2 Years of Vafels - Newsletter
The purpose of this newsletter is two-fold.
I’d like to share with you an exciting short-term initiative that contributes to Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) in this time of crisis.
Secondly, I’ll share a few milestones that Vafels has had in the last two years with you, our loyal customer base, while lending transparency to the effects that COVID-19 has had on Vafels, and our strategy moving forward. I’m a strong believer in clear communication that brings the community closer and only transparent reflection can do that in a time like this. Read on.
Our initiative to contribute in a time of crisis:
Between now and April 1, we’ve partnered with Orucase on an initiative to get surgical masks made to assist during this health care crisis. With every order placed before April 1, Vafels will donate 5 surgical masks for health care workers in need. Remember, free shipping on orders over $50 and delivery within the city of Boulder, CO as always.
Vafels’ milestones in the last two years followed by our expectations & strategy moving forward.
May 2018: Neptune Mountaineering opened their cafe in Boulder, CO and was the first account to carry Vafels.
December 2018: marked the first month that broke $5,000 in gross sales.
June/July/August 2019: set new records and welcomed Sara Sutherland, professional runner and fellow gustatory enthusiast as my closest team member to push Vafels forward while juggling Vafels’ production and fulfillment duties and simultaneously upholding Project Supertraining Foundation in an effort to inspire philanthropy in sport.
December 2019: another sales record set.
Mid-month, Vafels lost 67% of its accounts (cafes & small grocers across the country) due to temporary closures. Acquisitions of Vafels as new products have come to a screeching halt.
Meanwhile, Vafels crested another record month pushing the new sales benchmark.
- For every order placed in the last week of March 2020, 5 surgical masks will be donated to health care workers lacking in PPE.
- Vafels begins a full analysis of business growth strategy, in-depth market research, cost of operations & product development to build on its vision to manufacture plant-based novelties superior in ingredients and quality.
Due the uncertainty of the market, I was put in a difficult position of downsizing Vafels in an effort to protect it from going into severe debt in the following months. Sara Sutherland has been invaluable in helping Vafels grow in total sales, release the mighty Maple Vafel (which swelled to instant success), and getting Vafels into new hands all around the country including accounts in New York, Washington, D.C., Seattle, California etc… Unfortunately, Vafels will lose its capacity to support Sara and much of its assistance in production & fulfillment. I’m ready to stand up to this challenge because I believe in Vafels’ resilience as a brand and potential in the food industry. I believe Vafels offers an unparalleled product and will come out of this recession/depression, whichever it turns into - ahead. Anyone that knows me knows that I welcome the challenge persevere in difficult conditions. I’m moving forward on Vafels full-gas with the hope that this is a short moment in time that allows me to welcome Sara back in future months to build Vafels to its full potential. Until then, Sara will have my full support in her pursuit of success on the track with Saucony. I welcome you to follow her as well!
April 2020 and beyond: Sales projections may be as low as 50% of 2020 Q1 months. I will be stepping in on nearly all production hours to keep operations costs as low as possible. Vafels will continue to fulfill all orders as it has. The more, the better. Some orders may be delayed due to worldwide supply chain challenges, but nothing egregious. Eg. Gluten-Free Vafels is on a roughly 7 business day delay, for example.
I understand that the Vafels community is close-knit. I’m working on Vafels most hours of the day and there’s no uncertainty that I’ll do whatever I can to make this ship sail. Vafels has a maintained a 50% returning customer rate for months and this March has showcased a 62% returning customer rate, which blows my mind. Thanks so much for sticking with me and with Vafels. The fat lady hasn’t sung her song, yet!
I hope you've enjoyed this very transparent newsletter. I'm happy to lend visibility into the inner workings of a start-up and you have helped me enormously.