P*DE*Q Profile: How to Utilize the Fresno Food Expo to Successfully Launch Your Company
P*DE*Q was born out of a food craving and a desire by owner Flavia Takahashi-Flores to open her own business after years of helping develop and launch businesses for a variety of companies.
Born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Flavia was educated as a food engineer and then in 1998 she immigrated to the United States. In 2006, she earned her M.B.A. from California State University, Fresno’s Craig School of Business. Since being in the United States, Flavia has held positions as a food engineer and business development manager for a variety of companies. She loved developing businesses but in 2005 made the decision to take the step to open a business of her own.
Since leaving her home in Brazil, Flavia greatly missed eating pão de queijo, a tapioca-based cheese bread that is a classic snack in Brazil. So, she drew upon that food craving when developing her first business plan for P*DE*Q while completing her M.B.A. at Fresno State. The plan helped Flavia to sharpen her vision, and ignited her dream to start working towards building a business of her own circled around her passion for food. Flavia first worked on the product formulation – her goal was to use the original receipe and adapt it to the American taste, with American products that were natural. Along with the formulation, she worked on the marketing strategy, the business structure and financial backing.
As she learned about the Fresno Food Expo to be held March 11, 2011, Flavia knew that would be her launching pad for P*DE*Q. In the Fall of 2010, she made sure the following pieces were in place in order to effectively launch her product at the Inaugural Fresno Food Expo.
- Production Formulation (tested and accepted by the market)
- Establish a reliable supply chain (From ingredients to packaging supplies to distribution outlets)
- Establish a clear vision of the target market, market strategy and product positioning (prices, packaging, etc.)
- Develop Marketing Tools (website, Facebook, Twitter, business collateral material, product collateral material)
- Establish initial financial funds to launch the business
“The Fresno Food Expo is an incredible platform to launch a business like mine. In one location there are industry peers, buyers, distributors and the public allowing you to make connections needed to successfully launch your business,” said Flavia Takahashi-Flores. “But you must be sure to have all the pieces listed above covered so that when an opportunity presents itself, you can move quickly on it.”
Success from the Fresno Food Expo:
- At least 75% of P*DE*Q’s overall sales can be traced back to various contacts made at the Fresno Food Expo.
- More than 50% of P*DE*Q’s catering customers come from contacts made at Fresno Food Expo.
- The company’s first Point-of-Purchase display is at Sierra Nut House, who was also a fellow exhibitor at the Fresno Food Expo.
- P*DE*Q averages four promotional events a month to further introduce the product to the market and at least one of those events was made possible by a contact established at the Fresno Food Expo.
- Established a strong connection and support from City of Fresno officials and governor services. This has been critical in helping Flavia as she expands her business from finding a manufacturing location, reliable commercial contractors, to locating capital funds.
- In October of 2011, just seven months after the Fresno Food Expo, Flavia will open her own P*DE*Q manufacturing location with a grab-n-go store. Her goal is to have a place where people can eat P*DE*Qs, while watching her staff manufacture the product. Along with baked P*DE*Q, the store will also offer coffee and tea, boba tea, ice-cream, and many products that complement the P*DE*Q flavor.
You can connect with P*DE*Q at the 2012 Fresno Food Expo to be held March 8th or through the contact information below: