02 Jan Reflecting on 2016: Lemon Street Market Responds to Customer Feedback
In late February through early March of last year, we launched our first Lemon Street Market customer survey. Over 400 surveys were completed, with responses coming in through our links on Facebook, Instagram, our weekly newsletter, and even through print handouts at the store. The amount of information we were able to gather—regarding what sets Lemon Street Market apart as well as what we could be doing to better meet customer needs—was incredibly informative. While our store has always been built on customer feedback (versus a corporate office), throughout 2016 we have kept this type of feedback at the forefront, guiding many of the decisions and changes we have made. As 2016 comes to a close, we wanted to reflect back on some of these improvements, and welcome additional customer feedback throughout 2017.
We love being a part of Lancaster city life, but parking for Lemon Street Market is limited due to our downtown location. During 2016 we’ve taken steps to provide even more spaces for our customers. We currently have four designated parking spots in front of the store, including one ADA-accessible spot. We offer additional parking at the Boys and Girls Club lot on weekday mornings, weekends, and holidays (see highlighted map here). Look for the parking map handouts at both of our checkouts. Depending on the day and time of your visit, street parking is usually available on both Lemon and Mulberry Streets.
2. Speed and attention at the register
We’ve been discussing customer service regularly at our team meetings, with the goal of providing better assistance to customers. We have added a second register to streamline the checkout process. We have hired a new store manager to focus on training. Lancaster-based artist Jenny Germann has handcrafted beautiful lemon name tags that Lemon Street Market team members wear while they’re working, so that customers can quickly identify who to ask for assistance. We know that your time is valuable, and we’re trying hard to provide an even better experience for you when you stop by.
3. More specials, promotions, and sales
One thing we’ve been experimenting with during 2016 is weekly sales. These are selected items that are placed on sale Tuesday through Friday of each week, while supplies last. The weekly sales are promoted on our Facebook Page (posted Tuesday mornings); our Instagram (also posted Tuesday mornings); on an in-store sign at the checkout counter; and in our weekly email newsletter (sign up here). Weekly sales (along with different, monthly sales) are posted on our website as well. We also offer periodic sales on produce, as those specials become available to us (look for the “Super Sale” signs around the store). While we aren’t always able to offer sales on meat and seafood items, in 2016 we launched a new partnership with John J. Jeffries and Lil’ Ponderosa Ranch that allows us to offer local, grass-fed beef and pastured pork and chicken at lower prices.
We have been using our social media channels to share information about the variety of products we carry, featured vendors, specific items, recipes, specials, seasonal products, store closings, blog posts, and other points of interest related to Lancaster. We’d love it if you followed along with us, and feel free to reach out through any of our channels with questions, comments, or reviews!
During 2016 Lemon Street market hosted 14 events, including free tastings with vendors like Terrace Bloom Tea, Cortazzo Foods, Simply Ghee, Rijuice, Wild For Salmon, Grandview Granola, and Christina Maser Co. In October 2016, we held our first Food Day Lancaster dinner buffet and film screening, in conjunction with Zoetropolis Art House, Culinary Services by Chef Oliver, Abundant Earth Kitchen, the baker’s lover, MiLi’s Bakery, Urban Olive, East King Culinary, and Upohar: Global Flavors Catering. Our June Summer Celebration transformed our parking lot into a pop-up park filled with many of our farmers and vendors offering samples, answering questions, and sharing their stories and missions. Over 400 community members enjoyed snacks, sales, kid’s activities, workshops, and more.
The best place to find out about our upcoming events is the Lemon Street Market Facebook Page. We look forward to hosting and collaborating on even more events throughout 2017, including cooking demonstrations, samplings, workshops, and more. We welcome ideas for workshops, classes, and meetings that community members may wish to hold here. If you wish to contact us with an idea for a class, please email us at info[at]lemonstreetmarket.com.
5. More of everything
Throughout 2016 we have continued to respond to customer requests for specific items. Please contact us if there is something you think we should be carrying. We have increased our selection of fresh, local fruits and vegetables; fresh cuts of beef, pork, and chicken (check the thaw fridge); nut/soy/allergy sensitive items; vegan items including sliced cheese, yogurt, and veggie burgers; teas (loose leaf, bagged, organic, and herbal); flavors of kombucha; gluten free breads (check the freezer); feminine products; Mountain Rose Organics products; and specialty cheeses. Customers can look forward to bulk spices, vitamins, and probiotics, as well as the ability to use your own containers for bulk, in 2017.
We have added the following specific products referenced in customer survey results (and many more!) to our inventory throughout 2016:
- Unsweetened vanilla almond milk without carrageenan
- Fruits and vegetables not wrapped in plastic
- Hard honey candies
- Vegan salads and sandwiches
- Organic lunch meats
- Wheat free bread,
- Powdered buttermilk
- Tortilla chips that are not Utz brand
- Organic essential oils
- Fresh cut flowers (local & seasonal)
- Fermented vegetables
- Bone broth
- Detox teas
- Local, handmade beauty products
- Organic carrots
- Field Roast vegan items
- Milk from Trickling Springs
- Cappello’s paleo pasta
Lemon Street Market has continued to provide pasteurized milk; macadamia nuts; canned black beans; fish; kimchi & other Asian staples; Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP); Linden Farms yogurt (whenever it’s available); bags of staple items (potatoes, onions, etc); and Kefir (whenever it’s available).
The #1 reason most customers shop at Lemon Street Market is because they want to support local business.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. Building and supporting local businesses is a key component of Lemon Street Market’s mission and vision. Many of the products we carry for sale in the store are produced in Lancaster or the surrounding region, including meat, dairy, baked goods, personal care items, gifts, and more (see a partial list of vendors). On any given day, we are receiving deliveries from local, organic/no spray farms and apiaries; local creameries; or freshly baked breads and treats. Our store is special because the products from our vendors are special—the unique, natural, and healthy products that customers often can’t find elsewhere was the second reason most of you chose to shop at Lemon Street Market. Thank you for your support of our community.