Pop-up, food truck, pedicab, pre-packaged and sold wholesale to stores?
These are a handful of options Janny, Carrie, VA, and I have been throwing around in terms of figuring out
how to get our product out to the masses in this concept testing phase.
In your opinion, which of the above is the stronger choice for a young start-up like our own? We’re all obviously leaning super heavily towards the pop-up space, but i can see the benefits of flexibility the others afford. Maybe the answer is even a combo of two?
Things to take into account: the financial situation of the start-up, the size of the team, the target market. Broodjes is currently low on funding but planning to Kickstart the effort in the very near future, we can roll with anywhere from 3-6 individuals depending on the context, and our target market is the sandwich loving community of DC.
What do you guys think?
It’s been a big week! Cold calls were made, negotiations were undertaken, and broodjes were lovingly crafted and devoured. Right now, the focus is on selling – it’s on communicating the Broodjes & Bier vision to people who have never tasted our food or heard the term ‘Dutch-style sandwich shop’. It’s not a tough sell (I can appreciate I’m probably biased), but it does require a certain finesse I’m beginning to understand can only be mastered through a few failures. For anyone who has spent time in sales, you can attest that this is a rewarding, but exhausting process!
I hit the exhausting piece of the cycle last Thursday following my 20th unanswered cold call. In an effort to break out of my funk, I utilized my roommates new Keurig (awesome) and gave food friend and fellow Broodje fiend, Molly, a call. While our conversation included some Amsterdam reminiscences not appropriate for this blog, it also focused on what I realize is probably the most important piece of the start-up puzzle: the team. Allow me to introduce the six bright minds and hungry bellies behind Broodjes:
Janny - Marketing: Janny brings to Broodjes 3+ years of marketing expertise. She’s honed her skills at Ogilvy & Mather and most recently, Planned Parenthood. If they trust their billions of marketing dollars with her, frankly, we will too. Plus, she’s my older sister.
Virginia – Finance: Virginia crushes numbers all. day. long. But really. When she’s not at KPMG or Accenture, she’s making fancy cost-benefit formulas for sandwiches. It’s deliciously awesome to watch.
Carrie – Branding: Carrie has a legal background, photography background, living in the south of France background…she’s sort of a jack of all trades and annoyingly awesome at all of them. When she’s not influencing food law, she’s making sure we crush our branding game.
Claire – Bier: A recently certified Cicerone, Claire telecommutes her bier game from the fog of San Fran. She constantly blows ours minds with sandwich and beer pairings over Skype. Yes. She blows our mind over Skype.
Mom: My mother has turned out be an endless encyclopedia of food management and preparation knowledge. She catches us before we fall into legal pitfalls on the daily and we love her for it.
Me: I just love sandwiches. I love eating them, and I love crafting them even more. I feel an indescribable inner warmth when they break at their toasted seams with fresh shavings of kaas and dribble springy baby arugula. I love it when they’re toasted but I’ll still love on them when they’re cold. I had something of a sandwich awakening during a study abroad stint in Amsterdam. The Dutch take sandwiches to a whole new level. Maybe it’s amalgam of culinary cultures that define their cuisine (French, Belgian, Surinamese). It could also very well be the cheese. Regardless, my contribution to our project is a genuine infatuation with good sammys and two years of honing those skills with friends and family. The time has come to take my affair public.
The team did a late brunch yesterday to touch base and set an agenda for the week. Two overarching goals: close a pop-up location, film our Kickstarter video and launch for funding.
We have a nifty database of cafes and restaurants going, but if you have any thoughts as to Capitol Hill locales where we might peddle our Broodje fare for an afternoon or evening, please let us know!
Until next time, happy Monday!
Happy New Year! Though I’m still working out a few mapping kinks (A name, C name, DNS?), I’m very excited to christen the digital hub for our infant sandwich venture. So, where are we now? Why this blog? Will Broodjes & Bier actually happen…? All good questions, I’ll tackle in this inaugural post (more so for my sake than yours)!.
Right now, we are in the planning phases of testing the concept. Does a Dutch-style sandwich shop have any place in the DC food market? If we build it, will the sandwich and not yet sandwich fiends of the District and beyond buy it? I don’t know. So, to answer this question, Broodjes & Bier is hopping on the pop-up bandwagon. The current team (amalgam of Janny, Carrie, Mom, Virginia, and me) is looking to host our first temporary sandwich service in mid-January. We’ll Kickstart the effort for ingredients, equipment, and restaurant space and sell tickets to better estimate our covers. If it’s a success, we’ll host more and begin the process of building a brick and mortar location. If it’s not, well, we’ll polish off the kegs and go back to our day jobs.
This blog is meant to be a chronicle of our progress as well as a space to dialogue with our friends, fans, and critics, alike. Last week, I stumbled across a blog on GOOD highlighting the start-up journey of BOBA GUYS, a San Francisco boba or bubble tea start-up. I was initially sucked in by their relevant insight. Here was a real, live window into the psyche of a food start-up operating now. They not only shared their business planning and product perfection journey with the reader, but sought her insight. They asked us how they should use their profits, and then didn’t just let that feedback sit stagnant at the bottom of the page. It was digital discourse. I became genuinely vested in their success and I don’t think I’ve had more than one cup of boba in my entire life. I want to try and create that type of space here by bringing you, my friends, family, and fellow District dwellers, into my Broodje world. The goals will be transparency, trust, and a real understanding of our brand from the ground up.
So, will Broodjes happen? God, I hope so. I’ve put a lot of time into this as it it is. That said, the project is in its infancy. Awesome things could happen. Awesome things could also not happen. In any case, I’ll still have added a solid 8 sandwich recipes to my culinary roster, and that is something worth celebrating! Not bad at all.