It's time for Retail Ready, an online course specifically designed to help amazing producers land and grow amazing wholesale accounts, and to finally answer "how do I grow my food business?"

 


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 photo via www.justdatesyrup.com

photo via www.justdatesyrup.com

At the beginning of Retail Ready, I was confused and timid about my path forward. I now feel more confident in cold calling retailers, engaging in relationships with brokers & distributors, and in making sure my pricing is effective. I also learned extensively from the other producers in the class. Overall, Retail Ready was an extremely valuable experience.
— Sylvia Charles, Just Date Syrup

After completing Retail Ready, you will:

  • Finally have a business plan that came together easily, without blood, sweat and tears, and guides you in decision making for your business

  • Have a clear game plan on how to increase your wholesale accounts- outlining what to focus on first, and how to make the right choices the first time around

  • Have Buyers knocking on your door, asking to bring in your product line

  • Get wholesale accounts to say "Yes!" to carrying your products after the very first interaction- no more back and forth for weeks, wondering when they'll bring in your brand. You'll have a strategy for addressing those Buyer "no's" as well - knowing exactly what to say to every single rebuttal that you may hear

  • Understand what makes killer marketing material- shelf talkers, promotional material and a sell sheet- and gain the tools and confidence to make them yourself. You'll perfect your materials, and be proud when you see them on the shelf

  • Articulate and leverage what makes your product stand out on the shelf & finally gain understanding on who is actually buying your product... plus how to use that information to gain more sales through direct-marketing

  • Happily make sales calls and pitch to new accounts, knowing that you sound polished & confident as you talk about your brand

  • Gain an understanding of social media for food businesses, and confidently decide which platform is best for your brand. You'll get tools for planning and managing your posts, and will shift your mindset from being overwhelmed by social media to being excited to connect with your audience over Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat. You'll know which types of posts work, and why. You may even find a newfound love for Facebook Lives, or Instagram Stories!

  • Understand whether adding a broker or distribution is the right choice for you in your current stage of business - so that you continue to grow and start making money

  • Totally feel comfortable negotiating wholesale costs with Buyers, and have a clear picture of how much money you're actually making in your business

  • Have other food producers contacting you, asking "How did you do it?" as they see you gain more and more wholesale accounts

  • Finally, finally, finally make progress in your business. In just ONE MONTH you'll feel miles ahead of where you do right now.

Alli and the class materials really helped me to focus and make much-needed changes to keep my business moving forward. It also gave me the tools I needed to negotiate larger accounts with confidence. It was worth every penny—and more!
— Joanne Kruger, Little Apple Treats
 Photo via www.littleappletreats.com

Photo via www.littleappletreats.com


Here's What You Get In The Five Week Online Course:

  • Time! Time to reflect on your business, make changes, ask advice, and get support. Five weeks is long enough to see an immediate effect on your business and sales, yet short enough to stay motivated and work hard throughout the month. Unlike other food business courses, I offer ongoing support as you implement the lessons that you've learned from our time together. I stick around to help you.

  • Five Facebook Lives done in our private support group where you receive an webinar delivered directly to you all about our weekly theme. Participants report getting TONS of value out of the sessions - and they're recorded, so you have them forever and ever! 

  • Five group consulting calls / Support Sessions where we dive deep into articulating WHAT you’re selling, WHO you’re selling it to, and HOW to talk about it (and more - we literally answer any question that you have!)…. all to make you better positioned to gain and keep your wholesale accounts. Support Sessions are also recorded, so it's okay to miss one here and there!  Facebook Lives & Support Sessions are done on Mondays and Fridays, from 11 AM- 12:00 PM, Pacific Time.

  • Twelve homework assignments to complete on your own time, so that you can come to the calls prepared and ready to work through your questions and next steps.

  • Advice from my network of Grocery Buyers, Financial Consultants, Packaging & Branding Firms, Social Media Gurus, and Specialty Food Distributors. You get firsthand knowledge from the best of the best.

  • Unlimited support for the entire five weeks. When you have questions on pricing or want to pick my brain before you meet with a big buyer, drop me a question in our private Facebook group at any point in our time together and I’ll get right back to you.

  • A private online group for participants of the course, where we share files, questions and resources, encourage each other, and learn from other producer’s experiences, mistakes, successes and knowledge. Participants say this is KEY to their success in the course. 

  • A thorough, personal review of your promotional materials, including shelf talkers and sell sheets, so that you’re getting the right information into the hands of the buyers the first time around.

