Fairweather punches a hole in road work fears
When Fairweather Natural Foods owner Jen Rattray attended a meeting April 21 about marketing during Bonanza Drive construction, one idea stuck with her:
If you do nothing, nothing will happen, so do something.
Work on the busy road is slated for this summer and is expected to make it more difficult for clients to reach area businesses.
The April 21 meeting organized by the city encouraged business owners to reach out to clients during construction to promote alternative routes, incentives or even offer delivery.
Rattray said she took the encouragement to heart. There’s more to be excited about than critical of because of what a renovated Bonanza Drive will provide the district, she said.
Periods of slow business provide an opportunity to take a critical look at your business.
"It’s a time to figure out what you do best and what you can do better," she said. "We’re friendly with great service and we get to know our clientele."
If all goes as planned, Rattray said her store will be poised to do even better after the work is completed.
She’s starting with a punch card program. It was one of those things she’d had on her mind for a while and has decided to offer to give people a reason to keep coming back despite traffic congestion.
Sitting near the corner of Bonanza Drive and Iron Horse Drive, Fairweather Foods will still be accessible from many directions so she doesn’t plan to change store hours.
She currently enjoys a number of customers who come by two or three times a week for her organic juice bar, sandwiches, vegan soups and baked goods. She said her food is nutritious and affordable and available on-the-go or for a sit-down meal.
offering punch cards for her wheat grass, sandwiches, juices and salads, she’ll reward clients for every 10 purchases. It’s a traditional promotion and an easy way to begin adopting the ideas offered at the April meeting.
Next to come is a website in August to explain store hours and alternative routes while promoting the store’s other offerings such as its market and its lectures and presentations.
The most heavily pushed strategy at the April meeting was compiling an email list of a business’s best customers. Rattray said she’s beginning that now and plans to eventually distribute digital notices through her website.
"In 20 years we’ve definitely weathered a few storms," she added. "We’ll come out of this with even more business."
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