Archived / Old News

JPLF is hiring a Director of Membership & Community Outreach

Please help us spread the word on this opening!

Director of Membership & Community Outreach

JP Local First, a nonprofit organization of independent, locally­-owned businesses, is searching for a Director of Membership & Community Outreach who will work part­-time, 12-20 hours per week. This position will report to the Co-­Chairs of JP Local First and work in collaboration with our one other part-time staff person as well as our many volunteers. 

The job description includes:
- Being an ambassador of the JP Local First movement
- Promoting membership and soliciting new member businesses, especially in the Hyde/Jackson & Egleston Square areas of Jamaica Plain
- Managing new and renewing member businesses – welcoming new members, managing the renewal process, ongoing communication with members, keeping contact information current, maintaining member database
- Participating in the community process for the Washington Street Corridor developments. Attending public meetings and outreach to developers and leasing agents to help identify opportunities for locally owned business to secure space in that new shopping district
- Prepare all relevant documents for the monthly JPLF Executive Committee and Steering Committee meetings.
- Producing a quarterly members newsletter. 
- Assisting with the creation of the annual member directory, including selling ad space for the member directory
- Updating and creating content for the JP Local First web site
- Representing JP Local First at local events including Farmer’s Markets, Wake up the Earth Festival, etc.
- Ad hoc projects as needed

This job is for a person who is a self­-starter, has a high level of communication and sales skills, and is very organized. Fluency in English & Spanish preferred. An understanding and alignment with the JP Local First mission is essential and close ties to the JP community a plus.

Skills required: attention to detail, fluency in English & Spanish, and strong people & sales skills. Knowledge of Word Press, Google docs, Social Media, and Quickbooks a plus.

Compensation: $16­-$18/hr depending on background and experience. In addition to a resume, we ask each applicant to provide a cover letter explaining why you are interested in this position, and why you are a strong candidate. Send inquiries and resumes/cover letters to: JP Local First, PO Box 301628, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130, or jplocalfirst@gmail.com

 

 
 ➡ VISIT THE JP LOCAL FIRST TWITTER AND FACEBOOK FOR DAILY MEMBER UPDATES

 


 

February Update:

JP Local First hosts Zingerman's Paul Saginaw
Delivering Superb Customer Service

 

Paul Zingerman'sA big thank you is due to all the JP Local First memberswho made it possible for us to welcome Paul Saginaw and Katie Frank of the legendary Zingerman's to JP. Despite the cold, the snow and traffic challenges of the season, we had a great turnout at the JP Library to hear Paul and Katie share their re-considered way of doing business—providing and priding themselves in unique, excellent, exuberant customer service.

With hundreds of people now employed by Zingerman's and with a label now known across the country (and even without franchising), co-founder Paul Saginaw has huge confidence in the business value of tremendous customer service. Saginaw introduced the subject: when you're having a hard day at the store, you've got a huge pileof to-dos to get through and the customers are always there, asking questions, needing help and sometimes, you just wish they would leave you alone and go away. Well of course, he pointed out, that kind of mentality can be quite a self fulfilling prophesy! So let's notice and not slip into that kind of customer service.

In 1982 when Zingerman's opened, "customer service" was not something very many people were talking about, but Saginaw knew from the beginning that there had to be some extra reason why customers would agree to buying even a great expensive sandwich at Zingerman's instead of a cheap sandwich at some chain store down the way.

Attendees Zingerman's

Zingerman's employees are trained extensively about how to provide excellent service. For instance, Zingerman's has a rule for their employees that when a customer is 10 ft. away, you have to  make eye contact and acknowledge them; when a customer is 4 ft. away you have to say "Hello" and "Welcome." Long training periods are expensive, but when done right, training saves money by reducing turnover rates and is an essential part of the Zingerman customer service business model.

What's the most common thing you hear when you first walk into a store? "Can I help you?" is disarming, not relaxing and not welcoming. The customer will say "No" and you can go about your business. Instead, try saying, "Hi, have you been here before?" and then, "Oh when was the last time you were here? Let me show you what has changed." Of course a "thank you" is always in order, especially when a customer has a complaint because normally they wouldn't give you the opportunity to make it right. Plus if you do fix the issue, Saginaw says, you'll probably have gained a very loyal customer.

Hendrix Zingerman'sIn addition to the extensive training, Zingerman's also practices open-book management. They make sure employees are fully engaged in business meetings and participating in decision making. When founding the Delicatessen, Saginaw and his partner Ari Weinzeig decided that they wanted decisions to be made not by who had the most authority, but by who had the best idea. Workers can see exactly what's happening on the ground, but managers have different pressures.  Both should be contributing to decisions being made. With open-book management, employees all know the finances of the business and can understand the pressures that managers face, while also having their input be highly valued.

