Some say that everything happens for a reason, that there is no such thing as coincidences. For Tzabia and Barry Siegel this sentiment couldn’t be more true. Barry was walking with his dog down Pape street, Toronto when he noticed a man scraping the name off a store window. It turned out the store had closed and the property was available. Almost instantly the decision was clear.
For us ‘worriers’ this may seem crazy yet also inspiring! To see someone take full advantage of an opportunity the moment it arises. However, this wasn’t totally out of the blue for the Siegel family. Prior to this bucket list decision, Barry had spent many years in the food industry, and had once been trained as a chef. His wife Tzabia also has a background emerged in the food world. Tzabia is a nutritionist both holistically and clinically, as well a life coach.( foodcoach.ca ) Therefore, the decision to own and operate a cafe felt almost natural.
“People don’t connect as much live and for us that’s really the key.” – Tzabia.
As a society, we rely heavily on technology to feel ‘connected’ with our friends, family & honestly even strangers. We earn for the thrill of instant gratification we can receive online. The moment, we are separated from our connected device, we instantly feel stripped of our identity.
The Siegel’s wanted to bring the sense of connection back to their community, through real conversation, in REAL life. However, they recognized the importance of using technology (especially social media) to grow their brand. Due to the location of The Shmooz, they really needed to build their base. There is less foot traffic on Pape St, than some more populated areas.
“If you are in business these days you have to [have a presence in the social media world.] ” – Tzabia.
… is a younger crowd. “
.. of course, is more for everyone”
.. is more of a business and more of an older but more professional audience.”
To help manage their social media platforms and achieve the highest level of performance, The Shmooz enlisted the help of Hootsuite.
Hootsuite is an online social media management device, that allows users to connect all of their social media platforms to one space. It also allows you to monitor what your audience is saying and track how well your media presence is being received. Hootsuite is the fit bit of the social media world.
However, The Shmooz didn’t stop there.
They’re planning on upping their presence in the digital world, by developing a mobile app. “The app is intended to mostly focus on loyalty and rewards. Instead of a punch card, we’ll do it on the app” – Tzabia.
The app will include the feature, Push Notifications. This will give The Shmooz the ability to send out notifications to users of the app. This may include; information on an upcoming event, specials or deals. They will also be able to send someone a notification if the app recognized that they haven’t been in for awhile.
“We haven’t seen you in a while, come on in and get half off your next drink.”
The Power Of Wireless Interest.
During the planning process, the Siegel’s discussed the possibility of not including free WiFi at the cafe. Instead, “Being a place where people have to connect with each other live.” They proposed this idea to younger family members, who were quick to shut it down. Explaining the importance of internet access for customers, especially those of the younger generation.
They’ve realized now that about 90% of there customers use the WiFi, and “a good portion of people who come on the regular or daily basis are coming in to do work on their computers.” We want to enjoy our coffee or baked good, but also Instagram a picture of it.
“We are not of the generation who grew up with social media, so for us the whole thing is like, it’s a little crazy.”