“We have a relationship with Whole Foods.”
For a small food-related business, those are magic words. Getting your product on the shelves of the high-end grocery retailer is a game changer for many an aspiring entrepreneur. But for Andy McCarthy and the team at King of Pops, that statement is a reality, one they manage with a lot of respect and hard work.
Located in seven cities throughout the South, King of Pops has made a lot of foodie friends throughout the years at farmers markets, festivals, and events. One such group of friends, based in Atlanta, started meeting to chat about small business challenges, and distribution issues were often at the top of the list.
“For instance, we were working with a massive distributor and our product would sometimes arrive damaged or freezer burned,” says McCarthy. “Our product is fresh without preservatives, and so that was another challenge. Therefore, we decided to take over our distribution ourselves.”
As King of Pops expanded, they also started delivering their product, including both mom-and-pop locations as well as chains on their delivery routes. Then soon they realized that if they were developing relationships with retailers and delivering product, that maybe they could help some of their foodie friends do the same thing.
And Perfect 10 Foods was born. A customer-service-based distributor for artisanal goods, Perfect 10 Foods not only offers delivery, but also personal customer service for the retailers and in-store demo options. And they are determined to stay small to keep the connection between product and retailer strong—they are only carrying 10 products, thus “Perfect 10.”
“Perfect 10 understands the needs of the local manufacturer and believes that no company—no matter how small—should get lost in the shuffle. By handpicking the products they represent, they personally believe in each of us, and have committed themselves to fully representing us in every aspect of distribution, from sales to merchandising. We’re not simply a number,” Elizabeth McBath of Banner Butter passionately replies when I ask her about working with Perfect 10 Foods.
It’s that old adage, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Plato would be proud. And if he were alive, he’d probably enjoy a King of Pops popsicle.