Interview: Gott’s Roadside Tray Gourmet owner Joel Gott on rebranding, plans for the future

by TrevR on March 24, 2010

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As we wrote earlier today, the days of the Taylor’s Automatic Refresher brand living here in the Napa Valley are done.

We caught up with Gott’s Roadside Tray Gourmet owner Joel Gott over email a couple days back to get some further insights into the re-branding effort.

Napa Valley institution Taylor's Automatic Refresher has undergone a re-branding and is now known as Gott's Roadside Tray Gourmet

CB: Given this is a family business and you’re now re-branding to the family name, where did the name ‘Taylor’s Automatic Refresher’ originate?
Gott: It was started in 1949 as Taylor’s Refresher and died in 1999, we got it in 1999 and added ‘Automatic’ for fun.

CB: Why is now the time to make these moves? Are there any concerns about losing some of the loyal customer base you’ve built up over the past 10 years by making these changes?
Gott: We are so focused on the food and service that we hope our valued customers will still come for that – not the sign on the road side.

CB: With the return of Rick Robinson, what specific changes can we expect to see on the menu?
Gott: Over the last three months we have been rebuilding the core menu ingredients, next is the line of seasonal specials, then the garden: we are currently planning a three acre garden to supply the restaurants with seasonal veggies. [Ed. note: the garden will be located in the space behind the St. Helena location]

CB: Talk to us about the synergies between Joel Gott Wines and Gott’s Roadside Tray Gourmet.
Gott: Tied House Laws, I can’t serve my wines at the restaurants, I know CRAZY.

CB: We noted that Gott’s Roadside Tray Gourmet is utilizing social media (Facebook page, Twitter handle, Flickr account and YouTube channel), which to the best of our knowledge the Taylor’s brand never did. Talk to us about the objectives for these mediums and how you’re measuring success.
Gott: We know, you know, there are lots of people who take their experiences and recommendations and post reviews, thoughts on these links so its time we actively work with these venues.

CB: Cheers Joel!

[techtags: Napa, Napa Valley, wine, winery, Taylor's Automatic Refresher, Gott's Roadside Tray Gourment, Joel Gott, Duncan Gott, St. Helena]

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has written 726 posts on The Cork Board. He was born and aged in the Napa Valley and has a passion for wine, writing and social media, which led him to co-found this blog in early 2007. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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