New Products Set to Debut from La Panzanella – Gourmet Italian Cracker Bliss!

La Panzanella Comments Off on New Products Set to Debut from La Panzanella – Gourmet Italian Cracker Bliss!

Lovers of better crackers, it is time to celebrate.  The good folks at La Panzanella are bringing to market two new products to make your appetizers more delicious than ever.

Sweet Crisps and Croccantini Minis are making their debut at the Atlanta Gift Show January 8-10 and the  San Francisco Fancy Food Show January 17-19.

Sweet Crisps are handcrafted flatbread strips made in true artisan style. They are a cinnamon-topped savory sweet complement to coffee, tea, and soft cheese. They come in bags of 5 ounces with a suggested retail price of $3.99.

The award-winning Croccantini line of artisan-made gourmet Italian flatbreads is being re-sized to a “two bite” size to create a new line of Croccantini Minis to make creating visually enticing and delicious appetizers easy. They are available in 6 ounce packages at retail with a suggested retail price of $4.99. Croccantini Minis are packaged in 6-pound cases for foodservice use.  If you are a lover of Croccantini gourmet Italian snack crackers, now is the time to start asking your neighborhood retailer to carry them.

And, if you are seeking the perfect hostess gift or accompaniment to your favorite holiday appetizers, remember that best-selling and award-winning Croccantini gourmet Italian snack crackers are always a delicious choice.  The very popular 3-pack of best-selling Rosemary Croccantini are delivering to Seattle-area Costco stores this week, just in time for the holiday fun.  You can also find them at QFC and Whole Foods.  Oh, by the way, in case you are watching the calories this season and beyond, take heart that Croccantini are a delicious and low fat choice!

Did you know that you can follow La Panzanella on Twitter?  You can also become a La Panzanella Fan on Facebook.  Please do.

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Community Newspaper Delivers the Ink for La Panzanella Gourmet Italian Snack Crackers

La Panzanella Comments Off on Community Newspaper Delivers the Ink for La Panzanella Gourmet Italian Snack Crackers

Community newspapers are in business to share the news about local people making a difference in the marketplace.  This week, the Madison Park Times profiled Paul Pigott, the owner of La Panzanella gourmet Italian snack crackers,  and his recipe co-collaborator Linda Burner Augustine.   These two Madison Park neighbors have baked up both the Fieri line of spicy, sassy snack crackers — now enjoying local distribution at Whole Foods Markets and PCC and fast gaining national distribution.  And, they are preparing to debut new Sweep Crisps, just in time for holiday shopping.

When I met with Paul to learn about his business success story, he mentioned that he learned about Linda’s expertise while reading her “On the Table” newspaper column in the Madison Park Times.   That tidbit of tasty information gave me the “hook” I needed to make a pitch. Here is the text of my email pitch to the editor.  Notice how I demonstrate that I am paying attention to the newspaper in my first line of text.

Two Madison Park Locals Have New Product News that Can Heat Up Summer Entertaining and Beyond in a Sassy, Flavorful Way

Hi Vera,

Welcome back to the Madison Park Times. Since I know the paper has a keen focus on shining a light on its own neighbors, I am connecting to share news that involves two Madison Park residents who are collaborating to bring to market a delicious, spicy new product line of gourmet Italian snack crackers that is sure to heat up summer entertaining in the Puget Sound and beyond.

Linda Burner Augustine, a prior “At the Table” columnist for the Madison Park Times, has been fast at work behind the scenes at La Panzanella.  La Panzanella is a Tukwila-WA based manufacturer and baker of award-winning Croccantini Italian snack crackers. Working in close collaboration with La Panzanella Owner Paul Pigott — also a resident of Madison Park — this duo has created a delicious, new line of spicy, gourmet Italian snack crackers called Fieri that are just coming to market at better grocery stores and specialty food stores now.   These fiery little morsels in three sassy flavors — Chipotle, Serrano Lime, and Red Chili Basil — are made in true artisan style and are ideal for snacking or use for hors d’oeuvres, antipasto, cheese platters, the buffet table, or along side favorite dips, soups, and spreads.

The company’s popular all-natural, artisan made Croccantini line of flatbreads are favorite items for discriminating shoppers to share with guests and enjoy every day with their families and friends, accompanied by delicious spreads, dips, or cheeses — or right out of the bag. These products are sold across the USA at better grocery stores and specialty food retailers, including the Madison Park Red Apple store. Paul Pigott learned about Linda’s culinary expertise while reading her columns within your newspaper.

