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 feedbackfrom customers and staff. It is also an opportunity for us to make data-driven decisions about new product lines to adopt! This month we have two Retail Ready Lab participants to introduce you to.
Curador Bitters Company
Who are they: Max Jewer
Where are they from: Madison, Wisconsin
What they make: Bitters for use in cocktails, tonics, or cooking.
Learn about them in their own words: “I’m a Wisconsin native and bitters fanatic, and I recently decided to turn my passion into a local business. After years of experimenting, I have four recipes I’m very confident in, and I’ve done most of the graphic design work/prep necessary to produce them on a large scale. My roadblocks so far have mostly been understanding the state and federal laws concerning alcohol-based non-beverages. I have recently started working to produce my products at the FEED Kitchens here in Madison.”
About their Products: “We make four types of bitters for cocktails or use in tonics and cooking: Lemon, Black Walnut, Gentian, and Tamarind Lime. There are over a dozen ingredients in each, all natural and fresh (local when possible).”
Two Onion Farm
Who are they: Juli McGuire
Where are they from: Belmont, Wisconsin
What they make: Juli’s Organic Apple Butter and Apple Sauce
Learn about them in their own words: “Two Onion Farm is a certified organic, diversified, small family farm growing vegetables and apples in Southwest Wisconsin. We, Chris and Juli, the farmers, have been growing produce for our CSA members since 2005. In 2012 we started planting a small apple orchard, and we currently have over 600 apple trees. This fall you may have found our organic apples at the Willy Street Co-op. We are experienced, passionate and dedicated farmers who strive to grow high-quality, nourishing food for our community while being good stewards of our land.”
About their Products: “Our apple butter and applesauce are cooked from organic apples grown in our own orchard and seasoned gently with spices (the only non-local ingredients in the product), and we do not add sugar.
Juli’s Organic Apple Butter and Applesauce are locally processed in Viroqua, using Juli’s recipes. Both are cooked from a variety of apples for a rich, complex flavor. Juli’s Organic Apple Butter is excellent on toast, bread, and pancakes, and you probably don’t need a serving suggestion for the applesauce!
Look for these two vendors in each of our stores at our Retail Ready Lab Displays! Then be sure to give your feedback via the paper comment box or online willystreet.coop/retail-ready-lab.
Results from our September Retail Ready Lab experiment!
Nami Chips, Viroqua, WI—Graduate of the Retail Ready Lab!
We are happy to announce that we will be bringing in three of Nami’s varieties of dehydrated whole food, nutrition-packed chips: the Butternut Curry, Shiso Tomato, and Sunny Garden. Nami had some great feedback from our owners:
•Nami Chips were given an average rating by respondents of 8.5 out of 10.
•60% of commenters purchased a bag, and all who purchased said they’d purchase again!
•91% of commenters said they would recommend Nami Chips to a friend.
•One commenter said, “Great idea! I like this brand more than Mary’s Gone Crackers. Nami Chips are more flavorful and have a more satisfying texture.”
Cress Springs Body Care—Graduate of the Retail Ready Lab!
We are also happy to announce that we will be bringing in a selection of Cress Springs Body Care products: all of the stores will soon be carrying the lip balm. Willy East and Willy West will be carrying the Facial Care cream and possibly some of the Body Care creams. Cress Springs had some great feedback from our Owners:
•Cress Springs Body Care products were given an average rating by respondents of 9 out of 10.
•55% of commenters purchased one of the body care products, and all who purchased said they’d purchase again!
•88% of commenters said they would recommend Cress Springs to a friend.
•One commenter said, “LOVE the lip balm!”
by Pam Puckett, Willy North Wine Buyer
Mas Fi Brut Cava
Cava is Spain’s answer to Champagne. Mas Fi comes from the Masachs family’s 105-acre estate and is made in the méthode traditionnelle. The family started cultivating grapes at the turn of the century and established Cavas Masachs in the 1920s. Controlling the process from beginning to end allows the family to produce a higher-quality wine. Mas Fi Brut has fine bubbles, notes of white flower, citrus and fresh stone fruit.