Staying on Brand and on Mission, with Mandy Hagadorn

Episode 139

podcast photo thumbnail
Mandy Hagadorn serves as marketing manager at New York Kitchen, an event and education space for all things food and beverage in New York State. She grew up on a farm near Canandaigua, New York. She graduated with a degree in anthropology from Nazareth College. After college, Mandy got involved with event planning in both her personal and professional life. At New York Kitchen, she started as an event planner and quickly moved into the marketing manager position. She still loves organizing the Craft Beer Festival and is excited about a brand new bourbon-focused festival she’s spearheading for New York Kitchen. On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Mandy Hagadorn of New York Kitchen about everything from event planning to rebranding. How do you manage a massive rebranding campaign? How do you plan an event from scratch and keep existing events fresh? We’ve got great answers and inspiring conversation in store on this episode.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • How to avoid mission creep when you offer a variety of programs and activities
  • The challenge and opportunity of managing a rebrand process
  • How to turn events into memorable experiences
  • Keys to a good partnership
  • Simple ways for businesses to work together to make shoulder seasons more profitable

Offering Variety Around a Unified Mission

New York Kitchen offers a lot of activity: classes, special events, and a place to dine on everything New York State has to offer. Mandy and I talk about how to create a unified mission around a wide variety of programs and activities. With everything a geographically large and diverse state has to offer, how do you stay on point? It’s a challenge Mandy enjoys tackling, and she has some good advice on avoiding mission creep.

Managing a Rebrand

NY Kitchen wasn’t always New York Kitchen. Up until about a year ago, it was called the New York Wine and Culinary Center. But as craft beverages of all kinds have expanded in recent times, “wine and culinary center” did not capture the fullness of what New York has to offer. If you have ever been involved in rebranding a place with some history and a current fanbase you don’t want to alienate, you know it can be an exciting and stressful experience. Mandy and I talk candidly about some unexpected challenges she and her team needed to overcome in the process. But the process made them stronger – staying connected with those loyal customers but also showing who they were to a new target demographic. She reflected, “The biggest challenge we faced here at New York Kitchen was the rebrand. But the biggest blessing that we’ve had here at New York Kitchen is the rebranding.” This is a great conversation to listen in on for ideas on what to expect and anticipate as you rebrand a known entity.


Nicole Mahoney: 00:17 Hello listeners, this is Nicole Mahoney, host of destination on the left. I am passionate about travel and tourism and love learning from the experiences of professionals in the industry. And that is why I’m so excited to introduce today’s guest, Mandy Hagadorn marketing manager at the New York kitchen. Mandy, thank you so much for joining me.

Mandy Hagadorn: 00:37 Hi. Yeah, thank you so much for the invitation.

Nicole Mahoney: 00:40 I’m looking forward to our conversation, but before we get started, we’d love it if you could share a little bit about you and your story and how you got to the position that you’re in today. I find it adds so much more context to our conversation.

Mandy Hagadorn: 00:53 Absolutely. I’d love to. I am born and raised right in Canandaigua New York area. Um, I grew up on a farm. I’m not too far just outside of town of Canandaigua. Right. And grew up loving the farm. So fun. So creative there. There’s always things going on. MMM. That night I went to Canandaigua well, and ended up going to Nazareth college where I graduated in 2012 with a degree in anthropology. Um, started out, uh, as a, uh, theater arts major. I always had this dream one day that I was going to grow up in famous and I would always practice my autograph thinking that no one day people are going to stop you on the street, you know, ask me for that. Um, and I started taking all of the theory classes that came with a theater arts major and quickly decided that it wasn’t for me, but I had grown up watching like, uh, ugh. Why am I blanking on him? But the Harrison Ford movies, um, Indiana Jones.

Nicole Mahoney: 02:00 Oh yes. And the other zones. Absolutely.

