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Papa's Kitchen with Christina Kalfaian feature #96 of Together Talks

"Together Talks" feature #96: Papa's Kitchen presented by KLS, freight company

Some Background on Papa's Kitchen

For today's edition of "Together Talks" campaign, KLS had the chance to interview Papa's Kitchen and Christina Kalfaian, Founder. Papa’s Kitchen LLC. is a Certified Women-Owned gourmet salad dressing and marinade company that uses high-quality ingredients.


Currently offering four unique flavors of dressings & marinades that are all gluten-free.


Papa's Kitchen LLC. was founded in June 2021. Our dressings & marinades are more than just your average household name brands. They can transform your ordinary meal into something extraordinary. Our dressings & marinades are versatile and can be used for salads, dips, or as a marinade. We take great pride in our products by controlling the quality in small batches and avoiding the use of any artificial ingredients.



Father's Legacy

The hero product, the Pink Greek dressing has been around for over 45 years. In fact, it was created by Christina's father, Jimmy Papadopoulos. He came to America when he was just 12 years old and opened his first restaurant at 17 years old. During the 1970s, Jimmy worked with little education and guidance to master restaurant locations, food menus, and products that offer authentic recipes and Greek cuisine, including the now-famous Pink Greek Dressing.


A few years ago, Christina looked at the market’s need for "Homemade" healthy dressings. She felt there needed to be a shift in supply based on consumer demands. She believed there was an opportunity to provide the true one-of-kind Pink Greek dressing on a larger scale 


Her father's dressing is often copied but truly never duplicated until she started a company for his legacy.

Fighting for life

In 2019, Christina had the idea to create a legacy for her father. However, this was only half of the equation. She was later diagnosed with a life-threatening condition called malrotation and had to be hospitalized. She was waitlisted for critical surgery at Cleveland Clinic, where she was the 64th person to undergo the procedure worldwide. While she laid in a bed at the hospital and pondered her future, she kept coming back to her father. Due to a business partnership that went wrong, he had lost his entire restaurant portfolio. After over four decades he had nothing to show for it. Christina wanted to change that, she wanted to bring his creations to life for people to experience every day in the confines of their own home.


She made a promise to herself, that when she was better and got out of the hospital, she was starting the company. She was going to build Papa's Kitchen in honor of her father. She was determined to give him the legacy she believed he deserved.


Fortunately, all went well with Christina's medical situation and she was out of the hospital, but then Covid hit. In May 2021 she performed a soft launch to see what expectations would be like. The company sold 1,700 units in that month alone. Remarkably only through her posting on social media and word of mouth. In the next six months, they sold 10,000 units. Christina credits the customer relationships and the organic development it took to garner that trust between brand and consumer.


Dealing with her health, her father's legacy, and starting a company in an industry she knew nothing about brought on doubt for Christina. She told us it was always in the back of her mind, but for her, she is a self-proclaimed go-getter. Her determination is her strongest quality and she believed she would find a way to make this work to honor her father. It comes as no surprise that her father is her inspiration, and she wanted to show him what he had created.

Partner with KLS
KLS offers LTL and FTL for both dry and reefer transportation.
Our nationwide coverage provides companies a reliable, consistent, and dependable logistics partner to handle your trucking needs.
For more information on how we can help call our office today 708-980-0920 or reach us via our email quote request here!
The original

Papa's Kitchen brings a unique twist to salad dressings & marinades with bold flavors including: Pink Greek, Creamy Dill, Fresh Herb, and Maple Harvest.


·         OFTEN COPIED, NEVER DUPLICATED! An original Metro Detroit classic, our Pink Greek is the smoothest and silkiest Greek dressing you’ll ever experience. It combines the perfect blend of sweet and savory with fresh Grecian herbs, oils, red wine vinegar, beets, and a touch of love.

·         SIMPLY DILL-ICOUS! Creamy Dill takes any Ranch dressing to a new level of dill-icousness. The perfect blend of fresh dill, sour cream, mayonnaise, and a hint of garlic. It complements salads, veggies, and seafood.

·         TASTE OF THE GREEK ISLES. Experience Papa's Kitchen Fresh Herb Vinaigrette. Made with fresh chopped oregano, parsley, mint, basil, garlic infused into oil, and red wine vinegar, this vinaigrette is the perfect addition to any salad or marinade.  Harvest Vinaigrette

·         AUTUMN IN A BOTTLE. Papa’s Kitchen Maple Harvest will surprise and delight you. A bountiful blend of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, and pumpkin. You will FALL in love. 


Having flavors outside of the usual staples is the first differentiator for the company. Second is the original recipe created by her Father. These dressings & marinades bring "homemade" vibes with each flavor. Christina did share that it is still a challenge to educate consumers and reach them but shared the level of success they have when they demo their product, "We do a salad flight—4 pieces of spinach and a dab of each dressing. The consumers love our products. We normally will see someone grab 1-4 bottles of our product right there and then to buy."


