Specialty Food Magazine

Spring 2020

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://www.e-digitaleditions.com/i/1220124

Contents of this Issue


Page 73 of 75

"Walk the entire trade show. Don't just focus on your categories or what your buying responsibilities are. Learn everything. This [industry] is always changing so your role as a buyer is always going to change. You want to stay involved and up to date. And be open and engaged with the community. Don't try to manage your categories and buy in a bubble. Most people in this industry want to help you succeed and if you as a buyer understand that they want to help you put great products on the shelf and build great programs, that is only going to make you look better." —Dwight Richmond, The Fresh Market "I've been doing this since 2005 and I never stop learning, reading, talking to people, or asking questions. It always surprises me when I ask someone 'what are you excited about' or 'what are you seeing that's new?' Talk to your suppliers about what's coming down the pike. They won't necessarily tell you unless you ask. Always ask questions and manage your relationships—keeping relationships strong is a huge part of growth." —Scott Case, DiBruno Bros. Imports "Taste everything. Don't believe data. Don't believe people who walk in with IRI and Spins and let that be your decision making. If you don't know how to cook, you'd better learn. You're doing a disservice to the industry if you're not truly a user of every product you approve. Know it, study it, take it home, test it, read the instructions. Maybe they don't work. It's that kind of feedback you're going to give the manufacturers that could make or break them in the marketplace." —Rex Howell-Smith, Central Market "One should understand basic math, know how to negotiate, be in love with the process, and love food. It's something you can get immersed in and it's a way to understand and appreciate cultures. It's a great journey." —Ken Blanchette, FreshDirect "Be out there in the store stocking products. It gets you hands-on with the products but also exposes you to customers. They'll ask questions and you'll get a sense of what they're looking for, what matters to them, what you don't have that they may want. It gives you an insight into what they're cooking at home, how they're using a product. Get your hands on the product: get dirty, unload trucks, talk to the drivers. Go to local distributor tabletop shows because they are very informative and close to your marketplace." —Richard Tarlov, Canyon Market What tips do you have for specialty food buyers? One of the most important parts of working in specialty food is developing strong partnerships with industry colleagues. Part of that process involves those with experience working as mentors to those who are newer to the business. Here, several respected specialty food leaders offer advice to other buyers. These answers are excerpts from the Specialty Food Association's recently released Professional Food Buyer Certificate Program, created in cooperation with eCornell. This self-paced program enables buyers to better understand and develop an appreciation for the key principles and best practices associated with supply chain management, strategic partnerships, strategic sourcing, and product success in the food industry. To learn more, visit learning.specialtyfood.com. TO LEARN MORE: SPRING 2020 71 industry voices

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Specialty Food Magazine - Spring 2020