Get Your Product into Gourmet Garage

Mr. Checkout is a network of independent wagon-jobbers and full-line distributors. We distribute product to over 35,000 independent stores around the country and have built relationships with hundreds of retail buyers. We are always seeking the next hot new product. If you have a product, we want to hear from you!

How To Get Into Gourmet Garage 

First known as Flying Foods, which was a specialty food distributor, was launched in 1981 by college roommates, Andy Arons and Walter Martin, and Paul Moriates. Their business plan was to import fresh foods that were not available in the United States at the time and sell them to chefs at high end restaurants in New York City, and elsewhere across the country. By 1987, when the business was sold to Kraft Foods, it had grown from one office to four and both imported foreign products and exported American artisan-made food overseas.

Gourmet Garage is a privately held mini-chain of specialty/natural food markets headquartered in New York City with six locations in Manhattan.

The supermarket business in the United States is one that tries to connect with the individual customer. This means, the supermarkets try to address the needs and interests of individual customers. This is by offering local, international, and metropolitan products. You can get spices, meat, wine, food, and so many other food products from this type of store.

There have been a lot of reviews about this retailer online. The customer is the best judge of the retailer. A customer noted on that: “Why is the soup so good? I mean, how can soup taste like an entire meal? I’m not sure what the chefs/cooks are doing to the soups here, or where they get them from, but I went twice with two different friends this month and we purchased different soups…and we all agreed that they were wonderful and filling. This place has other items as well that most Manhattan delis/boutique “high end” grocery stores would have, but these soups set them apart from those places, in a good way. I’ll be back for more soup when I’m in the area.”

Another customer noted that: “Came in to grab a quick meal before I headed to the opera. Very convenient location. The store itself is very small, but filled with tons of great stuff. They had maybe 6-8 fresh soups. I got the Italian wedding and it was delicious!! I also got some prepackaged quinoa harvest salad which was very fresh and tasty. Tons of options, tons of fresh and delicious looking prepared foods. Cashiers were uninterested in everything going on that would be the only con, but other than that good spot.”

On the local sourcing of food products, Gourmet Garage has been on the forefront of selling locally sourced food products and imported food items. Their wine, spice, and produce selection make them a leader in the retail and grocery business niche. This store has been in the business for years and has its established sourcing angles. Its constant support of local products has helped it cement its brand in the community as people can easily resonate with it.

If you have a product, we want to hear from you!

Mr. Checkout is a national association of independent wagon-jobbers and full-line distributors. We distribute product to approximately 35,000 independent stores around the country and are always seeking the next hot new product. If you have a product, we want to hear from you!

How to get your product into Gourmet Garage

  1. Understand you client: Before you spend a lot of time and money creating a product, you should know if anyone will want to buy it. Learn more about Market Research
  2. Learn if it’s protectable: Know if you can defend your product against cheap copies if it gets knocked off. Learn more about Copyright and Patent your product
  3. Test your product: Make sure that there’s a demand for your product and the customer understands what you are selling when it’s on the shelf and nobody is there to explain it. Learn more about Product Testing
  4. Perfect your pitch: Before you speak to decision makers, know your numbers, know your retailer and know your logistics in and out. Learn more about Pitching Your Product
  5. Don’t do it alone: If you haven’t been successful in retail before, a secret of success is that you can’t do it alone. Having great sales staff, customer support and marketing partners can take you from zero to success faster than if you tried on your own. Learn more about Retail Partnerships

Contact Gourmet Garage Buyer

Do not trust any “list” of buyers.

Typically retail buyers change either companies or positions every few years. This strategy helps retailers know that their buyers are not taking “kick-backs” and are selecting the very best product for the very best position each time.

Buyers are typically held to a very rigorous standard of sell-through volume that they must hit and because of this they are risk averse. Your job as a supplier or vendor is to convince them that the buyers going into the stores not only know about what you’re selling but are actively seeking the product in the store currently.

  • Step 1

    Contact Gourmet Garage Buyer

    Sometimes easier said than done, however you must get on Gourmet Garage radar.

    Call the Gourmet Garage corporate phone number and ask for the names of the buyer and assistant buyers in your category.

    Always leave voicemail with whomever the dispatch will connect you.

    Use that information to connect with them on LinkedIn, RangeMe and any other professional social platform.

    Ask your representative at your trade bureau to connect you to the Gourmet Garage buyers as they will potentially have a better history.

  • Step 2

    Get On Gourmet Garage Radar

    Use advertising, public relations and marketing to make your brand known to Gourmet Garage buyer through 3rd party websites & industry media sources.

    Be everywhere that they look, the key is to position your brand as the obvious choice when Gourmet Garage is looking to either refill a slot or create a new category.

    Latch on to the news of the day and any trend that will make your product fill that niche whether that be Non-GMO or Vegan Leather for example.

    Investing in your brand can only benefit your opportunities in the future. As being “top of mind” will have a ripple effect when you physically present your product at a Gourmet Garage buyers meeting or trade show in the future.