Mandy Hagadorn: 02:04 Yeah. I grew up watching know that my dad all the time. So I always had like this big affinity for like history and culture and different, you know, types of people and whatnot. MMM. So I kind of fell into anthropology. It was one of the required courses that I had to take and really just fell in love with it. And it was a great blend of, you know, the historical side of it. Um, like the psychological side of it, understanding why people do what they do, um, and when they do them, that sort of thing. Um, so I really fell in love with, um, the degree, ended up graduating with that and then I’m really not technically following a career path outside of that, but kind of when I explained to people what I do now at your kitchen and work kind of what my career path has been.

Mandy Hagadorn: 02:49 Um, they actually really aligns with a lot of the things that I learned in college. Um, so right after college I ended up working in any customer service position for about a year. And, um, I’d always had this love for event planning. I’m a very organized person in both my personal and my professional life. Um, I’m always at friends that if you’re asking us what are the plans for the weekend, I have to know minute by minute everything that’s happening. Um, I, you know, what kind of vibe people are going for, what they’re in the mood or, um, so I ended up falling into an event planning position. Um, and I had done that for a few years, which led me to New York kitchen where I am today. I started here end of May, 2017 as I’m an event planner. And uh, quickly was moved into the marketing and development position just based on some of the strengths that my general manager, um, thought and me.

Mandy Hagadorn: 03:48 So I’m about a year and a half inch, the position, um, as marketing and development manager, but I couldn’t let go of the event planning side of it. Um, so I do still coordinate our larger events such as like our beer festival, our annual fundraising event, held the garden party, and then we are launching another profitable this fall called the bottoms up urban bash. Well, unless we get different types of groups of people together, um, whether they’re locals or people from Adams. See, I’m really just to enjoy everything that we have going on here, um, at New York kitchen. And I think that might segway into the next question.

Nicole Mahoney: 04:24 Yeah, absolutely. But before we move into that direction, I just wanted to comment, I love your story and kind of how, uh, how you, for lack of a better way to describe it, meandered your way, you know, into this current role that you have. And I find that to be a common theme with a lot of our guests that, you know, there’s no straight career path anymore, right? It takes a lot of different interests and there’s a lot of different, um, avenues that you can follow and then to end up doing something that really fits with your strengths and your passions, I think is just a super awesome. And I loved that Indiana Jones kind of tie and how that got you history and culture and then eventually, you know, moved you over to where you are today and you grew up on a farm. So I think that’s very fitting to me given what New York kitchen is all about. So I’ll let you, uh, please share with our listeners what is New York kitchen all about?

Mandy Hagadorn: 05:26 New York kitchen. We are a five Oh one C three nonprofit organization located right here in Canada. When New York, our mission is to educate, engage our guests in a celebration of the dynamic agriculture craft beverage and culinary bounty of New York. We started out in 2006 the collaboration between constellation brands, Wegman’s food market, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and the New York finding great foundation. They all came together to create what was originally called the New York state wine and culinary center. So we opened up in June, 2006 as the wine and culinary center and we existed that way until April of 2008 when we decided that it was time for us to rebrand. Um, so we went through a few months of working with a few different local agents. Yes, I’m doing a lot of like interviewing, pulling, um, going through a lot of different name action, um, and ultimately ended up with New York kitchen.

Mandy Hagadorn: 06:27 The reason that we settled on that is that New York is really the crux of everything that we do here. I mean, whether it is in one of our hands on kitchen classes, our demonstration classes in the tasting room, um, through one of our public events or upstairs in the restaurant and bar, we are always promoting and pushing New York state products. Um, I think it’s really exciting and eye opening to a lot of our visitors for them to walk into our doors. MMM. And just really understand the breadth of everything that is produced within our state. MMM. So we stuck with the New York could be in the title of our new name and we kind of were between a few different names, but then when we asked the agencies, you know, why kitchen, why did you select New York kitchen? They had the perfect example and reasoning for it.

