2022 Year in Review
Someone left this comment on one of our marketing campaigns this year : “Stop taking yourselves so seriously, you’re just an olive oil company.”
While that may technically be correct, I would prefer to make a small alteration with your permission. We are just an olive oil company that makes people smile.
When we were finally ready to press GO, on January 10th at midnight, there was no shame nor hiding about how ambitious we were (also likely naive). You throw around buzzwords like “food-startup,” “community,” “content,” “growth,” “founders,” and you think (actually pay to think) SO long and hard about your companies “pillars” and “values.” What does your “brand stand for ?”
“Home cooking is a growing market… Brand is dead… Brand is more alive than ever… The Mediterranean diet is the right way to eat…Our goal is to get people to gather and share meals and culinary experiences… yadda yadda (shoutout to Elaine).
When I reflect back on some of these blanket statements, it’s hard not to resonate with the “stop taking yourselves so seriously, you’re just an olive oil company” comment. Looking back, we knew very little about what Graza was, and maybe we know very little about what it will become, but here’s what I do know (and I guess “what we take so seriously”).
- We are rooted in incredible product quality, and we never compromise on that, and never will. Being delicious is critical.
- We are a group of people. Talented, enthusiastic, sacrificial, dynamic people, and we are there for one another. We try to make one another SMILE. And these people make Graza possible.
- Our “community,” or as others would put it, “customers,” are fucking incredible. Seeing them smile and enjoy Graza has taken on a whole new meaning in our lives, and in 2022, this was the most rewarding experience.
- We take the way we communicate VERY SERIOUSLY. We try to be direct, with a touch of humor, but always honest. If we are “marketing,” we sure as hell say so. And if we just think that a blog post that we produce, or a recipe that we develop, really deserves some attention, we sure as hell say so.
- We have strong bones, inside and out. Great businesses have the wherewithal to not just spend money voraciously to succeed, and our financial and operational excellence allows us to deliver on our fundamental promises. In stock, on-time, high-quality, thoughtful, priced as damn competitively as we can olive oil.
Things that made Graza smile this year
Allen, co-founder: This picture from the evening before we officially launched right after we turned the website on.
Kendall, head of social: I would say my favorite moment was seeing a random customer on the New York City subway with a Graza box. It made me excited, overwhelmed (with gratitude), and just blew my mind of what we have been able to create.
Grace, brand marketing: My favorite moment is a friend from home in Missouri texting me that people wanted Graza in our grocery store there. That "will they be in Whole Foods soon?" made me cry! And maybe that seems silly, but our goal has always been to make it as easy as possible to get something crazy high-quality. That text was a signal that Graza really can bring joy and flavor to people all over.
Andrew, co-founder: Sorry, too hard to pick one. I’m soaking it all in and getting emotional just thinking about it.