Exclusive interview: Q&A with Wolferman's Bakery
Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery was recently able to speak with Michelle Farabaugh, chief marketing officer, Harry & David, about Wolferman's new brand positioning.
Liz Parker: Why did Wolferman’s decide to change its brand positioning?
Michelle Farabaugh: This is the time of year we unveil our new seasonal selections and classic gourmet gifts in preparation for the upcoming holiday season – so it’s the perfect time to introduce our new brand positioning. The repositioning is an important part of our strategy to introduce new consumers to the brand when they are choosing quality products to complete their gift lists or for their own holiday entertaining needs.
Positioning Wolferman’s Bakery as an authentic bakery allows us to appeal to shoppers in search of more meaningful gifts to celebrate the season with family and friends and to firmly position the brand as a choice for other holidays and occasions throughout the year, such as birthdays, sympathy and thank you.
We have done a great deal of customer and industry research over the past year to ensure we’re connecting with today’s consumer in the most relevant ways, while continuing to provide them with the product selection and service they desire.
Our research revealed a prime opportunity for us to raise awareness of the Wolferman’s Bakery brand, capitalizing on the positive perceptions that both customers and non-customers have of Wolferman’s as a quality purveyor of baked goods.
The findings helped shape key elements of the Wolferman’s new look and feel, establishing the brand as Wolferman’s Bakery with an authoritative bakery voice and bakery-themed imagery.
Wolferman’s Bakery has been famous for its Super-Thick English Muffins for more than 100 years, but we also offer an incredible array of delicious pastries, desserts, and easy entrees perfect for brunch, dinner, and everything in between.
Positioning the brand as a real bakery is critical to:
- Appeal to a broader range of shoppers;
- Reinforce the message that customers have 24/7 access to the same fresh taste and high-quality premium bakery products they’d find in a local bakery, with the convenience of at-home delivery;
- Raise awareness of our expertise and authority as bakers;
- And demonstrate our unique ability to help customers express, connect and celebrate with others every day.
LP: How did the brand get started?
MF: Wolferman’s has been a proud purveyor of specialty foods for more than 100 years, originating as a small Kansas City grocery store in 1888 when Fred Wolferman created the now-famous English muffins using tuna cans as molds baked over a fiery open griddle.
As the store’s assortment expanded, so did its popularity, growing to include eight retail locations and 500 employees and maintaining its longstanding reputation as a premium food purveyor until the last store closed in 1984.
LP: How did Wolferman’s become a part of the Harry & David and 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. brands?
MF: In 2008, Wolferman’s was purchased by gourmet gifting brand, Harry & David – based in Medford, OR.
Wolferman’s became part of the 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. family of brands when Harry & David was acquired by the company in 2014. Today, Wolferman’s Bakery continues to delight customers with more than 200 delicious sweet and savory gourmet goods for every taste and occasion, many of which are hand-made from scratch in the Harry & David bakery.While browsing the online bakery, customers can explore the complete collection of muffins and breads, pastries and baked goods, and gourmet brunch and pantry items, including:
- Muffins and Breads: Three sizes of English muffins in more than 12 delicious flavors, English muffin bread, bagels, scones, muffins and waffles.
- Pastries & Baked Goods: Cakes, cheesecakes, croissants, cookies and brownies and sweet-rolls.
- Gourmet Brunch and Pantry: Eggs benedict, quiches, coffee cakes, butters, Fruit Preserves, honey, and coffee.
The Wolferman’s online bakery also provides a variety of expertly-curated options including gluten free products for easy gourmet gifting and entertaining, including thoughtful bakery baskets and totes, elegant gift boxes and towers, and perfectly prepared meals all delivered fresh to customers’ doors.
LP: What’s next for Wolferman’s? Any new products?
MF: We are constantly assessing food trends and listening to our customers and will continue to evolve the Wolferman’s Bakery assortment of specialty foods based on consumer feedback and purchasing trends.
We are committed to engaging with our customers to understand how we can help them provide solutions for their celebratory and gifting needs.
We are excited to introduce a variety of new gourmet pastries, flavorful breads, and delicious desserts into the Wolferman’s Bakery assortment, including Maple-Glazed Sweet Rolls, Davidovich Muffins, Italian Herb and Cheese Pull Apart Bread, Cheesy Onion and Garlic Rolls, Banana and Chocolate Bundt Cake, Triple Berry Chocolate Cheesecake and Classic Chocolate Brownies, just to name a few.