Tangletown Gardens in Minneapolis has a lot to offer its community-focused, slow-food-oriented customers. It owns a farm where it grows plants and fruit and vegetables for its farmer’s market. The farm also supplies its restaurant, Wise Acre Eatery, with fresh produce and meat.
Challenge: The garden center itself is small and urban. How can it successfully convey its ties to its farm?
Solution: Create a series of events that either bring the farm to the city, or take the urbanites to the farm. Below are some of the events that solidify their image:
A farm field day allows families to see farm animals and growing plants and enjoy a picnic lunch. “They’ll get the personal side of our business,” says co-owner Scott Endres. There’s a $10 honor-system fee for the picnic lunch – grilled veggies and bratwurst made from the farm’s pork or beef. Condiments and salads came from Wise Acre Eatery’s kitchen.
A recent block party benefited a Minneapolis neighborhood hit by a tornado, which destroyed much of its urban forest. The event even attracted the mayor. “It makes us look like knights in shining armor,” says Endres. “We want to give back in ways that promote our business.”
A luxury version of the field day is a catered dinner at the farm. “It’s over the top, all the stops pulled out for this magical dinner. We set up in an idyllic setting, give them a grand tour and make sure they have something in their glasses at all times,” Endres says. Customers pay $190 per person, and attendance is limited to 70 people.