From butter to better for DC’s best biscuits
DC’s dynamic and nationally recognized local food scene wasn’t always on trend.
In the beginning of the DC local food movement, from-scratch ingredient-driven food brands had to reinvent a system that was set up for failure. Commercial kitchen space was a coveted pie-in-the-sky dream that required some serious dough (and connections) to secure. Economic development came in the form of business loans that were irrevocably entangled with the strings of “personal guarantee.” Microscopic economy of scale meant low or non-existent profit margins, and lots of working for free on the founders’ part. Getting bigger without losing quality or dumbing down on ingredients — think wholesale, a stall at Union Market, and catering — well, that took finesse.
Upstart Mason Dixie Biscuit Company couldn’t afford a business consultant — or a brand strategist, for that matter. But they sure needed one. Winning a contest saved the day.
- In Strategy Sessions, we trudged through the tough stuff of team development: working through conflict and making strategic decisions. Mason Dixie’s essential “Go vs. No Go Matrix” helped set up parameters for growth and development. This “North Star Approach” guided them through many temptations, that looked good from afar, but were actually far from good.
- Events were at the heart of the Mason Dixie Biscuit Company’s initial Marketing + Brand Strategy. They needed to be out making friends wherever they went, and not rest too much on the comfort of their uber-successful Kickstarter campaign. Together, we gathered tons of names for the mailing list and handed out thousands of samples. We celebrated each new follower on social media, every partnership opportunity, and every stamp on a customer’s rewards card.
- Regular reporting in Grows & Glows outlined current problems (and how to overcome them) as well as pointing out victories, both big and small. This roadmap helped keep the leadership team focused and on track.
While that is the end of my chapter with Mason Dixie Biscuit Company, it was only the beginning of their story. Shrewd business savvy and mad love nurturing the MDBC brand have translated into quite an endgame: they are regional superstars at many Whole Foods markets, their wholesale game is strong, and the flagstone Brick and Mortar store in Washington DC opened in Spring of 2017. (Color me drooling, y’all, there’s a drive-thru!) If your heart (or waistline) can take it, follow the Mason Dixie brand on Instagram. Come hungry. #wegotyouboo
“From the time that Rebecca started consulting with us, I was impressed with her drive, determination, and tenaciousness. She is incredibly organized and a great processor of information, coordinating a variety of viewpoints, and coalescing them into thoughtful action items for us to implement. She is the type of person you want to facilitate any collaborative discussion as she is always listening to not only the details, but the big picture. She introduced to a number of useful tools, people, groups, and technologies to help our business grow at the pace we needed to keep up with demand. Rebecca is one of the most selfless people I have ever met. Her “drop everything and help her client” attitude makes her more than just a consultant – she has become a trustworthy friend.”