Posted on the daily kos here
In West Philadelphia. My business is expanding in a shrinking economy and consumer spending. Why?
A bit about my bakery. I started this bakery in my house with 15 people on an email list. I just sent out a weekly email and said “this is what I’m baking; pre-order and pickup your order on Friday on my front porch.” Hand-made sourdough breads, locally grown organic whole grains, milled at the bakery, local ingredients mostly.
Grass roots expansion. The word spread quickly taking on a life of it’s own, seemingly totally beyond my control; and the bakery operation slowly crept into my basement with the addition of more ovens, sinks, refrigerators, etc. Seeing the writing on my bare basement walls, I began to look for a real commercial kitchen and spent 1 1/2 years planning and renovating a small space in an existing local cafe to put my bakery; I moved the bakery, got all the required permits and certifications.
Since moving into my own commercial kitchen, I have kept the same business model that I started with: direct sales to people through internet order forms; slow growth with the goal of building lasting connection and loyalty with a strong customer base; high margins (revenues minus costs) and low volume.
The pendulum is going to swing toward greater localism. This is often protrayed as an intrinsically bad thing. I think the consequences will be mixed.
This story highlights one of the bright sides of localism.