  • Structure! You'll get all those ideas out of your head and on to paper. You'll get clarity on how to make real progress in your food business, and which steps to take, in which order. I designed this course after working with clients one-on-one for years, and know this system and monthly schedule holds you accountable, pushes you to take action, and produces results.

Retail Ready is an amazing value. You get the benefit of individualized consulting but at the same time the value of peer-to-peer feedback as well! If you feel like you are unsure about how to navigate getting into retail stores, this course will teach you tons.”
— Corinne Gentile, Sales Manager of Bread Srsly

 

The Five Week Course Covers the Following Topics:

  • Week One -  Business Planning Basics & Brand Identity:  In this section, we cover the foundations of building your food business to ensure your brand and products are viable, thoughtful, and ready to enter the market, or positioned to continue growth in the market. You create a business plan and articulate brand identity & target audience, all to outline exactly who you're selling to, why they're buying it, and how you'll connect with them. 

  • Week Two - Understanding Specialty Grocery:  We will ensure that you are fully confident approaching retail stores and understanding what it takes for a Buyer to say “yes!” to carrying your product. We get a sneak-peak behind the scenes of several Buyers in the specialty food industry, and learn directly from respected Retail Stores.

  • Week Three - Creating your Promotional Materials & Perfecting your Retail Pitch: Your packaging & promotional materials represent your brand - here we ensure that they’re sending the correct message to Buyers and shoppers, plus you practice speaking the language of Specialty Buyers- finally mastering the vocab used in wholesale. You will create a sell sheet and shelf talkers that you LOVE to share, You'll move into week four feeling confident about sharing your story with Buyers, Shoppers, and your online audience.

  • Week Four - Marketing for CPG’s, and Financial Strategy: You will finally make a plan for your social media strategy, and dial in your demo & trade show set up. From there, we turn to financials. If you don’t have the numbers correct from the beginning, you’re in dangerous territory. Here we ensure that you’ve accurately thought through your COGS and margins. 

  • Week Five - Brokers, Distributors, and Next Steps: Here, you learn whether or not distribution is right for you, and finally nail down next steps for your business. You'll end this week feeling motivated to keep moving forward with your business, and actually understand how to continue growing your business.

Before Retail Ready, I was feeling frustrated with the unknown. It is so daunting to think that only time, money-wasted, and the big learning curve will teach me what to do to get better. I now know that’s not true. After Retail Ready, I’m feeling confident, encouraged, and that I’m in-the-know.
— Yohanes Makmur, Raphio Chocolate

 
 

Alli provides perspective, insight, and practical help that you cannot gain simply by working harder yourself.
— Hway-ling Hsu, SweetDragon Baking Company

This Course Is For You If:

Buyers say they like your product but don't seem to call you back.

You have a product! Or at least a really, really good idea for a product + business plan, and are quickly moving into production of your product.

You drop off or ship samples to Buyers but then have no idea if they actually try them.

Corporate buyers approve your product, but then you can't get regional buyers to order your line.

You have a full time job and do your food business on the side- and are feeling overwhelmed about where to focus your efforts and how to grow your business.

OR your food business is your full time job, and you're afraid to admit that you don't really know what you're doing, you're running in circles, and you aren't even making money.

You feel stuck and want to make sure you're making the right decisions the first time around.

 

This Course Is NOT For You If:

You aren't committed to showing up and doing the work, or are looking for someone to magically solve your business challenges for you. This course is suited for business owners or decision makers who are committed to looking at their business with a critical eye, and are ready to make changes.

Your one goal is taking this course is to find a co-packer. I'll talk about it, but won't solve this dilemma for you!

You don't have a product yet, and don't know what your brand will be.

What a difference 5 weeks has made! I feel completely different about the entire process. I don’t dread calling stores (as much :) and I feel more prepared to address buyers’ questions. I also know that my sales & marketing materials (sell sheet, price/order form, and invoice form) look professional and have all the info that a buyer would want to see.
— Nancy Partington, Juneseed Foods
 

Hello! I'm Alli, the founder of Retail Ready.

Specialty Food Guru

I’ve worked as a grocery buyer. I’ve trained grocery buyers. I help stores put together their product assortment. I order products in my sleep! I’ve seen it all- succinct, fantastic sales pitches, overflowing baskets of expired samples under the Buyer's desk, producers who ramble on the phone, gorgeous sales sheets- and I know what really turns a buyer off, what makes them run in the other direction, and what makes them pause and actually consider a new product.

