In October 2016, we saw the birth of a small brand called Gourmet CBP. They earned a 5-star review from us for their delicious CBP but a short year into operation they went into hibernation, for a while. 5 years later they’re stronger than ever and we’re about to give you the inside scoop on what’s been going on behind the scenes.
How did it all start and why did you go off social media?
Back in 2016, there were only a handful of parties who did good quality CBP. Since we held a family recipe that was loved by all through the years, we decided to tweak the recipes further and create a marketable range of desserts. We were thrilled with the responses. Unfortunately, since our owner developed health complications unexpectedly, we had no choice but to downgrade our operational capabilities and carry out business low-key, at the time. So a year after launch we had to go off social media platforms which was a really difficult decision for us to make. Despite not being active on Social Media, we continued to provide our CBPs to a handful of cafes and catered to a small clientele who came to us through personal referrals.
How and why did you resurrect your brand on social media back again?
To be honest we were uncertain if we’d be able to bounce back effectively, after having been off social media for a while. Our growth had been very organic since we did not invest in marketing efforts or on social media. Though we did cater to customers through personal recommendations at the time, we had no idea of the kind of mammoth reach social media would eventually give us. Ignorance, in that sense, was bliss because had we analyzed this too much; we probably would not have taken that step of Faith to make a comeback.
In retrospect, we see how riding that social media wave really boosted our confidence by getting a much larger base of customers to enjoy our CBPs. We’ve thereafter had multiple instances of competitors using our own images and our content on their social media platforms, which we actually now interpret as a positive sign because that clearly indicates we’ve set a benchmark standard for others.
Pandemic: That dreaded word! How did you cope and manoeuvre through it?
As much as we hate to say it, the Pandemic was a blessing in disguise for us. By the time the first lockdown came into effect in March 2020, we had already bounced back and strengthened ourselves by partnering with established delivery platforms. The demand gradually began to increase and we found ourselves having to cater to an unprecedented number of customers. From that point onwards, there was no going back. With each lockdown we experienced thereon, the challenges piled up on one hand, but on the other, we had also mastered the art of accommodating the increasing demand through disciplined work practices. In August 2021, the Gourmet CBP owners themselves contracted Covid and we were forced to close operations for few weeks.
During that time, we also lost a beloved staff member of our team to Covid which hit us quite badly and we struggled to keep our heads above water. A few weeks later, another staff member’s young spouse tragically passed away due to a different medical reason. It seemed as though each time we lifted our heads, life would knock us back down. But with each challenge we faced, unconsciously we were knit closer together as a team. Stretched as we were, we became far more efficient in managing our time, resulting in increased productivity at a crucial juncture.
What’s the NPD Process like at Gourmet CBP?In the past, CBP had earned a reputation of being a ‘cheap’ dessert. Our intention, therefore, was to position Gourmet CBP as a quality dessert. At present, we see this trend has changed with more home brands doing premium quality CBPs, which is really encouraging. We always wanted to innovate our desserts and introduce new varieties frequently. As such we hold 3 distinct ranges that cater to chocolate lovers, non-chocolate lovers, coffee lovers, white chocolate lovers and those who enjoy something a little out-of-the-ordinary. Our liqueur based range has proven to be fan favourites through the years with flavours like the Baileys Mocha CBP and Cherry Brandy CBP being 2 of our signature desserts, to date. We are proud to host over 20 varieties in our menu in 4 different sizes, to cater to diverse taste buds and varying requirements. We have about 5 new varieties up our sleeve that we could not launch this year, due to the multiple lockdowns and their subsequent impact on us. Nevertheless, we’re enthused about the future as we continue to master those new flavour combos and launch the new varieties soon.
What does the future look like for Team Gourmet CBP?
While we’re still recovering from the pain of losing people who were so close to the Gourmet CBP Team, we’re also excited to have some new blood on board. Our Social Media is now being handled by an energetic team member who’s already helped boost our social media presence. Additionally, with new staff members coming on board, our aim is to get a wider variety of consumers to taste our desserts. As the first step of this long term plan, we’ve tied up with the Glomark Supermarket Chain in featuring some of our bestseller jars on their shelves. We’ve also tied up with AppiGo Rush so that we can deliver our desserts to customers outside of Colombo city limits also, through our newly launched website https://gourmetcbp.appigo.co
Gourmet CBP is on Instagram and Facebook while we also carry out deliveries through Uber Eats and PickMe Food. Operating from our home-based location in Battaramulla, we also have a small store at the Arcade Independence Square, Colombo 7. Inquiries can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp on 0777689369.