Thinking Outside the Box

In this business you can sense fairly early on who is going to make it and who isn’t. And when asked who are the shining stars in the retail ice cream business, one of the first names that come to mind is the Mulberry Street Creamery, owned and operated by Linda and Rick Mercurio of Kittanning, PA. To say they are perfectionists in creating the best possible gelato, ice cream, and sorbet products is not even close to the truth.

Linda and Rick are “out of the box people,” and that’s why I like them so much. Following is an article Linda wrote in a recent NICRA newsletter which truly reflects how they think.

It’s FINALLY Spring!!! Here in the Northeast we’ve had a long, miserable winter and are so anxious for warm, sunny weather. We’re also excited about reopening our store and seeing all of our customers again! So, what new frozen novelties or specialty desserts do you have planned to offer that will WOW them this year? Nothing new from last season? Hmmm!! Let’s think outside the “cake box” to come up with some incredible ideas for new and exciting ice cream cakes for your customers.

The ice cream dessert business should be more than just regular vanilla/chocolate cakes with the fudge and crumb coat center. Pies can be more than popular flavors in a graham cracker crust. While these cakes and pies are very popular and are great for birthdays, etc. so much more can be done with your ice cream to bring customers into your store to buy desserts on a regular basis.

Here’s an idea. Think about your local bakery. When you walk in, you see cakes, pies and cookies. The cake case is filled with so many varieties, chocolate, yellow, pumpkin, carrot, lemon, but when you really think about it, they’re all just cake. All of them are some sort of batter baked into different forms and shapes; some plain, others are made to look fancy with whipped cream, gooey frosting, pretty flowers or sprinkled with something that gives a hint of what’s inside. The same can be said for the pies and cookies. But when you stand back and look at the hundreds of items the bakery has to offer, it looks overwhelming, and exciting and delicious!

That’s exactly what your customers should experience when looking at your frozen dessert case. You can make this happen using your ice cream. It’s that simple!

It never pays to think negatively. It gets you nowhere. Even better, the possibility of failure, or failure itself, has an upside. Failure, and coming out of it makes you tougher and more aware about the consequences of making any kind of decision, Butter yet, it builds confidence within yourself that you have been through the worse.

We can’t control the weather, and to make matters worse, the economy. But within our own business, survivorship is what its call about. You will do what’s necessary because there is no other way

And to help us, we have customers. If we treat them right, they will help you beyond your wildest imagination. So, give yourself a pat on the back for surviving.  And trust me, we will continue to survive.

I am a great believer in survivorship. When things get really bad, I simply wake-up and start thinking how am I ever going to overcome this disaster. And in the end I always do and for the better. So, let’s start thinking positively.