For two Houston, TX entrepreneurs, overnight success in the foods business took more than three years.
It also required hard work, a commitment of substantial capital and a willingness to try different formulations of their product to get just the right blend.
Success in the food business is measured in two ways, getting shelf space and encouraging buyers to sample.
This process is often long and arduous for entrepreneurs.
But for Patti Melcher and Jacqueline Gartland, July’s Fancy Food show in New York is just the latest step in building a new brand and food category.
Meeting in a schoolyard when their children were being tested for developmental growth, the two mothers have seen each other through personal highs and lows.
Now, the two women are embarking on the growth phase of their company, Go Appetit Foods.
What’s more, they have succeeded in convincing food retailers like Fresh Foods, D’Agostino and other chains to put their product, Cool Soup on the shelf come September.
Their product is a cold soup in various flavors that are, as they say, “a meal-on-the-go and under 100 calories.”
“We tried a variety of formulations and many different bottle shapes and labels to get a combination that really impressed the buyers at these stores,” Melcher said. She is President and Gartland is the Chief Creative Officer.
The two women have built their company over the past three years by “slogging away at the three keys to foods success -- finding an appealing formulation, getting shelf space and encouraging consumers to try and buy the product,” Melcher said.
Since the beginning of the year, the two women have been on the road constantly at trade shows and meeting buyers at various chains.
“We hired consultants to help us and since the beginning of this year, we have had a tremendous response to our efforts,” Melcher added.
Gartland has centered her efforts on promoting the product at events across the country.
“One thing we have done put the product in both high profile events in Southampton on Long Island and golf tournaments closer to our Houston base,” Gartland added.
For the two women, the toughest part of the sales effort has been demonstrating that this is a new food category – soups that are chilled and drunken cold.
The two women also point that their product is “for any diet as each bottle is under a 100 calories.”
Next step for these active promoters is to build a campaign to encourage buyers when their product appears in the fall.
For details on Cool Soup, go to http://www.goappetite.com/.