30 Jan LTFF Blog: That Feeling When…
By Rachael Reagan, Kitchen 66 Sales & Distribution Coordinator
Since the November grand opening of Mother Road Market, most of my days (and some nights) revolve around the operations, logistics, and sales of the Kitchen 66 General Store. As a testing ground for Kitchen 66 and non-Kitchen 66 companies alike, the General Store showcases Oklahoma makers – and just like Mother Road Market, has been busy since its opening day. We all work almost as many hours as the entrepreneurs we support, and as Kitchen 66’s Sales & Distribution Coordinator, one of my jobs is to support our entrepreneurs through the sales analytics, numbers and figures from our General Store.
Most of those conversations take the form of an in-person meeting, and this particular day I had a meeting with the owner of Heavenly Health Foods. A Kitchen 66 company, Heavenly Health Foods produces vegan veggie burgers that we sell in the General Store freezer. We’re one of their first retail spots, and before this meeting, they had just changed the price of their burgers and wanted to know how they’d been selling. Like other meetings with companies, I also planned to talk with them about their profit margins, packaging, shelf life, and expanding their product scope. I’d also brought their most recent check from their General Store sales and was prepared to talk about their sales goals.
I’d prepared for our meeting the same way I prepare for most meetings – navigating through enough numbers to make Einstein’s head spin. I felt prepared to answer any question she had to ask. What time of day do I sell the most product? How much had sales gone down since they raised prices? Did most people buy just their product, or was it with another product? For all these questions and more, I’d prepared mountains of numbers and formulated theories on what they could mean.
We settle into a table next to the General Store- the crowds had thinned since the lunch rush, but there was still a steady crowd. After I went through my numbers and stats, I explained the sales from the past two weeks that make up the check they were about to open. After they opened the check and saw the number, the owner fell quiet. Her face and eyes looked focused but vague, and I, panicked, desperately went back through my sales data in my head to ensure I hadn’t made a mistake. Did that number seem right? I can always double check? Just as I was about to apologize for the 12th time, she looked up at me and smiled.
“It’s really happening, isn’t it? This is going to work!” she beamed.
And in that moment, I remembered why we sometimes eat lunch at our desks, and why we sleep with a notepad next to our beds when ideas wake us up. It’s so companies, like Heavenly Health Foods, can feel this feeling.