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
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
Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese
Red Chili Basil
Fresh Mozzarella Cheese – Fresh or Aged
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: https://www.lapanzanella.com/fieri.htm. 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.
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 www.twitter.com/lapanzanella.