Why Small Matters - Cure Deli
Sometimes I feel I need to be reminded of why small matters. The small supplier, the small retailer the small independent owner operated business where the values of that individual are evident in the business they create.
Unlike big business where the mission statement and values may have been created as part of their marketing strategy but the values don't always get translated into the business practices, where the follow through and the follow up is often lacking.
The independent business owner knows that the buck stops with them. That their values are often carried through into their business practices.
Cure Deli is one such small business that matters. Owned by Martin whose business is supplying ethically reared meat. He buys whole genuine free range animals from small local ethical farmers. He decided he wanted really real free range meat and went out and found it. He started producing the most delicious free range and preservative free bacon and sausages full of meat and tasty flavours, no cheap grain fillers.
His commitment has always been “To do our best to Cure a few of the ills that beset this world of mass consumerism by always only sourcing really good meat directly from small local ethical farms and never getting caught up in half –truths, factory farms and feedlots, manipulative middle meat merchants and dodgy distributors.”
Now when Martin states that he sells ethical free range meat it has to live up to what for him ethical and free range means, these are high standards he has set.
Finding meat that meets his criteria is not always easy, ethically reared meat is more than just free range. Free range can mean chickens with access to the outside but their food is inside so they stay indoors. It can mean pigs living outdoors but instead of having soil beneath their feet they live on concrete slabs.
Free range is a term that is used loosely and has gained traction, anyone can claim they sell free range products. There is a certification body but most customers trust what they are told and that the meat really is what it is claiming to be.
Martin’s products were such a success customers started asking for more ethical free range meat options and he began to provide them with pork, lamb, beef and chickens. Now when he buys a whole animal he gets so many joints of meat so when 5 customers want a leg of lamb but he only has two that means he has three customers he cannot service.
Not so for his competitor who seems able to provide an abundance of whatever free range meat the customer requires. Martin cannot find chickens that match his standards of ethically reared his competitor seems to have an endless supply of chickens.
So rather disheartening for Martin he has watched his competitor grow and get bigger while he continues to struggle to make ends meet. There is passion and love in what he does but now there is often also frustration.
As an independent you try and provide something special to your customers and because of convenience or price they shop elsewhere not fully appreciating how important your patronage is to keep them going. And then when you are gone they miss what you offered and they have to settle for the alternative.
The alternative gives the customer what they want when they want it hopefully at the price they want. They make it look good, they say the right thing but they don’t always live up to those same high values like Martin does.
This is the great tragedy of modern retailer the bigger guys survive and the small guy giving something unique giving of himself struggles and eventually his business may die.
So I hope those that support owners like Martin and Cure Deli will continue to do so even though it may not always be convenient or easy, but because if we stop supporting him what he offers will be lost and no one will feel the need to rise up to the standards he has set.
PS Martin has a new product he has created, it is a Virgin Mary Spiced Tomato Juice, made from lovely ripe tomatoes and home made Worcester sauce, in typical Martin fashion no junk. So if you get your hands on a few bottles enjoy an alcohol free healthy cocktail.
Besides being refreshing and delicious you also get a dose of the all important lycopene phytonutrient. Lycopene has antioxidant properties and it may help for heart health, prostate health, eye health, brain health and sunburn which makes it the perfect summer drink.
If you want to know more about Cure Deli and Martin visit his website Cure Deli