October 24, 2012: Whirlwind Promotional Trip
The last two weeks have been somewhat of a blur but very successful for E’s Best Barbecue! We started with a tasting on October 13 to help The Chop Shop in Bradenton celebrate their 41st anniversary. One week before, Tonda Bynum was at The Meat House in Charlotte and had a very successful day as well. Before leaving for Tennessee and North Carolina, we had the opportunity to get all of the shipping prep done for our newest retailer, Bealls Outlet and Burkes Outlet stores. We had been having ongoing discussions with their buyer about the possibility of carrying our products. We were informed in early September that they wanted to stock our sauces, but we held off from making an announcement until it was official this week with the actual shipment. The first order was substantial and required a lot of shipping prep work that we had to learn about quickly, but the experience has prepared us for similar large shipments for other large retailers in the future. Meanwhile, we delivered our first shipment to Shannon O’Brien and Graham Bergquist at O’Brien Family Farms in Bradenton. We had called on them at the end of last season before they closed for the summer and we are excited to be in their store. We will be doing a tasting there on Saturday, December 1.
We traveled to Cleveland, Tennessee on Wednesday, Oct. 17 and thanks to Dave and Barbara Olson for letting us stay with them that night. Our tasting was all day at Cookes Food Store on Thursday for their quarterly Truckload Meat Sale. The sauces were reasonably priced and we moved a lot for the store that day and met a lot of wonderful people from that part of Tennessee! Thanks to Benji Widener and the staff!
From there, we traveled to Waynesville, NC for a Saturday tasting at Home Tech The Kitchen Shop, the anchor store on Waynesville’s famous Main Street. That weekend was the Apple Festival and their store was packed that Saturday! Thanks to owners Bob and Wendy Lang!
Thanks so much also to our friends the Gambills for letting us stay with them. We hit the road Sunday morning for Florida and we are back at work letting people know about our sauces and refilling supplies to our Florida retailers. This weekend we will be at Crowder Brothers Ace Hardware on Manatee Avenue in Bradenton from 10am to 2pm as part of a big grilling event at that location. We hope our local friends will come out and say hello!
When we look back on the last 5 months, we really stand in awe of what God has done in our lives with this opportunity. The barbecue sauce business is saturated and to the trained retailer, there is no explanation for the success we have had standing out from the crowd and experiencing so many people appreciating our products. There have been a few retailers that played it safe and chose not to carry our sauces, and that is to be expected. But those that took a chance on us have a witness we could never have authored ourselves. God continues to bless our sauces! Your prayers and support are evident and much valued by Jan and me. Thank you!