The Granny Squibb Co. – Your Growth Story, Your Own Lab

June 19, 2020

GrowthLab is creating a new segment to highlight our customers. We want to highlight their growth as well as something the company is working on for the future.

Growth — The companies growth story… what drove their entrepreneurial bug? What drove them to start the business?

Lab — If there was one thing the company could execute on in the next 12-18 months, what would it be?

This segment is highlighting The Granny Squibb Co. They are an organic tea company in Providence, Rhode Island. They now have six flavors – three sweetened and the same three flavors unsweetened with more in the works. They are sold in over 250 grocery retailers throughout New England including Whole Foods, Dave’s Marketplaces, and Urban Greens Co-Op.

What is the Company’s growth story and what drove you to start the business?

Granny Squibb Ice Tea Company started 10 years ago, Robin Squibb is the founder. When she moved she took her grandmother’s recipe and bottled it. My husband, Nick Carr, who is my partner andI met her about three years ago because we moved into the same apartment building as her. We had already been looking for an opportunity to work together. We wanted to find a company that not only had a great product, but we wanted to partner with someone that we trusted and that could mentor us and teach us about the business.

So three years ago, we met Robin Squibb and it was a very casual encounter. Pretty much, she was walking into our apartment building, she had just had a bad day and she went to Nick and was like, do you know anyone that wants to buy an ice tea company? Nick kind of laughed it off as a joke. He came upstairs and told me, as a joke, he was like, oh, you won’t believe what Robin just said.Right then it clicked. We’re like, we’re going to learn more about this. So we are essentially just right. Then walk down the stairs to our apartment. Knocked on the door, asked her if she was serious. She said yes. Then we spent 30 days with her every single day talking about the business. She had been highly focused on grocery chains. So she got us into Whole Foods, Wegmans and there was distribution throughout New England and into New York a little bit.

Nick and I realized that she was doing very little marketing and also wasn’t targeting smaller grab & go accounts like delis and restaurants and on premise accounts. So we saw this huge channel in her sales that wasn’t being tapped, along with the fact that she wasn’t doing a lot of marketing. It was a one woman show. So it was very hard. She was doing a great job.

If we triple the team over night, if we put our resources into this new channel of sales while we maintain larger grocery sales, then there’s a huge opportunity not only to grow the company in New England, but even in Rhode Island. We could triple the sales just with accounts in Rhode Island. So for the first two years of working at the company, that was our main focus. And we did it. We doubled sales. We were on our way to triple sales, but unfortunately COVID-19 hit. There are still a ton of opportunities. So we’re really, really excited about it.

If there was one thing the company could execute on in the next 12-18 months, what would it be?

With our lab, our cash flow plan and business plan was essentially thrown out the door when all this hit. Everything is changing. So our main goal is to essentially, to decrease our overhead without sacrificing anything that we have given to our employees in the past. So our team is by far the most important piece of this company.

So we need to figure out small, little ways, little channels that we can cut down costs without affecting the quality of life of our employees. So that’s what I’ve really been working with Korey on. We’ve been working on this large cash flow plan that still needs details, which is really hard to build because when you’re trying to put in your respective sales, we can’t based off numbers from last year’s numbers. 

You guys are great. You’re awesome. I contacted you guys because I saw Dan do a webinar, I think it was through Venture Cafe. He was talking about a cash flow plan. And I was like “you” I need you. So it’s still a very baby relationship. We’ve only been working together for a little bit. I don’t even think that we’re close to the amount of work that we will do together. So I really look forward to that. But I think we have a great start and I’m excited about the relationship between GrowthLab and Granny Squibb. 

– Kelley from The Granny Squibb CO.

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