Wednesday, May 16, 2007

It's all about the trucks

Building a gluten free facility, buying a ton of equipment, developing the products, testing the market, finding decent suppliers, scaling up the recipes, hiring a staff, designing and developing the packaging. You'd think this would be the hard part in getting going in the gluten free food biz. Nope. It's getting the stuff into the stores. Distributors. The proverbial middleman. We run into lots of retailers who view the distributors as the evil empire. Many stores say they'd love to buy direct from us, as would the customers. But how to get our stuff from our shipping bay to their stores? It's all about the trucks. Unless I want to get into the trucking business (which I don't), we have to have distributors get it to the stores.

But wait! What about online sales? Cut out the middleman right? Not so fast. You still have the trucks, whether UPS, FedEx, or whatever. And then there's the minor matter that all our stuff is shipped and sold frozen. We have to get it to customers frozen, which means it has to go very fast, and we have to use all this environmentally hostile packaging. I mean, really, I wouldn't want to get these expensive, obnoxious styrofoam boxes every time I ordered our stuff. What do I do with them? These would have to be even more irritating that those hateful styrofoam peanuts. (Hell has a special guest suite awaiting the inventor of those things.) Guess we better figure this out. Stay tuned.