Denny’s Zinger: Re-Imagining Your Business
When Peggy and I moved to Philly in 1992 to take over this publication, we worked crazy hours and had dizzying travel schedules. Around the corner on South Street was Chef's Market. It offered meats, groceries, baked items and luxury imports, as well as basics. Plus simply wonderful prepared foods.
Prices were high, but we could work late and it was cheaper than eating out.
Along with selling top-of-the-line foods, owner Ed Barranco developed two side businesses:
- Provisioning corporate and private jets at Philadelphia's five airports.
One day several years ago Chef's Market shut its doors. Peggy and I were devastated. Ed cut a deal with the landlord to retain one quarter of his existing space and concentrate on catering and private jets. Ed's new name: Chef's Table.
He was out of the nightmare business of running an upscale, marginally profitable mini-supermarket.
"I wish I'd done this 10 years ago," Ed told me. "Now I can order food that's contracted for and I don't throw anything away."
Last summer Peggy and I were invited to an Ed-catered outdoor gourmet dinner at one of boathouses overlooking the Schuylkill River. It was an evening to die for.
The other week I ran into Ed on the street. "How's business?" I asked.
"It's great!" Ed beamed. "The recession is really over!'
What triggered this column was seeing five Chef's Table delivery trucks lined up on South Street.
Proof the recession is over!
Takeaway to Consider
- Concentrate on what's profitable.
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