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Making a toast with a glass of chai on our 6th Birthday

Posted on December 12, 2018 by Scott Eirinberg

I'm thankful for many things on our 6th birthday.

In many ways, this has been the busiest and most exciting year for us so far. So busy, in fact, that this is the first blog post I’ve been able to write since last year's birthday blog! We've been launching so many exciting new products.

First a little history for you. Did you know the original name of the company? If you said, “The Reluctant Pepper Company,” give yourself a pat on the back.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before I realized we needed a name change. While we did launch with the best Tellicherry Peppercorns on the planet, I felt the "Pepper" part of the name would be a little too confining.

Mr. Reluctant, Mr. Divakar and his crew.

After much thought, I somehow managed to come up with an even less memorable name, “The Reluctant Trading Experiment.”

Kidding aside, it really has been the perfect name. When your first name is "Reluctant," you are allowed to take your time to get things right. I'm a perfectionist, so being "Reluctant" is always an excellent excuse. 

Also, the word "Reluctant" is truthful. When we started, I didn’t know a Tellicherry Peppercorn from a telephone pole. I thought pepper was all the same. (Here’s the full story.) But eventually, I gave in to the amazing aroma of the Tellicherry peppercorns and followed my nose.

I like the word "Experiment" in our name too. When it's an experiment, you have license to try new things and move in new ways. I like the freedom.

A Reluctant Timeline

We launched with our signature Tellicherry Peppercorns in 2012, then we added our signature Flaky Icelandic Sea Salt in 2013. A few more items followed, but it took awhile. The floodgates opened this fall. We added ton of new things. Like new gorgeous salt and pepper mills from Denmark. New stoneware salt cellars. New gift sets. New Monsoon Moon Indian Whole Bean Coffee. Sourced in India. Roasted in Indiana.

Look at all the new stuff! And how about Mrs. and Mr. Reluctant the apron models?

 

We even added chef aprons made on 100-year old handlooms in Divakar’s hometown. You really have to come see what we’ve been up to.

In addition to our consumer business, we picked up several award-winning chef customers including a 3-star Michelin Star restaurant in San Francisco. (There are only 14 Three-Star Michelin Restaurants in the country.)

The spices we supply our top restaurant chefs are the same ones we offer you on our consumer website. So if you haven't ventured beyond our pepper and salt, you really ought to try the other stuff. You won't be sorry.

For me, December 12th is Thanksgiving

Thank you to my wife Karla, aka Mrs. Reluctant, for your amazing support. Behind every great spice man, is a great spice woman, right? She really is the glue that keeps us together.

Thank you, Divakar, for consistently supplying us with the freshest, most extraordinary spices (and now amazing textiles) on the planet. You should take a pride in all of the 5-star reviews on ReluctantTrading.com.

Thank you, Mike J., our newest employee, for following me from The Land of Nod to Reluctant Trading. Your trust will be rewarded. (BTW, does anybody know how to update a Wikipedia page out there? Let me know!)

Thank you, Pauline, Olivia, and company. Wonderful to have a partner that cares as much about getting our packages out on a daily basis as we do.

Thank you, Michael Mabry, for another year of beautiful, spot-on product and graphic design.

Thank you, Alan Shortall, for another year of spot-on photos. While we didn’t have the excitement of getting attacked by monkeys this year, I'm also relieved not to have to get another tetanus shot.

And last, but certainly not least, thank you for your business and amazing reviews.

I still see every order that comes through. I still read every review. I still answer my emails. Looking forward to more experiments in the year ahead.

All the best to you and your family this holiday season!

Scott, Karla and Mike

"The Reluctant Trading Experiment Story" 

In case you haven't seen the video that tells the story of the start of our company, I thought I'd include it here. In the words of the guy that plays Divakar, "Too good! Too good!"

Bon Appétit Names Reluctant Trading a Top Specialty Food Retailer

Posted on June 22, 2017 by Scott Eirinberg

Bon Appetit Names Reluctant Trading a Top 10 Online Specialty Food Retailer

 

We're thrilled that Bon Appétit just named Reluctant Trading Experiment a "Great Online Specialty Food Retailer." 

Award-winning Portland Chef Bonnie Morales of Kachka called our hand-picked Tellicherry Peppercorns "the best you can get." And Chef Morales goes on to praise our fresh Turmeric too. 

Bon Appétit sites our "outstanding" Masala Chai which was previously written about in a Bon Appétit chai feature titled "the best you can buy."

In addition, our Icelandic Sea Salt, Green Cardamom Pods, Black Cardamom Pods and pepper mills

We couldn't be more thrilled and excited to be recognized by the critics at Bon Appétit. Trés bon!

Why "Thank You for Your Business!" is not pre-printed on our receipts

Posted on November 16, 2016 by Scott Eirinberg

Well hello again. It's been some time since I last posted. I started feeling a little guilty about it this morning, so I thought I'd take some time to explain what we've been doing with our time. 

We spend the majority of it making sure we're offering the freshest, most aromatic spices. On a daily basis, I am communicating with my partner on the ground in India, Divakar. It takes a lot of time to plan our orders so that we can maintain maximum freshness.

The other part of our time is spent offering a better customer service experience. I sign each and every invoice. It's to let you know that I appreciate your business. It's to let you know that I'm here if you have any issues. And it's to show off my beautiful handwriting. (That was a joke.)

Let's just say that  there's a reason "Thank you for your business!" was not pre-printed on our receipts. That's meaningless. Don't say it, show it.

We often ship twice a day in order to get your orders out the door as quickly as possible. Okay, we ain't Amazon. We don't have Prime Shipping. But we purposely keep our shipping prices low and move things out the door quickly.

Some say I'm old school. (Though my kids just say I'm old.)

I believe that if you offer amazing products and take care of your customers, people will return and spread the word like my son spreading Tellicherry Pepper and Icelandic Sea Salt on his spaghetti carbonara.

Sure, I could write more posts. I could do more social media. I could add more products for the holidays. But at this point, that would take away from what makes The Reluctant Trading Experiment special. 

Sorry, I have to go now. We have some orders to get out the door. Really.

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