Marketing is key for bakeries, as we will see in this interview. Know-how and a good product, is arguably even more important. Kolau interviews Guillermo Moscoso—owner and baker at Pan da Moa, a bakery located in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. It recently won the 1st GASTROactitud Compromiso con la Tierra. This award is given to people who work and strive to produce products that are natural and healthy. Pan da Moa is looked to as an example for the best preparation of Galician bread as well as for the way a bakery is generally run. Today, Guillermo tells us what it takes to own and operate one of the best bakeries in Spain.
Guillermo, Pan da Moa won the 1st GASTROactitud Compromiso con la Tierra award. Why do you think your bakery won this coveted prize?
We have always strived to create a modern, yet traditional, bakery. We have been creating more avant-garde breads while making sure to always use raw, local materials like Galician flour. We also use Galician processing techniques, especially those from Santiago that follow our family tradition. I think continuing to improve while remembering where we came from and, above all, committing ourselves to creating a natural and good product with locally sourced materials helped us win the award.
What do you do at Pan da Moa that makes you different from other bakeries?
At Pan da Moa we always work with natural products. We don’t want to use any preservatives or additives in our products. We believe that unnatural ingredients have no place in the creation of our breads. I am also a perfectionist who thinks I can always do better work.
This makes me want to improve constantly and make things better, and thus offer the best possible product to our customers. All of that separates Pan da Moa from our competition in my opinion.
Does your Galician bread have special characteristics?
The main difference is the moisture in the bread. Galician bread is known for being moist instead of dry. Galician baking techniques add more moisture to the bread dough than other baking techniques. This produces a softer loaf of bread. We also use a longer fermentation process which results in quality bread that has a flaky crust and a moist crumb. Our bread can also stay fresh for longer periods of time thanks to our baking process. This may seem easy enough but it’s actually difficult because this process creates a less consistent dough that can be hard to work with.
I see that in Pan da Moa you offer cooking courses and collaborate with other entities outside of the bakery. Has the fact of doing these activities helped win customers?
Interestingly enough, people believe that if you teach others how to produce your product, people won’t come anymore because they already know how to do it for themselves. I see it differently, though. In the cooking courses, my clients have had the opportunity to get to know me better, to understand the product better, and learn how to appreciate the product as well as the bakery. Although one day they might make the bread themselves, other good things will come from that relationship including them recommending me to their friends and family. They can say that they know first hand how I prepare the food in the bakery and will attest to its quality. Overall, the courses we offer and the collaborations we do outside of the bakery help make our products known and help us win over more customers.
I have also seen that on your Facebook you have almost 5,000 followers. That is a success! What does Pan da Moa do in terms of social networking?
In Facebook, we try to make a daily publication of our daily products. We also post information on upcoming events or courses. I like to keep in touch with my clients on social networks. People like it and I think it’s important to dedicate even as little as five minutes a day to it so customers see daily activity on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
I see that on Twitter you also have more than 1,000 followers and that you constantly update your feed with the latest bakery news. Do you think Twitter helps you retain your customers?
Almost everything we post is replicated across all three social networks. I can say that the media that work best for us are Facebook and Instagram. I assume that Twitter is less influential on our business because of the age range of users. The average age range of users on Twitter is about 20 to 30 years; these are not our regular customer base. Facebook, being a more widespread and massive medium, has more of our target audience and produces more successful results.
I imagine that word of mouth is how you get most of your customers, but what other channels of communication bring in customers?
Of course, I think word of mouth is the greatest social network of all time. It’s a method that isn’t based on the age range of users or anything else. That being said, I must emphasize the vital role of social networks today. Even with investing very little time, you can get exceptional results through social media. Social networks are a window that offers a multitude of possibilities and should not be overlooked.
What do you do in Pan da Moa to gain loyalty and win customers?
Every season we think about what we can do to attract and retain customers in Pan da Moa. We have a general product chart, but we make specific promotions, too. For example, we have promotions on salty products that are made at the end of the month and that brings us excellent results. This is because, for some reason, at the end of the month customers are more likely to try new things. Another way, as I said before, are the courses we offer that allow the client to get to know another facet of our business that was previously unknown. That has also offered us excellent results in customer loyalty and growth.
Do you use any review platforms or get the reviews directly through your website?
There are clients who directly post their reviews on Google and others who come directly to Pan da Moa to congratulate us or give us their opinion. We have not really dedicated time to other media outside of the social networks or our website, therefore, Facebook and the website are our biggest sources of reviews.
What function does your website have in addition to telling your customers where they can find you?
The website discusses the philosophy of our company and our vision of the work done, apart from showing our location. The website also serves as a bulletin board for the bakery.
Do you update the website according to the time of year?
Yes, we try to update it as much as possible so that the customers know we’re active. We want them to see updates news or new products whenever they visit the site.
Have you planned to expand your business?
In our field, it isn’t easy to expand. Our products don’t last long enough to be shipped out long distances so we don’t offer that. We’re also happy with our current bakeries, at the moment. They allow us to carry the business with the philosophy that best represents us.
What advice can you give to bakeries who are having trouble acquiring and retaining customers?
The most important thing is to make the best product possible. You have to want to improve every day and not be content with the product as it stands.
Another important point is to sell the product in a different way. Don’t just sell bread. Instead, inform the customer of the nutritional properties of the products you sell. Also, make them understand that they are buying an exceptional product.
My final tip is that you don’t neglect social networks. They are an exceptional way to get new customers as well as maintaining a good relationship with your existing customers.
Finally, give me a prediction of what you think will be the best way to win customers in your industry in this next and years.
As I pointed out earlier, social networks are going to be the key to win and retain customers. Social networks yield excellent results without having to spend money. This is in addition to word of mouth, which has always been, and will continue to be, a key factor in winning new customers.