Broodje Co. Is Coming Downtown. Are You In?

Fresh baked ciabattas. Imported aged Goudas. Fig spreads and balsamic reductions. Bacon Nutella spreads and Avocado Egg Salad.

No line and no wait. Each and every broodje made a few hours before, for your belly only.

Broodje Co. is gearing up to bring fast, easy, and fresh sandwiches downtown. Are you in?

Sign up below and we’ll let you know when we’re in your neck of the woods. We’re not sure who said lunch couldn’t be fast AND healthy. That just doesn’t make any sense to us.

Building a brand

So, I want to focus this blog post on brand building, specifically as it relates to social media. Admittedly, the true broodjes authority to speak to this is Janny (our marketer/my sister), but she’s too busy being a social media guru for Planned Parenthood and others to add any concrete insight to the conversation.

I’d like to preface this by directing you to our About page. I’m just a kid who loves sandwiches and is running a sandwich company. This is my first foray into business and so, a lot of what Broodjes does is trial and error.
It seems today that brands are built online. Of course, that depends to a degree on your target audience, but I would say that unless you’re catering to a 40+ crowd, you need some kind of digital presence.
I’m not an avid tweeter and I try hard to not follow businesses on facebook. Regardless, there are a few companies so witty, so cool, and with such timely content who I let blitz my wall every so often.
The week prior to our hard launch, I started thinking seriously about how we could become one of those companies.
How do we convince individuals to let us into their virtual stream of consciousness? How do we make people care about what we’re saying and then, more importantly, take part in that conversation because ultimately, yes, we want 5,000 ‘likes’ on facebook, but we also  want to engage individuals.
For now, I’m thinking it’s the content piece. Broodjes needs to be a reliable source of information on the sandwich space, specifically the Dutch sandwich industry.
Given that particular market in the US is small/nonexistent, our focus needs to be on those differentiating factors that make this industry unique: quality of ingredients and taste.
For the next month (or shorter if it is clear this approach doesn’t work), my focus will be sharing this type of content with our network.
It’s my hypothesis (technical term, waddup), that by doing this we will gain more followers or individuals who want to include us in their digital lives.
Now, for the engagement piece. Having people ‘like’ us (on facebook and literally) is awesome, but we also want to have conversations.
Engagement is key to building a customer base we can depend on as well as checking the wants and wills of the people.
The hypothesis on this front is that we need to state opinions. It’s not enough to be an encyclopedia of sandwich knowledge. We also need represent a point of view on what’s out there so we can instigate conversations around it. As a result, we’ll learn more about our customers and they’ll learn more about us, all factors key to healthy growth.
This is the social media project for the month! Let’s see if we get any bites..Frankly, it should be easy to check. It’ll all be on the wall.

My wrist will never tire from saying thank you to our awesome backers. Not pictured are an ice pack and unopened bottle of aleve. Let’s do this!!

20130418-115607.jpg

Rewards going out this week!

The post cards are finally in!

We’ll be mailing out rewards to our awesome backers this week, so clear out your mailbox and get ready for some broodje collateral (hint: it’ll coincide with our hard launch which means some pretty sweet giveaways as well!).

Soft Launch Vs. Hard Launch and the Skinny on Our Menu

I’ve been a neglectuful blogger, and for that I apologize.

With launch and the collecting of collateral (ie sitting on my front porch casually waiting for the UPS wo(man) to arrive), I’ve made lame excused not to post. 

That ends here! Firstly, an important update. 
 
Broodjes launched! We’re officially crafting and slinging sandwiches out of Silver Spork seven days a week.
 
Here’s the skinny on the food…
 
The current four sandwich menu features a veggie option (The Classic – fun fact, I ate this sandwich at least once a day for 3 yrs) and a gratuitous breakfast delight (Paradiso – Salted Bacon Nutella, sliced strawberries on buttery, awesome brioche…I personally call this one the ‘YOLO’. I tried to make the name happen with the team, but, as you can see, I was outvoted). 
 
We showcase the subtle deliciousness of Goat Gouda with Vondel Park (goat gouda, prosciutto, fig jam, a 25 yr aged balsamic reduction) and freshen up some white meat chicken with the Jordaan (Apple & Bacon Chicken Salad. The greek yogurt sauce keeps this stuff super fresh and surprisingly light. The fresh chopped dill helps too).
 
It’s a menu we’re excited to serve and even more excited to expand on in the future! 
 
For now, we’ve ‘soft launched’. This was done in an effort to acclimate the team to the operations side of this business as it’s relatively new territory for everyone. 
 
As we understand it (and as we’re executing it), a soft launch is really just about limiting marketing. When we were Kickstarting, we tweeted, shared, and spammed every single thing we did. Our goal was to expose ourselves and our effort to the most people possible. 
 
Soft launching has been about creating just the right amount of buzz to bring people in the door, but not enough to stir the masses. It has been an exercise in self-control. That said, it’s a process that will pay off once those processes of operating Broodjes are clear to us. We’ll have systems in place to scale with the increase in interest (which wil hopefully convert to demand!) and keep providing a product we’re proud of and confident in.
 
I will say, keeping my mouth shut and my fingers still has been tough. That said, if you’re reading this blog, you’re the customer we need to try our food. You’re also the customer we need to provide us with the feed back that will make our hard launch a success. So, if you have any at all (or if you just want to say hi!), please comment or email us directly. We love hearing from everyone, but especially cherish these conversations at this point in our growth!
 
Until later this week (this is me holding myself accountable)! 
 

Milestones, Nutella, etc.

If I’ve learned anything over the course of the last two months (re broodjes & bier), it’s that you have to wig out over the little things.

We’ve hit a few milestones since Jan. 1 that seem small (they’re small), but are indicative of a growing operation.

Jan. 1, I made myself open to total embarrasment and shame by making this blog live. I emailed 20 of my closest friends to update them on what I’ve been working on (from my broodjes email account, no less) and invited them to share in our progress over the month to come. Feb 1 we launched our Kickstarter campaign, and by then I had talked (and fed) four others into the journey. March 1, our funds were disbursed and I opened a Broodjes & Bier Restaurant Group LLC (got to keep an eye on the future…) bank account…Okay, I’ll stop being sentimental, but you get the point.

We’re in full throttle trying to get things together for Broodje Co. The box vs. paper debate was settled via social media. Verdict: we’ll be going with butcher paper. They protected the sandwich equally after being refrigerated for 12 hrs and frankly, the paper is more economical on a few fronts.

We’re busy this week choosing between two sandwiches to add to our Broodje Co. roster (sneak peak: apple & bacon chicken salad vs. salted bacon nutella and fruit ie YOLO). I imagine it’s a lot like choosing which of your children you love most…

Factors to consider: 1) chicken salad will sell to a lunch and dinner crowd; 2) chicken salad is a fine balance to our veggie and pork options; 3) salted bacon nutella is salted bacon nutella; 4) see 3; 5) it’s a snack-ier, lighter option than the other sandwiches we’ll be doing.

Obviously, cost is another MAJOR deciding factor. A) can we even afford to do another sandwich at the spork without a month of data under our belts? B) nutella’s not cheap, people. nor is thick cut bacon. Leave the economics to me though. What do you want to eat?