Thursday, November 20, 2008

More people, more money, same iconic brand names...

We see it happen all the time, a catchy idea or a fantastic restaurant get the chance to step up and bring their goods to market. The big, American market; with hopes of someday achieving national distribution and high volume sales! [This is only the observation/opinion of a consumer with no formal business training]

But, it seems too difficult to find balance on the high wire between artisan and commodity. Do consumer goods, especially food stuffs, lose character when they are brought to the mainstream? Do the owners preserve the family traditions? the same old flavor? or do they make some compromises for the sake of mass production? Reading about Murray's Cheese Shop partnering with the supermarket group Kroger made these thoughts come to mind. Murray's is great cheese shop and they have done well in NYC--a wide selection and excellent ideas! The commercialization of the Patsy's name, a famous New York City eatery, also comes to mind; I remember the first time I saw a jar of their sauce on the shelf at the grocer. Best wishes to these companies in their endeavors, but it really says something when a creative entrepreneur can resist the power of the dollar to maintain their artisanal status.

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