Customer story   

Minnesota Bakery “Brake Bread” Rises to Increase Basket Size by 50%

Bakery
eCommerce + Delivery Tech

February 2021­­
Sourdough bread delivered to your home on a bike: Could you dream up a trendier pandemic business? But “Brake Bread” of St. Paul, Minnesota has been slinging naturally leavened loaves since 2014. It’s just that during the pandemic, they have found a higher gear.

Started by Micah and Nate to deliver bread on bikes to neighbors during a snowstorm, the partners built it into a retail store. They kept the bike delivery, though retail became most of their business. In March 2020, of course, the entire business model flipped. The amazing thing is the Brake Bread team rose to the occasion and are in a better position than ever.

The Numbers

While delivery used to be 25% of their business, by September 2020 it was 90 percent. While they had celebrated a landmark 300 delivery subscribers in March, they had 3x’d that by September.

It all happened so fast they had no time to change from their basic CSA (community-supported agriculture) membership management software, which is far from the GetSwift ecommerce + delivery software that includes everything from frontend and backend interfaces, real-time inventory, business data, marketing, payments, delivery routing, and more.

“Come summertime, it was obvious that we were spending too much admin time on our former system, and people were having a hard time navigating it. If we were going to be a delivery-focused business, it made a lot of sense to invest in a quality interface and quality software,” said Brake Bread delivery manager Kaitlyn Howell.

What attracted the team to GetSwift?

Despite all their tech and data needs, it was GetSwift’s beautiful, story-focused web templates that first caught Howell’s eye. All businesses signing up with the platform get their website connected to their new store, features like a producers’ page highlighting the other local makers sold on the platform, and spots to tell their unique story and marketing at every stage of the buyer’s journey.

“People get excited about the story, they click on the store, and they’re in,” Howell said.

“There’s no steps they have to go through,” she added.

What happened after adopting GetSwift

Now for the first time the Brake Bread team could set goals because they knew exactly where their products were at all times, and they had stats like average order size. In October, after launching the new GetSwift-powered store, they set a goal of a $12 average basket per order. By year’s end, it was $15.74.

It’s not that adopting GetSwift has led to so many more subscribers. It’s that they now get more from each customer, who are encouraged to subscribe but can also order a la carte.

“There’s a quicker turnaround between somebody subscribing and somebody participating,” Howell said.

“There’s a quicker turnaround between somebody subscribing and somebody participating,” Howell said.
“Sign up is intuitive. The button in the top right corner is obvious. Folks can put in all their info up front so they can get that out of the way,” Howell said.

Another big plus–Brake Bread now gets real-time performance numbers on products and days of the week. Howell likes the Quick dashboard that shows the week’s sales and how a certain weekday did compared to last. If Tuesday sales have been falling, the team can allocate from marketing resources to that day. The platform offers easy features like promotions, discounts codes, email reminders.

Brake Bread is also able to see exactly when an item – such as the cookie of the week – is running out and get ready to change it out. When a customer orders, it’s automatically reflected in the company’s inventory numbers, something that’s somewhat of a revelation for a business used to doing brick-and-mortar retail.

“Running a retail bakery is very different than running a delivery bakery. The numbers are tighter and easier to manage when you don’t have the expected overage if you don’t know how many people are going to come in the shop,” Howell said.

The Year of 2021

2021 started off strong with average ticket sales still above their $12 goal, much higher than the under $10 Howell estimates it was one year ago.

As more people get more from Brake Bread – from their breads to their partners’ jams, coffee, honey, and bicycle supplies, it’s looking like it’s going to be a year full of lots of crunchy, flavorable, healthy breads for lots of Minnesotans.

With a focus on data such as average order size, it’s giving the business an even more renewed drive, Howell said.

“We’re at the point now where we are hoping to increase that number and think of all the things we can do with higher profit, hopefully. There’s a lot of things that 2021 can bring us.”

At a Glance

Brake Bread is a subscription-based and on-demand bakery that makes naturally leavened bread & more, delivering on bikes in St. Paul, Minnesota
To manage 3x more subscribers, replaced old software with GetSwift’s eCommerce + Delivery Tech in October 2020
For the first time, they could see and set sales goals such as average basket size. Set goal of $12.
In fact, average order size increased to nearly $16, or about 50%.

