The Trip to Jersey

I’ve talked a lot about Buffalo, New York in these posts because it is where we manufacture Azuna and it is where I have lived for the past 20 years.  But I’m not from Buffalo originally.  Originally I am from northern New Jersey, or in the local parlance, North Jersey.  A big part of the reason why I love Buffalo so much is that it reminds me of home.  Lots of straight talk, and lots of support.

I maintain a large group of friends in North Jersey and one of the first collaborators was my friend “Big Mike”, who I’ve known for the past 30 years.  If you looked up “What does a guy from North Jersey look like” his picture would be there.  Don’t believe me?  Take a look for yourself.

I had sent “Big Mike” a couple cases of Azuna so that he could demonstrate Azuna’s capabilities to several places that would potentially carry this type of product.  Marina’s, pet stores, pharmacies, etc.  He was having mixed success since it’s always hard to get retail stores to dedicate shelf space to new products.  But then, another happy accident!  They really do keep piling up

“Big Mike” happened to run into another of our mutual friends, “Little Mike”, whom we both know from our younger days when we would rent a house together at the Jersey Shore.  It is with an equal mix of horror and pride that I can tell you it is exactly like the show

It turns out “Little Mike” is now an executive at one of the largest healthcare cleaning companies in the country so “Big Mike” reconnected me with “Little Mike” and I told him all about Azuna.  “Little Mike” then with the patented North Jersey mix of straight talk and support said, “I’ll give it to Bill.  He runs a bunch of nursing homes and they are always looking at ways to remediate smells.  If Bill likes it, you’ll know you really have something here.  But don’t hold your breath, Bill doesn’t like anything”.

Sixty days go by, otherwise known as an eternity when you’re trying to start a business, and I don’t hear anything from “Little Mike” or Bill.  I figured either Bill never used it, or worse he tried it and didn’t like it.  Either way I was pretty bummed.  Until that is, the phone rang.  It was “Little Mike”.

“Get down to Jersey right away!”

That’s the way he put it.  No catch up, no friendly banter, just straight to business.  This wasn’t like “Little Mike” so I was worried that maybe something might be wrong with one of our friends.

“Sure thing man, what for?” I said and then held my breath till there was an answer.

“Bill loves Azuna!  Get down here right away we need to meet with him.”  Finally I exhaled.  And it was a very clean and refreshing exhale because I had an Azuna puck in my office

So I book my flight immediately and the next day “Big Mike”, with his hair slicked back and his gold chain swinging from his neck, picked me up at the airport.  He then drives us to South Jersey (there is a difference) to meet with “Little Mike” and Bill for lunch.

At lunch Bill shows us a detailed report he did for 60 days where he put Azuna in a room he described as “unredeemable”.  The specifics are a little gnarly, so let’s just say that a lot of bodily fluids had been expelled in this room.  Bill said that he has tried every type of disinfectant and chemical he could find to try and treat this room and Azuna is the only thing that has ever worked.

I let out another deep exhale.  If you’ve ever had an expert validate you before you know the feeling.  I was truly on Cloud 9. 

Within two weeks we had contracts to sell in to the 23 nursing homes Bill manages.  And as part of that deal we were also able to secure distribution agreements with “Little Mike’s” firm which is one of the largest janitorial supply companies in North America.  When I told my partner Keith he almost didn’t believe me.  All of the other companies he had worked with in the past that sold to this supply company had taken 18 months to get a contract, and here we got it in one week!

I’d love to tell you it was charm that got the deal done.  Or that I am such an incredible business person that they couldn’t resist doing business with me.  But that’s not true.  It’s because the product is incredible.  Azuna is incredible!

You’ve read this far, so now we’re friends.  That’s how it works in North Jersey, that’s how it works in Buffalo.  And as your friend I’m telling you, if you have a specific odor you need to remediate, or if you’re tired of the acrid, chemical laced mega-brand air fresheners, buy Azuna.  You won’t be disappointed.