This week’s stop on Martin’s All-American Road Trip was New York City, so we thought we’d do a throwback post about when we first entered the New York City market.
We started getting into stores there in 1987, and it took us a few years of telling people about our rolls, “spreading the word,” to get into most grocery stores there. The wholesaler who first started in the Big Apple was Joe Aloia. Now, Joe had a big voice and he was not shy. The first day that he was scheduled to stock Martin’s Potato Rolls in a grocery store in Yonkers, he arrived ready to showcase Martin’s Potato Rolls. However, he couldn’t find the store manager anywhere. After looking around for a while, he decided to do something that was, well, a bit unorthodox. There was a microphone there that he knew was for all-store announcements, and he got an idea. What better way to tell people about our products than over a microphone! So, he got on that microphone, introduced himself, and proceeded to tell the entire store about Martin’s amazingly delicious Potato Rolls! When he was finished, he saw the store manager coming towards him and thought, “Oh dear, I hope I didn’t just get myself into trouble.”
Fortunately, the first words out of the store manager’s mouth were, “Wow! Now that’s the way to introduce your product to the customers! That was great!”
And thus began a great relationship with that store. Soon after, our presence and popularity in the New York City area grew and grew and, to this day, New York City is one of our largest markets. We love New York!
Pictured below are the first truck that delivered Martin’s Potato Rolls to New York City and the first big display that we got in a store there.
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