They started working together to formulate the flavor profile for the new cracker line, and Linda has been at work identifying the perfect ingredients with which to pair each of the three new Fieri flavors to create the perfect hors d’oeuvres.  When beginning this taste pairing assignment, the question on Linda’s mind was this — What will honor the distinct flavor of each cracker?  Linda has long been an advocate for simple cooking with fresh, seasonal ingredients, and this bias is reflected in her recommendations.

“The Fieri crackers are delicious — each with its own distinctive flavor profile.   I wanted to pair them with ingredients that wouldn’t over power them.  Pairing the Fieri line of snack crackers with the ingredients I’ve chosen creates instant, exciting, fun, and conversational appetizers that elevate hors d’oeuvres to a higher level in a very simple way.”

To follow are some of Linda’s initial recommendations for how to pair each of the new Fieri flavors with the perfect ingredients.

Monterey Jack Cheese
White Cheddar Cheese

Serrano Lime
Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese
Hummus Dip

Red Chili Basil
Fresh Mozzarella Cheese – Fresh or Aged
Provolone Cheese
Hummus Dip

Vera, I know both Linda and Paul would be delighted to chat with you about their collaboration and the impact it will have on the local and national marketplace among discriminating grocery shoppers who demand a better snack cracker for every day enjoyment, at home entertaining, and giving/sharing all year long.  One additional note to consider is that at home entertaining is gaining more favor these days, especially as people deal with economic challenges that make dining out beyond the budget.  That is all the more reason to visit explore new products created by your own Madison Park neighbors that can add sassy flavor and variety to the typical grocery cart and bring smiles all around.

You can access  press release about the new Fieri line, along with bios for both Linda and Paul, and a photo of the new line of Fieri crackers at this link: I will follow up with you in a few days to check your interest in this story, unless I hear from you first.

Thank you for your consideration.


Nancy Juetten
After a friendly follow up phone call, Vera Chan-Pool agreed that this pitch would make for a good story, and the results are in the paper this week.

DIY Publicity Tip: Don’t just send a press release to the publication of your choice.  Customize your approach to the newspaper at hand to make clear why the story is a perfect fit for the readers.  Go deep with your storytelling can make a big difference in making it easy for the decision maker to say “Yes” to your story.

P. S. Be sure to follow La Panzanella on Twitter.  The link is

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Croccantini Good News You Can Use from La Panzanella

La Panzanella Comments Off on Croccantini Good News You Can Use from La Panzanella

If you are among the many who consider Croccantini gourmet Italian crackers a must for Labor Day entertaining and every day enjoyment, I have good news for you.  Today through Sunday, you can purchase three of your favorite flavors of Croccantini for $7.69 when you visit the Kirkland, WA Costco.

Today through Sunday, August 30, visit the Costco in Kirkland, starting at 9:30 a.m. for an extraordinary value on exquisite gourmet crackers.

And, if you are a fan of Croccantini, you can follow on Twitter.  You can also become a fan of La Panzanella on Facebook.  Please do!

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Tasting is Believing – Fieri Gourmet Italian Crackers are Fabulous for the Cheeseboard and Beyond

La Panzanella, PR Beyond the Backyard Comments Off on Tasting is Believing – Fieri Gourmet Italian Crackers are Fabulous for the Cheeseboard and Beyond

One taste of La Panzanella gourmet Italian snack crackers, and most people are hooked immediately.   Here is a link to the latest blog coverage about this delicious, artisan-made line of flatbreads and how they add delight to the cheeseboard.

Examiner bloggers can be a great resource for sharing your new product news.  Visit and search for bloggers who write about your particular product, expertise, or niche.  Then, make a pitch to suggest why your story is a perfect fit for how they serve their readers.

You just might find — as I did with Long Island Grocery Examiner Stephanie Schandler — that your Seattle area new product news can travel all the way to passionate grocery shoppers in  New York.  Pitching all the holiday gift guides about the new Fieri line of gourmet crackers with sassy world flavors has been fun.  I heard from Real Simple magazine that samples of Fieri are requested.  Another prominent local food writer is asking for samples, too.  Tasting Fieri is believing that the cheeseboard will never again be quite the same and all the better.

If you are a food writer, food blogger, or someone in the gift basket business who is looking for something delicious, sassy, and new to taste and share with your readers or your customers, let me hear from you.  My email is  My phone number is 425-641-5214.  It will be my pleasure to send samples your way because tasting is believing.

