Nick Vetrone is not unlike Victor Kiam, the man who loved Remington products so much, he bought Remington. Now with fewer, better quality labels that match his products’ reputation for quality, the new victor is Vetrone.
Tradition is the pillar of Vetrone’s Barkly Smokehouse business in Footscray Melbourne. When he felt he needed to have a firmer grip over his delicatessen offering, he bought Barkly’s major supplier.
The recognition of history and tradition continues, with one notable exception – the installation of a new labelling system by insignia. The impact has been good.
Vetrone, part owner of the company since 2004, is a perfectionist. For him, the flavour and value of the third generation delicatessen manufacturer can never be compromised. And he goes to lengths to ensure the tradition is preserved.
For many years a transport contractor for Ansett, the airline’s collapse in 2002 meant a substantial career change. He decided to concentrate on his liking of quality food and bought into in a delicatessen at Melbourne’s famous Queen Victoria market.
By 2004, the then Barkly Continental had become his big supplier of top grade, hand made specialty European style hams, sausages, and other pickled and smoked pork products.
According to Nick Vetrone, he was a part owner in the Polish deli at the Vic market. He could see that a lot of non-European Australians would sometime hang back from trying Polish deli’s products. But the products sell themselves. It just needed the right story and the sight and smell could do the rest. Once the products were tasted, that was it.
Vetrone wanted more control of his products and to keep them traditional, to keep the experience good. It is a unique set of recipes. So he bought the business.
Vetrone says the constant tightening of food hygiene, packaging, information and labelling laws means traditional companies like Barkly has to look for handling efficiency it can.
In the past, all Barkly products carried two labels, a product and company branding label and a separate consumer information sticker, totalling an annual 200,000 manually applied labels. The insignia automated system now connects a weigh-scale, a laptop computer and a printer to produce a pre-coded, individually weight-accurate label for any single item off the production line.
The labels supply all the information required by law, and more: weight, contents, nutritional data, use by date, preservative information, packaging and use by dates and storage recommendations. The insignia solution reduces label quantities by half, decreases labour and increases production speed.
According to Vetrone, he could have gone to a printer, but what insignia has done has given him the flexibility to run it himself.
According to insignia:
Barkly traditionally used a weigh-scale label printer. It limited Barkly to the number of products it could input into the scale's memory. Any new products information changes would need a programmer to come in at Barkly’s cost.
Also, scale-printers have limited fonts, sizes and layouts so the label was bland. Barkly was applying two labels – a branding label which was attractive to the customer and a secondary nutritional label that complied with the industry’s labelling laws. Changes to labelling requirements happens a lot in the small goods sector and mean even more cost to the customer.
The aim of the insignia solution was to eliminate traditional restrictions, improve productivity and reduce costs. The new system uses an industrial label printer, labelling software and an industrial weigh-scale.
All label design work is done in Bartender, Microsoft-based labelling software. The benefits of the solution offer:
- Flexibility of choice with a wide range of fonts
- Simple lay-out changes able to be made internally
- Attractive product labels
- Peace of mind through full compliance with nutritional labelling laws
- Major savings with a 50 percent reduction in label costs
- Easy access to and manipulation of data in a straightforward Excel file
- Broad functionality with current weight scales
- Simple overall operation – place product on scale, enter product code and press print for instant labels.
Vetrone positions the business at the premium end of the smallgoods market. Vetrone’s products have an expanded following at the Queen Victoria market and in some of Melbourne’s up-market delis and caterers, as well IGA supermarkets. Among them is the exclusive King and Godfrey’s of Carlton where Barkly’s Grandmother ham is one of its top sellers.
Vetrone says Barkly products use minimal salt and just enough water to ensure an even cooking or pickling prior to hot smoking using only selected redgum.
As a result, Barkly’s products display a delicious variation in colour and appearance similar to the nature of a hand-made product. Now Barkly’s labels reflect the same high standard and quality as its products.