SSCS Customer Profile: CoCo Farms (Part 1)

SSCS customer CoCo Farms has crafted an unmistakable image in its New York markets: these are stores where you can get high quality food items that are, indeed, farm fresh. In business since 2012 when its first store opened in Manhattan, the brand has delivered on this promise, time and again, fueling the store’s popularity and rapid growth. Its colorful identity is aptly represented by its logo, a youngster in a straw hat against the backdrop of a farmyard.

“That picture was a part of our early success because people associated it with the wholesome, natural food we emphasized, which distinguished us in market at the time,” explains General Manager Kal Maani. “In the end, of course, it was up to us to meet the customer expectations we created!”

If the rapid spread of CoCo Farms stores from New York City up through the Hudson River Valley, Westchester County, and beyond is any indication, those expectations have been met. Nine stores in this beautiful and historic area—from Yonkers to Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow to the upscale village of Scarsdale—serve a variety of consumers: city people, town folk, commuters, vacationers—a diverse group united by their love for the brand’s high standards.

Maani is no stranger to the c-store industry. He and owner, Hani Sadallah, were both involved in convenience retail previously.

“We Really like building customer relationships,” adds Maani. “Our team enjoys dealing with people and delivering exceptional customer service in each store. The c-store business is a relationship business.”

So while CoCo Farms has made itself a destination stop by carrying the highest quality foods and merchandise—bread from the local bakery; farm laid eggs; breakfast, deli items and salads made in-store; coffee from freshly ground beans—the operation’s success is due in no small part to its unrelenting focus on customer service, a key for anyone in the relationship business.

“It begins with delivering the basics like a clean environment and restrooms,” Maani says. “These types of details shouldn’t be taken for granted—they’re foremost in the customer’s mind and heart. They’re the foundation of a good store experience. They keep people coming back.”

It’s not rare to hear claims of superior customer service within the industry, but Kal has the evidence to back it up. This October Coco Farms received the prestigious Shell Global Smiling Stars Award (eight of CoCo Farms sites sell Shell branded fuel) for operators that maintain an exceptional customer-centric approach. The international recognition took place in Dubai.

How was CoCo Farms measured for this achievement? Be sure to read part 2 next Thursday’s post to find out. And because this is an SSCS blog, we’ll probably talk a little bit about the value of our technology to Kal, his team, and the success of CoCo Farms. See you then!