Customer Testimonial: Gina Cucina
November 25, 2020
From her fleet to Florence, Italy at the age of eighteen, to pursuing a career in film on the west coast, to catering wellness/yoga retreats in a minuscule mountain town in Colorado, Gina never imagined she would end up with a growing soup business displayed on retail shelves.
Gina Stryker, founder of Gina Cucina, could not stay away from the kitchen, regardless of her current profession. Her devotion to cooking started in a culinary classroom in Florence, Italy. Throughout her journey, her close friends and global connections constantly urged her to start a business. After many years of rejecting the idea, she finally decided to take her best recipe to market.
On a random Saturday during mid-summer, Stryker jarred her soups and took them to the local farmer’s market. After just one hour at the stand, she sold out of her organic soups. For multiple weeks in a row, she continued to impress shoppers and clear her stand even with increased product volume each week. Using a friend’s commercial kitchen, Stryker was able to expand her product line and continue to use her packaging solution – mason jars.
In September of 2017, her soup was on the shelves at Whole Foods and sold out in one week. As her business expanded, so did her distribution. More grocery stores wanted Gina Cucina products in stock, but under one condition: plastic packaging. Because of her recent connection with Berry and working closely with Sales Representative, Courtney Peterson, Stryker has been able to transition four of her soups from her original glass packaging to our 410 Plus 20 oz. container with our injection molded container lid to complete a full package. Gina Cucina soup has been in glass since the beginning, so Stryker was reluctant to explore a packaging shift. She knew her customers loved to see the raw, natural ingredients in her soup, so transparency was a non-negotiable, along with reasonable pricing. Stryker says, “Courtney has been instrumental in this transition. She made it easy and had solutions to my problems and concerns. She made it possible for manufacturing without much funding.”
With sustainability as an additional concern, we worked with Gina to provide insights about a glass to plastic conversion, which included a reduction in greenhouse gas emission, carbon dioxide reduction, and carbons sequestered.
Not only was this packaging switch a win from an environmental and economic standpoint, but it was also a win for Stryker. She says, “I was afraid being in stores would take away from the home-grown feel. That aesthetic is very important to me and I don’t think I would have been able to do this without Berry or Courtney.”