Homeboy Industries is more than just a flavorful dip for your chip. Nearly thirty years ago, Father Greg Boyle made it his life’s mission to create several businesses where he could employ ex-convicts and teach those men and women real-life skills that would help them work, make money, and create a better life for themselves. Out of that mission came Homeboy Industries, a food product line of salsas and guacamole. And once Debra Sarkisian and Lois Sarkisian, Homeboy Industries’ food brokers, got their RangeMe account up and running, the company connected with Stop & Shop, and ultimately launched in 400 of the retailer’s stores across the country.
Where hope meets life skills (and dips)
When Father Greg Boyle started Homeboy Industries, he started it with the purpose of giving recently incarcerated men and women an opportunity for a second chance to better their lives. Homies, as they call them, come to his eighteen-month program where they are placed to work in one of the businesses. They are also provided with an array of services to further improve their lives such as tattoo removal, parenting classes, and GED courses.
One arm of Homeboy Industries produces its salsa and guacamole brands. The company offers a full line of flavorful guacamole and salsas.
Turning to RangeMe for more exposure
While Homeboy Industries is a well-known philanthropic company, their food lines are small and it was difficult for them to reach out to retailers across the country. “We took a look at RangeMe and we decided to give it a try with Homeboy Industries and see if it works. And it worked. It’s quite amazing,” says Debra Sarkisian, Homeboy Industries’ food broker.
Sarkisian likes RangeMe so much that she brought Five Strong Coffee, her own family-owned business onto RangeMe.
The Stop & Shop deal
After uploading their products to RangeMe in 2018, Homeboy Industries received a message from Stop & Shop, an east coast grocery retailer and part of Ahold Delhaize, communicating interest in their products. The Stop & Shop buyer was browsing on RangeMe specifically for guacamole when they came across Homeboy Industries in their search feed. They requested samples and after a few meetings, Homeboy Industries’ dips were brought into 400 Stop & Shop stores across the country.
“Stop & Shop has been the biggest success we have had with RangeMe,” Sarkisian says. “Our first communications with Stop & Shop were made through RangeMe. Since they had all the information on our profile, we were able to start off quickly and on a firm footing. If we had not uploaded our products to RangeMe, we would have never been seen.”
A favorite tool on RangeMe
One of the favorite tools Sarkisian uses on RangeMe is Industry Insights for a number of reasons. “As far as initial outreach, we have had the greatest success with RangeMe Insights,” Sarkisian shares. “It allows us to see what buyers are actively searching and provides information to let us update our listing to accommodate the most popular search terms so that we don’t get overlooked.”
“Being able to create submission messaging specific to the buyer lets us highlight the best of what our product is but also lets us highlight the good that Homeboy Industries is doing and how the product supports that mission,” says Sarkisian.
RangeMe gave Homeboy Industries an open door to opportunity and growth in retail, just as Homeboy Industries is giving Homies opportunity and growth in life. Sarkisian says that Homeboy Industries plans to continue their relationship with Stop & Shop, expand their product line, and get into more stores.
“RangeMe makes it possible – and easy — for buyers to find products from Homeboy Industries and for Homeboy Industries to find the buyers that need our products,” says Sarkisian.
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