Since we featured Hammond's Gourmet Ice Cream on our blog last, they have opened TWO brand new stores in the San Diego area! We're so excited to share their growth with our readers!
Trang Hammond, co-owner of Hammond's Ice Cream, joins us to share about the role marketing has played in the ice cream empire success.
What do you attribute your success to? I contribute our success to a great, high quality product and a very dedicated and supportive co-owner (my husband, Ryan Hammond). Ryan was the one that came up with the Ice Cream Flights idea (Hammond’s Flights), which has also greatly contributed to our success.
What type of marketing do you find most successful for your company? Local ads as well as social media has helped us get the word out. Customers love to instagram our ice cream flights and since Day 1 it has taken off. How do you use this to stay in front of your customers? We post specials and new flavors on Instagram and Facebook frequently so customers that follow us will have first dibs at any specials. It’s a way we stay connected to our loyal customers. (Our Note: Follow them on Instagram or Facebook to get the latest updates + flavors -- yum!!)
What makes Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream different from the other local competitors? We are the only hard scoop ice cream shop that sells gourmet ice cream is 18% butterfat. To give you an idea what that means, most store-bought ice cream is 10% butterfat, super premium ice cream like Haagen-Daaz and Ben and Jerry’s is around 14% and ours is 18%. We also don’t add air in the mixing process so the result is a very dense, rich and flavorful experience. Our flavors constantly rotate and we are always working with the head chef to create new amazing flavors. We also put a lot of thought into the atmosphere and décor for our shops. When designing the shops I made it a point that no one shop looked the same, yet when our customer walks into each shop they know it’s a Hammond’s Ice Cream shop they are in. That attention to detail also carries over to our customer service and presentation of the ice cream that is served, especially our Flights. We know that our customers come in to eat great ice cream, but when they order a flight they want to enjoy something that looks cute and “postable” so we make sure the presentation is on point. I believe these are the reasons we stand out from our local competitors. In your opinion, why is it important for businesses to differentiate themselves? If you don’t differentiate yourself, what is to stop someone from just choosing an ice cream shop that is conveniently closer to them than traveling a ways to enjoy it at your establishment.
What is your favorite platform for social media to use for Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream? Instagram, because it provides almost instantaneous engagement as well as long lasting advertisement. What type of posts do you engage in? We are very simple when it comes to our posts. We like to showcase our product by either using photos we have taken or reposting a nice photo taken by a customer (and giving them credit, of course). Sometimes we will post events we participate in or new flavors we have. Our most recent post is about our Point Loma Grand Opening.
What’s the one piece of advice you can give to other small business owners?
Every time I give a talk about my success in a small business setting, I pretty much sum it up to three things: 1) Prioritize: Not everything can be #1 in your life. I have learned to set priorities. My priority is my family, and then my business. I have been lucky to be able to share a business with my husband who shares the same priorities as myself. Sometimes priorities can shift but overall I think you need to know your priority before you get started otherwise it will be too much to handle. 2) Sacrifice: In my experience in order to succeed I had to give something up. Since my family was a priority it was pretty much my social life and my general appearance (Haha). But things that were important to me before took a back seat. I think this sounds obvious to a lot of people but turns out to be a rude awakening when they open their business. It truly takes up so much time and you have to be ready for that. 3) Consistency: Overall, your priorities need to stay consistent as well as how you brand and market your business. Customers need to be able to know that everytime they go to your shop, it is the same customer service, the same quality product and the same atmosphere as before. Consistency is not easy to attain if you don’t put the time and effort into it, but it is so important. It is the foundation to a successful lasting business.
We're so thrilled to have a local ice creamery like Hammond's to share San Diego with! Be sure to check out one of their three locations and try a flight, too! You can find them at:
North Park: 3077 University Avenue, San Diego, CA 92104
Pacific Beach: 1418 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109
Newest Location: Point Loma: 3740 Sports Arena Blvd, Suite 6, San Diego, CA 92110