Growing up working in my father’s woodworking shop in Southern New Hampshire, I came to learn the value of small business and its role as a community cornerstone through weekends and summers sanding and staining furniture. Working with my hands was greatly rewarding and I enjoyed the physical toil from a day in the shop.
This time last year, the future did not look very promising for small brands in America. When the U.S. went into pandemic lockdown, families reached for the familiarity of house-name brands like Campbell’s, Kraft Heinz, and Nestlé to provide both comfort and utility. But as incumbent brands struggled to keep up with demand, challenger brands regained share on grocery shelves and with it, a surer foothold in the mainstream market.
Janis Reinke, and her husband, Jason, took a weekend trip to Vermont while visiting their daughter at college in Boston. During that trip, they fell in love with Vermont. The people, the area, the food movement, they loved everything about the Green Mountain state.
April was a month that seemed to last a year. As we close the books on this historic month, we look to grocery buying trends to tell the story of buying behavior in the midst of a pandemic, and the creativity it has inspired. Let’s dive in.
I own a grocery store in Vermont at the base of a popular ski mountain. My GM, Ashley, primarily runs the operations and, along with a few other employees, manages the purchasing for our 3,000 square foot store.
As a store owner in a small New England town, I take pride in the role that my store plays in our community. We're nestled at the base of a ski resort, and we value the locals that stop in each morning for a cup of coffee just as much as the skiers that stop by for snacks and a six pack after a long day on the mountain. When I first bought the store a year ago, there wasn't much to discover in the aisles besides the traditional consumer packaged goods you can find anywhere. My team and I made it part of our mission to change that.