Your Registry & Gourmet Catalog
Partner To Grow Service Offerings
SAN FRANCISCO - Elsa Pinto-Melikian, president of
Your Registry, and Janis Johnson, president of Gourmet Catalog,
have something in common with their clients: independence.
describes herself and Johnson as "fiercely independent."
She said they share this trait with the independent retailers they
Although they didn't meet in person until a few
weeks ago, both Pinto-Melikian and Johnson had heard a lot about
each other. "We heard about each other through common customers,"
said Johnson, who once owned a retail store/cooking school and produced
advertising for gourmet specialty stores.
Now the two women have joined forces. Your Registry
will have access to Gourmet Catalog's customers, and vice versa.
"We're partnering together to grow our service offerings,"
said Pinto-Melikian, who offers registry services to retail and
service merchants and their clients. Her company is headquartered
in Sacramento, CA, and she has about 100 clients.
Gourmet Catalog, located in Dallas, is a buying
service for gourmet specialty stores and negotiates discounts for
the stores. The Gourmet Catalog Program provides retailers with
cost-effective advertising and marketing solutions as well as full-color
catalogs. For about two months, the two women have been talking
over the phone about their respective businesses. "We recently
had a meeting and decided we want to work together," Pinto-Melikian
"Our partnership came about primarily because
we have the same objectives. We both deal with independent retailers
and make what they do"easier," said Johnson, who started
her company in 1981 and has a current listing of 117 store locations
"We're excited about this opportunity,"
continued Johnson. "Our customer base is so similar. We want
to create more opportunities for each other's customers." According
to Pinto-Melikian, the main question they are addressing is how
they can make what they do into something better.
To provide information on her services to Gourmet
Catalog's clients, Pinto-Melikian has created a proposal for them.
"I modified the registry program to create a product specifically
for Johnson's clients," she explained.
Johnson will develop a proposal for Pinto-Melikian's
customers. "It's a huge advantage for the high-end gourmet
stores to work with Johnson," Pinto-Melikian said.
Both women work closely with their customers, providing
helpful advice and personal service. "We have similar focuses,"
said Pinto-Melikian, now in her fifth year of business. "Very
few companies are interested in providing services to customers."
In addition, Pinto-Melikian said they're both very
responsive to others. "We have a natural desire to work problems
out for our clients and be a resource," she noted.
At this time, the two businesswomen are putting
together a plan of action. "We're establishing action items,"
said Pinto-Melikian. "I haven't funneled them into a business
model yet. We have a lot of ideas."
The plan will allow the women to support and augment
each other's businesses. "We want to develop a strategy to
improve both of our programs," explained Johnson.
Since they are discussing ways to enhance their
clients' businesses, the women will share their ideas with the retailers
to get their input. "Our goal is to establish what our customers
want," said Johnson.
"It's amazing. We have exactly the same vision,"
© 2003 - ICD Publications