Every year, housewares manufacturers plan to bring new, innovative products to the independent gourmet industry. However, Hope Goldammer, owner of industry newcomer Mint + Basil, said that when it comes to building a brand, product selection is what really ties it all together.
Like a customer browsing the store’s offerings, said Goldammer, gourmet insiders need to also be discerning about the products they bring into their retail outlets.
“We do carry some very well-known brands, but we also really try to pack our shop with brands that may only be a one or two person operation. For instance, each label of a jam line we carry is hand-lettered in calligraphy,” she said.
Goldammer also explained that in order to give Mint + Basil credibility with her customers, she only stocks those goods that fit the brand’s vision.
“Packaging is huge to me,” she said. “If I packed the shop with items that had… packaging [that didn’t match my vision], it would throw off the whole design aesthetic of the shop. My target customer lose respect for my brand and stop shopping there.”
And, she added, that she isn’t afraid to put herself in the shoes of her customer to ensure she is giving her target audience the best in-store experience she can.
“My ultimate goal for Mint + Basil, at the end of the day, is to create a place that people enjoy shopping at,” she said. “I constantly put myself in the customers’ shoes and ask myself ‘Why would you come here?’, ‘What do you want to see more of?’, and ‘How can you make this better?’ Nothing is more exciting than when people tell me that they just has to bring their friends and family into the shop because they are proud that this store is in their downtown and they wanted to show if off,” Goldammer added.