Specialty Food Magazine

MAY-JUN 2012

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.

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Page 58 of 103

PROFILE delivered fresh most days, is made locally by Albany's Bountiful Bread. The market roasts its own turkeys, while salami is provided by Seattle's award-winning Salumi Artisan Cured Meats. The deli uses only fresh, crisp green-leaf lettuce, and each sandwich comes with "a great pickle," the menu reads. In 2011 alone, the market sold 53,000 sandwiches. Three prepared soups are on offer every day, and the market also stocks a refrigerator case with homemade soups in pints and quarts. Some top sellers are a rustic chicken noodle, curried beef stew, chicken marsala soup and, in the summer, chilled gazpacho. Increasingly popular is the market's self-serve entree/deli case. "There are so many people like me who are running from one thing to another," explains Griskowitz. "I've got four children who are involved in activities. I'm the queen of bringing something home that is already made and reheating it." The market rotates 15 to 20 items in the self-serve case, all of which are made from scratch in the store and sold for $9.99 per pound. These include hickory chicken salad, roasted vegetables, cheese tortellini in pesto, firehouse coleslaw, broccoli salad, egg salad, fruit salad and potato salad. The store also recently added a machine to make peanut butter in the store. Customers can order fresh meat, turkeys and poultry through Putnam's supplier, Misty Knoll Farms in New Haven, Vt., which makes weekly deliveries. The booming lunch business and after-work shoppers keep Putnam Market's name a regular part of customers' routine. The mar- ket has two busy seasons; late July through August sees an influx of tourists who buy sandwiches, cheeses and shelf items for picnics, while in the Christmas season the average transaction value is much greater. During the holidays, the store is packed to the brim with corporate gift baskets, boxed chocolates, cookies, candy and stocking stuffers. The shop's catering arm covers personal and corporate parties, 53,000 sandwiches were sold in 2011. offering platters as well as providing servers. In 2008, the sisters tweaked their business with an increase in prices, which were too low for growth, and were able to reassign one catering staffer to else- where in the store. The catering side initially experienced a drop in business, but the end result was a greater profit margin. The sisters are selective in taking on big catering events to avoid overcommit- ting. Any new business is weighed against how it will affect their store's core offerings. Baked goods have become a famed staple at the market. Three of the most popular items are also gluten-free, a growing category: coconut macaroons, celestial chocolate torte and chocolate-dipped almond fingers. The market's cupcakes are baked on the premises with premium ingredients in a panet- tone paper liner, making each cupcake about one-third of a pound. In 2011, the market sold 13,000 cupcakes—even in spite of two cupcake 52 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE ❘ specialtyfood.com SALES BREAKDOWN BY DEPARTMENT Wine 23% Catering/ Prepared Food/Bakery 25% Grocery 22% Deli 30% Total Sales: $2.7 million shops residing within a half-mile of the market, one within a few blocks. Classic flavors sit alongside more modern twists such as Earl Grey and chocolate and the Aztec, a chocolate cupcake with chocolate buttercream containing a hint of cinnamon and cayenne. Standard cupcakes sell at $2.75; filled cupcakes are $2.95 each. Product Mix The store offers about 1,600 shelf items, including dry pastas and several dozen olive oils and vinegars. The inventory includes private- label items, such as barbecue sauces, mustards and salad dressings, and private-label spices include special items not likely to be found in the supermarket: star anise, saffron, herbes de Provence. Some popular shelf items are Maya Kaimal's simmer sauces (the market also sells that brand's fresh refrigerated sauces), chocolate bark and truffles from Lake Champlain Chocolates, Frontier Soups' dry soup mixes and the robust lines from Robert Rothschild and Stonewall Kitchen, particularly Stonewall Kitchen's Sea Salt Crackers. The market buys products both through distributors and directly from manufacturers. Because the market makes its own baked goods, it carries few packaged bakery items but has made an exception for Tate's Bake Shop Chocolate Chip Cookies and Effie's Homemade Oatcakes, both of which are exceptionally popular. "What sells well are things you're going to eat in one or two sittings," Griskowitz notes. Putnam Wine is run by Hamilton's husband, William Roach, who builds up customer relationships through his passion for wine and the Putnam Market diligence for finding the right food and beverages for its customers. Roach, who already holds a Wine and Spirits certificate, is pursuing Master of Wine certification. He travels worldwide searching for varieties that deeply reflect the iden- tity of a region and are made by skilled winemakers during times of

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