Monday, September 14, 2015

Over A Hundred Years of "One Customer At A Time"

By Roger V. Loria, Jr.

       There's a poster hanging in a local pizzeria that I found very interesting while having lunch there one day.  The poster stated a handful of facts about life in the U.S. in the year 1907.  The purpose of the poster was to give a customer something interesting to read while dining.  For instance, women in 1907 commonly washed their hair with eggs and borax (wow, right?).  With regard to the 'interesting reading', that mission was accomplished. 
       But the reason why this particular poster was hanging in a pizzeria with a bunch of factoids about 1907 was to draw attention to the year in which this pizzeria was founded.  When I made the connection to the restaurant's long-standing heritage and what life was like in the year it was founded, it made that pizzeria a bit more endearing to me (especially since our company shares a very similar story, starting in 1912).  
       Though the information on the pizzeria's poster was fascinating, it also held a special interest to me as part of a fourth generation business, which was also founded soon after the turn of the 20th century, on the Lower East Side of New York City (only five years apart from that local pizzeria).  I cannot tell you how many customers we have been privileged to serve over the years since then.  But I can honestly tell you that it has been (as the saying goes) "one customer at a time".  
The workshop of the original 'V. Loria & Sons' company, located on 
the Bowery on the Lower East Side of Manhattan (circa 1920s). 
Company founder, Verniere Loria, standing 3rd from left. 
       Tying a bigger historical picture to any long-standing heritage draws interest in and of itself.  In business, it also adds that crucial element of 'trust' to a company's public image.  However, that implicit trust still must be proven.  Therefore, that long-standing heritage also puts the onus on those in that business, especially a family business, to earn that trust "one customer at a time".  We have made it a practice that 'goes without saying' in order to give each customer's needs our full and undivided attention.  We believe it is something that is critical to our existence.
      By the way:  In 1912, the average cost of a movie-ticket was 7 cents and an ounce of gold was $20.65.  But we have never put a price on our attention to our customers, whether they are buying a dart-point sharpener for $2, a trophy for $10, or a pool-table for several thousand dollars - it's always been "one customer at a time".

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