If authentic juicy steamed Shanghai soup dumplings, known as Xiao Long Bao, sound incredibly comforting – you’re not alone! XCJ is a well-reviewed dumpling house in Bellevue, WA known for their soup dumplings.
However, the business was immediately endangered after COVID struck as they are located near corporate office and saw foot traffic decline by over 90%. However, they soon had the idea to freeze their soup dumplings and deliver to customers to enjoy at home. Due to this speedy pivot in business strategy to e-commerce, an even bigger opportunity soon arrived.
A year later, XCJ’s e-commerce orders have significantly surpassed its store revenues and are still growing. The young e-commerce business, operating out of their small restaurant, is now space-constrained and freezer-limited. With a new 20,000 square foot commissary in the works, and thousands of happy customers, the company is bullish on their future. The restaurant created the brand and the brand is extended nationally with e-commerce.
Geographic expansion is in fact a natural next step. Perishable Shipping Solutions, XCJ’s frozen food fulfillment partner, helped XJC to quickly scale its e-commerce systems in 2020. With its own expanded facilities, PSS continues to support the growth of XCJ’s e-commerce orders. XCJ’s marketing plan calls for additional promotion on Facebook, Instagram and What’s App, outbound PR and a new website. Monthly subscriptions are coming soon, bringing members special surprise and limited run bao flavors.
Upgraded Street Food
You can think of the little bao buns as upgraded street food. Top quality ingredients include flour with a higher protein content, fresh ginger and 80-20% ground pork. The at-home Chinese street food experience can include add-ons such as sauces and bamboo steamers, which are so popular they can hardly keep them in stock. Product line extensions and new products will add to the cultural experience with beef skewers, scallion pancakes and authentic noodle kits. An affordable indulgence enjoyed in your own home, thanks to easy online ordering and specialized shipping.
What’s the best part? Caleb Wang, co-founder and CEO, says that they hadn’t expected the genuine relationships with buyers arising from unsolicited, heart-felt comments of appreciation, and the happiness they feel to share and introduce their diverse food culture to others. Customers are certainly devoted – one is purchasing a dedicated fridge to stock the buns and never run out. A large family in southern California tops the leaderboard at 4,000 dumplings purchased in the last year.
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