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La Panzanella Earns “Growing Your Business” Story in June 26 Issue of Puget Sound Business Journal

La Panzanella, Local PR Success Comments Off on La Panzanella Earns “Growing Your Business” Story in June 26 Issue of Puget Sound Business Journal

So many of the people I meet day to day tell me that getting seen, heard, and celebrated within the pages of the Puget Sound Business Journal — or their hometown business journal — is high on their DIY publicity priority list.   The best way to earn a place in any of these media outlets is to make a practice of reading them.   If you don’t yet subscribe, let me know by sending me an email at  I’ll send you a special subscription form that will allow you to save big on your subscription and get a 2009 Book of Lists as a gift.

If earning a Growing Your Business story is a priority for you, here are some of the story criteria:

  • Your business must earn above $250,000 a year.
  • You must employ at least three team members.
  • You must have been in business for at least three years.
  • You have to have business lessons to share from which other business owners can profit.

My newest client, La Panzanella, was a perfect fit.  I pitched the food manufacturing reporter about the company’s journey to gourmet cracker success, and a wonderful story debuted in Friday’s Puget Sound Business Journal.  If you subscribe to the paper, you should be able to read the story conveniently online.  Otherwise, you can buy the paper at newstands around town or see the story online within 30 days.  Being a subscriber does have its rewards.

I am going to share the specific pitch I sent so you can mirror a similar approach when you target your story to earn editorial consideration.   The good news is that the reporter received the pitch favorably, connected with me within minutes of receiving the pitch, and followed through with a stellar story that included wonderful photographs and reinforced the key points that were important to my client.

Dear Steve,

We’ve worked together over the years to break food manufacturing stories from the likes of Fran’s Chocolates, Oberto Sausage Company, and TalkingRain Beverage Company.  Today, I come to you with a food manufacturing story about better crackers that hails from Tukwila, Washington.  The good news is that the business story behind this award-winning company has never yet been told, and there are some powerful lessons the owner has learned from which other business owners can most certainly benefit.   I am bringing this story to you first because I believe the readers of the Puget Sound Business Journal will want to know more about this local company and benefit from the lessons the owner has learned since taking ownership of the company in 2003.

The CEO and owner is Paul Pigott.  And the news hook is that this profitable company that enjoys national distribution of its award-winning Croccantini line of gourmet snack crackers is introducing a new line of spicy, artisan-made snack crackers called Fieri this June 28-30 at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York. This product line is sure to capture attention for its distinctive, spicy flavor profile and give food shoppers and grocery and special food buyers something delicious to cheer about and share with their customers and neighbors this summer and beyond as at-home entertaining continues to be a trend gathering great speed in this demanding economy.

Since the “Growing Your Business” features within the Puget Sound Business Journal typically share useful lessons from which the readers can profit, here are a few to capture your interest:

  • It pays to narrow focus and apply focus to a high growth potential product, while never compromising on quality;
  • Attention to production operations management and manufacturing best practices delivers powerful dividends for productivity and  profitability;
  • New, well maintained production equipment beats repairing old equipment every time.
  • Focus on distribution.  Earning “yes” decisions from quality specialty food retailers and national grocery store decision makers lends powerful fuel to achieving national distribution.
  • When you have a winning recipe, extend the line and offer the consumer choices for  quantity. Today, Croccantini  comes in nine delicious flavors. They include original, rosemary, sesame,  black pepper, garlic, fennel, whole wheat, tomato oregano, and onion. The product comes in 8 ounce and 5  ounce portions at retail and five pound bulk or foodservice Croccantini Bites in six pound bulk packaging.
  • Welcome international distribution when the timing and opportunity are right.  Today, about 5% of the company’s sales flow from Canada.  Pigott believes that the new Fieri line of snack crackers – with its  spicy flavor profile – is likely to earn loyal buyers from France, Italy, Mexico, and Asia.
  • Create new  product lines to reflect changing tastes. The new spicy Fieri line is coming  to market in June of 2009.  A  dessert cracker is in development for holiday gift giving and entertaining.  Smaller crackers  are in development to satisfy consumers who want the same great taste of Croccantini in a smaller, more consistent shape to adorn their artfully arranged trays of h’ordourves.

Steve, I have a backgrounder to share, a bio and photo of Pigott, and a press release to share to offer even more details to support your potential reporting.  These elements are so new that they are not even yet posted to the company’s online press room.

Can I compel you to read more and set up a meeting with this local business owner who is successfully growing his company, even during these daunting times?  I will follow up with you by phone in a few days, unless I hear from you first.  Thank you for your consideration. Looking forward to taking the next step.

