Guest blog post by Red Slice intern, Suzi An.
It’s 2 a.m and my boyfriend and I decide to do some late night grocery shopping. Normally, I shop at Whole Foods where I buy the same brand of whole-wheat sunflower bread. But because they close at 10 p.m., I ended up walking down the street to QFC.
“Suz, come look at this.” Roger is awkwardly holding a loaf of bread with bold colors on the packaging.
“What is that? That’s not my normal loaf of bread,” I say. I shrug my shoulders and continue to walk down the bread aisle looking for my sunflower bread.
“Suz. Come read this!” Fussy and defeated, I walk back towards him.
I grab the bright yellow bag from him and begin to read: I was a four-time loser before I realized I was in the wrong game. 15 years in prison is a pretty tough way to find oneself, but I have no regrets… Immediately I am hooked. Who is this guy spilling his life story on a loaf of bread? I continue reading and realize that this guy created his whole brand on his incredibly story. He was in and out of prison for drugs, assault, and robbery until he realized he needed to change his life: A whole lot of suffering has transformed an ex-con into an honest man who is doing his best to make the world a better place…one loaf of bread at a time. My heart sunk. I turn the bread around and see “Just say no to bread on drugs!” and I cannot believe how clever and fantastic this is. I see that the specific loaf that Roger had grabbed was called GOOD SEED. How cute. A loaf of bread named after Dave’s change. Ultimately, it is Dave’s story, a story that is personal and inspiring, that will make his business and brand successful. And the best part, his products live up to his brand promise. Heavenly Texture and Saintly Flavor. His bread is probably the most texturally pleasing bread I have ever tasted in my life. I practically devour the entire loaf in three days. I am beyond obsessed. As a strong supporter of the green movement and sustainable eating, Dave had won me over with his organic bread, compostable bags, the wind farms, and only providing the Northwest with his mouth-watering bread. He believes everyone deserves a second chance, so most of his employees are ex-cons as well. Dave, can you be anymore fabulous?!
I follow Dave on Twitter and I try to see him at almost every festival where he is present. I recently saw him at the Bite of Seattle where I bought six loaves of bread, a T-shirt, a coloring book, and had the opportunity to meet the guy behind the brand. I feel like a giddy ten-year-old girl! The only words that came out of my mouth were, “I am a huge fan and I eat your bread on a daily basis!” Really? How did I become a “bread groupie”? At least once a week, I tweet “How can I get on Dave’s PR team?” I have yet to receive a response but they seem to reply to everything else I tweet about them.
It’s brands like Dave’s that reaches out to interact with their customers, creates relationships, and has a clear vision of what it wants the brand to do that will be more than successful. I am proud to be a consumer of his bread and will follow Dave wherever he goes. So when can I start?