Mandy Hagadorn: 07:16 And that was, think of it when you’re hosting a gathering at your house, you know, it’s like a holiday party or you’re having some friends over for a barbecue. Where does everyone get okay. The kitchen, it’s the heart of the home. And that’s what we really wanted to, um, you know, have the vibe of your kitchen be we wanted it to be more accessible, more fun, more approachable. Um, and as soon as we heard it, um, you know, as being the heart of the home fell in love with it. So we decided on New York kitchen, um, we had our official rebranding and roll 2018 and here we are on me 30th, which is crazy, over a solid over a one year in. Um, and it’s just been incredible. Um, we are still a nonprofit organization that did not change. Our mission is still the same to educate, engage in it. Um, I just think now we have more of an opportunity to really connect with a wider range of locals, tourists and just wonderful people in general.

Nicole Mahoney: 08:16 Yeah, I think that’s great. And what uh, um, what a great time for you to be involved in, in your, in your role. I’m taking this organization that started in 2006 and you know, a 2006 to 2018 is quite a long time, you know, with that identity and that brand and then to be able to go through the rebrand and, and I really do appreciate you taking us down that kind of pass and, and how you came to it. Um, I hope listeners caught that. You talked about the research and it sounds like you talked to a lot of different consumer groups and different constituents, um, in making this decision. It wasn’t just that you internally without research that you just came up with this new name. It sounds like you did a lot of due diligence in that a lot of process to make sure that you are, um, you know, creating something that really aligns with where the organization is going. Is that right?

Mandy Hagadorn: 09:08 Yeah, absolutely. Totally agree with that.

Nicole Mahoney: 09:10 Yeah. So that’s really awesome. And that’s a perfect segue into the first part of this conversation where we like to focus, which is on creativity. Cause I’m sure there was a lot of creativity that went into that rebrand. Um, and, um, you know, I, I’d like to start with this question about, um, competition or perceived competition even. But, you know, the tourism and hospitality industry is, is a very competitive place. There are so many different choices of, of places that people can visit, things that people can do, um, you know, and, and it’s not just competing with perhaps another destination, um, but also with just, you know, people who might choose to stay home or, or go to their son or daughter’s sporting events. So there’s just so, so many choices out there for people’s time. And so I’m wondering, um, what have you done at New York kitchen to really help you stand out from the crowd?

Mandy Hagadorn: 10:02 Yeah, so I think, you know, first off the bat, I think that the whole business model that we have here at New York kitchen, I mean, we have the, the classes, we have the event, um, we have the restaurant, we have the bar. Um, but there are so many places that are popping up that are starting to do, you know, like craft beverage, pairing classes, cooking classes. MMM. I think that we’re unique in the aspect of that in your state product. That’s really, again, our mission and what we try and educate all of our visitors on. Um, but I think the thing that we’ve done really that’s the legal stand out. Again, some of the competitors, um, is just doing a lot of research and making sure that what we’re offering is quote unquote on trend. Some of the things that we’re doing. Um, we’re really big about healthy eating.

Mandy Hagadorn: 10:51 Um, so we started working with a lot of the different blue zones. Um, please zones are, um, kind to be the cities in the world that are considered the healthiest. Um, you know, picking up on some of the research that they’ve done on what it takes to have a really healthy community. Um, you know, between nutrition and exercise. Um, and just like mental, um, hello, all of that comes together. Um, we have done a lot with, you know, some of the more popular diets that people are doing. We’ve been bringing those into some of our hands on kitchen classes, gluten free baking, um, Kito Diet, cooking one oh one. I don’t know if that’s what we ended up calling the class. We did something along those lines. MMM. And then, you know, something that’s really going to attract our target audience. I’m a demographic of about 25 to 45, um, with what we were targeting, uh, with our rebranding that we did back then, um, in April of 2018.

