A Blog Series on Shopper Marketing.

By Cyndi Pyburn

Crème Fraiche Market Café is an  authentic specialty grocery store that opened last year with great anticipation in Bloor West Village.  Crème Fraiche Market Cafe is very current and doing all the right things.   They bill themselves as local, sustainable, delicious.  And true to their word, my overall experience was great.    The quality artisanal food lived up to my expectations.  But what really hooked me was the staff’s passion for supporting sustainability and support for local farmers and artisans.  They are also interwoven in the community they serve.

From ‘Meet your Farmer’ nights to ‘Cider and Cheese’ nights, there is always a ‘buzz’ going on in this small specialty grocer.  Their “Kids on the Block” series teaches kids about the benefit of supporting their local farmers and artisans, as well as teaching them where their food comes from.  They hope to inspire lifelong dedication to nutritious, delicious food.  And the list goes on from Pumpkin carving contests to family style menus over a book reading and community BBQs — there is something for everyone.

So why, with all that this special little store has going for it, do I leave shaking my head?  I often stop to grab a cappuccino and the barista doesn’t acknowledge me.  Doesn’t greet me, doesn’t thank me, doesn’t crack a smile.  So great food, great passion, great community initiatives and a great platform to support sustainability and local farmers and artisans – all of that effort is substantially diminished or worse, completely spoiled with a not so great customer experience.

As corny as the Walmart greeters are, you can’t under-estimate the importance of a simple smile.  A smile breaks the ice, builds rapport, sets up a positive vibe for the day, is an indication of a great attitude, and most importantly, shows sincerity.   And who knows, a smile most likely helps contribute towards a sale.   It is the simplest trick in the retail book, but I am absolutely amazed at the lack of use of this tool.  Like the old saying goes, ‘hire for attitude and train for skill’.  If I was running a retail establishment, I am quite positive this would be my hiring criteria.

By starting every day with a smile, it makes your whole day better.  And chances are it will brighten up someone else’s as well.

Barista, please take note.