Hooray! We found the time to squeeze in a fresh Tasting Tuesday here at Taste Winchester History! We had the privilege of visiting one of our proud Taste of Winchester Food Festival Sponsors, family-owned and operated Schenck Foods Co. a fixture in Winchester, Virginia since 1928! Our gracious host is Jessica Swiger.
Misty and Anthony visited with Jessica at Schenk’s to talk a little history, a lotta food, and their recently released: Schenck’s Online Grocery Shopping options, for either pick-up at Schenck’s or for home delivery! This new option was just released in the last month and has been met with favorable fanfare, or foodfare, or just general excitement from their growing consumer base! Click on that link and see for yourself! The website is neat, clean, easy to navigate, quite readable with big, bright graphics. Better still, if your computer at home is broken, they’ve actually set-up a station right in the lobby for you to view and order right there on-site!
If you missed it, check out our brief video below from our LIVE Tasting Tuesday visit! More to the story and all of Schenck’s contact options follow the video… if your preference is reading, a summarized transcript follows, too! Don’t forget to order your tickets for the Taste of Winchester Food Festival in and around Winchester on September 28th, 2019! It’s coming up quick!
Misty: Here we go! Hey, guys!
Anthony: Where are we at today?
Misty: Where are we; can you guess? We are at Schenck Foods with lovely Miss Jessica. You can see the sign here.
Anthony: Are we cursed with the reversed sign, it’s spelled backwards?
Misty: We might be, it is backwards. Okay, guys, we are here because Schenck Foods now has a grocery service. You can do pick-up or delivery, so we are going to literally walk you through the whole process and Jessica is going to give us the background on how this happened from such an amazing company.
So we’re going to walk while we’re talking here quickly.
Anthony: Excuse the wind noise and there will be some noise when we go inside on the walk-through, but we’re going to do our best.
Misty: This is the sign, if Anthony moves his big butt… there we go. THis is the sign that’s going to literally direct you to where the grocery pick-up is.
Hey, guys, give us a heart or a thumbs up if you’re joining us, I see a couple people coming on.
Jessica: Hi, everybody!
Misty: Start our walk and talk.
Jessica: Thank you so much. So as you can see, we are outside for a reason. We want you to note that as you come off of Valley Pike you’ll pull right into our parking lot, and then to our left where that sign is, it’s giving you some advice on where your grocery pick-up is.
So we have evolved! We are a 91-year-old, family-owned local business with a wholesale history. And we know that as the best kept secret in Winchester, anybody who is local understands that they can come in and use our retail counter to get something for their family or for a family reunion or for a church event, and so we took the advice of so many of our patrons and we extended the access for grocery to our regional consumer.
And so you have the option to order online at schenckfoods.com and come here and pick-up; we’re going to walk over and show you where those pick-up spots are.
Misty: Exactly how you do it.
Jessica: Or we actually can also deliver those products to you locally. There is a $5 service charge and $50 minimum for the actual delivery fee, but if you wanted to come here and pick-up, there is no minimum.
So let’s take a walk and we’ll show you the exact designated spots.
Anthony: All right, I see them over there, let’s walk and talk.
Misty: There we go. So here we are in the parking lot. So tell us a little bit more about this history and how this came about and what you guys are doing.
Jessica: So actually if you pan to the left you’re going to see a bit of who we are as a history. So anybody who comes to Schenck Foods and comes up to our retail counter, either our restaurant wholesale customers or, as I said, just a consumer in the area, we’ve actually historically always loaded your car.
So our rich history and how we treat our customers evolved directly into what we want to offer as a very enjoyable experience and engaging opportunity, and also a convenient solution for people in the grocery area.
Misty: Which is great, especially if you have kids or you’re caring for a parent or something. I mean, honestly, I remember the first time I went to Harris Teeter and they put my groceries in my car for me, that was life-changing to me.
Misty: So having a local family-owned company…
Jessica: I mean, imagine being able to pull into spot #1 here with a sleeping child and you just let us know that that is the spot that you’re located in; you’ve already paid online when you made that order. We do have a two-hour minimum, of course, if you place that order then give us a little bit of time to get that fulfilled, but we’ll certainly let you know when it’s done, and that could be earlier.
In the quick history of our launching we’ve already been evolving. The purpose here is for us to really be listening to our local community. We’ve been in this area so long and we know that we have, I would say maybe a gap in access for grocery.
