Selling Richters Herbs to Local Chefs
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Wendy Gibson
Posted on: February 11, 2003

I am a long-time buyer of your wonderful herbs and have just started a small herb business in my back yard. We live in downtown Peterborough, Ontario and since I have great local restaurant contacts, I am concentrating on selling fresh cut herbs to restaurants. I started with just one restaurant last summer to get a feel for things. This went really well and I am ready to start selling to more restaurants. Since most of the local chefs are familiar with the high quality of Richters Herbs, I was wondering if I could actively promote the fact that I use your herbs in my brochure and on my website.

Thank you for the kind words about Richters herb plants and seeds. We live and breathe herbs here so we very much appreciate it when customers tell us how much they like our products.

By all means, you may mention Richters in your marketing materials. The fact that we an ongoing program to search for and select the best varieties is, we think, a big reason why many growers, chefs, and herbalists have come to trust our plants and seeds, This has helped win your new business some all important credibility.

I would provide fresh cut herbs to most chefs and herb plants to those chefs who have home gardens that supply their restaurants. Would I be able to use your name and herb photos from your magnificent site to illustrate my brochure and website...with full credit of course?

We get asked over and over if we rent or lend our images for use elsewhere. Unfortunately, we have had problems with our images being used without permission in the past. We concluded that the only way to really prevent unauthorized use is to limit their use to Richters catalogues, website and other promotional material that we produce. However, we do have a few other images we don’t use in our own materials that we could lend to you. If you send us a list of herbs you are looking for we may be able to help you depending on what we have in our image library.

Although you are interested in culinary herbs, if you wanted images of medicinal herbs also, there is the excellent CD of images by Steven Foster which we offer. These are royalty-free images of over 100 top medicinal herbs. They can be used in catalogues, websites, packaging, etc. Unfortunately, there is not anything similar available for culinary and aromatic herbs as far as we know, though if there were one, we think it would attract a lot of interest.

I bring your catalogue with me to the chefs and let them pick what herbs they would like me to grow for them. Or I save them a trip by picking up the plants that they want to put in their own gardens. I know that I can only make 40% profit if I buy in bulk. However, I will probably be selling to only about 6 or so restaurants this year. Could you tell me what the minimum order would be to get a wide variety of plants?

To buy plants wholesale, the minimum order is 72 plants, 3 per variety. It doesn’t matter what the mix of varieties as long as you meet the minimums.

I probably should ask about selling the seeds, too, in case chefs wanted to start their own plants. Any suggestions you could give me would be greatly appreciated!

The minimums for seed packets are 100 packets, 10 per variety.

I realize that as a fledgling business you may have trouble meeting these minimums as you begin to take orders from your customers. If this is the case, we can make exceptions for a year or two until you are established and your orders begin to meet the minimums. As long as any business is a bona fide retailer of herb plants and seeds, we are happy to help where we can.

You can contact our commercial department (commercial@richters.com) if you think you need us to make exceptions. Please include a copy of this message when you write.

Best wishes for your new business. You will find that the herb business is a great business to be in, with special people who appreciate a special product, it makes the hard work of growing and selling herbs a true pleasure.

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