Many JP businesses in attendance had questions about how exactly you get employees to go for a highly energetic and thoughtful customer service plan; how do you deal with customer complaints gracefully; how do you implement a new customer service strategy etc. Unfortunately, there were many more questions to ask and discussions to be had than we had time for.  

The conversation should not stop here though! Stay tuned for a Big Tent forum on customer service.

Thanks again to all involved in planning and participating!

Hendrix Berry
JP Local First
Assistant Coordinator
February 23, 2015

 

 


 

 

The position has been filled! Stay tuned for more info!
July 10, 2014

JP Local First, a nonprofit organization of independent locally-owned businesses, is searching for a Coordinator who will work part-time 15-20 hours per week.

The job description includes:

Being an ambassador of the JP Local First movement
Working with other business assistance organizations in JP to ensure strong collaboration
Managing new and renewing member businesses – communicating with members, keeping contact information current, maintaining member database
Attending Executive Committee and Steering Committee meetings (2x a month)
Promoting membership and soliciting new member businesses
Creating a member directory, including selling ad space for the member directory and working with designer on layout and proofreading
Entering data in Quickbooks and preparing financial reports for the steering committee
Updating and creating content for the JP Local First web site
Managing social media – including twitter
Organizing JP Local First events

This job is for a person who is a self-starter and is comfortable with QuickBooks, Paypal, google docs and spreadsheets. The staff person also needs to have a high level of communication and sales skills, and the ability to organize and promote events. Fluency in English & Spanish strongly preferred. An understanding and alignment with the JP Local First mission is essential. Close ties to the JP community a plus. The coordinator must be able to work well independently and manage their own hours. This position will report to the Co-Chairs of JP Local First. Office space will be 670 Centre Street.

Skills required: Organization, attention to detail, MS Office, fluency in English & Spanish, Quickbooks, good people skills, and knowledge of social media.

Compensation: $15-$20/hr depending on background and experience

In addition to a resume, we ask each applicant to provide a cover letter explaining why you are interested in this position, and why you are a strong candidate. Send inquiries and resumes/cover letters to: JP Local First, PO Box 301628, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130, or jplocalfirst@gmail.com

 


 

JP Local First opposes Multinational Coffee Chain July 4, 2014

 

Business organization opposes chain café
July 4, 2014
By Rebeca Oliveira

The nonprofit local business organization JP Local First has issued a letter opposing the opening of a U.K.-based coffee franchise on Centre Street. The local Main Streets organization’s board opposes it as well and is actively seeking alternatives.

Caffè Nero, similar to Starbucks or Au Bon Pain, is planning on opening its second American location at 733 Centre St., the former home of the Commonwealth Bank. Its first location is already open in the Financial District.

“They’re a large multinational corporation moving into a business district where they’re going to be competing with small, local businesses,” JP Local First Coordinator Marta Terrupato told the Gazette. “As an organization that supports locally-owned businesses, we felt that we needed to say something.”

“We already have three other businesses providing coffee, baked goods, and sandwiches. We would rather see a new independent or locally-owned business that can provide a new or necessary service rather than another coffee and sandwich shop that will directly compete with the existing locally owned businesses providing the same needs,” she added, in an email.

Forty seven businesses signed the letter, intended to be sent to the Corey family, the landlords at 733 Centre St. It was mistakenly addressed to Christine Elder, a member of the family who does not deal with that piece of real estate.

The Corey family has already signed a lease with Caffé Nero, according to Centre/South Main Streets (CSMS) Executive Director Andrew Zarro.

Zarro said that CSMS’s top priority is “the health and well-being of the financial corridor,” which means supporting the landlords as well as the businesses. But CSMS’s board voted to not support Caffé Nero’s move to the corridor, Zarro said.

That said, he added that CSMS is “working with all players” to broker a solution. The idea currently being discussed is relocating Caffé Nero to another storefront owned by the Corey family and finding a new business to take over the Centre Street location– ideally, a retailer, Zarro said.

“A vacant storefront isn’t healthy for the corridor,” Zarro said. “We’re actively looking for an established retailer to open a second location, something like a bookstore, arts and crafts store, or women’s retail, to liven up the space and make it a destination.”

Caffé Nero spokesperson Ceri Aiken sent the following prepared statement to the Gazette in response to a request for comment: “Caffè Nero are really pleased to have an opportunity to move to Jamaica Plain, as we recognize it as a great community. We are a European, family-run coffee house business and … so far we have been delighted with the reaction from our [American] customers. We are hoping to open our second store sometime later in 2014 and will be talking to those in the Jamaica Plain community who’d like to know more about us in due course.”