Mandy Hagadorn: 11:53 Um, so some of the new classes that were coming out with this summer, um, or things like pop culture classics, so that basically a hands on kitchen class were all of the nineties kids that grew up watching spongebob squarepants agent in Jim can turtles, they can come in and they can make the recipes from those, um, from those TV shows like the Krabby Patty and cheese pizza, um, the famous chocolate cake from the movie Matilda. MMM. So we’re really trying to like push the boundaries on what we’re doing and it’s been working really well for us. Um, so I think it’s really just been about, um, sticking true to our mission of pushing the New York state aspect. Um, but putting a really fun, trendy twist on

Nicole Mahoney: 12:35 yeah, I think that’s a, that’s great. And I love again, how you went, you know, to the research and um, you know, are, are choosing offerings that you have research to back those up as well as that you’re focused on your target demographic and creating things that will appeal to that demographic. Um, and, and how creative too. I love that idea. I like the pop culture classics and, and, uh, even, you know, the gluten free classes and tapping into that whole idea of the blue zones, which is, you know, um, very kind of on trend if you will, and in the conversation, right. And making sure that you’re joining that conversation. I think that that’s just really awesome.

Mandy Hagadorn: 13:13 Yeah.

Nicole Mahoney: 13:14 And so I’d love to kind of take this conversation and turn it around just a little bit because I, I love to learn from challenges. I think that a lot of us are at our best, um, you know, when we’re problem solving or when we’re, we’re faced with some sort of a challenge. And I’m wondering if there’s a particular challenge that comes to mind for you and a that you might’ve faced at the New York kitchen and then kind of the creative solution that might’ve come about as a result of that.

Mandy Hagadorn: 13:45 Yeah, I’ll be honest, or biggest challenge that we face here is, are we branding. Um, there was so much hype and so much excitement with us going into our rebranding a few months out. It was kind of getting down to like the countdown days where we were like, all right, this week we’re going to announce what the name is. This week we’re going to announce what the logo is going to look like. This week we’re going to announce whatever it was. Um, there was so much what was going on. Um, I mean the day of our rebranding was just a dream. We have so much media coverage. It was amazing. Such an amazing response from the community, from the media outlet. Um, you know, everyone just really agreeing and appreciating the hard work that had gone into the whole rebranding process to the end result. And then the biggest challenge was what happens next.

Mandy Hagadorn: 14:39 I think we were so caught up all of the excitement that’s going on and how great this was going to be for the community and for our business for the next 10 years looking out. MMM. That we kind of forgot that there might be some hiccups. Um, immediately afterwards. Um, you know, we rebranded the same day that we launched a new website platform and there was a lot more that was going into the website that I think we all realized. Um, so there were some, you know, initial issues technologically speaking that we weren’t really ready for. Um, we didn’t really think of doing, you know, the research on, you know, what to expect with the rebranding. We were just thinking that it was going to be great. It was going to be well received and everyone’s going to love it, which yes, it was. Um, but we didn’t realize that there is a, um, but use the word again, but trend with rebranding is that businesses usually encounter a dip, um, in their sales.

Mandy Hagadorn: 15:40 Um, and kind of like, you know, their marketing and their word of mouth of people, you know, not being sure of what was only, not that we totally just didn’t think of. Um, you know, I think there was some confusion of with some of the community members on his knee or kitchen still the whining culinary center. Is it a brand new business, someone come in and buy the building and is it something brand new? I mean, there were just so many factors afterwards that I do, I don’t think we were totally prepared for, but I think it made us stronger in the end because it gave us more of a platform to prove to not only the community and our loyal customers that we’ve had for years. And, um, you know, we’re kind of proved to our new target demographics of exactly who we are.

Mandy Hagadorn: 16:28 It allowed us, I really think, um, the challenges that we faced to strengthen our mission and to strengthen the messaging that we’re putting out there for people to understand that we exist to educate. We exist to, um, bring people in from all walks of life. Um, all, you know, places all over the world to experience everything that we have in New York state. Um, and then I think also string to Frankston to our team as well because, you know, we went through this hectic rebranding process and then we dealt with all of these, you know, small issues that we had, um, that were very few and far in between after the rebranding. Um, but some of the things that we’re saying to each other this summer minus, you know, like versus what we were saying to each other last summer was wow, look at all the things that we accomplished in 2018 through the rebranding. Look at all of the amazing partners that we were able to work with. I mean, like our website provider, they are just, they are amazing. They drop anything to help us with any issue that we’re having. Um, a lot of the third party organizations that we’re using for, um, sort of like our radio advertising or digital advertising. Um, it, it was kind of, um, a blessing in a disguise, so to say the challenges that

Mandy Hagadorn: 17:50 you faced after rebranding because it showed us just how much the community and how much our partners really are rooting for us and how much they loved us and they wanted us to sit EAD. MMM. I mean we couldn’t have done it without them, so it was definitely just sum it up are the biggest challenge we faced here at New York kitchen is the rebrand. But the biggest blessing that we’ve had here at New York kitchen is a rebranding.

