In the early 1990s, Jonathan King and Jim Stott were “two broke guys” who enjoyed giving their homemade jams and chutneys as gifts. A friend suggested they sell their concoctions at a local farmers market, so they hand-labeled 300 jars and set them out—selling out on their very first try. Stonewall Kitchen, the brand they cofounded, now has 10 retail stores in the Northeast, a catalog business, a wholesale business stocking merchandise in 6,000 retail locations nationwide, an international business in 42 countries, and an e-commerce website.
“This is an American Dream kind of story,” says Janine Somers, director of marketing and direct-to-consumer sales. “Jon and Jim were natural product developers.” They were also savvy brand builders who launched their website in 1999—using digital marketing to spread the word about their delectable jams, jellies, condiments, prepared foods, and snacks.
“Our web presence allows our brand to come to life digitally so that customers everywhere can experience the Stonewall Kitchen lifestyle.”
Janine Somers, director of marketing and direct-to-consumer sales
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Google tools help Stonewall Kitchen grow their business in a competitive marketplace. They use AdWords, Google’s advertising program, to bring foodies searching for gourmet goodies and gifts to their website. “In 2016, we saw a 42 percent increase in revenue directly attributed to AdWords,” Janine says. Google Analytics also equips the company with vital business intelligence. “We have a complicated infrastructure and multiple systems that don’t always report the same data,” Janine explains. “But Google Analytics has a wealth of data that lets us see trends and gain actionable insights about our customers, website traffic, and marketing campaigns.”
Stonewall Kitchen has 383 employees.
Stonewall Kitchen adds over 100 jobs during the holiday season, and all of the manufacturing for their “wet” products, such as their jams, jellies, and salsas, is done in their York facility. They also give back through community outreach programs and charitable funding. “We’ve come a long way from the farmers market, but we haven’t forgotten the support from our local community,” Janine says. The business meanwhile shows no signs of slowing down. “We’d love to see our website sales continue to grow at a double-digit rate,” she remarks. They also plan to increase international sales, which are now 10 percent of their business. “Google helps us create a strong, integrated web presence, which is a really important piece of our overall business,” says Janine.
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