Soon after opening we got asked for croissants a lot. A few months later we were still getting asked for them so we did what all reasonable business owners did and invested in 2 pieces of equipment and embarked on the (not insignificant) task of developing a from-scratch croissant process. (If you’ve ever tried making croissants from scratch at home or if you’re a chef and tried in your kitchen you’ll know this is very much not a walk in the park).
Anyway, undeterred, we ploughed on and once we’d nailed the croissants we developed delicious cruffins and even sausage crolls and then let them loose on our customers. Turns out, despite loads of great feedback and sometimes stellar sales, the words “Oh look at those lovely indulgent croissants and cruffins – but no, I shouldn’t” were heard too many times and we ended up eating more ourselves than we sold. Moral of the story – it’s not always the right thing to do to listen to your customers when deciding what to develop.
Since then we’ve had a “pastry” gap in our range and we didn’t know how to fill it. Funnily enough, no-one has ever asked us for a vegan spelt sourdough brioche chocolate bun. Natalie fancied the idea so in our new method of very scientific market research we thought we’d have a go. Obviously, “having a go” actually means obsessively trying 11 different doughs until we get one we loved but once we’d cracked it we once again let them loose and hoped for the best.
Turns out, people buy 3 times as much of a product they never knew they wanted, than one they repeatedly asked you to make. Lesson learned…