The smell of freshly baked pastries can instantly transport you to a picturesque cafe in Paris, feeling the warm sun on your shoulders while sipping a frothy latte. It virtually happened to me, but the sound of a roaring truck brought me back to the industrial streets of South San Francisco.
The yummy smells were straight-out-of-the-oven treats from City Baking Company, an artisan pastry company that uses fresh ingredients and delivers their goodies to customers seven days a week, including more than 300 Northern California Peet’s Coffee & Tea locations. Re-cap: Yummy. Artisan. Fresh ingredients. Daily.
Our High Tech Connect team ventured out to learn about the challenges and rewards of this small bakery, which operates on a business model, like Bill Murray’s character in the movie Groundhog Day, starting over and perfecting their product every single day. In the corporate world, employees worry about a coworker getting “sick”–coughhungovercough–right before a big presentation. City Baking worries about one bad batch of flour or egg shortages or delivery trucks with flat tires. Most companies operate on monthly or quarterly review periods. City Baking’s review cycle is daily.
As our hungry team of 12 toured the bakery with co-owner, Alex, we drooled while expert bakers hand-roll every croissant and bearclaw. Freshly chopped peach chunks–not from a can–topple out from the scone dough waiting to be rolled. Every ingredient could be pronounced. Customized order forms lay on hundreds of boxes, ensuring the right treats make it to the right cafes.
Alex shared with our group the three things that make them unique to other wholesale bakeries.
1) Having the best employees and clients
2) Zero compromise on quality
3) Dependable, flexible, amazing customer service for clients
Our eyes grew bigger. City Baking and High Tech Connect, a cookie company and consulting agency, share the same key factors for success.
When you have something special, you want to share the joy it brings with others. We learned that success can absolutely be measured by the three differentiators our two companies share. It’s no trade secret. These factors focus the company. Grow the business. Are equally important. And success doesn’t happen without all three.
Okay, yes. Our team did stuff our faces with more pastries than anyone should in an hour, but when your consulting agency finds common ground with a company that makes decadent chocolate chip cookies topped with sea salt flakes, then what would stop you from eating everything in sight? We did return to work that day and productivity was soaring, undoubtedly from from the massive sugar-high.