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  • Writer's pictureL. Darryl Armstrong

Tea Thyme and Toast – Customer Service, Quality Food and Good Guerrilla-Marketing Lead to Succ

Pam Reed, owner, baker and cook at Tea Thyme and Toast Eatery in Eddyville, Ky has developed a cadre of “raving customers” the past few years by offering good food and personalized service. Not bad for an “eatery” housed in an old one-room schoolhouse that still has George Washington’s framed photo above the door.

Now, we all know that location means everything in business, however, Reed demonstrates clearly that you when you offer consistently good food combined with friendly service that you can even make a restaurant successful in a small village of 2300 people in a county with only 8200 people. Of course, during the tourist season the county at times can be ten-fold in population but it is just seasonal and Reed is open year-round.

The almost three-year old establishment serves sophisticated food in a casual-style and right here in River City. It is only open four days a week and has only six tables. Service is available from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. for lunch.

So, how does Pam Reed run such a successful business?

We would contend that it is all about a quality product and more than exceptional service. Visit here for the first time, or again and again, and you will always find Pam, and her helper and local artist Mark Holsclaw, eager to serve. They treat each customer with respect and are friendly, as is the nature of being in the South.

Customers will rave about this restaurant because there is consistency in quality on all fronts. If Pam or Mark are having a bad day you don’t see it, sense it, or know it as a customer. Think “Cheers” where everybody knows your name and you will get a sense of feel of how welcomed you will feel.

From the local county judge and medical internist to the little ladies I met there last week from Indiana, Tea Thyme and Toast combines the best of all worlds for all customers.

Reed is just as good a guerilla marketer as she is a baker and cook. Recently she received front-page coverage in the Evansville Courier and Press Spectrum section. The return on her investment of time has been a hundred fold. She even had to cancel a scheduled appearance at the Taste of the Pennyrile, an annual hospice fundraiser because of the demand on her time by customers that had read the article.

As you know, we advocate g-marketing for small businesses and securing media coverage is one very important tactic. Also, I can attest to the “word-of-mouth” tactic and how well it has worked.

Frankly, I would have never gone to the eatery had it not been for my wife insisting that it was one of her favorite places. After all, I just couldn’t see myself eating “finger foods.” And finger foods are not the course of the day!

My favorite is the Tomato Basil soup with a curry chicken sandwich, and maybe one of the cherry cookies or blackberry scones. Hearty appetites will not be disappointed.

And as part of the g-marketing plan the eatery will have “date nights” — special dinners monthly. Needless to say, they are already booked up for the foreseeable future.

If you get to Eddyville, Ky ask just about anybody and they can tell you where the one-room school is and there you will find Tea Thyme and Toast!

We offer our congratulations on your marketing effort Pam and a great big thank you for providing an excellent model of customer service and quality products.

If you are interested in reading the news clippings on Tea Thyme and Toast click here and look under Customer Service Excellence at our web site.

Until next time.

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