A helping hand

This past weekend I baked brownies for my cousin’s birthday party – raspberry, cream cheese brownies made with Framboise to be specific. The most difficult part of the process, which included making the brownie batter, cream cheese filling and jam mixture, was figuring out what Framboise is and where to find it.


I purposely went to a liquor store that is a bit farther from my house because the owner is very knowledgeable and helpful; surely he would know what Framboise is, I thought.


After giving it three slightly different pronunciations, spelling it and showing him the ingredient list for the recipe, he threw his hands up and said, “I have no idea. I have never even heard of it before.”


It took three phone calls to my nearest and dearest, but I finally discovered that Framboise is a raspberry-flavored Belgian beer. Ahhh!


I checked two supermarkets that tend to have a large beer selection before heading to a local beverage distributor where the young sales guy had to ask around to find out where it was shelved, but I found it.


What frustrated me is that this wasn’t the first time I have had this trouble. More often than I’d like to admit, I dive into recipes that required a produce item, baking ingredient, sauce or spice that I have never before heard of, and to my surprise – and disappointment – I am often met with the confused look of a salesperson.


And I imagine I am not the only one.


Sure there is Google, but not everyone has the ability to search for products online before they shop. Wouldn’t it be convenient if there was a database of products right there in the store with descriptions and uses of uncommon, if not all, items?


Having this information available to customers, either by providing them access, or having it at a salesperson’s fingertips can turn a frustrating and potentially unsuccessful shopping experience into a fulfilling and more profitable one.


I would have quickly traded my loyalty for some Framboise at a supermarket this weekend.

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