H&C News meets with suppliers regularly to keep up to date with the latest product and service innovations, aiming to get the inside track on what companies offer to the market and how it is delivered. This week, we met with Wendy Baird, founder of ‘Just Add Strawberries’ at their offices in Nottingham to gain a better understanding of the business. It was a revelation as Just Add Strawberries provides hotels with adult hampers for guests.
A bit of Background – Simon and Wendy Baird (brother and sister) have traded from The Picnic Basket, a deli style sandwich shop on Carrington Street Nottingham for over 20 years and have seen many changes in that time. Recently the area has attracted lots of attention from Tesco Express, Sainsbury’s Local, Subway and Greggs, seeing all opening stores within metres of The Picnic Basket. So when Starbucks started to renovate an old pub across the road, the duo decided it was time to ‘think outside the box’ or ‘hamper’…
H&C News – Picnic Baskets to Erotic Hampers, is an interesting transition, where did the idea come from?
Wendy – “We’ve always managed to compete with the chains by being the best at what we do. Our freshly made to order rolls and sandwiches with over 50 quality fillings and 15 different breads are well known and we are lucky to have a large base of loyal customers.
However, we realised that Starbucks could affect us more than the others as we might lose some of the less loyal ‘passing coffee trade’ and then when we heard a Nero’s was planned a few doors down, we knew we had to come up with something different.
We have a licence to sell alcohol and we have provided tailored Picnic Baskets and Christmas Hampers for years, so when we had a meeting one evening (in the local pub) we started to joke about how we should start putting sex toys into our Christmas Hampers along with the Cranberry Sauce and Stuffing.
The joking became more focused, we started to think it through a bit more and after a lot of laughter and occasional red faces we came up with Just Add Strawberries. The name says we can provide practically everything needed for an evening of erotic entertainment,and we can, the guest or the hotel just needs to arrange the fresh fruit.
To develop a theme of quality we found antique styled suitcases which are ideal for holding luxury chocolates, elegant wines alongside a few ‘toys’ and ‘oils’ to complete the evening.
H&C News – So Wendy, how can hotels benefit from your hampers?
Wendy – There are a number of ways hotels can benefit, primarily by offering more in room purchasing options that compliment and help cross sell the existing range. An example being that we supply the hampers without wine, so that hotels can increase wine sales on room service.
Hotel guests arrange to have their own standard or bespoke hampers and the hotel makes sure it is in the guest’s room on arrival. Our website will show visitors which hotels facilitate our hampers that can be ordered easily and discretely. This is a great way to generate new guests through extending the reach of your hotel through our website, where our products are already popular.
H&C News – Any new products in development?
Our latest innovation is a package designed specifically for hotels, the small pack will easily fit in a draw as a ‘special gift’ item for your favourite guests or as a chargeable ‘extra’ in or near the mini bar.
Along with ‘necessities’ for a romantic overnight stay, the pack also contains a Sensual Suggestion! Sensual suggestions are printed on the reverse of a collectable erotic art card and presented in a sealed black envelope inside the pack adding a touch of unique fun.
If you would like further information about ‘Just Add Strawberries’ and/or to apply for a free sample please just send an email.
H & C News comment
When we met Wendy and learned about the business we left thinking why hasn’t anyone done this already, a simple idea, like most of the best ones and delivered by a company that we think has a very bright future. One to watch and remember where you saw them first…