Biscotti Queen, known as Shannon Fogl to the rest of the world, baked with her grandmother for years and now passes on her Grammy's wonderful biscotti to you. Shannon started Biscotti Queen & Fogl’s Kitchen on Ebay and moved it to Etsy in May 2008. The move was inspired by friend Tracey Greene another Etsy seller.
Originally Shannon offered only baked goods, mainly Italian biscotti created from Grammy’s recipes, in her new Etsy shop. In 2009 jams, jellies and other types of preserves were added to the company’s offerings. All of Fogl's Kitchen's products are created from seasonal produce sourced from local family growers, and from the Fogl’s own small family farm. Due to this sustainable production practice, offerings from Biscotti Queen/Fogl's Kitchen vary with the seasonal availability of ingredients.
Currently available biscotti flavors include: Sweet Vanilla and Confetti; Whole Wheat Honey Cherry; Fresh Lemon; Almond Cranberry; Chocolate Chip and Toffee; Green Tea; Fabulous Orange Cranberry; Fresh Cinnamon and Pecan; Chocolate Black Forest with Pecans and Butterscotch; and Double Chocolate.
The selection of preserves created in Fogl’s Kitchen includes such well recognized favourites as organic Blueberry Syrup, Sweet Apple and Pear Jelly and Apple Butter. Biscotti Queen also offers such temptations as; Caramel Apple Preserves, which cause a stampede of reserve orders on facebook when the imminent creation of the preserves is announced; delicately flavored Lavender and White Clover floral jellies; Hot and Sweet Hot Pepper Jelly; fruit chutneys; sweet mixed fruit preserves; Peter Pecker Pickled Peppers; and a divine Rosemary glaze marinade.
Amongst the clientele of Fogl’s Kitchen/Biscotti Queen are families who are moving away from highly processed foods and GMO raised produce and looking for more organic alternatives. They want to support small family farms over large scale agriculture.
The Fogl’s live on a small one acre hobby farm, where they grow a lot of the produce used in the company’s products. This produce is raised organically and pesticide free. What they don't harvest on site is purchased from the local farms and farmers markets that the Fogl's support, and those farms and farmers also use healthy and sustainable farming practices.
Fogl’s uses many channels of networking outside of Etsy to help meet their customers. Shannon Fogl is on a mission and likes to be able to answer questions from anywhere, so she uses Twitter, Facebook, local farmers markets and a popular website called BackYardChickens.com
Shannon started marketing on Etsy because she found Etsy to be more personal and easier to network on than Ebay. Rather than being lost in a sea of listings, the company got their own shop, with easy access to forums, and to the blogs of other sellers, who work just as hard as Shannon does to bring people a product that isn’t mass produced. The company now feels it is a part of a community of sellers and buyers, not like it is lost in an over crowded bulk store.
Etsy has helped Fogl’s Kitchen to nearly triple their business annually. They find the Etsy site clean and streamlined, not over cluttered with ads or links that confuse the customer. This has made things very easy for new customers to come on the site, sign up and make a purchase quickly without confusion or long validation processes. The shop even gets a short store link, so it fits very nicely on Shannon Fogl's business cards.
Shannon thinks Etsy is a very savvy alternative to setting up and maintaining her own website for sales. The price is nice and making a listing is quick and simple. Shannon, the Biscotti Queen highly recommends giving Etsy a try.
I asked Shannon Fogl what advice she had for newbies just getting started on Etsy and here it is:
“Like any business you are responsible for marketing yourself. Etsy has some GREAT benefits to using their site to get you traffic,as long as you take advantage of the information.
Etsy has a 'treasury' feature that allows sellers and buyers to create groups of their favorite items from several sellers. These treasuries can become frontpage featured for meeting popular search terms, having gorgeous pictures and suggesting items that look very nice together. The team at Etsy make picks for the frontpage by choosing a treasury they think is worthy.
Take advantage and build treasuries of your favorite items when you can. Notify the sellers they were included, and a lot of the time they return the favor by including one of your items in a treasury they create. Being on the frontpage of Etsy is a fabulous way to get traffic and sales.
Also, read Etsy's blog, specificialy the 'sellers handbook' section. It is updated constantly with the popular search terms and word searches on their site. This is very handy for you, to know what searches are being used for popular items. You may find out that 'foxes' are in, and you will probably get increased traffic that month if you have anything to do with foxes in your shop. A popular search could be for weddings, if you have some pretty floral arrangements in your shop that will help draw traffic. Make sure you use all the terms you can to bring your item up in searches directly on Etsy. You get to choose 14 search terms in each listing to describe your item, don't waste them.
Etsy is very new age and all handmade. Unless you are offering great supply items, try not to list mass produced items, it is very frowned upon.
I also want to say it's nice to favorite or 'heart' a shop. Its a great way to network and make new friends. Building blocks for a good sale should never be passed by!"
Fogl's Kitchen can be found on Etsy at:
Here's a special gift from Biscotti Queen for our readers!
A coupon code for 10% off on your next purchase at Fogl's Kitchen: BLOG10
Follow them on Twitter:
Or on their Blog
All images are Copyright Shannon Girouard-Fogl, All Rights Reserved
Copyright Ruth J Jamieson, All Rights Reserved