Rick Mercer Rants … err…. Raves about Blueberry Pie Ice Cream

Sauble Trading Post    October 19, 2014

rick mercer at chaps good

Title of Post: Rick Mercer Rants … err…. Raves about Blueberry Pie Ice Cream

Organization Name: Sauble Trading Post – Ice Cream Parlour and General Store

Industry: Tourism Sector Retail

Name of Contact: Kim Mizen, Owner

Web References: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sauble-Trading-Post/110886705613099

The best ideas may come from where you least expect them. Accenture Inc., released a position paper titled “The Next Digital Wave: Using Social Media Optimization to Harness Innovation“, in which companies can benefit from a great pool of ideas that meet needs of the end consumer. The paper suggests the innovation process should allow companies to leverage employee, consumer and third-party networks and the insights held within each. Accenture calls it “enterprise social innovation.” Companies can engage stakeholders as active participants in the innovation process—expanding the range of possible ideas.

Given I own an ice cream shop, I am most interested in case studies where a business similar to mine uses social media to apply concepts of collaboration in product development. I have chosen the case study of Chapman’s Ice Cream. Chapman’s Ice Cream is a business in my community – located in Markdale, Ontario – about 40 minutes from Sauble Beach. In 2009, Chapman’s business burned to the ground and went out of business. In July 2014, the Sauble Trading Post had a major fire and was put out of business for the season. Both companies swept up the ashes and set out on a course of rebuilding.

Please see the video of Chapman’s telling the story of the 2009 fire.

The final and most interesting similarity is that Chapman’s is the supplier for all ice cream product sold at the Sauble Trading Post! In preparing this blog, I researched the innovation process that Chapman’s chose to announce their return as a major Canadian supplier of ice cream products. Chapman’s partnered with Rick Mercer to develop a new product innovation called, “Blueberry Pie Ice Cream”. The famous Rick Mercer Report filmed on site at the Chapman’s production facility in January 2014 to feature ice cream production and pitch the new flavour of ice cream. The ice cream served to raise money for Mercer’s chosen charity “Spread the Net“, but it also promoted the revitalization of a 40 year old family run business. The promotion of the new flavour crosses many social media platforms. Rick Mercer uses Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and http://www.cbc.ca/mercerreport and the Chapman’s Facebook page has hundreds of likes and shares

This is a video of Rick Mercer at Chapmans. Chapman’s and Rick Mercer teamed up to promote the rebuild of a business and hung the story line on a new product development.

Another case study is Ben and Jerry’s – Why Ben & Jerry is the Most Social Ice Cream Brand. Ben & Jerry’s is known for their innovative ice cream flavours. They use Facebook to announce new flavours. Their formula is simple: announce the new flavour and include a tantalizing product shot. The “yummy” photos average 23,000 engagements per post.
Ben & Jerry’s also uses social channels to facilitate consumer participation online. On their Facebook Page they run a weekly photo contest where fans submit photos of their Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Each week, Ben & Jerry’s selects a favorite and it gets promoted as the “Fan Foto” of the week. This simple weekly engagement activity motivates fans to interact with their page and increases fan engagement. They also average over 300 engagements per post. Campaigns like this foster an interactive Facebook community, rather than having a group of passive fans.

Lessons Learned:
Ben & Jerry’s is using an integrated offline/online campaign. By experimenting with campaigns and programs like Ben & Jerry’s, the Sauble Trading Post will be able to learn what drives engagement with our customers. I contacted the Consumer Relations department at Chapman’s to find out how they approached the Rick Mercer show and developed his Blueberry Pie flavour.  I am hoping that Chapman’s Ice Cream will consider working with the Sauble Trading Post to develop a new flavour of ice cream.

Shannon Reid, Consumer Relations replied, “I have forwarded your request to Ashley Chapman (VP) to answer your questions about working with the Sauble Trading Post to create a “signature flavour” to celebrate your grand re-opening in 2015″.

I am thinking about flavours like, “Firework Display” infused with Pop Rocks, “Charred Chocolate” with Malteser chocolate balls or something that combines my two ultimate flavours: red licorice and chocolate! I am going to use my Facebook Page to crowd source ideas from my customers, friends and fans on their ideas for a new ice cream flavour. If all goes well, we may develop a new product, brand it, and sell it at the Sauble Trading Post. Then I am thinking really big about inviting Rick Mercer to be a “Celebrity Scooper” for the grand opening celebration on July 11th, 2015.