The Jamaica Plain Business and Professional Association (JP BAPA) will be discussing the possibility of sending a similar letter of opposition to the Corey family at its next meeting, Vice President Carlos Icaza told the Gazette.

“There’s no yay or nay on this” at the moment, Icaza said. “It’s on the agenda.”

Terrupato told the Gazette that JP Local First is expecting JP BAPA to follow in its footsteps.

JP Local First was created by the owners of City Feed and Supply, Red Sun Press and Boing! Toy Shop in February and focuses on marketing local JP businesses to local customers. Its website is jplf.personalcto.biz.

- See more at: http://jamaicaplaingazette.com/2014/07/04/business-organization-opposes-chain-cafe/#sthash.1ViQ3mLf.dpuf

 


 

Spring 2014 JP Local First Directory hits the streets!
April 23, 2014

Our new Directory is coming your way soon! The Spring 2014 JP Local First Directory of Independent and Locally Owned Businesses will hit the streets on May 1st, 2014. Be one of the first to pick up a directory at our Directory Launch Party sponsored by Eastern Bank: May 1st, 6-8 pm at Eastern Bank, 687 Centre Street. We will have food, drinks, silent auction, and live music from the Debo Quintet (feat. members of the Debo Band).

You can also find us this year at Wake Up the Earth on May 3rd. JP Local First will have a table so drop by, say hi, meet some of our member business owners, and pick up a directory!

JP Local First in the news!                                                                   December 6, 2013

JP Local First releases directory                                                  By Rebeca Oliveira

The first edition of JP Local First’s business directory is currently available at member businesses in JP. The nonprofit local business organization was also planning a release party to celebrate the directory at Café Bartlett Square on Dec. 4, after the Gazette’s deadline.

“We hope the directory will become the go-to resource for folks looking to support locally owned businesses in JP,” JP Local First Coordinator Marta Perrupato told the Gazette last week.

The directory includes listings of all 85 JP Local First members and includes a calendar with major neighborhood events, including the annual Holiday Stroll and Wake Up the Earth Festival. JP Local First’s mission is to support, promote, and celebrate a local economy by educating the public and government about the significant environmental, economic, and cultural benefits of a strong local economy, Perrupato said.

JP Local First was created by the owners of City Feed and Supply, Red Sun Press and Boing! Toy Shop in February and focuses on marketing local JP businesses to local customers. Its website is jplf.personalcto.biz.

See more at: http://jamaicaplaingazette.com/2013/12/06/jp-local-first-releases-directory/#sthash.n1WKY8BY.dpuf

 

 


 

 

JP Local First Mixer
July 16, 2013

JPLocalFirst_Ad_final071513

 

 


 

JP Local First is Hiring!  CLOSED - An appointment has been made!
 June 14, 2013

JP Local First Coordinator Job Description

JP Local First, a new nonprofit organization of independent locally-owned businesses, is searching for a Coordinator who will work 10 hours per week for a twelve week period. The goal is to have the position become permanent and to increase in hours per week based on the growth and success of the JP Local First initiative.

The job description includes:

  • Being an ambassador of the JP Local First movement
  • Working with other business assistance organizations in JP to ensure strong collaboration
  • Organizing JP Local First events
  • Promoting membership and soliciting new member businesses
  •  Creating a member directory, including selling ad space for the member directory
  • Preparing financial reports for the steering committee
  • Updating and creating content for the web site

This job is for a person who is a self-starter and is comfortable with QuickBooks and spreadsheets. The staff person also needs to have a high level of communication and sales skills, and the ability to organize and promote events. Fluency in English & Spanish strongly preferred. An understanding and alignment with the JP Local First mission is essential. Close ties to the JP community a plus.

This position will report to the Co-Chairs of JP Local First. Office space will be provided at Red Sun Press (near Green Street T).

Skills required: Organization, attention to detail, MS Office, fluency in English & Spanish, Quickbooks, good people skills, and knowledge of social media.

Compensation: $15-$20/hr depending on background and experience

In addition to a resume, we ask each applicant to provide a cover letter explaining why you are interested in this position, and why you are a strong candidate. Send inquiries and resumes/cover letters to: PO Box 301628, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130, or jplocalfirst@gmail.com

For more information about JP Local First please visit: www.jplf.personalcto.biz

 

 

 


 

 

JP Indie Business Group Forms

February 1, 2013

By John Ruch

JP Local First, a new nonprofit association for local, independent businesses, is being formed by the owners of City Feed and Supply and Red Sun Press. It will hold its first monthly meeting on Feb. 14.

The idea is to “build a network of locally owned and independent businesses,” said David Warner, owner of the City Feed market, in a Gazette interview....  read the rest