It's a beautiful night out and I can hear the clinking of glasses and chatter of people gathering around a beautiful spread of food just as the sun begins to set. Tonight we are having a party to celebrate the launch of Flouwer Co. (at the Botanical Gardens, of course) and the very ambitious party planner we hired to organize this momentous affair has made sure that my champagne glass is never empty. Theresa is making a perfectly sentimental toast, because that is the type of person she is, and I haven’t strayed too far from the food, because that is the type of person I am. All of our guests are sampling and loving our menu inspired by edible flowers, especially our platters of Flouwer Co. Artisanal Crackers with cheese and other accoutrements - can you see it?
...Well that is how I envisioned it in my mind anyways...
How we really celebrated our launch was very, very different. It was mid-March, exactly the same time as things started unraveling due to the Coronavirus pandemic. For over three months we were working feverishly to ramp up production of our Flouwer Co. Artisanal Crackers to have enough inventory to sell to a well known specialty grocery store in Denver. In the blink of an eye, our distributor cancelled outstanding purchase orders because, like everyone, the future of business was so uncertain. Theresa and I were left with 1,600 boxes of crackers and no outlets or really even any connections. We went through all the feelings in a matter of a few days - from anger to disbelief, and fear to detachment. But it is when we landed on determination that we decided to just reach out and see if anyone could hear us, or even better, to see if anyone wanted to buy any crackers.
What happened in the next few days is still, to me, so unbelievable. First, family and friends started buying boxes. Then, we would muster the nerve to blindly reach out to specialty shops around Denver to see if anyone wanted to roll the dice on a new cracker brand in the midst of a pandemic when even they were uncertain how they would keep their doors open - and many, if not most, of them did! Then we started getting messages from people who had heard of us through others and wanted to buy several cases so they could leave boxes on the doorsteps of friends as a token to let them know that they were thinking of them and were counting down the days to when they could see each other at book club or happy hour again.
In just two weeks, we had sold nearly half of those 1,600 boxes and we were able to experience firsthand what people actually thought of our Flouwer Co. Artisanal Crackers. This connection to our customers is something we never would have experienced had our world not been turned upside down. It is because of everyone that took a chance on us, two crazy cracker ladies, that is why I believe that we have the most beautiful humans supporting us and look forward to doing this for a very, very long time.
Two months later, we are completely sold out of crackers and looking at ways to expand. We are finalizing the details of our second product which will we make available shortly on our website and are so excited because it is something we have wanted to do for awhile...more to come!
Well, that’s it - we’re launched! Please follow us on social media or check out our website to see where you can find us. And maybe someday we will throw a big party to celebrate ourselves - certainly something to daydream about.