Nicole Mahoney: 18:14 Yeah. I think. I think that’s awesome. I really appreciate your honesty and openness with us and taking us through that because as you were talking, I could just imagine all of the excitement that probably, you know, you and the whole team were feeling as you were getting ready to reveal the brand and really building that momentum before the big announcement and then seeing all of that media coverage and everything. And then I can see where, you know, you’re caught up in all of that and then you might, you know, a little hiccup happens or a few little hiccups happen with me at website relaunch all by itself without a rebrand is a huge undertaking. Right? Imagine, you know, some of the hiccups that might have happened with that and, and just having to kind of redirect your attention. Um, but I, I think that’s a great lesson because it really teaches us that, you know, um, from the outside you might be looking at something and saying how fabulous, you know, this rebrand is what a great logo, whether great name, we totally get the direction their messaging is on point, but it’s not easy to get there.

Nicole Mahoney: 19:22 And I think that that’s just a really great illustration of the hard work that goes into it. And I love that you and your team celebrated right at the end of this year. How much we actually accomplished in the last 12 months.

Mandy Hagadorn: 19:33 Yeah. We, uh, we consider ourselves a family here, which is, it’s amazing. On some days we’d definitely get on each other’s nerves.

Nicole Mahoney: 19:41 MMM.

Mandy Hagadorn: 19:42 But I think it’s because we’re all so passionate about what we promote here at New York kitchen and what we’re doing and we are so supportive of one another and the only one, all of us, you know, just to have that backbone of it. Yeah. That’s really there for one another. It really is, speaks volumes to all this stuff that we’ve gone through to get us to where we are today.

Nicole Mahoney: 20:02 Yeah. Yeah. I think that’s just really awesome. So, um, I’m going to give you a few minutes to talk about anything exciting that you would like to share with us, kind of looking into the future. Any new projects. You mentioned there’s a new event that might be in the works, anything that you want to share with us that’s new and exciting at the New York kitchen?

Mandy Hagadorn: 20:21 Yeah, so I’ll definitely start out with that new projects that we have. So like I mentioned, I still coordinate the larger events that we have here at New York kitchen. Um, so the really new project that we have is, um, we’re adding in a second festival to our summer lineup. Um, technically this will fall into the fall season. Um, oddly enough. Um, but I, you back a little that’s going to be surrounded about whiskeys and bourbons. Um, I like to do play on words. Um, so I ended up needing this, the bottoms up urban bash. Um, and it really came, you know, again from our rebranding. Um, that’s when we were the whining culinary center. I think that there was this perception that we only cared about New York state produced wines. Um, and that’s not the case. Obviously we love them, we use them all the time in our classes and events.

Mandy Hagadorn: 21:20 Um, but there is such an amazing array of New York state produced craft beverages. I mean there’s over 430 craft breweries. There’s over 70, you know, cideries distilleries. I mean, it’s, it’s just incredible the amount of craft beverage, um, that we have in the state. The last year when we rebranded, we used our beer festival as a way to support the rebranding to say like, Hey, we rebranded in April, now it’s June, here’s a beer festival. And then we’re going one step further this year. And adding in a distilled product festival who again celebrate all of the amazing New York state produced, um, urban with these distilled product. So we’re getting excited for that. It’s going to be on Saturday, October 5th. And, um, I’m currently in the process right now of getting some of the distilleries on board. Um, I do have some breweries that have like some bourbon barrel aged that will be at the event as well.

