Case | Retail Brand Re-Stage + Website | Quebrada Baking Co + Cafes

ThomasBoston Quebrada Pecan + Cinnamon Rolls

Growth issues aside, the real objective of the Quebrada website was to make people hungry.

When the founder and head baker of Quebrada Baking Co., then a 2-store business which was  going into its 34 year, came to us to talk about her website, she proclaimed: “We need to do this because when people call me a say they’re on my old website (a first generation WYSIWYG site), well, it’s just not working for me.” She knew the business and Brand could be more. As longtime fans of their Pecan Rolls, Shortbread Cookies, and Croissants we could only agree.

• The Brand image, assets, and website needed to be updated to better reflect her style as well as that of her stores, all of which are smart, comfortable, and quietly inspiring.

• The Brand story needed to be renewed and refreshed to create greater awareness and interest. And to better reflect the practices and self-interests of customers in parochial neighborhoods and defined trading areas

• The business had to be where its CUSTOMERS and the MEDIA could find them online to interact according to their needs.

It was time to create a fresh and relevant online presence or go the way of Hazel’s Bakery. Who? Exactly. (An old school Wellesley bakery — long since gone.)

So the charge became not just to design a more useful website, but a more meaningful Brand. But first we needed to know what proprietary Brand information we had to work with. So we quickly and in this case, very informally, took inventory of all people, product and system ‘touch points’ to more fully understand its dynamics. And we listened deeply and interpreted its features and benefits, and its soul, from all points of view — stakeholders to customers and staff.

The fact is we don’t create a Brand. We focus, articulate and amplify them. A Brand’s core lives within its owners. And it’s defined by how customers view and adopt it as part of their Brands. Because that’s really what we’re asking them to do each time they come into the stores.

While watching a video about the store by a newsmagazine, the reporter asked the owner: ‘so everything is made fresh every day?’ To which my client answered exuberantly: “fresh, fresh, fresh, fresh!” I jumped up from my chair: ‘It’s her Julia Childs!’ And she agreed. Thus the baseline position and Brand ‘tagline’ for the bakeries came from listening: 

Fresh, Fresh, Fresh™

Quebrada SunThis breakthrough prompted further discussion, which took the strategic baseline a little deeper. Not only were Quebrada baked goods and desserts fresh:

Quebrada is a neighborhood bakery (vs. a franchise or web bakery)

• Its products are made only from: The Freshest, Simplest Wholesome Ingredients Available.™

Quebrada was in effect today’s version of your Mother or Grandmother’s kitchen: fresh and wholesome. Love in a Petite Pain au Chocolat croissant. Yum.

We were off and running.

ThomasBoston Quebrada website


Once the new Quebrada website was in place, within 12 months we were told both original locations increased sales by a double digit percentage over the previous year the best in the business’ history. And it paved the way to open a third store in Belmont.

But perhaps most significant and telling was the owner’s statement of approval:

“I now see my business in its entirety; its products, our staff + how we serve customers. And how we can better serve them with products that will drive and sustain our growth and satisfy new customers.”

These are not little issues. Focusing the brand brought it together for everyone to see.

Website features

WordPress Content Management System (CMS) for easy updating without need to know html or programming code

Easily-to-use navigation and on-site search so everyone can find the products they want – even those not that comfortable on the Web

Kay’s Fresh Ideas – a sidebar ‘widget’ that’s easily updated with fresh content — without changing the main text of the page. 

Newsletter sign-up. A simple form for ‘people who raise their hands to join in on the Brand.’ This info goes to a secure database hosted on the site, which can be downloaded into Excel as a .cvs file. Then used with an email service provider (Verticle Response, Constant Contact, Exact Target, etc.).

Easily updated menus, prices, and images stored securely on the site library, easily accessed and placed in correct spots.

Google Analytics. Shows how customers navigate through the site and what products they were most interested in. Here it confirmed the path for new product development and growth — previously only suspected as opportunities. 

Unlimited growth. Add pages, even whole new sections and a blog at will — no programmer needed.

Read our website development partner’s account of the Quebrada website design and build process.

ThomasBoston then applied the new Quebrada Visual Design System to:

Quebrada Truck: Applied Visual Design by ThomasBoston

Now the aligned Brand is viewed by 1000s daily on the web and on the road.


Coffee sleeves, bakery labels and gift cards

In-Store merchandising and signage

Business vehicles

Walk into a store today, and you’ll see its Staff (formerly called ‘associates’ — another reflection of the business’ newly-defined Brand values) proudly wearing Fresh, Fresh, Fresh baker’s aprons + T-shirts. They ‘get the Brand’ and live it to everyone’s best interests. 

Ultimately it’s Quebrada quality that makes the sale. But first it’s about to creating awareness and comfort levels to get customers in the door. The line out the door every morning suggests they’ve succeeded. 

ThomasBoston: Let's meet over a cup of coffee to discuss your goals, style + vision

Let’s meet over a cup of coffee to discuss your goals, style and vision

Call me and perhaps we can meet to sample one of their amazing Cinnamon Buns (and/or a croissant) over a cup of great Quebrada™ Blend barista-brewed coffee! 

Please contact Tom Lanen at 508 951-0130 for additional information.

NOTE: ThomasBoston is currently not associated
with or maintaining the website.