Progressive Grocer Independent

FEB 2016

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2016 I N D E P E N D E N T S OUTSTANDING BAKERY C akes are often the heart of a bakery, and it's no difer- ent at Graul's Market. Bakery accounts for nearly 10 percent of store sales, much higher than the national average of 2 percent according to Progressive Grocer's 2015 Bakery Market Research. "It's not just custom-decorated cakes, but also day-to-day iced items and dessert items that we have in our case. Tat's what drives our sales," says Den- nis Graul, the fourth-generation co-owner of the six-store chain based in Towson, Md. Tose products' core elements — cake and icing — are made from scratch. "It's not only that the cakes look good, but even our boring-looking cake tastes better than a cake from anywhere else," he boasts. Part of that proposition is the buttercream icing, which he swears is the best around, made from just butter, confectioners' sugar, water and vanilla. "If you ever taste our buttercream, you'll never have another birthday without buttercream again," he asserts. "It's to die for. I know there are customers who have never had a birthday cake from anywhere else." While taste is important, other important aspects of custom-decorated cakes are the design and ensuring that the end product is exactly what the customer envisioned. To help keep mistakes to a minimum, Graul's decorators work one day a week at the counter to help train the counter associates in how to properly take a cake order. Te stores also ofer wedding cake customers a free 6-inch decorated cake for their frst wedding anniversary. Te an- niversary cake is the same type of cake and icing as the original wedding cake and uses the same color scheme for its design. A mailer goes out 11 months after the wedding to remind the couple to schedule when they want to pick up the cake. Word of mouth is some of the best advertising for Graul's, and wedding cakes provide a lot of word-of-mouth opportunities. "You go to a wedding and the cake looks great, and now there are 200 people that know that our cake looks great," Graul says. "Tat's better than any billboard or any ad." Graul's Market, Towson, Md. America's #1 brand of restaurant seafood available in the frozen seafood aisle. P H I L L I P S F O O D S . C O M 8 8 8 . 2 3 4 . C R A B

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