Saturday, May 30, 2009

a market character

We get some characters here at Pike Place I won't lie. From the guy who picks old coffee cups out of the trash cans, to the Johnny Cash singin' buskers on repeat and the couples holding their wine glasses while exiting the limo for whom recession means nothing. We love them all and recognize it as one of the primary charms of an outdoor, year-round public market.

Now Michael Kennedy does not pick up other's trash and he didn't get dropped on our stoop by a stretch limo, but man is this guy a legend already. I'm cleaning out the cooler after a trip to the airport as always. shoveling ice and grabbing garbage bins. I'm cutting cardboard and rippin' through it like a mad man with a knife and all the sudden, this cat with business clothes under the iconic Grundens fish waders grabs stuff and starts telling me to go faster! "Give me something heavy to lift! What do you need man? I'm here to help" I knew we didn't hire a new guy but I did remember a care package delivered to us with pictures, a hand written note and some gifts from the Scion car company signed "Kennedy".

Kennedy has seen the FISH video, he's read the books and after a brief phone call a couple years ago with veteran fishmonger Dan Bugge (now of Matt's in the Market) he showed up to work a little bit ever since. Dan said "you want the real experience and to know what we're about, show up to work".

So Kennedy cleaned, he wrapped fish, he sent us goofy pictures, he shook hands with strangers and went home with inspiration for his daily "grind" (in his case, working with Scion cars). Here is a blip from an email he sent to his team:

From Salmon to Scion: A Study in Outrageous Customer Engagement

The Growl is Alive and Well in Seattle, WA. Who have YOU growled with lately?

Everything they do, say and think is aligned to move in that direction. Let's us continue to do our part!

What a blast. If they can make a ton of money working in the damp, cold market... and have people visit them from all around the world to photograph and video them selling dead fish... by God, we can achieve the same results selling Scions (or anything else for that matter).

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