Tuesday, May 17, 2011
I finally got to Conshy last week and was met by Chris. The daughter of one of the founders. We had a pleasant conversation and a quick tour, meeting both her brother and her father. What they do there is nothing short of miraculous to bring the area the finest in bread and rolls.
First off, the tour was really shocking. I don't know why. All you have to do is think about what they do and you could probably form a concept of how much work goes into doing what they do, but I was totally surprised. First off, they get a bulk delivery of about 50,000 pounds of flour every six days. It goes into this hopper and from there is distributed via pipeline to the different mixers. Truly something to be seen and not what you'd expect from looking outside of the quaint little building in Conshohocken. Especially from looking at the little retail shop from inside the doors. It's truly a huge undertaking with ovens and proofing rooms and mixers and cooling rooms, etc. Not everything is automated either. This is truly a craft. Every Kaiser roll that has an "x" marked on top is made by hand. From the hoagie rolls to the zep rolls to everything in between all get attention by hand at some point in the process.
80 percent of their business is wholesale and the other 20 percent is retail. They make tomato pie, rolls, breads, and baked goods for every type of eatery or consumer. With 11 independent route drivers they service just about 15 counties surrounding the Delaware Valley. "We get calls from Maryland and Virginia almost on a daily basis but being a daily delivery product it's hard to reach further out", said Mike, now a partner with his father Dominic in the business.
Anyone who is anyone knows the quality of their breads and rolls and also realizes that the quality is time sensitive. Great breads from this area are no good after 24 hours. "You can freeze them, and use them later, but that's only for hot sandwiches. You shouldn't do it for cold sandwiches.", said Dominic. Obviously a sandwich connoisseur and knows his product. For what it's worth, I agree completely. Trust me, I know my sandwiches. :)
Dominic Gambone founded Conshocken Bakery in 1973 with his partner Frank Manzi. Both of whom worked at Morabito Bakery in Norristown. They bought a $12,000 oven from the closing Phoenixville state hospital at auction (which is still in use today), and got to work.
From those days it has grown into an area household name. They brand some of their rolls for customers such as McNally's at Citizens Bank Park. The "Schmitter" is made specifically for that sandwich and Conshy bakery provides it. They just don't serve sandwich shops either. Some of the best restaurants in the area serve conshy products. "Because of the independent drivers, it's sometimes hard for us gauge just who exactly we are serving at all times. The drivers like to keep their customers close to their own vests", said Chris. Can you blame them?
On any given day they average 50 employees to complete the daily orders working overnight, starting around 6pm to have orders done by 3am. Employees work around their shifts to be sure that quality remains the number one priority. Area sandwich shops wouldn't be what they are without Conshy, that's for sure. Ask Lou's, Eve's, or any other of your favorite places that uses Conshy where their business would be without them. I did. Results are obvious.
The retail store is open almost everyday, and you can check their site out for hours. Stop by, grab a tomato pie, some rolls, or bread for the family. Use them for parties, but call in your orders so you know the product will be available. It goes fast! I've posted some pics below of the bakery inside, including the original oven.
One of the Proofing rooms
First Oven ever used
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
That's the idea most people get when they hear about tax consultants or accountants. However, in Lansdale, Joesph Miller, CPA does a lot more than just helping you file your taxes.
For more than 15 years, Miller has been helping the community with all of their financial and business needs as it relates to accounting, taxes, bookkeeping, billing, payroll, and even computer services among other things.
"We have a nice clientele of auto dealerships that we've done for years among other different types of corporate and professional clients", said Doug Miller, Joe's son and the lead tax preparer for the business. "But we also do a lot of personal returns as well. This year we did over 400 1040 returns. The community has come to know that we can help them get it right so that they can be sure they are getting what they deserve back and they get that peace of mind knowing that they had it done right."
Located in Lansdale, Miller started 15 years ago, acquiring two other firms along the way and moving once, literally down the street to accommodate the need for more space.
Miller's firm truly defines the success of a local business when the right tactics are implemented. Do something you love to do, engage family and friends to help with building the business, be sure to provide value and integrity for your customers, be creative in your offering, and have fun doing it.
To see how Joseph Miller can help you or your business, call them for an appointment.
Joseph Miller, CPA
713 W. Main St
Lansdale, PA 19446
Monday, May 9, 2011
For those that maybe tech challenged, or not "hip" to new tactics in Marketing, there is help. I have written a few articles in the past about some companies that can help. Lucky Dog used a local marketing firm and are thrilled with the results.
Below is a reprint of a news release from the Lucky Dog on how it works for them...
Local Business Reaches Millennial Mark on Facebook
The Lucky Dog Saloon Is Proud to Announce Their Facebook Fan page has Reached 1,000 Facebook Fans
LAFAYETTE HILL, PA--(May xx, 2011) – The Lucky Dog Saloon and Grille (www.facebook.com/theluckydogsaloon) has seen the value of social media recently as the restaurants Facebook page recently surpassed the 1,000 fans mark – a number that has grown from 12 in March 2009.
“Seeing us hit 1,000 fans is a great thing. We have such a great community of customers and have the ability each week to make sure they are aware of what is going on at our location.” Barrie Marino, owner of The Lucky Dog Saloon & Grille stated.
Customers are visiting the page to see specials, find out new events and check back The Facebook Freebie, one way we interact with our fans weekly, is a free question and answer to the first round of trivia each Tuesday that we will provide to our fans as a benefit for following the fan page.
to see what the “Facebook Freebie” is for trivia that evening.
One local resident, Marc Weinstein, said, “I think the Lucky Dog has a great fan page and I visit their page several times per week to see the weekend specials and the Tuesday trivia free answer. Their posts are relevant and provide customers with information we otherwise could not receive unless we were at the location.”
Through the social media management of BE Marketing LLC., The Lucky Dog is able to interact with their fans and utilize Facebook as an important . Owners Barrie and Steve receive monthly analytics and speak with Brandon Rost, President of BE Marketing LCC weekly about upcoming promotions.
Steve Marino, Barrie’s husband and owner of The Lucky Dog, states, “Over the last two years we have seen a steady increase in our fan base on Facebook and have been able to utilize our fan page as an integral communication tool between the restaurant and our customers. We knew that we needed to have a presence on Facebook but just did not have the time to manage it. Working with BE Marketing, we have been able to create this online community and provide our customers with another way of interacting with the restaurant.”
The Lucky Dog Saloon & Grille is a local restaurant located in Lafayette Hill, PA. They have been in business for over 10 years. The atmosphere is fun and festive. To make customers feel right at home, they combine an eclectic American menu with a friendly staff and Barrie's delicious homemade desserts.
This is a great case study on how a small business should be utilizing Social Media to help grow their brand and business. But it's also a great case study on how local consumers can find great local business and stay in touch with what they have to offer. As a consumer, being proactive on social media sites will help you find the best deals locally and maybe even find a business you had no idea existed.
Congrats to Lucky Dog Saloon for hitting this milestone! Hit the fan page and find out what you're missing!