I teach food producers on the mysteries behind wholesale buyers through Retail Ready, and instruct you on exactly how to get noticed by buyers, how to talk about your products, and how to get them (and keep them!) on the grocery shelves.

I've been working in Specialty Grocery for over a decade, and I now share my secrets with you. Are you ready? I AM! 


As a company that is just starting out, the Retail Ready course was immensely helpful! We covered many topics that I had been struggling with on my own - it was absolutely worth the investment in both time and money. It was also a great way to meet other producers and to hear their challenges and know that I wasn’t the only one facing these issues! I would highly recommend this course to anyone working on getting their products into market.
— Terrina Wong, Dipnotics
 

 
 

Alli has been an invaluable resource: helping us get our jams into a retail setting, providing advice and feedback on new products, and supporting our efforts in building a new production facility.
— Dafna Kory, INNA Jam
 
 
 
I’m already approaching buyers differently and got my product in more stores. I feel more confident having this knowledge of how buyers think, and I am more assertive.
— Evy Ballegeer, Little Belgians

 

Have questions? I have answers!

I don’t have a product yet- just a vague idea for my food business. Can I still take this class?

Let’s talk it out, but probably not- you'll get the most out of this course when you have a thoughtful, well-planned product line in place. You don't have to be in production yet, but need to have thought through the viability of your business. Email me to discuss where you are in your business plan and if this course makes sense for you at this time.

How big or small should my food business be for me to take this course?

The ideal producer should already be in production and sell their product either direct-to-consumer (farmer’s markets, online sales, etc.) and/or have at least one wholesale account. Small to mid-sized food businesses are a great fit. That being said, I've had producers who have been in business for YEARS take the course and still gain valuable skills and new knowledge, as well as producers who haven't sold ANYWHERE before taking the course, only to enroll and feel awesome about building their brand and launching upon completing the class.

I don’t have time to make all the webinars and support sessions.

I totally get that- food producers are BUSY. I’ll still be connecting with you via email and the online group, so this isn’t a problem. Plus, all of the webinars and support sessions are recorded and sent to the group, so you can listen in on your own schedule, or go back to them to get inspiration and advice after the course is over. Want me to address a specific question for you to listen to on the recording? Not a problem.

How many hours of work do I have to put in?

About five hours a week, which includes up to three hours of webinars & support sessions per week, and two hours on your own. Everything is optional, but clients who put in the most tend to get the most out of the program.

Why is it so expensive?

My one-on-one consulting is $200/hour, and in this course you get over 20 hours of work together over the five weeks… which would cost you close to $4,000. By offering the course as a group program, everyone wins! When I take on one-on-one clients, I require a ten hour minimum for working together ($2,000 engagement). Simply put, Retail Ready is the most economical way to work with me.

I still can't afford to pay $1250 at once.

I offer payment plans! You can pay over the course of three months, for $416 per month. Just look for the automatic payment plan option underneath the sign up buttons on this page. Please note that discount codes cannot be used for payment plans, and you must pay the first installment to reserve your spot. You then put a credit card on file and are billed automatically, monthly, through PayPal. 

I run my business with my partner/friend/neighbor. Can we sign up as one participant?

The $1250 cost is per person, but I offer 25% off for additional participants from the same company. Email me for the promo code for your coworkers and we’ll get you all signed up.

I don’t live in San Francisco. Can I still take your course?

Yes! I designed this course specifically to spread my services cross-country, and to create a format where producers can work with me regardless of their location. I do lots of consulting for clients up and down the West Coast, in the Midwest, and on the East Coast and find that my services translate perfectly over phone calls, emails, and shared documents.


Still On The Fence?

I stand behind the value of this course and am positive that if you meet the criteria above, you're the right fit for this class. If, however, after finishing the course- having completed all of the homework assignments, contributing to the online group, and showing up to the consulting calls- you didn't find Retail Ready worthwhile for your business, I will refund your full investment, no questions asked. It's worth noting that I've never had to do this before, even to producers who have been hesitant when signing up in the past! What are you waiting for? Let's do this!

 
 picture via www.saltandsavour.com

picture via www.saltandsavour.com

Retail Ready is perfect for a business who has gained traction but still isn’t entirely sure of what they’re doing. Having zero experience in food business leaves so many unknowns - You may feel your business sense is carrying you, but there are issues unique to food production that seem like a big secret - Retail Ready makes these secrets known.
— David Edmonson, Owner, Salt & Savour

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