Marien Hornyak opened The Kitchenette in September 2016, but is quickly learning how important it is to speak to her customer base as an authority in the field.
One of the tactics she employs is to reference Cook’s Illustrated top picks and other specialty lists that can serve as a conversation starter as well as a way to explain the features and benefits of products to consumers.
“When we were planning our product mix, we wanted to carry good quality products that were able to be recognized,” she said. “When we know a product has been rated on Cook’s Illustrated, we always point that out to people and it really makes a difference when it comes down to making a purchase.”
Hornyak said that after she points out the product was featured on a Cook’s Illustrated buying guide or one of Oprah’s Favorite Things lists, people seem to pay more attention to it and justify the price.
However, she said, it’s not just about making a sale.
“This tactic helps us form a connection with our customer,” she said. “Our service is always very personal and this just adds to the personalized service. It helps us to come across as knowledgable because we can speak about the product and we can tell them why it is rated the best.”
And, that knowledge has helped her gain customers in ways she would not have expected.
“We’ve had a lot of bartenders come in to buy things that they need for their shift and we even had a celebrity chef (who owns a local restaurant) come in here for a spatula,” she explained.