A Case for Change

After decades in the business, Community Bakery in Little Rock, AR, understands the value of change.

Many years ago, the pastry case at Community Bakery was an old, boxy, stainless steel refrigerated case. Think along the lines of something you might see at a meat counter or in a butcher shop. Well, after a six-year renovation of an historic building in downtown Little Rock in the early '90s (what is now their current location), owner Joe Fox and general manager John Sproles decided the case was in need of a facelift, as well.

After upgrading their case, they got more than they expected - their products appeared to be upgraded, as well, even though they hadn't changed a thing. "Customers would come in and say, 'Wow, you've got a lot of new products!'" Sproles says. "But they were the same products we'd always had; we just changed how we presented them. The same identical products in a new case, and they'd never seen them. And I'm talking about regular customers."

Never underestimate the power of changing how you present your products. Try walking in the front door of your bakery once a week, just to see what your customers see - or don't see - on a daily basis. You don't necessarily have to purchase a new pastry case, but you might find a simpler way to present your products and make them "pop" for your clientele.

Watch for more about Community Bakery and its growth in the Little Rock community in the January print edition of Baking Buyer.