Making deliveries and a few pitches

Today I made the first delivery of dragon beard candy to Uwajimaya Seattle, and I expect things will be visible in the next day or so. I have to go back and provide some mockups (empty boxes) for the shelf displays since the Seattle store is worried about careless customers damaging  the product by picking it up and shaking, tossing, around, flipping upside down, etc. I'm not sure this risk is substantially worse than, for example, with fancy Yoku Moku cookies or even many kinds of chocolates, but I'll work with that for now. I might have overemphasized the fragility when we first spoke a while back... the main problem is with excessive vibration and with vertical display.

Yesterday I got agreement from the Bellevue store to carry the product, so I need to supply them soon. I made a date to demo the product there in early August. This weekend, assuming all goes well on the Seattle side, I need to make a trip to the Beaverton, Oregon store to meet the new grocery manager there. The grocery manager who agreed to carry our product had to go back to Japan to care for a family member, so I just have to follow up with the new grocery manager about how to display the product and when we should do in-store sampling.

Also yesterday afternoon, I made a couple of stops at small Taiwanese tea shops in Bellevue and did some guerrilla sampling with store staff after buying something to drink. I made some conversation and I'll go back to show the full product line and information shortly.

I went to a local bamboo supplier to talk to them about materials for merchandising racks. It sounds like the kind of materials that would work best will be more expensive than some possibilities that were hinted at by one of my customers... so I'll have to find out what the best option will be. Maybe it's worth the commercial presence of the more expensive option... but I don't want my subsidy of store displays to be terribly expensive. Anyway, the bamboo importer referred me to a designer who may have some ideas. Coincidentally, they had some interest in the candy for their retail store, which is planning to have a little tea bar shortly... Since the brand identity references bamboo, it might be a good match.