    Step 2

  • Step 3

    Use Hard Facts

    Gourmet Garage Radar buyers typically got to their position by picking “winners” and know how to see through the fluff.

    Focus on the numbers, know your bottom dollar during a negotiation and how fees and chargebacks may cut into your position.

    Know that long term success may outweigh short term sales, however financing large purchase orders from Gourmet Garage Radar when the net result is negative is not sustainable.

    Understand the playing field and the other brands that are in your space, what they are offering as promotion and pricing and how you can stand out against them.

    By knowing that each buyer at Gourmet Garage Radar probably knows more than you do, take an active listening approach to sales and understand that no is a perfectly acceptable answer that may have saved you millions of dollars on the backend.

How to Submit a Product to Gourmet Garage Radar

There are several ways to get a product placed in Gourmet Garage Radar. However, most entrepreneurs only dream about getting their product distributed to major retailers, few actually do it. We have experienced a significant rise in interest since the show Shark Tank started airing on NBC. Mr. Checkout has had the pleasure of working with a few Shark Tank success stories such as KISStixx and 180 Party Cups which are now currently being distributed around the country to stores like Walmart, Target, Kroger, 7-Eleven and more.

If you envision your product would be a good fit for Gourmet Garage Radar, we have a few steps to help you get your product on their shelves.

Here are the 6 steps you need to take to have your product placed in Gourmet Garage Radar.

1. Start with the right questions.) Before you try distributing your product to Gourmet Garage Radar, you need to ask yourself a few basic questions. Do you need to build demand for your product, or is there already a demand for it? Do you know that Gourmet Garage Radar would be interested in selling your product? If you can strike a deal with Gourmet Garage Radar, can you handle the production volume? Do you want to sell directly to Gourmet Garage Radar, or do you want to license your product to a manufacturer that will handle distribution?

2. Be prepared to profit.) Does your product offer enough of a profit margin for Gourmet Garage Radar? Can you sell your product at a reasonable enough profit to cover the packaging, shipping, commissions, marketing and wholesale distribution? Check Gourmet Garage Radar guidelines for other fees that you will have to build into the cost of your product in order for you to be able to turn enough of a profit to make the effort worth your while. If you work with a discount retailer, they will try to strip your profits down to zero in order to keep their prices as low as possible.

The typical breakdown of margins are: If a products costs $1 to produce, that product will retail for $4. That product that retails for $4 will wholesale for $2 to distributors and stores that purchase direct. Big box retailers like Gourmet Garage Radar may offer to pay $1.25 to the manufacturer if the product costs $1 to produce. That is the typical profit margin.

3. Determine if Gourmet Garage Radar is the right store for your product.) The relationship between you and Gourmet Garage Radar starts with you browsing their store for competing products. If Gourmet Garage Radar already has a similar product, it is going to be very difficult to get your product picked up. Spend some time at your local Gourmet Garage Radar to see what kind of products they are selling, speak to the manager and see if he thinks your product will sell well in their store. Picture in which zone your product would best fit on the shelf and keep in mind that the most precious asset that these big box stores value are their shelf space. Keep this information in mind when you are preparing your presentation to Gourmet Garage Radar.

If your company is minority or women owned, check Gourmet Garage Radar website and see if they offer specific opportunities for those designations.

4. Pitch your product to Gourmet Garage Radar.) Decide whether it will be you or a representative to present your product to Gourmet Garage Radar. Your presentation depends heavily on your strengths as a businessperson as they will most likely ask financial questions and logistics questions.

It’s common for companies to hire a broker to pitch their product to Gourmet Garage Radar, as it will be more likely that your product will make it to the next stage if the individual pitching your product has industry knowledge or a personal relationship with Gourmet Garage Radar. The percentage of commission verses, however generally a broker will take around 5% to represent your product to Gourmet Garage Radar.

We at Mr. Checkout have experience dealing with brokers and know that there are several retail brokers that have poor business practices that can potentially damage your brand. If you are seeking a legitimate Gourmet Garage Radar broker, please give us a call for a recommendation. It could save you a huge headache and a lot of money.

5. Complete the required Gourmet Garage Radar paperwork.) Often Gourmet Garage Radar will have you go through an application process. However, before submitting the paperwork required by Gourmet Garage Radar, you should contact a buyer at Gourmet Garage Radar and let them know your intentions. Having a contact inside of the company will potentially move your application more smoothly through the process.

6. Anticipate the need for increased volume.) Having Gourmet Garage Radar agree to stock your product will most likely mean a significant increase in volume. You should be prepared to ramp up your production and informing your manufacturer of this opportunity.

Having production, logistics and distribution to sync is not only difficult, it requires a significant amount of time invested in customer relations. Also, Gourmet Garage Radar may have stipulations in the contract that may penalize you for delays in shipping and production. Have an attorney explain all contracts to you if you don’t understand the terms.

If you’re looking to sell your product to Gourmet Garage Radar, be sure to thoroughly assess the marketplace, carefully prepare for production growth, and take full advantage of resources available to help you grow your business.

Submit Your Product Now

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