check out and got in contact with the landlord. I asked him for a meeting to discuss the space, which was not posted for rent. I would like to rent your space for a business we want to start. I told the landlord. Ok, he answered, but I don’t want a food business! What do you have in mind?” Stunned, I gasped at all I had which was our vision of Solly’s and I shared it with him. We will be a speciality fresh bakery with quality food and homey,neighbourly atmosphere. This will be a place where the neighbourhood will comes to get their fresh daily baking. We have done our research, people are asking for this. We are responsible people and know what we are doing. He relented and let us rent the place at half the rate they were charging on Main street. It turned out just as I had visioned, with the neighbours gathering morning and especially weekend to enjoy Solly’s great baking. Realtors would tell me they mentioned the benefits of the proximately to Sollys’ in their pitch. The lower profile lo9cation turned out to be a positive experience for our customers for exactly the reasons I liked it. Finding the right location takes vision. getting it takes chutzpah!