Rick is always looking for new places to visit, and what better film location than the shores of Lake Huron in Sauble Beach?  Do you know Rick?  Please contact me if you can help bring the Rick Mercer Report to Sauble Beach on July 11th, 2015.

Interview with Rick Mercer speaking about Spread the Net.


3 Ways to Use Social Media for Product Research and Development, Social Media Examiner

Chapman’s Ice Cream, Company Website

Four Steps to Using Social Media to Promote Small Business, Insights Wired

The Next Digital Wave: Using Social Media Optimization to Harness Innovation, Accenture Inc.

The Rick Mercer Report, Website

Fire at Sauble Beach Trading Post, Owen Sound Sun Times

Why Ben & Jerry is the Most Social Ice Cream Brand, Case study

Submitted By: Kim Mizen, Sauble Trading Post

To Contact the author of this entry please email at: mizenk@rogers.com

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Programme Director, Social Media for Business Performance.

14 thoughts on “Rick Mercer Rants … err…. Raves about Blueberry Pie Ice Cream

  1. Alexis Ginn

    What a fantastic idea!!!
    I LOVE Ric Mercer and his show and think that would be SO great to have him come to our local store to do a segment!!
    What a fantastic that store opening would be and would be superb for our local econonomy 🙂
    I think the crew would LOVE “working” in our beautiful setting too 😉
    Great Idea Sauble Trading Post!!
    Best wishes on your rebuilding.

  2. Karen Klages

    Great idea! Ric Mercer’s show is amazing and it would be wonderful for him to visit Sauble and see the new and improved Sauble Trading Post!
    All the best on the rebuild!

  3. June Mizen

    It will be great to see the Sauble Trading Post back in action. Morning Coffee Club, mid day fries and Sunset was not the same without the Post. Locals and visitors look forward to summer 2015.

  4. Jackie Hawken

    So glad to hear that the Trading Post will be up and running in the near future. I am a big fan of Rick Mercer’s so I think it would be great to have Rick Mercer at Sauble Beach helping to launch the new Trading Post.

  5. Kathy Barratt

    Very much enjoyed reading this article. I would love to see Rick at The Trading Post. By the way you have great ice cream!

  6. Debbie Aiken

    Great article!!! Love the Trading Post and love Rick Mercer!! Would be fabulous if the two could meet!! Look forward to your grand opening.

  7. Kathy Lammie

    Losing the Trading Post was like losing an old friend. Never went to the beach without a visit to the post, imagine your favorite ice cream and the best sunset in the world right in our oun back yard.. Good luck Kim and Kevin,, see you in July 2015.. bigger and better..and thank you for your leap of faith to restore a bit of history..

  8. Marylou

    A trip to remember – the Trading Post is indicative of all things Canadian – you haven’t lived or you haven’t completed your “bucket list” if you have not sat at an outdoor picnic table, by the waaer at sunset with an ice cream cone in your hand. Rick Mercer would endear himself to all Canadians were he to be that person whether it’s blueberry or? the variety is endless. I have now satisfied one more item on “my” bucket list!

  9. Lisa Clements

    So glad the Trading Post will be back in full swing next year!! Always a favorite stop at Sauble Beach. Rick Mercer would be the perfect Grand Opener!!! See you next year.

  10. Murray Miller

    Growing up in Bruce county I have been fortunate enough to have always been able to enjoy Sauble Beach. With work relocating me to the GTA my visits diminished to vacations and every long weekend. I was introduced to the Trading Post when Kevin and Kim took ownership. Not only is the ice cream unbelievable but service and comradeship is worth the 4 hour trip. Now retired my trips to the beach and trading post has been reduced to May 24 weekend and the Civic holiday weekend. With the re-opening scheduled for July 2015 I’ll have to add a third trip or talk my cat into a long vacation.

  11. Jean Suffern

    Kim, your plan sounds awesome !
    Very creative ideas on the ice cream flavors ….look forward to hearing about the grand opening !

  12. Susan Thompson

    Great idea Sauble Trading Post!
    See if Rick will bring Jann Arden, she’s a riot whenever she is a guest on his show! Looking forward to your return next summer.

  13. Karol Grainger

    It will be great to have The Trading Post open again. Missed the ice cream and sunsets.
    Hope Rick can come. That would be the cherry on the sundae.

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