A Pretty Sweet Decade
10 years is a long time…but we bet it flies when you’re having this much fun! Congratulations are in order for our ifiGOURMET Veteran and Marketing Director, Shelly Kreml. In this honorary blog, we sit down with Kreml and learn about her time with our company with some fun Q & A's..
In 2009, Kreml was hired on as a Marketing Coordinator with a drive to do and accomplish more. She immediately developed the ifiGOURMET brand with designing collateral, the website, email campaigns, and the company’s largest presence at the IBIE Trade Show up to that point. After working diligently her first year, she was ready to take on a new role: Marketing Director.
Years later, Kreml manages her own team and continues to serve as the Director of Marketing.
Transparency and Trust. Transparency with our products, with our manufacturing partners, and with our company. I like to give as much information to our customers as they request, because it’s not just about the products that they buy, but what they get out of it that helps them become more successful. We are in the business of helping. Part of our success is great design. Just like some people “eat with their eyes” the same concept applies when being drawn to good packaging, a well-designed catalog and clear messaging in a trade show booth. Marketing is a bit like flirting, it’s all about the laws of attraction and I am a firm believer that design is the foundation for any marketing success.
Looking back, Kreml tells us about some of her favorite times at ifiGOURMET.
When St Michel (Jean Ducourtieux) sent our team to France the summer of 2014. We were in the parade for the Tour De France that drove through the French countryside into the streets of Paris! We rode hot air balloons near Cellettes, France and visited amazing French villages with fantastic food, scenery and people. I couldn’t recreate the experience if I tried, it was a once in a lifetime trip.
When my colleague, Pierrick, and I found out we were going up in a hot air balloon, we both started to panic a little because neither of us are big fans of heights. So we paired up, figuring two chickens should stick together. Pierrick told the hot air balloon operator to keep the balloon low and we were hanging on for dear life while waving and yelling Bonjour to the farmers below us. Yes, we were so low that we could have conversations with the people on the ground! Later, we crash landed, sideways, into someone’s vineyard and the landowners came out to meet us and help fold up the balloon. It was a great time, but I’ll never ride in a hot air balloon again.
Luker’s Chocolate Covered Golden Berries! They are also called physalis or gooseberry. They grow in Peru and are really tangy, slightly sweet and are dried and covered in dark chocolate. I would eat them at my desk daily and was so disappointed when they didn’t sell and the company had to discontinue them. I’m still trying to bring them back- maybe even just for a snack.
Working with the manufacturers and being able to travel to visit their facilities. I have had many amazing experiences! Getting “Lukerized” in Colombia by Luker Chocolate is definitely at the top. I was able to travel to South America, explore Casa Luker, tour their plant, walk around Bogota and eat delicious food (all with a good friend and an amazing chef by my side). They flew us to their farm, Granja Luker (a cocoa research center) to learn about their education and training model for their farmers, agroforestry and Cacao Fino de Aroma. This is where I developed a love for chocolate and even planted my own cocoa tree! I’ve also made Gelato in Germany at Dreidoppel, tasted macarons freshly made at Franck Deville in France and taste tested croissants with the chefs at DGF, which were all incredible experiences that I will never forget. Our manufacturing partners are amazing to work with and instrumental in helping me do my job well.
I LOVE working directly with the chefs. I get the amazing opportunity to work with them on recipe ideas using our products, working on photo shoots, and organizing pastry demonstrations. My favorite part is collaborating on an idea and then seeing how the chef interpreted the recipe- it’s always better than what I expected or envisioned. With food, you get to see an idea come alive and you get to taste it- which is even better.
During my 10 years at ifiGOURMET we have grown leaps and bounds and have added many people to the company. You would think that would turn us more strict and corporate, but we have been successful in keeping the culture people-focused where everyone matters and makes an impact. That kind of commitment makes a difference and you will see, if you follow our social media, how many of our employees have been with the company for years and that we celebrate it.
Let's Get Personal
Although Kreml loves her career, she swears she has a life outside of it too! 😉 Kreml is married, has a 17 year old son, and loves to travel.
10 years came and went and so much has happened in between. We are thrilled to have Kreml as a part of the ifiGOURMET team and hope for another 10 years. Thank you and congratulations!