- Mentoring a young entrepreneur
- Making a wealth of introductions
- Steering through brand launch
- National retailer intros & contracts
Elle Gurrell was an event-management executive with a thriving side business. She was passionate about baking, both for the delicious results and because she found mindful baking a great way to relax and de-stress after long days at the office.
When Elle reached out to The Greater Goods, she had transitioned from baking cupcakes for birthday parties, weddings and farmers’ markets to her own a gourmet-cupcake shop in a mall. But when COVID-19 came along, her plans changed. With her business shuttered by the pandemic, she determined to sell her gluten-free, naturally sweetened cupcakes through retailers. Just how to go about doing that was a big question mark for her…and that’s when she found The Greater Goods online.
Solution: market validation & branding
Right off the bat we felt Elle’s passion for baking and for healthful foods. Thumbs up! Since she was not already an established manufacturer and didn’t know the market intimately, we started by validating her offering. With the help of a strategic partner, we connected with a major retailer to find out their appetite for baked cupcakes. Based on the results of that meeting and additional research, we changed the offering from healthy, baked cupcakes to healthy cake mixes.
We then enlisted a strategic partner to provided Elle with a branding concept for Cakry Cake Mixes, a unique branding that leveraged scrumptious photos, a pastel colour theme and flavours that aligned with her target market: predominately women age 25 to 45.
Solution: product development & manufacturing
Next, we helped Elle to refine her mixes. Our food-science expert worked with Elle to develop a ‘goof-proof’ baking mix, taking it to the next level with wonderful taste and great mouthfeel. We then sourced all ingredients with half a dozen suppliers, with whom we have relationships, in Ontario and Quebec. The idea was to ensure top quality and drive down cost.
In parallel with this work, we sorted out all the regulatory stuff: nutritional labelling, health claims call-outs and submission to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Then we looked into co-manufacturing, which can be a challenge with gluten-free. We needed a manufacturer that could avoid gluten contamination and also fill the stand-up pouches that we had helped Elle choose for her mixes. Through our network, we found the perfect one in Newmarket. As they already know and love The Greater Goods, it was a perfect match.
Then we reviewed the total costing model and made some adjustments. This is a step that many new food manufacturers miss, but it’s an important one! If it costs you $10 to manufacture, distribute and wholesale a $10 product, what do you end up with? Nothing! To avoid this, we keep careful track of all costs—ingredients, packaging, distribution, wholesale price—as the product is developed and as packaging, manufacturing and distribution are sourced.
Elle’s timing was excellent. With the help of The Greater Goods, she was able to ramp up very quickly and fill a void in the market, just as COVID-19 created a big spike in home baking. The big cake-mix brands that we all know are not good at pivoting quickly and still have not come out with premium, health-first products like Cakry Cake Mix.
The result of all this is that Elle has a big winner on her hands. The Sobeys chain of grocery stores is committed to Cakry. In fact, they also want her to formulate a keto baking mix: instant line extension! Cakry has an agreement with a large, tier 1 national distributor that we introduced her to and is already selling at health food stores, select Ontario retailers and smaller retail chains. We would not be surprised to see Cakry top a million dollars in sales within 2 years.
A helping hand
Everyone needs a boost when they are starting out, as well as a ton of connections. A consulting relationship doesn’t need to drain your resources when you don’t have many!
If you’re a young growing company and could benefit from our expertise, let us know. Chances are good that we can steer you in the right direction.
“Like so many people, I had felt defeated watching my dreams fall through. I was about to give up on myself and my business when I found The Greater Goods by using a few key search words on Google. After speaking to Bernard, I decided to give it one more shot! Not only has Bernard introduced me to amazing people, but he has guided me through each difficult part of running a business through a pandemic. If it was not for Bernard I would not be able to do any of this. Seeing my product flourish and the demand/ pre-orders for not one but multiple NATIONAL RETAIL BANNERS with hundreds of stores is something I can’t be more grateful for. Thank you Bernard and The Greater Goods Team!”