Mandy Hagadorn: 22:17 Um, yesterday I had a really exciting conversation with a local cider producer that they do have a bourbon infused cider as well that will be featured at the festival. Um, so I’m getting really excited for that. It’s going to be a tasting events. You can go around all these different instilled products, um, you know, really interact with the producers themselves, the owners of these distilleries and breweries here about the process, um, these ingredients that go into it. Um, but I’m really excited because we’re going to take it one step further and really make it an experience for our guests. Um, so we’re going to be having some, um, old tiny bar tenders, um, sort of groups coming in. Um, making some really, really, um, awesome bourbon cocktail of live in front of guests. I don’t know if you’ve ever watched like bartender competitions. Um, but some of those things that these bartenders can do is just, it’s crazy.

Mandy Hagadorn: 23:17 It’s engaging, it’s fun. Um, so I’m imagining having a whole section of just like a bar tender competition going on. Um, you know, getting some interaction between the bartenders and some of the, uh, festival goers. Um, I’m hoping to have, um, a cigar rolling station. A lot of the, um, gentleman that I’m spoken with love to have a cigar while they’re sipping on some of their bourbon. So they, uh, they were really pushing for that. So as I said, it would be a really cool component to have, you know, someone actually watching a cigar being hand rolls. Yeah. So I think that’s going to be just really, really exciting. I’m teasing it out to some of the community members. I’ve had overwhelming support and interest for the festivals, so I have no doubt that it’s going to be, um, well attended and well-received. MMM. I was looking at some of the glass where that’s available for us to purchase for these types of events for people that kind of like a little commemorative glass that they can take home with them.

Mandy Hagadorn: 24:19 And uh, some of my, uh, my friends here at the office for the beer fest, we have, um, really nice, um, or either like five or six ounce glasses, um, that they get to go around and do their tastings in and then they get to take them home and they’re like, well, are they going to do five to six pounds pours of Bourbon and whiskey? MMM. I was like, no, I’m really looking for more of like a symbol size or less than half of a shot glass behind. MMM. So now it’s going to be so much fun. It’s just fun, you know, building something from scratch. Um, I started here when’s the beer festival had already been created? Um, last year I got to put my own Hutch on it or twist, so to say, would it be rebranded event? But this was the first time really creating a festival from scratch.

Mandy Hagadorn: 25:06 So I think that opens Pandora’s box on, you know, really what able to happen at a festival. I think I’m really pushing the boundaries, which I’m excited about. I’m also a little nervous about some of the things that I’m coming up with, but MMM. I think all in all it’s going to be really fun. Um, and just a really educational opportunity for people to, you know, realize that New York state isn’t just mine. It’s not just beer, but there’s all of these amazing build product as well that are award winning products. They’re known all over the country, all over it. And you know, internationally and whatnot. I’m into tout that they’re produced here in New York state. Is, is really something for them to be proud of and it’s exciting for us to be able to show off for them.

Nicole Mahoney: 25:51 Absolutely. No, I think that’s awesome. And, and I love how you’re pushing the boundaries and, and really, um, you know, this is an extension of your brand, which I think is really cool. And also just the creativity and thought that you’re putting into, you know, what is the exact experience going to be? Like, it’s not just another tasting event. There’s all these other fun aspects to it as well.

Mandy Hagadorn: 26:13 Yeah.

Nicole Mahoney: 26:14 Yeah. And, and I, I’m not surprised to hear you, you know, share that the initial feedback that you’re getting from folks is, is really positive and that people are excited for it. I think it’ll be great. That sounds awesome.

Mandy Hagadorn: 26:26 Yeah, definitely.

Nicole Mahoney: 26:28 So, Mandy, um, you know, I love to talk about this topic of collaboration. I’m a huge believer in this whole idea of what I like to call coopertition. We’re basically perceived competitors come together to create something bigger than that they can do on their own. And I know at New York kitchen you probably have just countless examples of collaborations, especially just very nature of what you do, where you’re showcasing, you know, the variety of craft beverages and agriculture from New York state. But I, I’m wondering if there’s a time when a collaboration, um, between, you know, perceived competitors maybe, uh, really worked for you.

