Our first shared shop in New York
My team and I have been so lucky to have a storefront on Avenue C within East village in the New York City. The LES Girlsclub provided us with a shared kitchen space for some time. This allowed us to organize our own party and several other events. Meanwhile we were also providing Raw Bites to the community.
They have been big supporters for us. Even so, after six months they did need the kitchen space back and we had to move out.
It is not easy to start selling something new
It was hard to produce food as there were many things to take into consideration. Moreover, the concept of healthy raw foods was not such a common thing back then.
We dropped off hundreds of samples in different stores, thinking this was the way. Sometimes I had the feeling that I was feeding half of New York City for free 😉
Many times, the managers I approached left right after. And sometimes the samples never reached the right person. Yes, it is so hard to sell something new.
There is much to learn when starting your own business. After a while I tried to get better with social marketing. That was something new for me at that time.
The ingredients we used are the most expensive ones. Raw and organic is not so easy to find. Especially in small quantities. I found them mostly in California, since they have been much further in healthy organic food.
They were always my ‘go to companies’ I tried to learn from.
How friends keep things going
At that time, I was pretty stressed out, thinking where I’m going to sell my products. Since I financed the whole production by myself, I knew this is not something I could do on long term. Of course, I still worked as a full time Make Up Artist, otherwise I could’ve never afforded such a hobby.
My friends have all been supporting me with devoting their work or purchasing my products. That was really amazing to see. A business goes on when people believe in you. People believe in Cocorau! This helped us go on and create even more products.
Clemens Kois is my photographer since the early beginning. For me he takes the most authentic and beautiful pictures.
That was also the year the “Juicepress” opened their first store near my home. That is how I was able to meet the founders. We were all hanging out and talked about food and health. They had an incredible impact on NYC to change the way people think about smoothies and juicing.
So, I saw Alain again renovating the first healthy food temple called now “Kollectiv”. He was one of the original founders of the: “Juicepress”.
When he heard what I got myself into and that I am losing my kitchen space, he offered me a place to cook in his kitchen and sell my products.
That being said, we moved there a week later. People believe in Cocorau!
He is the reason why COCORAU is still alive.