Farmstead

Turning a Local Darling Into a National Name

Challenge

Matt & Kate Jennings, the Chef/Owners of Farmstead (gourmet market) and La Laiterie (adjoining restaurant) in Providence, RI, had received high praise and some attention from various local, regional and national media outlets prior to engaging with marlo marketing.  When we began working together in March of 2012, we firmly believed that the Jennings and their restaurant were worthy of more extensive profile features. Matt had been recognized by The James Beard Foundation (2011, 2012, 2013) and was a three-time champion of the prestigious Cochon 555 competition.

When we began our outreach, we learned that the media love Matt and his approach to farm-to-table cuisine. But time and again, the push back we would receive when pitching more extensive features was the lack of any real news hook – Matt wasn’t opening a new restaurant or launching a cookbook – he was just thriving at his restaurant of seven years.


Strategy

To try to counter media resistance and secure Matt the coverage we believed he deserved, the marlo team began a slow, steady and consistent push to highly targeted media outlets in tandem with ongoing relationship fostering in the local media markets of Providence and Boston, where he hoped to one day open a restaurant. While we always had our eye on the prize of a bigger feature, we made sure our work helped drive Farmstead’s business by pitching events in the restaurant, their online retail store, Matt’s expertise in cheese and pork, and his travels around the country working with other chefs.

The marlo team would check in regularly with writer contacts sharing updates on Matt’s activities, and knowing that truly painting a complete picture of him as a chef and — more importantly — contributor to the food & restaurant culture nationwide would take time and patience. We leveraged Matt’s robust social media presence and frequent posts to generate pitch ideas and provide ongoing fodder for media conversations. One such social media interaction culminated (after 1+ year of conversations) with a food section front page feature for Matt in The New York Times.


Results

A full-page (above & below the fold) photo of  Matt standing in a swamp holding an alligator he had just caught accompanied a two page article with a 10-photo spread documenting his participation in a week-long Cook it Raw event with extensive quotes and insights from Matt.

As an added bonus: the piece ended up running the same day as another Farmstead article the marlo team had also secured in The New York Times, this one featuring their shop’s Blue Cheese Shortbread which promptly sold out and went on a 60 day back-order.

In our time working with Farmstead, we secured 150+ media placements in regional and national food, travel, lifestyle and trade outlets including Afar, Art Culinaire, Bon Appetit, Delta Sky, Esquire, Food & Wine, Martha Stewart Living, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Wine Spectator, Yankee and more.

 

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  • Media Coverage