Misty: Right, absolutely.
Jessica: We already have this amazing assortment of products and so we’ve kind of leaned that down into what we think you would go to the store for, but beautifully our program is already working. And as people engage and tell us more about what they want to see, we’re actually updating our product guide weekly.
Misty: That’s wonderful. So if you do go on the website, we’re going to talk about all of that.
Anthony: Schenckfoods.com — that’s an “S” on that, schenckfoods.com.
Misty: You can see the listing of options that you hvae now, but if there’s something missing, people, you can literally reach out and say, hey, this is something I would be ordering. And if you do have it, you add it to the service.
Jessica: Exactly. So I’ll just tell you a little bit about how well we’re listening already. We just launched the program on August 17th. We’ve already extended our delivery service area out of 22601 to an entire 15-mile radius. So yes, we’re coming to you, county.
Misty: I didn’t forget about Frederick County.
Jessica: That’s right. I live there.
We’re also listening to our consumers when we hear about our delivery hours, and we’re extending our delivery hours up until 8:00 p.m.
Anthony: Oh, wonderful.
Jessica: So again, for a working person, we do need you present for that actual delivery to happen. So for a working family if you want to be there at 6:00 or maybe someone is running everyone around for sports for the night, but one of the parents can stay home and try to do so meal prep.
Misty: Or if you’re commuting to Northern Virginia, you don’t have time, you don’t want to stop — who wants to stop at the grocery store after driving an hour and a half? They have Schenck Foods.
Jessica: That’s exactly right. You could place your order at lunchtime and have that delivered and ready to meet you at home or you could simply swing by again, 3578 Valley Pike, for this actual pick-up location here. So it’s really us listening to both of those options and making sure that you feel comfortable and confident.
I appreciate that as we were having a quick conversation before we got started today, it’s about being comfortable with the process, and we want to be able to adapt, and again listen to our regional consumers and kind of evolve or develop this, not only to bring the products, but of course the connection. And really helping us to be reminding everybody that if you’re shopping with a 91-year-old, family-owned business, you’re shopping local. We’re bringing an assortment of products to you and those relationships are something that we’ve just developed or that we’ve had for decades.
Misty: Yeah, and I love this, there’s actually a local category on the shopping, so I love clicking on there and–
Anthony: I have a question! I have a question!
Misty: Okay, you raised your hand, there you go.
Anthony: What if I don’t have a computer at home? And as infrequent as this is probably likely, isn’t there — don’t you guys have a process right here on-site?
Jessica: Absolutely. Let’s walk to it.
Anthony: So we can go in?
Jessica: Yeah, I appreciate that.
Misty: So we are going to do a little more walking here. I’m going to flip the camera again hopefully.
So guys, this is literally the door you’re going to walk in. We’re going to show you exactly what you do for this process, because if you are an introvert like me and you get kind of anxious about new things, and here–
Jessica: And here you can follow us on Facebook and Instagram and go to schenckfoods.com/shop or simply go to schenckfoods.com to find what we’re about to show you.
Anthony: It’s really easy to navigate.
Misty: It is very, very easy.
Jessica: But if you did just get curious enough, you can pan up. Pan up for me and we’re a wholesale provider and now a grocery provider. You can simply come on-site and ask questions. And we do actually have a set-up for, as Anthony mentioned, if you didn’t have your own home computer, you can come in directly.
Jessica: Typically our consumers who are familiar with us could go up to the counter and work with our very knowledgeable staff. We’re encouraging you now to see that we have a grocery kiosk. You can pan over.
Misty: So I love that it’s very easy to see when you come in here; where you need to go, what you need to do. Like I said, if you’re an introvert and this kind of scares you, even like going into new restaurants sometimes, I’m like, ahhhh — or going into a new hotel you get nervous — this is awesome.
We’ve already signed-in, so here’s the kiosk. Show us what we do.
Jessica: So it’s interesting, we do have this set of instructions right here. You kind of walk through those, and it’s going to give you, again, if you didn’t get on today live or you’re coming at another point in time, we have some instructions exactly on how you’ll use the site, and so what I love is that we do have a — I’m going to go all the way back up to the top because you’ll go to schenckfoods.com. We have these kiosks ready to go already for the grocery, so you don’t have to navigate throught the site. We’ve got it ready and set-up.
Local service, online convenience, it’s exactly who we are.
