The Retail Ready Lab is an opportunity for small local vendors to sell their products in our stores for a full month and receive beneficial feedback from customers and staff. Watch for the display in our stores, check out the products, buy them if you're interested, and let the vendors know what you think! Fill out paper feedback forms on the display, or online here.
For dates and times of sampling, browse the Demos on our Calendar.
Fill out the Retail Ready Lab feedback form here. The results will be shared with vendors. If the feedback we receive is great, and sales are what we’d like to see, we’ll bring the vendor’s products into our stores. If the feedback has some actionable steps the vendor can take and the vendor chooses to take them, we may reevaluate the products after improvements are made.
Thank you for your help in improving the supply of local products!
Meet our vendor for March:
The Ugly Apple Cafe
Who they are: Laurel Burleson
Where they are from: Madison, WI
What they make: All natural dehydrated snacks made with local apples and other nutritious ingredients but no sugar added, just the natural sweetness of the apple.
About the Vendor: Laurel knew she wanted to be a chef before she started high school. She started working part time in professional kitchens when she was fifteen years old. She graduated Northern Michigan University with a degree in Hospitality Management and the goal of opening her own restaurant. After school she moved to Chicago and worked in a variety of restaurants. Five years ago she moved to Madison with her husband and worked in restaurants until the idea for her business was solidified. After seeing first hand in restaurants and hearing about how much of a problem food waste can be for farmers the Ugly Apple was born.
About the Product: Laurel buys seconds and extra produce from local farmers and turns it into tasty food. Two and a half years ago it was only a food cart but now she has expanded into other products to use even more seconds and now Apple Straps!