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May.
19

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Do you understand your magic ingredient? If you're thinking about moving to a new location, it’s probably because you are doing well at your current location but just need a larger place.  Your Bakery Café has a loyal customer base.  They love your service, appreciate that you use only real ingredients, and are willing to pay for quality.  You just need a larger space to accommodate all of them.  Is that all you need to grow? Or is there another magic ingredient? I know of a cafe that was doing so well they moved to a larger location just around the corner on the opposite side of the block.  Same employees, same ice cream, same owners, same clean ingredients, and the same rent for twice the space. But something was wrong. Sales actually dropped. New location could be missing something. It turns out that at their old location many people from the yoga studio next door, and from the bank building on the corner, had to walk past the bakery on their way to the parking structure.  There were also a couple of other restaurants on their side of the block that fed a steady stream of after hours business. Even though they were only a 3-minute walk away from their old location, the business microenvironment was very different. Out of sight, out of stomach. Not only did the new location require those same people to cross a busy intersection, but the new shop could no longer be seen (or smelled!) by people as they finished yoga or left their office to find their parked car.  Unless a person stood on the corner and looked in the opposite direction they would have no idea the bake shop even existed. They did gain a few new customers from the playground next door and the bus station across the street (next to the other side of that same bank building…yes, that close!). But so far, they have not regained all their former customers.  The pastries are so good that most are willing to wait at the light and cross the intersection. But, they don’t come as often since it’s no longer on the way to their car or visible after exiting a restaurant. The ice cream is incredible so hopefully more people will explore around the corner to find them. Turns out one of their magic ingredients was location.

Apr.
18

Posted by Singing Dog Vanilla / Blog / 0 Comments

If you are in the baking world you know that the first Friday of June each year is National Doughnut Day. Note: Both ‘Donut’ and ‘Doughnut’ are accepted spellings. Many references (well OK, Wikipedia) cite that ‘donut’ is often used in the USA.  ‘Doughnut’ is the more accepted spelling around the world. For this post I will stick to the ‘Doughnut’ spelling because is makes me feel smarter for some reason. Trendy Doughnut Like beer and yogurt (Yoghurt?), doughnuts have gone through a renaissance.  Just as the large breweries and yogurt firms had to adopt a newer, trendier, approach to compete with artisan upstarts (or just buy them outright!), we have seen old doughnut standards make attempts at cool.  Dunkin’ Donuts and Winchell’s first had to deal with Krispy Kreme when it was hip.  Now all three must contend with smaller, independent bakeries and doughnut shops as they explore the boundaries of the deep-fried dough and test the very definition of “doughnut”. Check out this boundary-breaking offering from District Donuts, Sliders, and Brew in New Orleans?  Here is a photo from their website. Can you guess what this is? This Monte Cristo is listed on their menu as a “Croquenut” and is made with Applewood smoked ham, Havarti cheese, Dijon, in a griddled donut topped with raspberry preserves and powdered sugar. Doesn't it look Amazing? The link on their name (above) takes you straight to their menu.  You'll end up there anyway. I might as well save you a few steps. How about Welcome Chicken and Donuts in Phoenix, Arizona? ... Once again, why waste time? The link is to their menu.... There you can get your favorite chicken and donut combination for lunch or just grab a South by Southwest Donut Sandwich that includes Fried Egg, Cheese, Jalapeno Relish, and Thai Sauce. Then choose Bacon or Sausage.  Oh yeah, of course it comes wrapped in a cake donut!  Sounds amazing!   Doughnuts Around the World This is not a phenomenon found only in the USA.  Check out Floresta Nature Doughnuts’ offerings in Tokyo. You can get doughnuts meticulously designed to look like cute animals. Take a look at this photo of a doughnut made in the shape of a mother and baby seal (photo found on their website).   If you would like to be smothered in cute then check out their menu. Maybe you don't care about doughnut trends. Do you want to see the largest doughnut mosaic in the world? That record was set in Ukraine.  Check out the Guinness World Record here. Perhaps we should be lobbying to have an International Doughnut/Donut Day instead?

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