Happy Halloween and Dia De Los Muertos! We have some big news to share with you. Sister Sage Herbs is proud to announce our partnership with PCC Community Markets. If you live in the Seattle area, you can expect to see our products in all 11 stores as soon as November 14th! PCC Markets have a long history of supporting local farmers in our area since the 1950’s, and having our products for sale at their stores is an absolute dream come true. I bet you are wondering how did this happen? Listen to owner Jayne Simmons explain in her new podcast episode.
A few ways to help us:
If you live in Seattle or know someone who does, go to PCC and buy all of our products and give them as gifts for the holidays. (Ok- I was kind of just joking on that, but you would be elevated to Sister Sage Hall of Fame)
If you see any of our products at PCC, please take a photo, post on your favorite social media platform (tag us on instagram @sister_sage_herbs), then proudly bring that Dream On tincture to the register and know that you are supporting a local farmer and small family business.
Owner Jayne has worked toward this goal for eighteen years! We appreciate you taking part in this momentous occasion with us. Have a beautiful day,
Marc Fendel Sister Sage Herbs
P.S. If you don't live near Seattle, of course you can still get the balms and tinctures you know and love on our website as always.
Sister Sage Podcast Transcript
Sister Sage Herbs Products In PCC Community Markets!
Welcome To Sister Sage Herbs Roadside Herb Service with Jayne Simmons and Marc Fendel. Jayne is the owner of Sister Sage Herbs, a natural remedies company located in beautiful Seattle, Washington. We sell at Pike Place Market every day of the year, and online at sistersageherbs.com.
The content herein is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Today is a big day! We have news to shout out at the world---we are excited to report to all you wonderful listeners and fans of Sister Sage Herbs
that you are about to have most of your products in PCC Community Markets
---the largest consumer-owned food cooperative in the United States---beginning in mid-November 2018! This is a really exciting time---our first big wholesale order.
If you haven't been to Seattle, or you are not familiar with PCC Community Markets
, right now there are twelve markets (see https://www.pccmarkets.com/stores/
) with a thirteenth scheduled to open in Seattle's Ballard district in the spriing of 2019, and they're rebuilding the market here in West Seattle on California Avenue, also scheduled to open in 2019.
The history of PCC Community Markets dates back to 1953. Some years later its first storefront opened in Seattle's Madrona neighborhood, and later moved to the University District, and then to the Ravenna neighborhood; then a second location in Kirkland, Washington, a third store in the Greenlake neighborhood, a fourth in Seward Park, and on and on. PCC continues to be a great place to shop for food in the greater Seattle area no matter the location, especially if you care about your health---since they vet their vendors carefully. This is such a special opportunity for Sister Sage Herbs.
To clarify how this actually happened---and we've worked toward this goal for almost twenty years---about two and a half years prior to this podcast, Jayne's brother Eddie, who is involved in our business, pulled her aside and told her that he keeps getting lots of business cards from people who wanted us to do wholesale and wanted us to call them back about it. Jayne's first thought was that she'd love to do that but she wasn't sure how that would come about. But she saved all these contacts in an email folder for future reference. At the same time we were doing all our processing at Pike Place Market where we do retail sales, so we were doing things like carting jugs of sealed mixtures waiting to be squeezed, then we had to haul a squeezer to Pike Place Market and squeeze them all and clean everything out, all in a limited time allowed---it was a challenge to get it all done!
At this point, Jayne wasn't ready to be expanding yet, but brother Eddie, ever vigilant, took her aside again, and said that we'd just have to figure things out, such as what's the price we can give to these wholesalers, so Jayne called her trusty business advisors at Ventures
---(See our 10/17/2018 podcast Ventures: A Non-Profit For Small Businesses!
), and they said, "Well, let's just figure this out!"; so we got out the computer, put in the formula for how many we'd have to sell in order to break even, etc., and we assumed we'd be in some other facility and would have a rent expense among others, so we guessed high as to the output. Then we came up with a plan. We had our break even point based on what our rent should be.
So Jayne started looking at business parks and found our current 600 square foot awesome space for warehouse/business operations, and it is less than five minutes from our house. It was one thing to rent the space, but then we had to rebuild it with a kitchen area, sinks, shelves, rebuilt plumbing, and more, and thanks to a loan from Ventures we got all that done, and that was almost exactly two years ago. This has greatly helped us to make our Pike Place Market products, so we've gotten quite used to making them in our facility, and so now we were ready to come to the wholesale table, so to speak. We said, "Okay! We're ready!"
At this point, PCC was asking Ventures if they had any clients that had products for their stores. Ventures thought of us, so they helped with a lot more things than just us making sure we had our products ready and looking good, and that all the seals were intact and the labels were on correctly; they directed us in matters such as signing of various forms, documents and contracts, and technical matters that Jayne and crew would have had to spend long hours of research on, and we would not have been nearly as effective about all this without the business coaches from Ventures pointing out what to do, how to do things smoothly, avoiding stress, etc. Wholesaling to retailers is way, way more than just contacting a wholesaler and asking, "Hey, want to buy this stuff? Yup? Okay, great---I'll send it over tomorrow!" It doesn't work like that!
Speaking of good people who want us to succeed: The buyer at PCC has been more than helpful, advising Jayne on so much, like how to deal with our future wholesalers, giving them free samples, and much more. Most buyers would never spend the time doing that for us, or for anyone.
So it's very exciting!
We finally came out with a 2018 launch date which for Jayne means the day the products are delivered to PCC Community Markets, and it's likely that they will be on the shelves shortly after that. Our launch date is November 12; Jayne will be driving to all the stores, meeting the Health And Beauty Coordinators (managers), showing them the products and delivering them. They'll be on the shelves probably around November 15---just in time for the joyous but often stressful family gatherings---just bring our Holy Mama Stress And Anxiety Forrnula!---known as Thanksgiving, and then Christmas.
So we're hoping that our dear listeners to this podcast in the greater Seattle area will go to a PCC, stand near our products, and say something like "Hey! I know about these people. They're authentic. They grow these products, so they're the farmers!" And we hope you'll take pictures and email them or blast them out on social media. And buy them, too. Why not?
And if you're in Seattle, you don't have to drive to Pike Place Market, although it's fun to be there, but traffic and parking can be a pain. Now you can just go to your nearest PCC Community Market for your Sister Sage Herbs products.. They are all wonderful stores!
This is a monumental time for our business. We hope it's a stepping stone to greatness!---But we can't do it without YOU: Thank you so much to all our loyal customers and fans, and special shout-outs to our friends and business advisors at Ventures, and to our friends at PCC Community Markets!