At a Glance

Brake Bread is a subscription-based and on-demand bakery that makes naturally leavened bread & more, delivering on bikes in St. Paul, Minnesota
To manage 3x more subscribers, replaced old software with GetSwift’s eCommerce + Delivery Tech in October 2020
For the first time, they could see and set sales goals such as average basket size. Set goal of $12.
In fact, average order size increased to nearly $16, or about 50%.
February 2021­­
Sourdough bread delivered to your home on a bike: Could you dream up a trendier pandemic business? But “Brake Bread” of St. Paul, Minnesota has been slinging naturally leavened loaves since 2014. It’s just that during the pandemic, they have found a higher gear.

Started by Micah and Nate to deliver bread on bikes to neighbors during a snowstorm, the partners built it into a retail store. They kept the bike delivery, though retail became most of their business. In March 2020, of course, the entire business model flipped. The amazing thing is the Brake Bread team rose to the occasion and are in a better position than ever.

The Numbers

While delivery used to be 25% of their business, by September 2020 it was 90 percent. While they had celebrated a landmark 300 delivery subscribers in March, they had 3x’d that by September.

It all happened so fast they had no time to change from their basic CSA (community-supported agriculture) membership management software, which is far from the GetSwift ecommerce + delivery software that includes everything from frontend and backend interfaces, real-time inventory, business data, marketing, payments, delivery routing, and more.

“Come summertime, it was obvious that we were spending too much admin time on our former system, and people were having a hard time navigating it. If we were going to be a delivery-focused business, it made a lot of sense to invest in a quality interface and quality software,” said Brake Bread delivery manager Kaitlyn Howell.

What attracted the team to GetSwift?

Despite all their tech and data needs, it was GetSwift’s beautiful, story-focused web templates that first caught Howell’s eye. All businesses signing up with the platform get their website connected to their new store, features like a producers’ page highlighting the other local makers sold on the platform, and spots to tell their unique story and marketing at every stage of the buyer’s journey.

“People get excited about the story, they click on the store, and they’re in,” Howell said.

“There’s no steps they have to go through,” she added.

What happened after adopting GetSwift

Now for the first time the Brake Bread team could set goals because they knew exactly where their products were at all times, and they had stats like average order size. In October, after launching the new GetSwift-powered store, they set a goal of a $12 average basket per order. By year’s end, it was $15.74.

It’s not that adopting GetSwift has led to so many more subscribers. It’s that they now get more from each customer, who are encouraged to subscribe but can also order a la carte.

“There’s a quicker turnaround between somebody subscribing and somebody participating,” Howell said.

“There’s a quicker turnaround between somebody subscribing and somebody participating,” Howell said.
“Sign up is intuitive. The button in the top right corner is obvious. Folks can put in all their info up front so they can get that out of the way,” Howell said.

Another big plus–Brake Bread now gets real-time performance numbers on products and days of the week. Howell likes the Quick dashboard that shows the week’s sales and how a certain weekday did compared to last. If Tuesday sales have been falling, the team can allocate from marketing resources to that day. The platform offers easy features like promotions, discounts codes, email reminders.

Brake Bread is also able to see exactly when an item – such as the cookie of the week – is running out and get ready to change it out. When a customer orders, it’s automatically reflected in the company’s inventory numbers, something that’s somewhat of a revelation for a business used to doing brick-and-mortar retail.

“Running a retail bakery is very different than running a delivery bakery. The numbers are tighter and easier to manage when you don’t have the expected overage if you don’t know how many people are going to come in the shop,” Howell said.

The Year of 2021

2021 started off strong with average ticket sales still above their $12 goal, much higher than the under $10 Howell estimates it was one year ago.

As more people get more from Brake Bread – from their breads to their partners’ jams, coffee, honey, and bicycle supplies, it’s looking like it’s going to be a year full of lots of crunchy, flavorable, healthy breads for lots of Minnesotans.

With a focus on data such as average order size, it’s giving the business an even more renewed drive, Howell said.

“We’re at the point now where we are hoping to increase that number and think of all the things we can do with higher profit, hopefully. There’s a lot of things that 2021 can bring us.”

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