Nellie's Café... A Taste of Niche Marketing

pieNellie's Café was a historical icon in rural Minburn, Iowa  from the 1950's to 1985 when the old gal finally retired.  Nellie Mishler was making "comfort food" before the word was ever coined. Fried chicken, meatloaf, real mashed potatoes, chicken fried steak came out of the kitchen in wave after wave of steaming plates.  To the locals, it was just "home cookin'" - always consistent, dependable and affordable. 

But what Nellie became most famous for was her pies.  No cakes, jello desserts, cinnamon rolls, or cookies graced her display cases.  Twenty to thirty pies a day were made at 6:00 a.m. each morning, six days a week, all year long.  There were berry pies, apple pies, cherry pies, raspberry pies, banana cream, chocolate cream, and a local favorite sour cream raisin pie. No store bought crusts for Nellie - her incredibly tender flaky crusts were handmade, hand rolled using a secret family recipe. 

Her pies were so famous that they would garner top dollar at the local July 4th auction each summer.  Local farmers and business folks would outbid each other until the audience was literally gasping at the prices being paid.  A high bid of $250 for a pie made by Nellie?  This was not unusual and the crowds would go wild when the winner was announced!

Nellie Mishler was a business genius.  She knew that the trend for the 1950's and 1960's was leading away from women always cooking big meals for their families and farm crews and she filled a niche market by opening up a small café to serve local and area residents. But the small café soon became more than just a local diner - she provided a quality meal, in a dependable fashion and her target markets were women who wanted a break from everyday kitchen chores and men who were in town and needed a good place to eat.

Nellie never developed a catering business and never marketed her pies or crust recipe - she stayed focused on what she knew best and was tremendously successful at it. "Nellie's Café" achieved legendary status.

Niche marketing allows Realtors or any business owner to get the biggest return on their marketing investment. Focus on being the best Realtor® in the world at one thing. Follow the simple steps below.

  • Pick a Niche - Pick something that suits you.
  • Think and act expansively - There are niches of every conceivable shape and size, all with their own quirks, perks and opportunities. Think outside the "block" and consider some additional groups that could represent a whole new avenue for you to travel.
  • Develop a plan of action - Consistently, repeatedly stay on top of your targeted prospects and win where it counts, month after month and year after year: in the hearts, minds and loyalties of your client base.

Have you found your niche market?  Best Agent Business has as many time proven systems as Nellie had pies!  We can help you to develop your specialty market while keeping you focused on your goals every day - you'll soon be as legendary as Nellie's Cafe.

Schedule a needs assessment call with Steve Kantor, to learn how our team of real estate virtual assistants at Best Agent Business can assist you so you can start making and selling those perfect "pies"!

Blog submitted by Nancy - Key Assistant - Best Agent Business

Nancy is also the granddaughter of Nellie Mishler.  She reports that Mishlers are still winning pie contests in Milburn. Recently, her daughter came in second to her only surviving aunt.  A Mishler always wins!




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Comment balloon 0 commentsSteve Kantor • November 28 2010 12:25PM
Nellie's Café… A Taste of Niche Marketing
Nellie's Café was a historical icon in rural Minburn, Iowa from the 1950's to 1985 when the old gal finally retired. Nellie Mishler was making "comfort food" before the word was ever coined. Fried chicken, meatloaf, real mashed… more
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