Nothing says “home” like authentic old-fashioned cooking. Chesapeake Fine Food Group welcomes visitors from across the country home to Maryland by delivering prepared gourmet goods with a taste of the Chesapeake Bay directly to their doors. “Our business is national, but we're located in Maryland,” Vice President Kate Glenn says proudly. Founded in 1997, Chesapeake offers three different catalogs of local delicacies on their online storefront, whipping up everything from crab cakes to Beef Wellington.
Chesapeake uses modern tools to promote their old-fashioned appeal. “We’re a small to mid-sized company competing against multi-billion-dollar corporations,” Kate explains, “so it’s really important for us to strengthen our web presence and differentiate our products.” With AdWords, Google's advertising program, they’re able to do both, attracting the right customers in a crowded market. “We differentiate ourselves from other food retailers by marketing our products to folks who are specifically looking for prepared entrées that arrive ready to go,” she says. They also use Google Analytics to measure their web traffic and better understand their customers' demands, which range widely depending on regional palates. And with a newly redesigned website and growing team of online marketers, the company is becoming increasingly more digital. “We know the web is where growth will be in the future, and every year we see more and more of our total sales being dedicated to online sales,” Kate adds.
From their mail-order beginnings, Chesapeake has grown into a major online culinary player. In 2016, they shared a taste of Maryland with over 130,000 customers, and more than half of their orders came from the web. They continue to grow 20 percent annually and spread that economic wealth among the farmers and growers around them. “We love to give business to folks in our own backyard,” Kate says. With 120 vendors across the country, Chesapeake is cooking up good news all over America, too. “People are excited to grow with us, and we're excited to grow with them.”