This past Friday I met with Big Y along with other bloggers and Peeps from Collective Bias. I was hired as a consultant to explain in layman’s terms, what blogging is, why I blog, and what the benefits of social media are. When speaking to someone who spends their day hopping from Twitter, Facebook, Whrrl, Friendfeed, and many blogs, the lingo flows and we understand each-other. When you think about it, it’s a foreign language. When I speak to family and friends who don’t understand, it can be frustrating. Now we have three hours to break this down into the ABC’s. How will we ever do this? Attending many meetings with corporate execs from my past jobs, I knew some of them could be arrogant asses and would never admit to “not getting it” but rather delegate to some poor soul under them and have the ol’ set up for failure…better them than me. I left corporate America and now I’m meeting with them….do I really want to do this? ………….Of course I do! I have that internal “Help Button“.
I was very excited! Why??? well…… this is where I shop, I really like the store, and I heard they buy from local farmers which impresses me. Another thing that impresses me is the two stores I go to have employees that deliver top-notch customer service. I’m all about customer service, especially since I trained, coached, and evaluated reps. I don’t know the Big Y company very well but I’ll listen intently so I can speak to it for my community both on and offline. It’s important to be able to tell the inside scoop of why They should go shop at their stores.
We met in the lobby to sign in. It was very secure, we had to give our license to be scanned and then received a visitor’s pass. We stayed in the lobby for a bit while we waited for everyone to come. There was a room with comfy couches adjoined to the lobby and it was decorated with what else…Big Y memorabilia, kinda cool, an old cash register what looked like pure gold…..it wasn’t or I’d be writing this from Hawaii…not that I checked. It had old pictures and fake fruit stands that separated the two rooms. Ok enough about the lobby, but I am a nostalgic person and it was cool.
On our way to the conference room we have to walk by all the cubicles of the employees. First check -do they seem happy? This is easy to tell…do they immediately smile when they look at you or, do they smile back if you smile first. As I walked by………everyone smiled and some said hello…this is a good sign! The food everywhere could have had something to do with their smiles. Points!
We now are sitting at the conference table and behind me is coffee, water, and food!- Points scored here, but truthfully I was hoping for some fruit…it’s Big Y…they have awesome fruit! Share some with us!!!
Ok so in come the Big Y peeps… Phil, Karen, Nicole, John, Merles, and Linda. Everyone was very pleasant and we started to go around and introduce ourselves. When they got to Karen and said how long she’s been with the company, I was ready to grab her and interview her so i can create my next Touch’d product. She looked fabulous, not that we exchanged ages, but women have this secret inner sense. I was ready to start a whole new meeting and make it all about ME! Simmerrrrrrrr… i didn’t, I stuck to what we were there for.. to educate. They all sat and listened patiently as we (us bloggers) talked all about ourselves, our blogs and why we loved it…. Passion…at least that’s what started us all. Ok so some of us had more to say and may have even got Shhh’d. Did you expect any less? I like to be thorough.
Phil spoke in between and started telling us Big Y stories. I wanted to stay an extra hour with my pad and pen and take notes. It was an inspiring story how two brothers started Big Y and there were little tid bits in there that were very interesting (you know…….the stuff that captivates you and gets lock in the useless information bank) Did you know Big Y is an actual family owned company? I heard the slogan “to your family from ours”, but when I worked at the post office they called us family…yeah right. You can read about the history of Big Y on their site….wayyyyy at the bottom. There’s no pictures of the family, I checked the whole site (They should really put some…hint hint) Anyway Phil also told about all the testing Big Y does on it’s brand products…again I thought this was cool. I totally want to go to the site and watch the testing….and of course blog about it. I’d like to be taste tester of the bakery department.. HAHA
After the three hours spent there, I can tell you that ALL the Big Y people (family) were very gracious and kept an opened mind as we flooded them with information. We joked and laughed throughout and the mood was very relaxed. If anyone did have jitters, they disappeared after a few minutes. Of course at the end I whipped out my camera and said Pictures! Not everyone was as willing as Phil and John but at least you get to meet them.
In the beginning I told you I was paid to attend this meeting, however, I was NOT paid nor was I asked to write anything about the meeting or Big Y. As bloggers don’t we want to share all??? If i didn’t like Big Y would I have wrote this? You bet! I want you to know when you walk into the store, know a “family” who probably gets together for picnics, fights with one another, and loves each other very much, has grown this company and are running it together.
Do you shop at Big Y? What do you like or dislike about it? Does it make a difference that you now know it’s a family run business? I want to hear your thoughts. Also here’s a link if you like coupons, my friend puts together coupons with their weekly ad to help you save money http://www.wickedcooldeals.com/