It's not every day
that a store turns 100, so I've spent most of the year working up lots of
little ways to promote our anniversary to our shoppers. I kept thinking we
really needed something fun that would get people excited about our store's
place in the community, and then one day it hit me: If we broke some kind of
world record involving meat, people would always think of us as the area's
best meat market. Since we're in Wisconsin, the choice was obvious: we had to
make the world's longest bratwurst.
When I broke the news to the meat
department that we needed to make an over 52-foot-long bratwurst, they said no
problem. What was a problem was the bun. There wasn't a chance our bakery
could do it, so I made a call to a local bakery distributor we work with. He
talked to his team and before the day was out they had committed too.
At that point the horse was pretty much out of the barn, so I contacted the
organization in charge of world records to let them know that we'd be having a
record breaking event, and I started thinking about how we could use this to
benefit the local community. We landed on the idea of cooking and serving the
brat, charging people for their portion, then donating the proceeds back to a
Next we started spreading the word. We worked up a flyer
and a press release, and did a quick Google search to find all the radio and
television stations, newspapers and sports teams within 50 miles. We emailed
the press release off to everyone, then we started posting flyers and banners
all over town and talking about the event on our Facebook
page and in our newsletter. Brats must be pretty big news around
here because we started getting calls back almost immediately, and within a
week we had the Minnesota Vikings cheerleaders scheduled to attend, as well as
some local media who were interested.
On the day of the event we had the cheerleaders, a couple of bounce
houses and an awesome local band ready to go, and I figured we'd have a couple
of hundred people show up. Well, everything started to happen at once and soon
we had about a thousand people in our parking lot and camera crews everywhere.
We were astonished, but we just kept going with our plan to fire up the brat
and serve it. Amazingly, everything went off without a hiccup and when the
official measured our brat, we were the new world record holders!
But really the most amazing part was what happened
after the event. Later that night we were on every local news station, and
days later we were in Maxim magazine and a clip was played on Good Morning
I was really overwhelmed. I had been pretty sure we could get
the brat and the bun done, I knew we could raise some money for a good cause,
but I had no idea that we could get that kind of publicity for our community.
People in town are still buzzing about it. They're proud to be in the record
book and we're proud to be store that made it possible. At the end of the day,
it was all worth the planning and the expense. We had a fantastic day in
sales, we raised some money for charity, and made sure there are a few more
people in America who know about Prescott, Wisconsin, and our 100-year-old