During this week of my internship at TMK, I started working on my market research project. The purpose of this project is to visit existing roadside stands and farm market customers in the general geographic area around Philadelphia, and survey them with a list of questions that I composed. The questions probe the customer’s satisfaction with TMK produce and customer service, and also explore the customer’s buying and selling habits, as well as the buying habits of the farm markets’ customers. This will help TMK get a better understanding of current and new market trends. The survey also invites the customers to visit the Philadelphia Wholesale Product Market so they can better appreciate what the Market can offer and how that can help these markets to expand their product offerings and build their businesses. While they are at PWPM these farm market customers will also see the TMK operation and learn how it is the largest, most significant produce distributor at PWPM. With TMK’s vast range of high quality fruit and vegetable produce, we believe that seeing what we offer will help build our business with these existing customers.
Another part of this project is to visit roadside produce stands and farm markets that are not current customers. One of the main questions I ask is if they have ever visited PWPM. I encourage them to visit by giving them a free entry pass so they can see the great variety of produce offered by PWPM and TMK. Other questions in the survey explore their satisfaction with their current product offerings; if they have interest in expanding the types of produce they offer; if they are satisfied with their current suppliers; or would like to add TMK or one of the other PWPM companies to their preferred supplier list.
The first area that I visited was in central and south New Jersey. One of the typical TMK customers that I visited was Grasso Girls Farm Market in Mullica Hill, NJ. This is a family operation that has been in business since 1924. Over the years they expanded their offerings from just the small amounts of produce they grew on their farm, and added produce from other distributors, as well as other products that would be attractive to their customers.
Another business I visited was Russo’s Fruit and Vegetable Farm in Tabernacle, New Jersey. Russo also has an operation at the Trenton Farmers’ Market. Fresh, homemade pies, cakes, and various fruit juices are other popular products also offered by this market.
In the next couple of weeks I will continue to visit existing customers, and also start to visit some potential new customers. So far I am finding this project to be very rewarding, not only because it can help TMK and PWPM to expand their business, but also because the places I am visiting and people I am interviewing are potential contacts that I can use in the future.