This is an early photo from Paul sampling at Whole Foods Market, Ink Block. A couple days after he started the sampling program Paul asked me if he could get some help. The line was building and he felt “wait times were too long.”
I love this. We’re obsessed with wait times at our restaurants, and I think most of us start feeling antsy if a customer is waiting for more than a few minutes.
But at Whole Foods it was another thing. We are giving away free samples! Lines were OK.
But now I’m actually approving a second hire for Whole Foods. This position would report to Paul, who is our account manager for this business. We’re about to add new stores, currently we’re operating a single store. And the test has been going really well so we’d like some help to make sure the next stores are just as smooth. We have a slightly different approach to building this business. We’re doing a ton of sampling. For us the most important thing is that we build great relationships with new people. So we’re super sensitive to food quality and how our food is presented. Thankfully WFM cares about this stuff too. It’s still very much in process so please, if you’ve experienced us in Ink Block, give us some raw feedback, don’t hold back!
We’re selling items Whole Foods calls “cold pack” – those packaged items you grab from the cold shelves. And we’re selling items that Whole Foods is selling in their Salad bar with our name prominently displayed. Right now our products at Whole Foods includes salads, pickled veg, and hearty spreads/ dips. We’re making daily deliveries and putting really short use by dates so that everything stays as fresh as you’d expect from Clover. And of course we’re using the same ingredients we use at our restaurants, sourced seasonally from our favorite farmers as much as possible (which is a TON) and organic when possible (also a lot), but most importantly really yummy.