This week’s letter is about my experience getting Phreshly into retail.
I underestimated how expensive it is to play the “retail game”. Getting your brand on shelves at retail stores is not for the weak, or the cash poor. It takes serious capital.
I’m learning this first-hand through Target’s Forward Founders Acceleration. It’s an 8-week program built for underrepresented early-stage CPG founders. I heard “Phreshly looks like a Target brand” enough times to see test what it would be like. The experience so far has been great.
It’s typical for accelerators to give you access to mentorship and a network. The difference at Forward Founders Accelerator is that participants don’t just get masterclasses on branding, financial strategy, etc. (though, that’s very helpful). Target Forward Founders Accelerator is stacked with impressive brands, and mentors.
When I considered applying for the program, two questions came to mind:
“How well does the Phreshly brand experience translate in-person at a retail store?”
“How prepared are we to build a retail operation?”
While it’s still early, I’m getting some signal on the second question. Retail is more complicated than the average person might think. There are some tricky financial terms that put a lot of upfront risk on the brands. Things like getting paid on 60-120 day terms, instead of being paid upon order or delivery. Or invoice deduction for items damaged in transit - one damaged product in a case means you lose out on the cost for the entire case.
It’s a challenging game. But I’m excited to be learning so much from Target’s team, guest lecturers, and the other brands in our cohort.
Cocktail Name: “The Town”
Here’s another drink that has ties to my childhood. The purple color of the drink reminds me of study days with my dad. When I was younger, he would play Purple Rain by Prince ad-nauseum. It was how we knew he was in deep study mode. Normally, hearing the same song on repeat for hours would frustrate someone. For me, it provided this abnormal sense of peace and tranquility, because when I would see my dad in those moments, there was this stillness he had.
That said, you can actually play around with different citruses to change the color of the drink. For example, lemon juice turns the drink bright purple. Orange juice turns the drink bluish-yellow.
The ingredients are simple.
Lemon & lime syrup
Butterfly pea syrup
Topo chico (or sub for Mezcal)
If you want to pair it with food, I recommend a couscous salad with a cheese of your preference… as long as it’s not blue cheese. Eating blue cheese is an unforgivable sin in my house.