Any company looking to build its brand has heard, “What’s your story? Tell your story.” This is something we have struggled with over the years, for a couple reasons, not least of which is humility. And none of us at Gem City Fine Foods currently suffers from celiac disease, though some of us have food allergies. How can we tell a story about our company when it isn’t, “I was diagnosed, and suddenly my world changed!” Or something equally riveting.
Well, last evening as our owner Rick and I, CEO/ Sales and Marketing Manager Lisa, discussed the challenges of getting a buyer on board, and partnering well with distributors to get our desserts out to our fans and loyal customers, it suddenly dawned on me: We do have a story. That story is YOU.
When trying to impart the importance of quality, great tasting gluten free treats, I often revert to the story of a young mother who walked up to our table about three years ago at a GFAF Expo, and asked to look at the ingredients list for our Vegan Chocolate Cake. “It’s not that I don’t trust you,” she said, “But this is my daughter’s life.” Satisfied with the list on our spec sheet, she handed her little girl a bite size sample of that cake, and we both watched as her daughter’s eyes grew wider and a huge grin spread across her face. Then she reached out for more. “This is the first time I have ever been able to give my daughter chocolate cake,” the young woman said, and began sobbing. And I joined her. My eyes still well up when I remember that moment.
Sure, there are some great options out there for the celiac and food allergic diner these days; much tastier options than even a decade ago. And we contribute to that changing landscape. As noted in previous posts, reaching the retail or food service buyer who is confronted with far more options than freezer or refrigerator space, is a real challenge, especially if that buyer has no experience with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. So how do we do that, reach the buyer, build our brand so you can continue to enjoy a great dessert?
We tell our story. We talk about you: That little girl and her mom, or the adults recently diagnosed who attended a Dessert Walking Tour at our bakery earlier this month and were shedding tears themselves to be part of an enterprise that works for them. That’s what we do. We work for YOU. You are, indeed, our story. Of course we all want to pay the bills, maybe save to go on a little vacation, even make enough money to retire early and live well. But there are myriad enterprises in which we can work to make that happen. The path I have chosen, all of us at Gem City Fine Foods has chosen, is to work to serve YOU.
Please keep telling your story to us. We will share it loud and clear, to make sure you can enjoy the same tasty treats as those who do not contend with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or allergies to nuts. This weekend Rick and I will be at the Dallas GFAF Expo with samples, coupons, product request forms- and photo release permits. Please stop in and see us- in the NUT FREE Red Zone this year!- enjoy dessert, and tell us your story. We would like to take video coverage and photographs to share with those buyers who don’t see you out there. And to just listen to your story. Because your story is our story. Thank you.
Below, Operations Manager Randy opens the freezer door, and CEO/ Sales and Marketing Manager Lisa takes a photo, as guests on our Dessert Walking Tour, co-hosted by Travel Gluten Free, begin to enter.