|Volume 9, Issue 4||
Joanne gets her products from the warehouse in Salem. To save on gas, she and the owner of the South Beaverton territory take turns picking up products every two weeks.
She is very proud of and enthusiastic about the products she has to offer, and says that's part of what keeps her motivated to do the hard work. "Everything is very fresh. Products that come into our Salem warehouse are quickly distributed. There are no open bins that would allow for product to go stale. All of our food is 100% guaranteed. We roast and salt the nuts and mix most of the snack mixes we carry. We flavor some of them and either Salem or Colorado will cover them in chocolate. The chocolate we use is one of the finest available—no fillers or heavy waxes. The chocolate industry has changed, people expect better quality from us, and we can still say that our chocolate is chocolate."
Joanne's favorite goodies? "I love our Cranberry Bonanza (cranberries, peanuts, almonds, cashews, diced pineapple, and yogurt chips), the Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels, and our Strawberry Filled Licorice—very tart! And I always have a bag or two of our nuts open at my house."
What are the best sellers? "Our double-dipped Chocolate Malt Balls are our top seller. All of our beef jerky products sell at the top as well. The jerky we sell is probably the best I've ever had (bar a good homemade jerky). We roast and flavor our nuts in Salem and cover them in many ways. My dark chocolate almonds are a big seller and we've recently added a dark-chocolate-covered cranberry to dark chocolate almonds and call it Dr. Dark. This mix is proving to be a favorite as well. We get high marks from everyone on the quality of our clusters, truffles and chocolate covered nuts.
"People will look and ask for healthy foods. Some will take the healthy snack and some will take what they crave. My customers tend to have a good handle on eating what they want in moderation. They may disappear while dieting, and then purchase items that fit into their diet once they have established their goal. I have a list of products that fit into the new Weight Watchers point system as well as a list of low carbohydrate, low fat and gluten-free items. We really do have a large selection of good healthy and unique snacks."
|Joanne's customers look forward to her regular visits|
She says the best part of her job is making friends. " I get so much enjoyment from seeing the people on my route—the relationships we have mean so much to me. We share personal stories, laugh and give each other bits of helpful information on a variety of subjects. My customers keep me going some days with their joy and giving."
She is planning to have a table at the Leedy Grange Flea Market starting May 7, and her small ad in the Cedar Mill News should also help people find her. The products are so good that once people have tried them, they're eager to purchase them again and will seek them out.
She and her husband Jeff live in the Terra Linda neighborhood and have been there since they moved from California in 1994. They have a daughter Rachel, now 21 and a junior at the University of Oregon studying human physiology, and a son, Dylan, now 16 and a sophomore at Sunset High. She has been active in both kids' schools and still remains involved by supporting Sunset Baseball, which is one of the reasons she enjoys the flexibility of her MM business.
She is always looking for ways to grow her business and build her routes. "I get most of my new customers by being stopped inside or outside of the office buildings I visit. I do some cold calling and will almost always pick up a customer or two for my efforts."
Joanne has been a member of the Cedar Mill Business Association for several years and finds that the association has been helpful in making new contacts and improving skills for her business. She is in the process of updating her website, Joanne's Gifts and Goodies, (joannesgiftsandgoodies.com) but is forbidden to list prices or sell anything online under the MM name per contract agreement with MM. But she's happy to get inquiries and orders by phone (503-701-4005) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Published monthly by Pioneer Marketing & Design
PO Box 91061
Portland, Oregon 97291