And we’re nuancing, as you stated, some categories that we feel passionate about, which is our local suppliers; which is our produce; which is a gluten-free assortment.
Misty: Gluten-free, yeah.
Jessica: Being able to really think through what we believe we’re all searching for, which is information about our food and understanding where it comes from, it’s a part of our passion. So that’s how you’ll see things segmented and developed into categories. Household, you can also get your paper towels, your toilet paper, buy your soap, all here online. So we’re trying to get and really create it to become not just grocery, but really a helpful solution for you.
So of course you’ll simply come in and start looking and navigating through some of the products. You’ll see an assortment, and what we appreciate is that we’re able to put the prices right here online.
Misty: That’s wonderful.
Jessica: You can scroll down. You’ll be able to add in some of the things that you’re excited about. When you add those to the cart it’s going to show you immediately then if you would like to do a store pick-up or if you would actually also want to get the minimum and have a grocery delivery option. So you’ll be able to add things to the cart, you can give us special instructions; I’m going to have a sleeping baby or I know that you’re going to hear a barking dog, no problem; anything that we need to know, and we’re making the options right here on the very first order, right there in the cart, you just let us know.
We need you obviously home, so we have the terms and conditions if you’re going to do that.
Anthony: Yeah, I want to make sure that we hear that. You have to be home when it’s time for delivery. They’re not going to leave the food on your front porch in the 95-degree weather.
Jessica: We do. We feel pretty strongly just about maintaining the integrity of the product and certainly making sure that what we’re delivering is an experience, and we want to see your face. We want to engage with you. We want to be able to share the connectivity from our business to the community, and that is our purpose.
You can see it happening again, us walking out and actually loading someone’s car.
Anthony: There’s a lot of hard-working crew here.
Misty: Loading someone’s car, I just love that.
Jessica: That’s exactly right. What’s amazing is we’ve talked about developing and evolving in this program, the piece that was simply new is marking the spots and being able to deliver it to your home. We’ve already been doing this type of engagement with customers and consumers in the area for a long time. I mean, I kind of laughed when I came on board a year ago and said, wow, this is the best kept secret in Winchester because there’s such an assortment of really, really quality products that we already have access to and we’re simply helping people understand that this was a retail option. So we’re hoping to develop that awareness and certainly give people an option to connect with us on the this level. And again, we’ll continue to develop because we have access to so many different local suppliers and of course quality products nationwide and be able to develop this program so it works for our region.
Misty: Right. And so this isn’t just for big events, business-to-business. This is consumer. This is you. This is you getting your weekly groceries or bi-weekly or once a month. If you’re going on a large trip.
Because I do see in the list that you do have a lot of the bigger, popular stuff.
Jessica: Absolutely. I mean, as a consumer I know that a lot of times I often make a few stops. I might go to one place because I specifically have decided that I’m going to go to that farmer’s market. I might go to another place because I need a specific ingredient. And then I might go to a warehouse provider because I want to get a bulk of something else.
Jessica: Our hope is that you can see that we’re really melding all of those things into one. Our access is not simply one stop. It actually gives you local access to a variety of products from a variety from size to selections.
Misty: And the local aspects — are we going to move?
Anthony: Yes, we’re going to move out of the busy area here, at least step aside.
Misty: A little less loud hopefully.
So it kind of combines it. First of all, Schenck is a sponsor for the Food Festival, I don’t think we’ve mentioned that yet.
Jessica: Yeah, that’s important.
Misty: Well, yeah. We are so happy that you’re on board because you are local. You are family-owned. You’ve been here 91 years. That’s insanity, I don’t think most of us can imagine how you started and —
Jessica: And how we’ve made it 91 years, sure.
Misty: And now we’re here ordering groceries online. That’s crazy. I’m sure the founders never thought that would happen.
Jessica: I’m not sure, yeah, I’m not sure they were forecasting that and I think that’s actually a part of our story is that if you really get to know our business, we’ve been continuing to connect and evolve locally. I mean, the business didn’t start out as this warehouse either, but we’ve been engaged in this community in one way or another for so long that we are passionate about it. We live here. We work here. And we want to continue to do both of those things.
We also desire things that I think society is asking us to get on board with or enjoy, which is convenience and enjoying quality food in your home.
Misty: With the time to enjoy it.
