From the Top of the Tree: A Letter from the Publisher

It’s been a long winter for all of us, polar temperatures, piles of snow and one too many gray days. Spring is finally here and after a rough start and previous year of fair weather, I know we are all hoping for many warm days and sunny skies. It is, after all, a critical part of our business.

Weather affects the food industry in many ways, starting with crops to patrons dining out; and it’s a factor we have little to no control over. The only way to curtail the weather is to come up with creative ways to get people to our doors or bring our goods to them. The latter can be a logistical nightmare but catering and wholesale are two options to consider. The former requires more unique ideas such as cold weather day discounts, featured dishes that evoke winter nostalgia and warmth (such as Caféttone®), and store events offering something more such as music, food pairing tastings, or arts and crafts. We want to hear what was successful for you despite the cold this past season, send an email to or share on our Facebook or Twitter pages.

As we savor each nice day until the warm is here to stay, it’s that time again to prepare for the busy season. Are you ready? For those that are, I commend your proactivity and ask you share your tricks of the trade for staying ahead on our social pages too because we can all use a good tip. For those that are still working on the list, here’s a quick checklist to keep you on task.

  1. Flavor Layout – Create a month-to-month (or week-to-week) list of flavors you will feature
    1. Look at last year’s sales of flavors to help understand what you should have available and where you can try new things
    2. Get inspired by new flavor trends and recipes trending throughout the industry, check out our new recipe database
  2. Supplies (i.e. cups, spoons, napkins, sterilizing agents, etc.) – inventory what you have and put in your orders for what you are short on. Are you ready to take your brand one step further, determine if custom supplies are going to be your brand investment this year because orders generally take longer.
  3. Training – get your staff to a refresher course at our Professional Training Center or checkout our video tutorials on Also spend time reviewing your stores procedures, policies and processes. Role playing is also great for employees to practice dealing with all types of customers.
  4. Fix It & Make Changes – Are the bumps from last year or processes that didn’t quite work still plaguing you? Now is the best time to finally troubleshoot them and implement new guidelines before the lines are out the door. Literally speaking, it’s also time to fix those things that are broken or needing maintenance. It won’t help if things don’t work mid-busy season.
  5. Ask Questions – We are here to help. Our Sales, Special Service, Training and Marketing personnel are all here to assist you along the way. Call us, email us, tag or tweet us – we promise we will listen and try to provide the best solution possible.

Hopefully Mother Nature will soon give us all a break and bring us the much needed sunshine-filled days we need for our businesses to thrive. If you know any secret weather dances or remedies that might just persuade her, I encourage you to do them for the sake of us all. Good luck and best wishes, and look forward to hearing from you.