Mandy Hagadorn: 27:04 Yeah, definitely. Um, I mean, I don’t even know where to begin. We are so fortunate with all of the partners that we’ve been able to work with, especially those that are perceived competitors of ours, especially with what we have right here in our backyard. And with our neighbors here in the Canandaigua community and within the entire finger lakes region in the entire state. We’ve just been so fortunate to work on projects and so many quote unquote competitors, um, to really create, um, amazing variances for lot of our locals and tourists. I mean, I’ll start out with some of the partners that we’ve had most recently. Yes, I’m being some of the staff members from the, in on the late. Um, obviously they are under, um, uh, rebuild at this time. And I think there was this perceived conception that they were a competitor of ours when they were up and running.

Mandy Hagadorn: 27:54 Um, and in years past, um, and that definitely wasn’t the case. I mean, they had a restaurant. We have a restaurant. Um, they obviously have a beautiful lake, front property. Um, but one of the things that we really worked hard to nurture a relationship with them, um, was to come up with ways to the court are yes, that had things in common, you know, whether they were having yes. Staying overnight at the hotel, you know, creating variances here at your kitchen for them. Do we know private wine tastings with them, giving them tours of the property, giving them I’m a history of Canandaigua and kind of like how the inner belief came to be in our partnership and what they need to us and what your kitchen means to them. May Have just been just instrumental in, you know, really increasing the foot traffic that we’ve gotten through our doors.

Mandy Hagadorn: 28:44 And I think that they would definitely agree with, you know, US saying that we’ve been able to increase the visitors and the tourist that they’ve been getting to their locations. Cause I think we each have a product that is in demand us with our educational component, our restaurant, our events or classes. Um, and then as a hotel, I mean as a place say I think we really came together in the best light to really support each other’s business rather than having it be a competing sort of situation for the both of us. Another example that I want to point out, which is close to us, um, is just the, the neighbors that we have here in general down in the lake shore district and, and really everyone in the candidate or community. I need, you know, we always say that we’re a very seasonal pound. Um, which is true. Um, definitely during the summer months that lake is always busy and we’re so fortunate to be right on the lake area, um, to really get a lot of depth business from everyone coming down to enjoy that. But something that we started brainstorming this winter with some of the area, um, restaurants and bars, especially right down here by the lake area. How can we come together to eliminate the slow season or the winter season that we have? Um, so we really started brainstorming like,

Mandy Hagadorn: 30:02 could we do like pub crawls or restaurant crawl? Um, really just to promote people to get out of their house, the middle of the winter, come do something fun. That doesn’t take a lot of work to do. You basically just have around from restaurant to restaurant, you know? And that’s again, that’s the another really easy and great way for us to support each other’s business because you know, the things that we offer here at New York kitchen, they don’t offer across the state street, but they offer something super exciting too. You know, they’re loyal customers that we don’t offer here. So I mean I think just figuring out ways to support local businesses in a way that at the end is for the greater good and it’s just going to help each other out. Um, has been really eyeopening and really, really successful for a lot of us here in the area. And I think it’s really allowed us to, you know, shy away from feeling, you know, geared to compete with one another, but rather I’m more excited to come together and brainstorm the next big idea or the next really exciting things to offer to our community.

Nicole Mahoney: 31:07 Yeah, I think that’s a, that’s so great. You know, they say a rising tide lifts all boats. Right. And, um, yeah, and I, and I think that the examples that you just shared, you know, especially being good neighbors and, and working together in that way because visitors are going to come for your experience but they’re not necessarily just coming for one thing. They want to know what else is around you and that can only help the community if they spend more time and visit more than one than one location. Uh, I also love this, the whole idea of the end on the lake, which is, you know, your neighbor and you mentioned, uh, that they could have been perceived perhaps as a competitor because they do have a restaurant and they do have a bar and they, they do special events like you do not public events. We do private events. And I think it’s great how you found those synergies where you actually work together, you know, and that you were able to offer their guests some special experiences that, that perhaps in, you know, enhanced what they were able to offer their guests and then gave you more foot traffic and then kind of, you know, the reverse, right? You’re able to give them more foot traffic by you being down in that area rather than being there all by themselves. So

Mandy Hagadorn: 32:23 absolutely.

