Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Spoils of the Fancy Food Show

There was so much more! But this is just a peek at all the different businesses I spoke with while perusing the show. It was a good show all in all.

My biggest impression was that for all of us living in the burbs is not good. Most every vendor I spoke to answered the question "where can I find your products?" Answered with the same answers: "Whole Foods (2 hours away), Bristol (75 minutes away), or Ralph's (35 minutes away). Ugh. We in the burbs just don't count. It bugs the heck out of me. I think we are actually an un-mined demographic that if, or when the majors discover us, they'll wish they'd been here all along.

Kevin Davis of Bristol fame once wrote me that there couldn't possibly be a Bristol Farms in Temecula (not my town but 30 minutes away sort of) could not be a reality as it "was not supply chain friendly" meaning it was not part of their natural distribution channel so we would not be enjoying their presence any time soon. Bristol, for a long time was only local to the greater Los Angeles area and Kevin's response made sense. That was until i learned they were opening a store in Palm Springs. Palm Springs is so far off the distribution channel it was surprising to say the least. But then again, that store is now my local albeit 75 minutes away, local Bristol Farms.

All in all the Fancy Food Show was well done, huge and surprisingly well attended. I though moving it to San Diego would possibly lower attendance a bit as it was not San Francisco, but the crowds were there. There was a plethora of chocolate companies, olive oil companies and tea companies. Wowzer, who knew tea had grown so large??!!!

I had some favorites, met some new people and saw some old friends. There were a few surprises and a new favorite. In the next few weeks I will be focusing on some of the companies I met at the show and hopefully you'll be interested in doing business with them after I introduce them!