She shared how validating it is when running sampling events to receive that instant feedback. Christina said she puts extra gratification on it because consumers are buying their product without being promoted or sold. That is a real testament to the power of the product. Christina added, "We have had parents and grandparents tell us that their kids would never touch salad, but now request salad with our dressing. It is great!"


Starting the company and following her idea possessed one big hurdle for Christina, - obtaining the recipes and ensuring their perfection. She shared that her whole life growing up her Father had always tinkered with recipes and trying to understand what his "pinch" of something was tedious at first. Ultimately, they got it right with the co-packer after a few product runs. In just one year, the company grew beyond the capacity of their co-packer and Christina says the transition to the new provider was smooth. Christina is optimistic about the future and looks forward to seeing what the future holds for Papa’s Kitchen.

Face of the company

When we asked Christina what the company’s strength is she answered without any hesitation, "Me". Not in a conceited way, but she believes that she can authentically represent the product and the demographic it serves. Knowing what consumers want and having the determination to reach them is her greatest strength. She went back to her medical experience to explain, "Going through what I went through and knowing that anyone can be facing challenges we know nothing about, to be able to provide them with a smile because of our products...it means everything."


Creating a legacy for her father doesn't just end there. Her Mother is her business partner. Christina shared that when sampling at demo’s or at food shows they often get mistaken for sisters. However, she explained that their personalities mixed with their exceptional products lead to such great success when having consumers try their products. Christina told us that they want to continue to expand strategically. Next year they will further expand in Michigan and Ohio. Once that is conquered, she envisions the rest of the Midwest and over to the east coast. Between the new regions and their push into e-commerce next year, there are big things ahead for Papa's Kitchen. Her ultimate goal is to be in 1 of every 3 consumer households. The ultimate stamp of approval for the legacy she sought to enshrine.

 

Breast Cancer Campaign

Christina and Papa's Kitchen had a goal in October of this year to sell 500 units of their Pink Greek dressing in support of Breast Cancer Awareness. In total, they sold over 1,500! Check out the video below :)



Piece of Advice

The conversation with Christina ended with her offering her piece of advice.

"Don’t be afraid, take risks. You never know what is on the other side unless you try to open up that door."


Interested in being featured with "Together Talks"?
KLS is booking our upcoming schedule now!
Contact us as we would love to learn your story and share it amongst our audience.
Weekly we provide 2 companies our platform to expand their reach courtesy of our campaign. Let's collaborate!!!
In Closing

KLS wants to thank Christina Kalfaian, Founder, of Papa's Kitchen for today's "Together Talks" feature. Keep up to date with Papa's Kitchen by following their blog on their website, check it out here. Follow along for the Papa's Kitchen journey with their social handles below!


Together Talks with Papa's Kitchen feature #96- presented by KLS, Klimson Logistics Solutions, freight company

Klimson Logistics Solutions - Together Talks with Papa's Kitchen feature #96

*Klimson Logistics Solutions is an Industry Leading Customer Service 3PL. Our focus and commitment to our clients has us striving to be the BEST customer service 3PL for LTL, FTL, Reefer, and Drayage in the country. KLS, freight company, is a 3PL providing nationwide logistics solutions. KLS shipping services include: LTL freight, FTL freight, Reefer LTL freight, Reefer FTL freight, and Drayage. Klimson Logistics Solutions thanks you for viewing our marketing campaign, "Together Talks". If you have any interest in being featured or questions regarding your freight operations please contact us today!


Why KLS?

Our precise and reliable effort.

We handle every shipment with the exact same process. It does not matter if you move one shipment a year or ten per day, you will receive the same level of customer service from us. When we started this company, we had one goal in mind, treat every shipment like it was our own. With our vast knowledge of the industry, we understood what a customer would want from a communication standpoint. We applied that process to be the standard here at KLS. Our reliability and being able to depend on our consistency is why we have such long-standing relationships with our clients.


Our Process?

Every shipment in our industry starts with a quote. We are firm believers that time is money, thus we strive to have quotes back in a 5-10 minute reply time for LTL and FTL, any FCL quotes are at the mercy of the carriers getting back to us. For LTL we have the flexibility to quote both off of NMFC and also Density depending on the carrier. Utilizing our services, you’re allowing us to use our expertise to class your freight accordingly to ensure we are providing the best rate we possibly can.

Once a quote has been submitted and a client chooses to proceed with KLS handling the arrangement of the shipment our full process begins. We create the BOL that will be used for the shipment. If it is a new location for our system, we will obtain all the important/special details (reference numbers, contact details, shipping hours, closed for lunch, dock/doors, etc.). We meticulously build every detail into our software for all future shipments involving that location. After we have both locations built and necessary reference numbers have been applied we will tender the shipment to the carrier. We use this method because it provides us a real time pickup number from the carrier to obtain updates prior to pickup. Our staff will either email the BOL directly to you or to the shipper (at your request) the minute after the tender has been accepted by the carrier. LTL carriers require a 2 hour window prior to close time in order to schedule it for a same-day pickup attempt.

