Penny Perry-Hughes comes by her passion for gourmet cooking, honestly. She has been a self-described foodie most of her adult life, relishing the opportunity to try a new recipe to serve to her friends and family. In 1993, Penny and her husband, Jerry, turned that passion into a business when they bought Der Küchen Laden, a retail shop situated along the historic main street in the Texas Hill Country town of Fredericksburg. For years, residents and visitors alike flocked to her 3,500 square foot store to shop the extensive collection of cookware, kitchen gadgets, and unique finds that culinary enthusiasts have found irresistible. The business found its stride and things were going well when, due to the pandemic responses, Der Küchen Laden was forced to close its doors for two months.
The Right Time
Like most businesses in 2020, Der Küchen Laden was forced to face an uncertain future and an immediate disruption in the wake of the global pandemic. Not one to give up, Penny began to formulate a plan to fundamentally change her business and she had no time to waste.
In April 2020, Der Küchen Laden enlisted the help of Weaver Technologies to perform an assessment of its current infrastructure and discuss options for building an e-commerce website.
The Right IT Solution
Penny faced a steep learning curve and had to make a mountain of decisions under the extreme pressure of the situation. One of the major challenges she identified was that the point-of-sale (POS) system she was using was built for in-person retail and would simply not support an online business. Der Küchen Laden’s inventory had grown significantly since the implementation of its original POS module. It also lacked purchase order capabilities and could not perform the reporting necessary for an extensive online retail business. Penny needed expert advice and a technology partner who could help her navigate the options and craft the right solution, so she called Weaver Technologies.
The Weaver team listened to Penny’s needs and helped her think through what it would take to make her vision for Der Küchen Laden a reality. They explored the options and presented Penny with demos for five different POS systems, explaining the capabilities and differences of each. The Weaver team built a tech solution that met the needs of budget, functionality, bandwidth, availability, and security.
The Right Reason
Penny will tell you that Weaver Technologies’ account executive, Tammy Vollmar, treated the challenge as if she was a co-owner of Der Küchen Laden. She was determined to do whatever it took to keep the store in business and to emerge from the shutdown even stronger than before. Tammy even rolled up her sleeves and helped the client code and upload their inventory of over 16,000 items and provided systems training to the staff. The entire system was up and running by July of 2020, just three months after the initial call to Weaver.
Since implementation, the client has seen a 30% increase in revenue despite the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The doors have reopened to a steady stream of foot traffic and Der Küchen Laden now sells its wares to serious epicureans across the globe.