Nicole Mahoney: 32:24 Yeah. And also the, the whole idea of using, you know, thinking about some of those tougher times and strategizing and brainstorming together to really build up your off season because you’re right in the summer when that lake is busy, you’re all busy, but then, you know, when there’s no traffic on the lake, you’re traffic does fall off a little bit. And so how can you be creative? Great too. So Mandy, before, uh, before we say goodbye, um, I wanted to ask just one last question and I, and I’m curious with all of the work that you’ve done in the community and they know like with the Chamber of Commerce and, and maybe other organizations you’ve been involved with, are there some best practices that, that you can share, um, you know, and how to really lay the groundwork to have a successful partnership. What are some of the things, strategies that you have found have made those work well for you?

Mandy Hagadorn: 33:18 Um, I think some of the strategies for a successful partnership, first understanding that a partnership, it worked both ways. You know, if you want to have a really amazing end result, you have to go into a partnership. Um, trusting one another that you’re going to do what you’re say you’re going to do first off. You know, being open to creativity. Um, don’t be afraid to ask questions. That’s something that I’ve definitely grown from is, you know, if I don’t understand something or if I’m questioning something, just simply ask the question rather than staying silent and wondering what’s going on. I think the more communication that you have in a partnership, um, and I think that goes for any walk of life, whether it’s a personal relationship at home, a professional partnership that you’re kind of putting together a nurturing and growing, um, communication is key.

Mandy Hagadorn: 34:11 Hands down. I think, you know, just really understanding, um, what your goals and objectives are through the partnership in, you know, putting together a strong timeline and holding each other accountable. Um, I think it really just goes, you know, just bottom line, the trust that you have in a partnership, you know, the end result, the goals that you want along the way. Making sure that you have open conversations, not being afraid to change or um, you know, scrap an idea and start fresh. I mean, Aye. I don’t think that any of my initial thoughts have ever been award winning gold metal results. Um, they’ve definitely been, you know, an opportunity to learn, um, and to grow personally and professionally. Um, and I think that that carries through to whether it’s an individual in an organization or an organization as a whole.

Nicole Mahoney: 35:07 Absolutely.

Mandy Hagadorn: 35:08 Well. Yeah, I think, I think it’s definitely a partnership is it’s a, it’s a great thing to have. He just needs to be upfront and honest and really just, you know, pour everything into a partnership to get the best possible result.

Nicole Mahoney: 35:22 Yeah, I totally agree. And you just gave us so many great golden nuggets in terms of some of the things that go into having successful partnership. You know, I love how you talked about it works both ways. It’s, it’s, it can’t be one, uh, this idea of being open to creativity and not being afraid to ask questions. I think that’s a really, really great point that you just made. Um, and you know, of course wanting to know what the goals and objectives are holding each other accountable and, and how important trust is. I think that’s just fantastic. So I’ve really appreciated your time today and your open and honest conversation that we’ve had. Um, are there any final thoughts that you’d like to share before we say goodbye?

Mandy Hagadorn: 36:08 Other than just, I hope he comes down and checks out your kitchen this summer. We have a lot of exciting things going on, a lot of new things going on. Um, if you’re ever interested in learning about all of the amazing products that are produced right here in New York, don’t be, don’t be shy to come through our doors. We’d be happy to have you all.

Nicole Mahoney: 36:29 Absolutely. And thank you so much for being with us today.

Mandy Hagadorn: 36:33 Yeah, absolutely. Thank you so much for the opportunity, Nicole.

We value your thoughts and feedback and would love to hear from you. Leave us a review on your favorite streaming platform to let us know what you want to hear more o​f. Here is a quick tutorial on how to leave us a rating and review on iTunes!

Related Podcasts