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|Edible Commerce Helps Food Companies Grow|
|Published Thursday, January 19, 2017|
Above: Noah Munro, founder. Below: Website mock-ups for Laurel Hill Jams and Jellies, a client of Edible Commerce. Photo by Christine Carignan.
After helping his family successfully launch and brand The Mill Fudge Factory & Ice Cream Cafe in Bristol, Noah Munro decided his next career would be helping other food entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
Munro is now the founder and food business consultant of Edible Commerce, a NH-based consulting and marketing agency helping food businesses with a range of services, including developing a startup strategy, packaging and shipping, branding and pricing, and developing PR and marketing strategies.
And his advice is worth listening to. He helped his father, David Munro, and stepmother, Linda Carmichael, found a startup fudge and ice cream business in a 1700s gristmill in Bristol in 2005 into a thriving business he managed that includes a cafe and music venue. Now the company has an e-commerce website, selling over $400,000 of fudge online to every state in the United States. Five years ago, he developed a fundraising program that has since raised $60,000 for nonprofits.
“We went from an old building with a dirt basement to a vibrant centerpiece of downtown Bristol employing 10 to 15 people,” Munro says. “It is a profitable business. We’ve grown sales every year,” by 5 to 20 percent, he says. The Mill Fudge Factory was recognized as one of the top three fudge companies in America by MSN.com and one of the top five fudge shops in America by Cooking with Paula Deen magazine.
Munro, who is still a partner in Mill Fudge Factory, grew restless to start a venture of his own. “When I started thinking what is next for me, I thought of the mistakes we made and realized we could help people in the food industry avoid costly mistakes and pursue their dreams more quickly,” he says.
In 2012, he earned his MBA at Babson College with a focus on entrepreneurship and marketing. He formed Edible Commerce in February 2015 while still working in the fudge business, and, by January 2016, he was full time with his new venture, having formed strategic partnerships with a food photographer, blogger, graphic designer and PR consultant.
His first client was Hampshire Toffee in Moultonborough. Edible Commerce helped the fledgling company develop a logo, create an e-commerce site, and conduct a professional photo shoot of her product as well as SEO work to place her higher in search engines. He also set up a social media and email marketing strategy. “She’s definitely emerged from having a really good product to having a brand,” he says.
Most of Munro’s clients are in NH, but he also has clients in Massachusetts, Maine, Pennsylvania and even one in England. Edible Commerce now counts among its clients Laurel Hill Jams and Jellies in Bedford, Mill Fudge Factory, Minus the Moo in Boston, Sap Hound Maple Company in Maine and Little Acre Gourmet Foods in Dover. “Starting any small business is challenging, but starting a small food business is more so,” Munro says, noting it includes dealing with food labels, USDA regulations and enticing people to taste your product. “Having a food background helps me speak their language,” he says.
For more information, visit ediblecommerce.com.
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