#SWFRED – It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

For Startup Weekend Fredericksburg I chose to be on Team Sprelly. Adrian Silversmith, who had competed in the Made in Fred VA event, pitched the idea of having a local downtown Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich shop that is healthy. With his family he thought about the options there are for kids to eat and how much people in America eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. So he did some research on similar food restaurants and came up with ideas on what he wanted to do with the eatery. He ended up winning “The People’s Choice Award” at the event and came to Startup Weekend Fredericksburg hoping to make this idea a reality. For this weekend we took what he started and started brainstorm places to test the product and other products he could created.

He partnered with local designer and owner of Paul’s Bakery to make these “Sprelly Spronuts” which were tested at Blackstone Coffee and Paul’s Bakery. Samples were also brought to Germanna with high praise. With the products in mind — I continued to work on the brand and design of Sprelly, including the website. For the design aesthetic, Adrian and I agreed that it should be more organic, clean and distinguishable. Using PB&J colors with a brown bag texture gives that organic and classic look people expect but keeping it simple. I thought that the best way to go about in making a website for Sprelly was to use WordPress so that it could be easily updated and still have the ability to share the news on Sprelly’s latest events. It is a one paged responsive theme that works great on mobile. I was able to take the existing menu, content information, and add the social media widgets with Kyle Santana, our developer, to complete the site.

While I finished the design aspect, the rest of the team started planning a location to test the sandwiches. Through our team’s networking connections we were able to get a space in Spaces Design Studio next to FoodE in Downtown Fredericksburg. Thanks to the owners we were able to host almost 200 plus people to come in and out of the PopUp Eatery to try product samples. Through our push in social media on Facebook, we began to have a huge following that ended up with 500 likes in 3 days time. Twitter was around 100 followers by the end of the weekend. The reviews of the food were all positive. People enjoyed the sandwiches and thought it would be a great addition to the downtown area.

By final pitch time, I had finished the site and our marketing strategy became clear on how to present to the judges how much we had accomplished. Our pitch went well and under the time limit but we ended up with Crowd favorite and placing in 3rd at the end of the competition. Now its onto the community building and brining Sprelly to families in the Fredericksburg area with hopes to become a franchise.

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