In the age of online retailing and big box stores, independent gourmet housewares storeowners have looked to other ways to drive foot traffic into their brick-and-mortar locations.
While hosting classes, organizing events and having workshops naturally brings customers in, collaborations with other local businesses is a resource that is mutually beneficial. Case in point: Ginger Cobl, owner of Decatur, AL-based The Cupboard, and Natasha McCrary, owner of 1818 Farms based in Mooresville, AL, have blended their customer base organically and have been reaping the benefits of the partnership they sowed.
“In this business climate, you need to align yourself with like-minded people. You have to be very intentional with who you partner with and work together to create synergy. She has a certain following, I have certain following, why not bring those followings together and be more successful,” said McCrary.
Added Cobl, “It was a natural progression that we would collaborate and do things together. A rising tide lifts all ships, I’ve said that from the beginning. The more we can work together, the better my business is and the better her business is — it just kind of snowballs from there.”
While their business venture has been successful, Cobl and McCrary both explained that there are lots of components to ensuring partnerships that will flourish. However, they both said, understanding each other’s business and creating an organic synergy — both personally and professionally — should be the main focus. Everything else will fall into place.
“You need to really meet with anyone you may be thinking about creating a partnership with. You need to talk with them and really think about how you overlap. It really has to make sense. And you also have to cultivate relationships. It needs to be a partnership; I want to know about your business and you should know about mine,” McCrary said.
Cobl echoed her sentiment. “A potential partner needs to have good understanding of your business and what you’re trying to accomplish, as do you their business. Then it’s just a real easy path to success.”
To read the full story, check out the November/December issue of GOURMET INSIDER.