A free day in Seattle lead me to playing tourist. I was in town to give two speeches over the following few days, but had just enough time to enjoy one of my favorite cities.
Just near the Pike Place Market, after my regular pilgrimage to the original Starbucks, I ducked into a small shop to get out of the rain (what? rain in Seattle?). The sight of wines, olive oils, vinegars, pastas, and jellies coupled with the allure of samples, made it very inviting.
While the gourmet products that they sold were great, it was the owner of the shop and her delightful disposition that made the encounter memorable. She talked to all the patrons in her store and offered up an incredible combination of tastes and information. The truffle infused honey and the dollop of 15 year old balsamic vinegar were both amazing to the palate.
I was reminded by this experience that personality, customer focus and making others feel like important and honored guests is key to success. This is not only true for the purveyor of specialty foods, but for everyone in any industry. People do business with those they know, like and trust. If you do not make an effort to connect with others they will never buy your products or services.
I could not have imagined leaving this store without buying something. I purchased a small gift of truffle salts for my wife (who is an amazing cook and loves little shops like this one!).
If you are ever in Seattle, stop in at La Buona Travola (1524 Pike Place) to get your truffled products and exceptional Italian regional specialties. Look for the owner, Rei Hanscomb.... she clearly loves what she does for a living! People enjoy doing business with those who love their work.
Have A Great Day.