What started as an ambitious solution to fundraise money for her daughter’s high school dance, eventually turned into Kara Romanik’s greatest business idea to date. About six years ago, Romanik’s daughter came home from school disappointed that her school didn’t have enough money for the dance. As a solution, Romanik decided to bake her mother’s pie recipe to sell and raise money for the dance. Romanik baked 120 of Mamie’s pies and the success of that fundraising event inspired Romanik to start a business. After a few design pivots, Mamie’s Pies was born. When it was obvious the pocket-size frozen pies were a hit with consumers, Romanik decided to sign up for RangeMe and unlock the opportunity it possessed, with the right sales strategy. Read on to learn how Romanik found retail success by getting her team to join RangeMe.
The frozen little pies with the big homemade taste
Customers loved Mamie’s 9-inch pies, but they also wanted to enjoy the dessert regularly in smaller portions. Romanik listened to her customers and created her infamous New England style frozen pocket pies in the shape of apples, blueberries, and pumpkins.
“We have a total of six flavors,” says Romanik, “and the pocket pies we sell year-round include apple, cherry, wild Maine blueberry, strawberry, peach, and our seasonal flavor is pumpkin.”
What’s more, the ingredients are the same eight ingredients Romanik’s mother, Mamie, used in her recipe. There are four ingredients in the filling and four in the crust, all ingredients are simple and natural. “We’re able to keep the same simple ingredients because each pie is flash frozen and packaged immediately which retains the authenticity of the flavor and texture, nothing is compromised,” explains Romanik.
One million pocket pies–sold
Mamie’s Pies were being sold in about 40 grocery stores across Northern California and four years ago, had a successful Summer Fancy Foods show where they met multiple well-known companies, including Oprah’s retail team, QVC, Williams-Sonoma, Stonewall Kitchen, Safeway, Albertsons, just to name a few.
After the show, Oprah’s team reached out and said they would like to feature Mamie’s Pies as one of “Oprah’s Favorite,” but in order to qualify Mamie’s Pies needed to be available online. So Romanik and her daughter built their e-commerce site, set up co-packing and contracted with fulfillment centers capable of keeping the integrity of their product. At that point, they decided to take a step back from grocery and focus on their e-commerce side of the business.
“QVC reached out not too long after Oprah’s team did and we’ve been on air now a total of 46 times,” says Romanik. “Over the last 20 months between QVC, our website, and e-commerce partners, we’ve sold over 1 million pocket pies. It’s been an incredible experience to grow our business.”
Re-enter RangeMe as a sales tool
Originally, Mamie’s Pies signed up for RangeMe when they were expanding their local grocery store presence. But after deciding to take a step back from retail 3 years ago, Romanik decided to end her subscription with RangeMe.
But in June of 2019, Mamie’s Pies was ready to get back into retail and signed up for RangeMe as Premium and got RangeMe Verified™ immediately. “Getting verified checks the boxes for buyers so they don’t have to do the research themselves,” says Romanik.
Romanik decided to use RangeMe differently the second time around. She looped in her brokers and new sales retail team and taught them how to use RangeMe. They all now use the RangeMe account to spot retailer leads that show up in Profile Insights and from there can work their contacts to open doors with retailers across the country. “It’s a perfect lead,” says Romanik.
Advice to suppliers on RangeMe
“Be as thorough as possible when filling out your RangeMe profile,” shares Romanik. “Know the pricing in the industry and the pricing of your competition when deciding on your MSRP. Use your profile to share news and to announce things such as upcoming trade shows you’re attending by including it in your banner image. Get RangeMe Verified™ to boost your visibility. And get an outlet for the info you’re gathering from your Insights such as using that information to pursue leads and make the calls. But most importantly, use it as an active tool.”
Romanik has learned a lot about how to optimize her RangeMe profile and utilize it as a sales management tool by looping in her team through Team Access. It has proven to be the secret recipe for Mamie’s Pies’ success on RangeMe. As of the fourth quarter of 2019, Mamie’s Pies has set over 800 stores of major retailers nationwide and more to come in 2020.
Learn about setting up Team Access here.
Not a supplier on RangeMe yet? Sign up for free here.