The following morning you’ll receive an email from us. It will either provide the reason the pickup was missed (driver’s trailer filled up, driver missed the close time, truck broke down, shipper said no freight, etc.) or if the pickup was successful you will receive the PRO (tracking) number from us, along with the eta for delivery. Our staff will track it throughout the duration of transit and advise if anything happens that will alter the estimated delivery date. The day the shipment delivers we will email you with confirmation and the POD (Proof of Delivery), should you require it.

Your shipment has been quoted, scheduled, picked up, and delivered. The next step is waiting for the carrier to invoice us and make sure the rate matches up. If it does, we close out the invoice from the carrier in our system and automatically your invoice is created and sent to the requested party at your company. In the event the carrier has an additional charge on their invoice “Variance”, we will never send you an invoice with an additional charge without first identifying you of the charge.

Let us repeat, NEVER WILL WE JUST BILL OUT AN EXTRA CHARGE WITHOUT YOU BEING NOTIFIED.

You are our customer, we represent you. Should the carrier provide an extra charge on an invoice, “Lift gate, additional weight, reclass, detention, etc.) We notify you of the charge via email first. Second, within that email we identify what is required should you choose to dispute the charge. Again our goal is to honor your request, if you want to dispute, we will dispute. During a dispute we will provide you updates every step along the way. Once a dispute is closed out, whether it is approved or rejected, then we will invoice you as the invoice has been resolved.

For reference, our company only had 6.2% of all shipments go to dispute in 2022 and we successfully won 91% of those disputes on behalf of our customers.

This is our process for every single shipment you move with us. We don’t cut corners, we don’t hide from difficult situations. We believe in being available, honest, and transparent. We don’t ever want to tell you that a shipment is lost, damaged, misrouted, but it is our duty to notify you the second we find out something has gone wrong. We hate to present bad news, but it is part of the job. What you can guarantee is that we will work a shipment all the way through and turn over every stone until we get a resolution for our clients.


Services offered?

Our core business is LTL and FTL. Within these options we have options for both dry and refrigerated/frozen. We also offer FCL/Drayage options. Our company as a 3PL has nationwide options and services clients across the US.


Let’s breakdown our services more in-depth

LTL: Standard and Guaranteed CFS (Imports & Exports) Tradeshows Hazmat Anything that is on a pallet can be moved LTL. Typically LTL is up to 10 pallets, but the sweet spot for a carrier is 6-8 pallets at most for an individual shipment. LTL quotes are good between 5-30 days depending on the carrier. LTL can be quoted either via NMFC or density to determine the class (we do this for you).

Volume: Anything over 10-12’ of space in the truck is the technical rule for a volume shipment. When we run a quote for you we will determine if it qualifies for volume and provide you a rate if available. Volume moves allow you to get a reduced rate for larger shipments. The caveat to volume shipments it the quotes are only valid for 3-7 days and they move on capacity between terminals. If a terminal is backed up they will move their LTL freight first before the volume freight, which can lead to longer transit times for volume moves.

FTL/Dedicated/Expedited: 53’ Dry and Reefer 26’ Box trucks with lift gate Sprinter Van The main difference for FTL vs LTL is space and transit time. For standard pallets you can fit either 26 or 30 pallets in a 53’ dry van. The other main difference is transit time, for FTL each day counts in the transit time, whereas LTL does not count the day of pickup, weekends, or holidays in their transit time.

Reefer/Frozen: LTL and FTL We specialize working in the CPG space with food manufacturers. We regularly deliver to the following locations: Kehe UNFI Core Mark DPI Wegmans Cugini H.T. Hackney Netrition HEB ALDI Chambers and Owens EBY Brown Nassau Candy Harris Teeter Wakefern NU INC Long Distribution

What makes KLS different?

There are thousands of freight brokers and 3PL in our industry. Barrier to entry is rather easy and agents or owners will often hire sales people without any intention of properly training them. It results in high turnover for many freight companies and a forgettable experience for the client. We choose to operate differently through our consistency. We truly care about doing right by our clients and prospects too. While we would love to help provide our services to every company we speak with, that just isn’t realistic. We won’t always be the right fit for every company that moves freight and that is ok. Our authenticity as a shipping company sets us apart from the competition and that is backed up by our testimonials. We also run a marketing campaign bi-weekly called “Together Talks”. We interview, highlight, and promote two businesses every week. Our goal is to grow our network, make new connections, and learn something new with each collaboration. Check it out on our website and if you’re interested in being featured reach out.

Our company also runs a year long charity promotion. Book your first shipment through KLS and we donate to the charity of your choice in your name. Our way of thanking you for giving us an opportunity to show you the KLS way and what makes us one of a kind. This entire package is what we offer to every prospect and every client. Our goal is to help provide answers that customers may have when it comes to shipping. We want to always be available as a resource and will always offer a lending hand whenever we can.

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