Updated: Jan 9, 2022
With weather provided by Indian summer or global warming depending on your politics, I was able to get the roof off the Jeep this weekend despite the late calendar. My fiancee Gaetana and I, Guy for the new readers, avoided the congestion of 95 as we covered the 35 miles of side-roads from Stamford to New Haven.
The drive to Wooster Street a Connecticuter's birthright! Wooster the only street in the country which has two of the nation's top-ten pizza shops: Sally's Apizza and Frank Pepe's Napoletana.
Frank Pepe's rated the number one pizza shop in the country by the Daily Meal in 2020 with that same survey putting Sally's at number nine.
Leaving the residents in New Haven, the home of Yale University perched halfway between New York and Boston to pick a side: are you a Yankee or a Red Sox?
And is it Sally's or Frank Pepe's? The coal fired crust worth the arguments!
Still undecided which pie to choose for lunch my fiancee Gaetana, Guy for the regular readers, looked to the heavens for guidance as I parked our topless Jeep.
Noticing a swarm of birds circling the sky over New Haven's Little Italy she exclaimed, "There's so many!" with the enthusiasm of a child who just found where her mother hid the cookies.
"Too many" I thought as the birds passed over my open-aired four-wheeler.
Fascinated by their numbers Guy maintained her gaze at the swarm. A single shot to the brim of my cap foretold of my future like the tracer fired from a battalion of artillery.
Intended just to line up the shot for the rest of the swarm.
Who knew pigeons had fresh berries in their diet this late in the year?
Speaking of Wooster
In my blog on October 22, I named a few manufacturers whom I applaude for their preparedness for THE digital Revolution.
At the time, I was referring to companies which have the digital assets needed to support and help market their products on dealer's sites. That is one way which manufacturers can support dealers in a digital revolution. Having those assets well organized and delivering them in ways which allow dealers to easily access them, is another!
Another way is funding!
To support their dealer's embracing this new opportunity, Benjamin Moore will allow dealers to get reimbursed for up to 75% of the cost of a new web and e-commerce site, to the extent the dealer has coop funds available. C2 Paint has a program which may allow their dealers to get reimbursed 100% of the costs of the C2 portion of a site. Other manufacturers have cooperative advertising programs which may also allow for reimbursement, though Benjamin Moore and C2 are currently the two most generous programs.
But with almost 40% on average of an independent paint retailer's revenue coming from sales of "non-paint" items such as sundries, window treatments and wallpaper, why should just the paint manufacturers be asked to participate?
Not knowing what kind of response they would get, I advised THE Minutemen of my Revolution to reach out to their non-paint vendors and seek funding to help offset non-paint portions of the e-commerce sites they are building.
Mostly, we heard "no."
But to their credit, Wooster: THE brush and roller manufacturer from the eponymous town in Ohio, became the first manufacturer to step up and offer financial support for a dealer installing THE Revolution web and e-commerce sites.
Other manufacturers will develop programs to help dealers fund these uber-growth opportunities, but we generally only celebrate the "firsts." I applaud Wooster and their president Ben Maibach (pronounced Maybaw) for putting their money where their mouth is and supporting their dealers as they step into the digital age.
This week I expect to turn over to its owners the first web site and e-commerce platform of THE Revolution: Town Line Paint of Malden, MA . While still several weeks away from having all its components installed, the sites have reached a point where they are considered "mvp," or a minimally viable product.
Minimally viable of course is NOT the goal! But it does mean that Town Line can make money selling paint and sundries online while they get used to using their new system and I finish adding window treatments, flooring, decor, wallpaper and other features we have planned.
I'll be back on Thursday to let you know how that launch went.
Until then if you find yourself on Wooster Street in New Haven craving a slice (or three!) of the country's best pizza, don't look up!