Jessica: There it is. It’s about being a convenient option for you so that you can get the food you’re seeking.
Misty: Right, and we’re all so busy and I think having a local company, I mean, Martin’s does stuff, but it is so important to, you know, you are a local company, but you are also promoting local businesses.
Jessica: Thank you, yeah, and that’s our excitement to connect with you on this event. We are engaged, of course, with several restaurants locally. We want to continue to develop that passion as well, which is we’re the go-to in this area for our restaurant community. We really want to learn what your needs are. We really want to take the same mentality that I’m talking about on the grocery side and remind us that we work with restaurants, too, and we care about those menus and we care about what products are being offered to their needs.
Misty: And all of our restaurant owners care about that stuff, so knowing that they have this source, that’s fabulous. And now as an individual you have this source that you can use.
Jessica: Absolutely. What we’re hoping and what we’re grateful for is your partnership gives us both of those pieces and we know that we’re looking at telling a story that’s new for us as a business. We have a history as a wholesale provider and we are now a grocery supplier. We really are those things already, but it’s time for us to really deliver that message and help the patrons that are going to be actually attending the event, help them understand that we can go beyond the plate and you maybe get that day, we can actually help offer some of those products that they might have the opportunity to taste at the restaurants within their own offerings at home by partnering with us.
Misty: Exactly. So you will be tasting food that has come from Schenck, and I might ask our restaurants which ones have them because I would love to find that out.
Jessica: I would appreciate that.
Misty: We’ll find that out, but you’ll also be getting probably a coupon for the grocery service in your ticket package, so definitely make sure you get your tickets ordered. And if you have not gotten your tickets yet, please do so because I think we’re going to sell out, but you will get a free tasting ticket added to your ticket order.
Anthony: And they can find those tickets at?
Misty: Tasteofwinchesterva.com and you will find a big write-up on Schenck Foods new grocery service and this video so you guys can share that.
Anthony: Yes, like I said, we are live, we are on-site, everybody is working hard.
Misty: They are working hard, it’s awesome, but there’s tons, plenty of parking, I love that.
Jessica: Thank you, yes. We are very blessed with an historic location that gives us great parking.
Misty: Tons of parking.
Jessica: We feel grateful that we could take the time to mark those spots for groceries. I don’t know if you also saw we have that ice and water machine in the corner.
Misty: I was going to point that out, yes, because people are always asking where that is.
Jessica: It’s a really neat addition and it kind of ties into our consumer realm as well. We’ve got football games, we’ve still got weather outside for a good picnic. You’ve got ice.
Misty: Even Thanksgiving, ice, I mean the parties and all those gatherings, this is fabulous that you have all this.
Jessica: Check it out.
Misty: And it’s open 24/7.
Jessica: And a spot marked for it just in case, so yeah.
Anthony: Shall we retire to the conference room?
Misty: Follow us, guys. You’re going to get the behind-the-scenes. So if you guys have questions, please comment. The delivery service is awesome. You can also pick-up and that is no delivery fee.
Anthony: Hey, here we are, schenckfoods.com.
Misty: And they just remodeled, it’s really nice in here.
We lost our connection deep inside the control center of Schenck Foods, but only lost about a two-minute wrap-up where we covered some of the ways in which Schenck Foods gives back to the community. You can find out the wealth of philanthropic partnerships at this link: Schenck Foods Community Engagement. Schenck Foods Co. works hard to make a difference through their support of the following key giving priorities: community-based food banks and emergency food providers, and they are advocates for children in need, those individuals and families struggling with addiction, and the empowerment and support of women’s issues and needs and so much more.
And a final editorial note, we’re proud to be partnering with Schenck Foods Co. whose goals and mission are aligned with ours — promote Winchester, Virginia and all our great town and community has to offer; supporting and helping build up our locally owned and operated Winchester businesses; community engagement and giving back; and helping everyone experience the great fun, great food, and great times and we all grow and prosper together!
Thank you so much to Jessica Swiger and Scheck Foods Co. for hosting us and for helping us bring a Taste of Winchester Food Festival to everyone!
Also, don’t forgot to follow our website; and you can find us, like us, share us, follow us via social media at Taste Winchester History on Facebook; And of course, check us out on Instagram as well at Taste Winchester History on Instagram. Also we would love for you to book a Historic Food Tour or a History & Hops Beer and Cider Tour: Book a Tour with Taste Winchester History!