The Team, The Shelves, and The Opening
Welcome back to the feed! It has been a week or so since our inaugural newsletter, and I want to keep everyone informed on how the process is going… Check out below for fun info on the team, opening plans, and some of the products we intend to carry:
We have been working hard to round out the initial team, and we have a great start! Our kitchen and customer team managers are on board and we have about 75% of our initial staff needs filled. We have been overwhelmed and overjoyed by the number of quality applicants we have had – and how many people love food in Fort Wayne! It has been a very tough process to decide on the initial team, given all the qualified candidates. We do have some spaces still available, but are holding them until closer towards the grand opening. If you have applied recently – we may be in touch soon. And in the meantime, there are 1-2 select positions that we need to fill, so if you know anyone who loves to cut steaks, hunt, make sausage, or otherwise enjoys working with meat (and talking to people!) – we could use your help. You don’t have to be an expert – we can train you – but passion is a must. If this appeals to you, note in your resume that you want to work the meat case.
Opening the store
So, so close! We passed our electrical inspection last week, and feel good for heating, plumbing, and hood/fire this week. That basically leaves our building and health department inspections. There is a chance we can squeeze those in this week as well, but those have to be the last two, so our grand opening will depend on how the initial inspections proceed. (And if you know any of the inspectors – put in a good word for us!).
Once we have passed our inspections, we will set our grand opening date for about 3 weeks later. That will give us time to stock shelves, finalize recipes, and hone our knowledge of the products. However – if things are running smoothly, we might open our doors a bit earlier – unannounced. Watch our Facebook page, Twitter feed, and the building itself for hints that we might be open early…
In the meantime, we are all in the market diligently overseeing the final stages of construction, thinking about how the store will flow, and doing some initial training. We had our first onboarding meeting last week and handed out uniforms (hats and t-shirts)! This week, we will be in a friend’s kitchen as we work with fresh ingredients to create our delicious menu. Then some of the customer team is going to train with Utopian on how to make great coffee. We love everyone’s “get ‘er done” attitude!
Filling the shelves
Ultimately, our product mix will be determined by you! We will be all ears to understand what products you want, and will watch what is selling (or not) to adjust what we carry on our shelves. However, we have to start somewhere – so we are working to bring in some great products to fill our shelves.
We had a great meeting with some local vendors last week. We tried some absolutely amazing food, and can’t wait for you to try them too. While one of our goals is to find great local products to feature, our plan for the store is to be a neighborhood market. Meaning, we want to carry a good mix of products, from dry ingredients to fresh meat and dairy.
Our dry ingredients will cover everything from flour and sugar, to canned tomatoes and dry pasta. We also plan to have some healthy snacks and bulk items available. In our dairy cooler, we will offer some basic milk, eggs, and juice – with a focus on high quality providers – and as many local products as possible.
Our produce will be largely from local farms, in season. This means that we have a chance of selling out when there are issues with the farms! There are a few items that we will bring in from more traditional locations – like lemons and avocado – but our goal is to minimize those products to the necessities for our kitchen.
Buying meat at teds market will be VERY different from what you see in most locations. Primarily, we are buying by the animal, not by the box. When you buy an entire cow, you cannot just sell the steaks – you also need to find a use for the round, the chuck, the short ribs, etc. This is really how we should be looking at food – finding great ways to use the whole animal and reduce waste. But this means we will have limited quantities of some items – steaks in particular. We are also hand cutting – so it may take us a minute or two to get your steak how you like it, but it will be just how you like it!
The deli will have limited “traditional” offerings like shaved ham and turkey, and rather will focus mostly on prepared foods from the kitchen, such as, entrees, side salads, fresh sandwiches, and homemade soups. Initially, it will all be served cold because if you have ever had anything from a hot line – it is usually pretty terrible. If we serve it cold, we can better control quality, and ultimately send you home with better food! We are looking at ways to have hot entrees ready to go – but that will be a future improvement, if needed.
For beverages – we will have coffee, single serve juices, sodas, and water. We will also be able to serve wine and beer by the glass from our wine bar, so feel free to drink and shop. The wine bar will not be open initially, as we need to figure out the market first – but we’ll plan to have a grand opening party for the wine bar shortly after we get the market open. Probably because we love parties.
If you have any questions about our team or our offerings, feel free to leave a comment our Facebook page.