Taylor’s Market: Think Local, Ship Global

Taylor’s Market is a beloved shop for many Sacramento food lovers. However, many locals may not know that they have a robust shipping department that sends products all over the world that we can get right here in Land Park. I interviewed Brian McNeil, the e-commerce manager at Taylor’s to learn more about it.

How long has Taylor’s had a shipping department?

Taylor’s shipping started in 2001. We began by adding a few items to our website that we started at that time, which originally was going to be an informational site about the store. We listed a couple of items to see what kind of response we would get. We are up to almost 2000 items now.

How has the department expanded through out the years?

We have grown to four full-time and three part-time employees, and that varies by the season. It initially took us three months to get our first order, now we do several hundred orders a day.

Do people still order directly through the website?

They do as well as by phone. We also sell on ebay, Amazon, Sears.com and Buy.com as well.

What are the most popular items that you ship?

Pretty much everything, ranging from olive oil to pizza flour and everything in-between. We sell a lot of esoteric, harder to find items. People are searching for ingredients more than anything else.

Italian Ketchup

Some of the products Taylor’s ships are not for sale in the store, like this Italian-made ketchup.

Are there any locally-made products that people purchase through Taylor’s?

We sell several locally-made products such as River City Sodas, which are produced here in Sacramento. Also, J. Heier Farms walnuts from Live Oak. We have a full line from The Farmer’s Wife in Yuba City, as well as Earth and Vine Provisions, and then our own tomatoes, and different products from the Sacramento area as they are available, as well as mandarins. Quite a few local items. Bariani Olive Oil probably is the number one item.

Heier

J. Heier Farms is located in Live Oak, near Yuba City.

Where is the most remote spot that you’ve shipped an item?

We’ve shipped to both the North and the South Pole, China, Mexico, Israel, pretty much every continent; the only one we haven’t shipped to so far is Africa.

Do you have any interesting stories or funny stories involving shipping?

Just some of the characters that call up and want to talk. You can end up having conversations for 30-40 minutes learning about people’s lives, just because they want to order one stick of salami. There are many things that are just funny. And especially when people are ordering something for someone else. We get messages that are racy at times, you just have to take everything in stride.

This last year we had a major television star that lost a bet over the Los Angeles Dodgers, and we ended up shipping 700 Dodger hot dogs to his agent in Chicago.

I have one customer from Israel that has been a customer for almost 10 years. He orders 100 cans of tuna every three to four months. It is Spanish tuna, Ortiz tuna.

It would be much closer for him to order it directly from Spain than from Sacramento!

Definitely. There are many items that are sent to us from Europe that we have ended up sending back. I’ve sent cherries that are made in Bologna, Italy, directly back to Bologna. The demand is there, people want it, they are willing to spend the money, and we will ship it.

Brian

Brian McNeil

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