Do you love learning about smart small young businesses and picking up insights from the most successful? If you do, we’ve got a passion in common. One of the latest on my radar is Try The World, a two-year old. Started by Kat Vorotova and David Foult, its niche is in the growing category of Culinary Tourism. The Food Network, Anthony Bourdain and shows like Top Chef have expanded our interest in new food flavors and exotic places.
Try the World allows us to do more than just travel via a show; it allows us to taste the world. They’ve connected with top chefs (each from a different country) who’ve chosen a sample of terrific tasting, interesting food products in their region. With their subscription service, you’ll receive a box every other month with delicious food and interesting stories behind some of the products along with recipe ideas. Their website has a section called “Beyond The Box” that goes into tourism details about the country. There’s also more information about the chefs behind the boxes.
Do your research and be sure your business category is healthy and growing.
Kat and David developed their product around a business category that’s successful and growing. Over 150 billion was spent on culinary tourism last year and it’s predicted to grow.
Creativity is the result of combining two known things in a new way.
Gifts of gourmet products have been around for decades. They’ve taken an older idea and added a twist to it, giving it much more value. They love travel themselves and created a product that’s designed to make people feel as if a good friend who’s been on a trip has been thinking about you. Your “friend” just sent you a sample of their best finds. By incorporating great chefs, each box becomes personal.
Tip 3. Add more value than what’s expected.
These food artisans add value by telling the stories behind the creation of the products themselves. Each chef has a chance to give back by highlighting great small businesses in their community. Small cards with insider information about the people and products come with each box.
The packaging is beautiful. Each box looks like a gift whether you’re giving it to yourself or sending it to someone special. I’m reminded of Tiffany when I see the green/blue color that’s used in the boxes, tissue and communications materials. It too says quality. Giving a subscription to my daughter Ryan for her birthday was a hit. Ryan immediately felt like she’d been given the Tiffany’s of food. Too often, enough attention isn’t paid to packaging. How many times have you ordered something only to be disappointed as the item arrives after being tossed with no real care into a shipping bag or ugly box? Don’t get me started!
Tip 4. Sharing the spotlight shines more light on you.
By combining with top chefs and spending the money to communicate the stories behind the products, Kat and David have expanded the social media networks that will share the news about each box and help drive sales. So many more people feeling invested will want to see great results.
Figure out ways to create multiple streams of revenue.
Try the World has a subscription service at its base. Subscription Commerce is growing as many new companies and consumers are embracing it. From Barkbox (dog supplies) to the Dollar Shave Club (razors) consumers are happy to sign up for items that deliver a range of benefits from simply brightening their days to saving money.
It’s great publicity for each chosen chef. With subscriptions growing, chefs may be asked to pay for an opportunity to be one of those featured each year. What great PR for them as their stories are featured on the site and within each box.
They’re building an online gourmet store on the website itself. If you like something in particular, chances are that you can buy it directly from Try the World. This gives small producers a world market and Try the World a percentage of profits there, too.
I love learning about successful launches and love the fact that these two entrepreneurs started their company while still students at Columbia. They’ve gone from planning to make a $1 profit per box on their first shipment to $400,000 in revenue last year. Their projections for 2015 are $10,000,000 in revenue with 12 employees. Not bad for Vorotova 29 and Foult now 26 years old!