1. Lucila - What is an Alfajor? Why did you decide that making Alfajores should be a business?
Because it's something I grew up with Argentina and I absolutely love them. I started making Alfajores for my kids because I wanted them to have the same childhood memories I had. The business sprung up from there. Anyone that goes to Argentina ends up loving them. All my friends go crazy for them.
2. Lucila - Since Alfajores are a perishable food item, why did you decide to sell Alfajores online?
My idea of the overall business is both wholesale and online. I am not interested in a retail operation. I know that people are out there that seek a great product and so I wanted to fulfill that need.
Joe - This is a specialty product and not readily available. We would like to make it available to the entire US.
3. Joe - You were using WordPress at first why did you decide to change over to using UltraCart?
We decided to go to UltraCart because we were originally using a free online shopping link and there was no scalability to that. Since our product is a high-end product we wanted a high end shopping cart and online sales system to match that…which was Ultracart. I was impressed with UltraCart's scalability, support, and flexibility. The initial thing that attracted me was the security aspect. Then, finding out that we'll never have to upgrade to another system helped firm that decision.
4. Lucila - I thought it was pretty cool when you called to ask how to refund one of your first customers for a slight overage in shipping. It was only $3, so why go to all that trouble for just $3?
Joe - Basically because it's the right thing to do. If you do the right thing by customers, they'll come back. Online shoppers are savvy and they notice how you treat them.
Lucila - If I feel like I'm being ripped off I don't buy. I want my customers to receive a good product at a fair price at all times.
5. Joe - I understand you teach an MBA course in trading because of your success in the markets. How will you use your success in trading to bring Alfajores to every corner of the US?
Trading has helped me to understand proper risk taking and "edge"- edge meaning what separates you from the competition or your competitive advantage over the competition. Trading has taught me how to define "edge" and how to capture it. Knowing how to identify and value your edge relative to the risk you have to take is the key to success. When I saw what Lucila was offering, the quality and uniqueness of her product for the price being charged, it was an easy decision. Her value proposition is clear.
Lucila - Joe has the ability to take care of all the business aspects of the business while I can concentrate on making a great product. We now have a great shopping cart and we have Joe who can pull it all together, he's the right person.
6.Finally Joe and Lucila what is it about Lucila's Homemade that makes it special for you and your customers?
The product. The product speaks for itself. When people that know what Alfajores are find out that I make them, there is a very special connection. People will buy them if they know beforehand what they are. But it is then their friends who do not know anything about Alfajores that are blown away by them. Once you experience the cookie and not just how delicious it is, but also how far we go to create the whole experience from ordering, packaging, freshness, quality, etc. they all come back to buy more.
Joe - when you bite into Lucila's alfajores, you are biting into the Argentine culture and passion for great pastries. I have tried many different alfajores, and Lucila's are by far the best in class.