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“Be open to change and seek advice.” #SFSBW2015 Interview with Clairesquares

#SFSBW2015 asked small business owners and the organizations that support them throughout the year to share insights, best practices, stories and resources to help small business owners flourish. Today we hear from Claire Keane, Owner, Clairesquares.

Tell us about your business in one sentence.

We are a San Francisco based confectionary company making artisan Irish sweet treats.Claire

San Francisco is changing, and the small business customer base is changing. What changes are you seeing in your customer base? 

More and more of our customers are trying to be educated about the ingredients in the food they eat. Whether it’s because of health concerns (i.e. gluten intolerance) or lifestyle choice (i.e. veganism, vegetarianism, paleo, etc), most people seek transparency when reading labels and ask questions about our ingredient profiles regularly.

What specific business strategies have you implemented to build loyalty and enhance your ability to serve the newer generation of customers?

We listen to what our customers want and are in the process of introducing more wheat free products to serve that growing customer base.

What marketing tactics and strategies have been most successful for your business in this new environment?

On a local level our best form of marketing has always been in person – getting people to try our products. Usually at in-store demo’s, or at events where there is a large captive audience like the San Francisco Street Food Festival or San Francisco Specialty Food Show.

On a larger format, we’ve collaborated with Haagen-Dazs on a new ice-cream flavor involving our Irish Flapjacks for their new Artisan Ice Cream Collection.

What is the one lesson you would like to share with other small business owners—especially those who are struggling to change the way they do business in the current climate?

Be open to change and seek advice from mentors in your industry. Mentor’s usually have invaluable insight and information on how to run your business more successfully and efficiently.

What is it about running a small business brings you joy and satisfaction?       clairesquares     

Seeing the reaction in people’s faces when they try a Clairesquare (our signature product) for the first time has always brought immense satisfaction to us and is one of the key ingredients that keeps us moving forward.

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