When Servatii Pastry Shop & Deli Inc. Owner Gary Gottenbusch noticed that customers were buying smaller items and commodity prices were increasing due to the recession, he turned to Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a program that connects small firms with manufacturing specialists and advisors. With their help, he proactively reinvented his business.
First, he extended his customer base to local hospitals, which now account for 10 percent of total sales. Also under their guidance, Gottenbusch created new, unique products and platters for value-minded customers and co-founded a purchasing association to buy flour, shortening and other commodities with his peers to save costs. He additionally took advantage of today's bargain real estate prices, leasing a new store at an upscale mall. In effect, sales increased by 15 percent to $8.5 million in 2008.
Source: WSJ.com | April 23, 2009