DIY Publicity Tip: How can you fram your business story for a Growing Your Business feature within the pages of the Puget Sound Business Journal?  Can you demonstrate quickly that you read the reporter’s work and know that your story is a perfect fit?  Follow the example above and make your pitch on a Thursday morning to the right reporter.  You can find the right reporters by following the work of those who write about your industry.   I also have a “Guide to the Newsroom” that I’ll happily send you if you make that request here at the blog or via my email at   Thursday is the best day to pitch because the newspaper “goes to bed” on Wednesday, and Thursday marks the beginning of a news gathering week for the next edition of the paper.   If you need more tips in this regard, let me know.

And, if you are looking to add some sassy, spicy flavor to your summer entertaining plans, look for Fieri gourmet Italian snack crackers and Croccantini snack crackers in the deli departments of better grocery stores in the Puget Sound and well beyond.   They are simply delicious.

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Need Testimonials to Invite More Perfect Clients? Try AudioGenerator™

Business Success, La Panzanella Comments Off on Need Testimonials to Invite More Perfect Clients? Try AudioGenerator™

Testimonials from your best clients can make it that much easier for new clients to “get to yes” faster to engage your products or services.  A few weeks ago, one of my newest clients — La Panzanella — called me as a result of reading a testimonial on my website from one of the clients I serve that he likes, trusts, and respects.  Now, I have a new, fabulous client.

If you want more new, fabulous clients, put testimonials to work for you.   And, don’t just rely on written testimonials.  Invite audio testimonials.  With AudioGenerator™, it’s easy.  Click here to read and listen to what happy clients have to say about this product that makes your your come alive so people can get to know, like and trust you faster AND make it easy for your best clients to sing your praises in their own words that you listen to!

And, if you need to ask for testimonials, here’s a message you can customize to meet your needs to make asking easy:

Dear (First Name Here),

Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to your company’s success through my company’s products and services. The reason I am connecting with you today is to make a request. Our firm is updating its website and marketing collateral materials to reflect some of our proudest projects and contributions.  We’d be honored if you would provide a comment for our website and other marketing collateral materials that communicates how our team contribution has made a difference for your business and how you felt about the work process every step of the way.  Can we count on you to share a comment along these lines by return email or chat with either of us by phone to share your thoughts?  Your constructive comments to help us enhance our service and results are always welcome and appreciated.  (First Name Here), our success grows, thanks to the powerful advocacy of important clients like you.  Thank you for considering this request and sharing your comments by (insert deadline here.)

When you ask for what you want, you often get what you ask for. Try this, and see how generous your best clients will be in supporting your success with their remarkable, memorable, and repeatable testimonials. And use AudioGenerator™ to make those customer testimonials come alive with real voices that sing your praises better than any written testimonial can hope to.

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Hail to Better Crackers from La Panzanella — and the Story Behind that Story

Good News, La Panzanella Comments Off on Hail to Better Crackers from La Panzanella — and the Story Behind that Story

If you have the courage to ask for what you want, you just might get what you ask for — or something much better. Here is a case in point.

If you’ve been following my work for any length of time, you know that I started my business with a desire so very simple — to earn enough money to buy better groceries.   Having grown tired of generic brand wheat crackers that I purchased on a tight budget, what I really wanted was to earn enough money to buy Nabisco brand wheat thins.

Just yesterday, I was engaged by La Panzanella — an award-winning specialty retailer famous for herb-inflused, rustic Italian crackers called Croccantini and Croccantini Bites — to create a publicity plan to announce their new line of gourmet, artisan snack crackers called Fieri.    These are three uniquely-seasoned snack crackers in Serrano Lime, Red Chili Basil, and Chipotle.  These flavorful, delicious crackers are delights you will be proud to serve guests, pair with your favorite artisan cheeses, and enjoy with your favorite wine — especially on holiday weekends like the one upon us. These crackers offer great taste, crunch, and remarkable flavor that go well beyond what any wheat cracker delivers.   If ever there was a perfect engagement for this publicist, this is it!

I’ll be telling you more about the publicity success stories we cook up in the weeks and months to follow.  In the meantime, if you need to shop for holiday gatherings of good friends, visit better grocery stores and specialty retailers across the nation to find La Panzanella Croccantini wherever better crackers and the things that go with them are sold.  Fieri won’t be far behind.

I share this story to demonstrate that if you ask for what you want, you often get what you ask for — or something better.  And it’s a beautiful, delicious thing.

DIY Publicity Challenge:  What do you want, and how specifically can you describe it?  Whether you want a “Growing Your Business” profile within the Puget Sound Business Journal or an interview with Matt Lauer of The Today Show, the more specifically you can describe what you want, the more deliberately you can get into action to bring your wish to reality.  When you get into action, you just might find you get what you want — or something better.

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