Ginger Cobl, owner of Decatur, AL-based The Cupboard, is always keeping her eyes open for ways to create new and exciting experiences around her store. The businesswoman keeps her finger on the pulse of what’s growing popular with the use of social media, namely Instagram, and recently used an idea sparked from the social media site to create a business opportunity.
After seeing several posts of flower trucks, Cobl and her friend Natasha McCrary, owner of 1818 Farms, decided to partner on a similar venture.
“It was an idea we had seen on Instagram and she has always done a garden with lots of flowers and vegetables so we just thought this would be perfect,” Cobl said.
While developing the product was exhausting, said Cobl, and required multiple permits and trips to Town Hall, the duo were finally ready to roll. Cobl announced the venture on her store’s Facebook page, among other places, and created a launch event around the inaugural truck stop, which proved to be a success for her business.
“Nordic Ware sent me the petal pan and the spring wildflower pan, so I made cakes and champagne punch and we had refreshments in the store,” she said. “The truck was parked behind the store so people had to walk through the store to get to the truck. I’ve seen people who had never been in our store come in — and they spent money,” she explained.
Not only did she get new customers in, but she was also able to score some repeat customers as well. She told GOURMET INSIDER® that a couple came in for the flower truck, but the truck was sold out at that time. The couple ended up making a large purchase, signed up for a knife skills class at a later date and then made another purchase after the class was done.
She explained that she believes the success of the flower truck is in part by the excitement garnered by the event itself, while some is the coming together of two local businesses to create something bigger.
“A rising tide raises all ships,” said Cobl. “The community loves to see small businesses working together. They know that you’re also there to build a bigger and better community, not just your individual business.”
The 1818 Flower Truck will continue to be at The Cupboard on Thursday afternoons, possibly through December as McCrary also has greenery available, and Cobl hopes it remains successful through the summer months.
“I am competitive. She has three stops on the truck tour but I want to be the one to sell the most flowers,” Cobl said with a laugh. “But events like this are important. They keep bringing new people into your store and others coming back.”