tastings and demos all month at all
three of its store locations, featuring
American cheesemakers from around
the country who will be on hand to
sample their cheeses, share stories
and answer questions from customers. Cleverly, it will also hold an online
poll through its website and Facebook
page, where consumers can vote
on their favorite cheese from those
featured at the store, making them
eligible to win an American Cheese
Medley from Pastoral. This also drives
traffic to Pastoral’s site and gets consumers involved with the shop.
In fact, Pastoral Artisan Cheese,
Bread & Wine could serve as the
poster child of how to make your
store a destination. It has created
a distinct identity and has made its
stores a destination for food lovers
all over the Chicago area and beyond.
As the company website states, it is
“a European-inspired neighborhood
cheese, specialty food and wine shop
offering the highest quality, cut-to-or-der domestic and international specialty cheeses, freshly baked breads,
perfectly chosen accompaniments and
small production wines, along with
hand-crafted, cheese loving beers ...
With our commitment to providing the
highest level of service and education
to our customers, we strive to make
shopping for and consuming these
artisan goods enlightening, approachable, fun and delicious!”
Of course, you can also drive people
to your store through advertising, but
if you give them a bad impression
on their first visit, you may never get
them back. They say Pablo Picasso
hardly ever had to pay for anything
the second half of his life because he
always paid by check. His signature
on the checks was typically worth
more than what he was buying and so
people didn’t cash them. If you create
an inviting and exciting atmosphere
in your store, and establish your own
signature identity, it could just turn
out for you, like it did for Picasso, to
be money in the bank.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when trying to establish your store as a destination for gourmet shoppers:
• How easy is it to reach and shop in your
• Does your store appear inviting from the
• Does the combination of your facade
and signage clearly indicate who you
are, and what a consumer can expect
• Does your store signage begin at the
street, in the parking lot or on the front
sidewalk, depending on your location?
• Is there a good traffic flow in the store?
• Are your window displays kept up and
regularly maintained and redone?
• Are you known for offering superior
• Is there an overall sense of cleanliness
about your store, beginning on the
• Have you kept up with the times, or does
your store seem dowdy and outdated?
• Are there other ways you can create
excitement and entertainment in the
store, such as events and celebrations?
Photos pages 8, 9, 11: Pastoral Artisan
Cheese, Bread & Wine, credit Chelsea Ross