Walk into any Whole Foods store that carries Kuli Kuli Bars and you’re likely to find someone who knows Barbara Curtis. Sometimes, when I walk into the store in my Kuli Kuli gear, ready to cut up samples and persuade customers of the benefits of Kuli Kuli Bars, Whole Foods team members will come up to me and ask “Oh, are you the daughter?”
Five months ago, when we hit our first Whole Foods store in Oakland, my mother asked how she could help. I told her the wisdom that many food entrepreneurs had passed onto me: the best way to launch a new food product is to go into the store and do demos (sampling events). We’re now in 40 stores across the Bay Area, including 26 Whole Foods stores. My mother has demoed in just about every one of them.
The Sunshine Ambassador
Fearless and full of warmth, my mom is the perfect saleswoman. But she’s not just doing sales. When I got overwhelmed by the hundreds of emails a week that I was receiving from the combined customer support inbox (firstname.lastname@example.org) and my own Kuli Kuli email address, my mother offered to step in and answer some of the customer emails.
She’s now our official “Sunshine Ambassador” who answers all of the email@example.com emails and runs many of our demos. And she does all of this in her free time, when she’s not working as a dentist. Though dentistry is a far more lucrative profession, my mom often brags to my dad that other food companies keep trying to recruit her as their Sunshine Ambassador because she’s so incredible at it. But, as she tells them, “I’m only doing this for my daughter’s company.” I’m still not sure how I got so lucky.
Happy Mother’s Day Mom!