This week’s Idea: Is there anything that Angie isn’t doing?!?!

with Neil Godin

It all started innocently enough. I was enjoying dinner with my neighbor Sandi, when I spotted an envelope that looked like this:

Well Seasoned Christmas gift

It was hard to photograph, and it’s also a bit hard to read. So. Let me read it for you…  Basically it tells Christmas holiday shoppers that if they return to this particular store (a store located right here in Langley, BC, Canada, called “Well Seasoned – A gourmet food store”) between January 2 and 31, they will receive a gift that could be, “a free cooking class, a free cookbook, free spices, a discount on your next purchase, or a free product.”

A touch of drama…

This is so smart it brings tears to my eyes (pass the Kleenex please). Why? Because it creates (a bit of) drama. Sandi’s envelope warns that it must not be opened. 

Listen:Pre-opened envelopes will NOT be accepted. (Yes, even if your dog did it).”  Oooh, this little touch of dangerous marketing is great fun…and so incredibly effective. Why? Because it stokes the fire of repeat business (can you imagine not going back with this unopened envelope?). And it creates buzz – buzz that ignites the torch of referral business. This is a perfect example of marketing that drives both word of mouth, and what we call “word of mouse” advertising. (More Kleenex please).

angie_quaale 2 Curious (as always), I called the store hoping to speak to owner Angie Quaale (no luck – yet – but we will talk, and I will share more of her story with you).  Next stop: The “Well Seasoned” website. As I studied it for about five minutes I needed to dry my tears again. I kept thinking, “is there anything she isn’t doing?”  For a moment I thought she wasn’t using email marketing. Wrong. I scrolled to the bottom and there’s the sign up for her email newsletter.

Your call to action!

Here are just some of the things that Angie is doing with her marketing. As you look down this (long) list, please think of what “you” could be doing in similar fashion. Ready? Here we go?

Wait. No. Wait. First you have to go to her website at: Go ahead, we’ll wait for you. Are you there yet? Okay, now here we go…

  • She blogs (telling the story of a foodie living here in the suburban Fraser Valley) and she invites special guest writers to blog with her
  • She publishes an email newsletter (you have to do both…blogs are seen by the search engines while newsletters are not…but blogs aren’t in your inbox the way newsletters are)
  • The store isn’t just a store, it’s abuzz with paid cooking classes of every kind
  • Angie has a roster of TEN celebrity chefs who conduct those cooking classes (read all about ‘em)
  • As we’ve said before, cooking classes (classes of any kind) are a great way to engage present customers and attract new ones
  • Check the cooking class calendar on the site; two months out – and it’s packed !!
  • The store actually has two demonstration kitchens to accommodate the number of students
  • Angie also sells online (you can order and send gift baskets, for example)
  • And, her in-store kitchens are available for gourmet cooking parties

Angie has also started a paid membership program, so she can engage people beyond the local market – and generate revenue by doing so (a one year membership in “The Missing Ingredient” is now available at $515.88 – and delivers 4-5 tasty product samples to your doorstep each month in a cool box. The samples range from spices and seasonings to gadgets, oils & vinegars, to sweets and treats. “All of these products have been hand-picked by our culinary experts,” the text states, “and we are confident you will enjoy them!”

Each box also contains a featured recipe card to get you started on your monthly culinary adventure; a chef’s tip to help you master the tools and items you receive, and your Missing Ingredient food items and tools. (Sign me up!)

And there’s more… 

  • As you can see, Angie has partnered with local businesses as vendors and sponsors
  • She provides a calendar of upcoming events
  • She is all over social media, as you can see not just by her links but by her high level of activity as well (check out her Facebook Page)
  • She writes in the local (Langley Times) newspaper, which projects and reinforces her positioning as “the expert” in the gourmet food world here in the Fraser Valley

Whoa, I’m getting tired..

Angie is also active in the community at large

  • She’s a member of Tourism Langley
  • She is Senior Vice President of our local Chamber of Commerce
  • She is Co-Founder and Vice President of the Langley Community Farmers Market

She has also been recognized professionally!

  • Angie is President of the BC Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, a society of professional women whose purpose is to promote the understanding, appreciation and knowledge of food, wine, hospitality, nutrition, food technology, the arts of the table, and related fields.
  • She was recognized by the Women’s Enterprise Centre as one of BC’s 100 New Pioneer Women Entrepreneurs in 2008.
  • In 2006 Angie was recognized by the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce as the Entrepreneur of the Year and in 2007 as the Small Business of the Year.

Finally, we conclude with Angie’s award winning BBQ Team…

In case there isn’t enough going for her, Angie is also Head Cook and Pitmaster of the “Well Seasoned & Canada Q” BBQ Team – a team that represented Canada at the 2011 Jack Daniels World Invitational BBQ Championship – and came away with a 3rd place trophy. Not bad.

Okay, Angie, that’s it for now…thanks for inspiring us here at Marketing Dangerously.  And, dangerous marketers, I hope her story has inspired you as well (could just one of the things she does be “the missing ingredient” that will take your business to the next level?)

See you Thursday.


Ps – You’re invited to join Jonathan Christian and I at our first Social Media Challenge gathering of 2013. Jonathan is “the” expert in social media here in the Fraser Valley, and we’re on a journey to learn and share ways to use social media to actually drive business. Our meet-ups are full of down to earth, practical, how-to’s that you can put to work in your business. For details and to register please go to: (Jonathan will be presenting again this month, and he was our absolute top performer last year).

Pps – Thanks and a tip of the MD hat to Professor Amanda Flint and the Trinity Western University Business Faculty for sponsoring our Meetup by providing their outstanding venue. You’ll love it!  (Did I mention that our meet-ups are still free of charge?)

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  1. THANK YOU for the very kind words. I am glad you enjoy the work we are doing. We love that we get to help people eat better food every day!

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