April 2, 2020
7 minutes of reading
Levi Fried barely has time to speak. “It was never a good moment,” he admitted slightly wearily. Along with his wife, Harmony Sage, a Californian, owns and operates a three-year-old SoCal hotspot Long Beach Beer Laboratory. And despite the pandemic the virus was extinguished small businesses From coast to coast, Fried’s doors were always open and as he said, “busy as everyone is out”. Reason? In mid-March, he and Sage saw the writing on the wall and temporarily changed their name to Long Beach Bodega Lab, moving from a small brewery and pub to a professional grocery store.
Thanks to a strong supply chain and some quick thinking, the duo literally transformed overnight into a bustling business. Pick up the roadside and place orders at the store away from the society everything from sour beers to egg boxes and rice bags. And they have carefully documented and detailed the process real time, to their etiquette guide, on their multitude of social media sites.
Between responding to customer requests for important items and posting phenomenally above InstagramFried took a few minutes over the phone to tell us how and why he and Sage made the transition, whether it will continue and the feeling of going home at the end of the day and looking at the features. the enemy of the predicament in our common culture.
Before the pandemic, acting as part of-grocery never been on your radar, right?
Right. We are pizza and beer, more experienced, and we have cakes made by our kitchens and bakeries and decided we could take it stock and take it out because we found it very difficult to get yeast and egg.
Do you immediately realize that you are meeting the demand for scarce items?
We have looked at several things. One is that we are very close to our community, so we reached out to find out what was needed. I also get close to our commissioner and see what items for myself [people] am looking on and beyond what i know my family needs, what is not in stores. The other part of this is that we are looking for ways we can become necessary and maintain that, and one of those things is to become a grocer.
Is it because of the need to serve the community, to exist as a business, or as part of both?
I think it’s a bit of both. I wouldn’t say that we are 100% community driven, even though we focus on very large community. But inevitably, to become essential is survival, together with community [benefits], that’s really good.
So how business compared to before this boom?
We did an extraordinary job. I really like this model more than we are doing. I think we are doing equal. We had to change some people and make some changes, because we were definitely not a kind of place in order and we had to build that infrastructure. We don’t run convenience stores. We don’t have any of that built, so it takes a lot of learning.
How can you keep items like eggs, beans and yeast in stock?
We have a great relationship with our distributor, so we can get a large amount of things that others cannot get, especially for flour and milk, yeast and eggs, because we are already using them. Therefore, our distributor is rock-solid.
Is there any lesson for all businesses about leveraging whatever relationship you have, even if it means reconsidering your model?
I think there are a few things that suit us. One is that we still mainly sell beer and sandwiches as primary sellers, so we haven’t really left that model. We have always loved the take and go model. We own a coffee shop on the street, it’s buy and go, and we’ve always liked that, “This is this amazing product. Take it and have your own experience with it.” It didn’t work out with the brewery when we started because it needed a little bit of marketing to do it. We have now resolved that issue and I think we can continue with [bodega] Pattern in several possibilities and mix the brewery back when things happen. So I believe there is a pivot, but not a pivot that leaves our mind.
Are you worried about reintroducing yourself when this has subsided or has it happened effectively?
It is happening right now with our Instagram posts and social media, just the way we embraced the community, so I believe we will keep going in that direction and not going back to the way we did business, because I believe we have good business potential. moreover, especially when we start rolling out the delivery. I think we’ll be fine, and we’ll start to combine the two businesses together.
In addition to survival, you have created a community gratitudeSo is it a win-win when considering situations?
One hundred percent. I think we’re just getting more into the community dialogue, and a lot of people will come out and support us to step up and not shut down or do anything that is customary for us. I’ve seen that and so I’m pretty confident we’ll continue to be successful just because of who we are and what we’re doing, as well as the new roadmap we’ve taken and our new acceptance of. community happened. I’m busier than ever, and I only foresee I’ll get busier.
But with the study path too steep, how do you not panic and stand still?
[Laughs] I think we’ve always run a very agile business where my wife and I are the main producers, and we have a solid team ready to work through a variety of situations. Having owners as owners allows us to undo and make changes. We have an enthusiastic and supportive team. And just good business practices from the start, where we don’t have the manpower and the huge amount of things holding us back and there is no credit, no debt, everything pays off. frank math. That saved us from having to worry about SBA loans and expenses. We were really able to innovate ourselves this time due to the fact that we can become flexible as an organization and have a solid backbone where the owner is not just sitting. after the computer but are also self-produced products. . From then on, we can go to our distributors and say, “Hey, our demand is growing. We might get some goodwill discounts on bulk or catch up. Does the head provide more favorable terms for a pivoting business? ”
Have you had a chance to stop and philosophize about the paradoxes of all this?
I don’t have a lot of time, but every time my husband and I come home and get beaten for the day, we’ll come back and say, “You know how many businesses close today? more success. ”That paradox is humble. We are very lucky. It is a blessing to keep baking and continuing to brew in this climate, and we are eyeing that.