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Build personal relationships with customers: Emmerich Grosch
Food engineer, Hawai‘i Product Resources, Kealakekua, South Kona
The soft-spoken Emmerich Grosch has nearly five decades under his belt as chef, entrepreneur, hotel food operations manager, and processor. He brings this wealth of experience to his current manufacturing/wholesale business processing macadamia nuts, coffee, and cacao from farm to market. His company produces a wide range of artisan products including flavored macnuts (honey roasted, wasabi, etc.), roasted coffees, and raw chocolate. The emphasis is on quality products, and all sales come with a 100% no-questions-asked quality guarantee.
Grosch prides himself on building personal relationships with his customers, taking the time to explain in detail how his products are grown, harvested, and processed. He finds that most people do not know how much work and care go into processing his products, and that teaching people about the products leads to stronger customer relationships and repeat business. In short, Grosch finds that it works to treat people as he would like to be treated as a customer.
Bucking the trend toward impersonal business relationships through email and web sites, he makes himself available by telephone and visits to his facility. For larger orders, he often includes a small gift, and finds that customers love the surprises. His clientele tend to be those who appreciate the personal contact, and most of his business is by word-of-mouth or repeat customers.
In addition to his own products, Grosch processes coffee and macadamia nuts for about 200 farmers, who sell their products under their own label. Knowing that many farmers want to become independent processors and market their products under their own label, Grosch sells small-scale processing equipment for macadamia nuts, coffee and cacao. Over the past 15 years, he has provisioned over 1000 farmers with processing equipment at an appropriate scale to their operation. Most of these farmers start slowly with one machine (such as a coffee pulper), and expand their processing operation as they gain experience. Grosch’s goal in processing equipment sales is to empower farmers to become independent and sell high-quality finished products under their own label.
This market profile was excerpted with kind permission of the authors from:
Elevitch, C., N. Milne, and J. Cain. 2012. Hawai‘i Island Farmer’s Guide to Accessing Local Markets. Hawai‘i Community College Office of Continuing Education and Training, Center for Agricultural Success, and Permanent Agriculture Resources. http://hawaiihomegrown.net/pdfs/Hawaii-Island-Guide-to-Accessing-Markets.pdf