According to a story in the Times-Union, “Rarely has a new retail business idea been embraced by entrepreneurs so quickly, only to fail so spectacularly, as did the “meal assembly” concept.”
Dave Bellso, interviewed for the article, sounds perplexed:
“For some reason, the whole concept is just not doing very well,” said Dave Bellso, whose wife owns the Make & Take Gourmet chain, based in Syracuse. The two-year-old company had a store at The Crossing shopping center in Clifton Park, but closed it after a year for lack of business.
“When the industry first started, the research from the early stores showed it was a destination,” he said. “As the industry grew, that changed.”
This is a man who owns an advertising agency that claims to be the leader in meal prep marketing. His analysis is that the research showed that the early stores were destinations, but “as the industry grew,” the stores were no longer destinations?
In other words: “People are no longer coming to our stores and we don’t know why.”
Strangely, the Bellsos sound more certain when they’re selling franchises. In fact, the Take & Bake Gourmet website Dave Bellso’s agency built states “Our taste-tested recipes are so delicious they’ll keep coming back for more.”
It states: “Meal assembly kitchens are one of the hottest trends in the food industry.”
“We are excited to share this exciting, proven concept with you…”
“As seasoned marketing professionals we know how to “brand” and promote the business.”
“We have the pulse on consumer buying trends so that we can grow and change our business model to keep up with those trends faster than our competitors.”
“Our taste-tested recipes are so delicious they’ll keep coming back for more.”
“We will be able to assist you in developing effective, results-oriented marketing plans.”
“There is no limit to how many stores you can own. It all depends upon your desire for growth… It is actually advantageous to own more than one store in a market.”
It will be interesting to see what story the Bellsos will be telling tomorrow. It seems to change from day to day.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.
Related note: Bob Niedt of Syracuse.com wrote: ” Speaking of Towne Center, Make & Take Gourmet did a fast exit. The meal-preparation store announced its closing at the top of the week and by midweek, it was gone.”
Towne Center was one of the two Bellso-owned corporate stores.