Several years ago, I was introduced to a very cool small business in Madison, Indiana called Dattilo Fruit Co.

They are a regional produce distribution company that’s been around and earned an amazing reputation since 1929.

“Dattilo Fruit Co. was founded in 1929 by Anthony Dattilo Sr. His constant attention to customer satisfaction has been the backbone of our success and we have continued that commitment for over 80 years. Our relentless pursuit to satisfy our customers has allowed us to grow into a regional professional produce distribution leader and enabled us to increase our inventories as well as our coverage area. Whether you need exotic, organic or even home grown fruit and vegetables Dattilo’s has you covered.”

When the COVID pandemic began, they really started to feel the pressure. Their wholesale customers were moving slower and ordering less. But Dattilo Fruit still needed to keep the lights on and employees on the payroll.

I received a call from them one afternoon in early April about how they created some fruit and vegetable baskets to sell – not to suppliers – but to individuals and families nearby. Word had started to spread and they were selling a few each day.

But they needed to ramp up these sales, and needed to do so quickly.

I got to work immediately and worked on turning their website into a retail e-commerce tool, which I completed after working through the night and into the morning hours. We rolled it out immediately offering fruit packs, veggie packs or a combo of each. Customers could order online and pick up same-day or next-day curbside.

That next day, orders came flowing in making it a full-time job for the staff to keep up with online orders and curbside pickups (a good problem to experience).

Having a great business with a great product and a newly updated website that supports online sales was definitely a driving factor for the success. But as with any type of sales, it doesn’t happen magically. It takes some smart marketing too.

So we whipped up a nice Facebook ad, selectively targeted those near Dattilo Fruit headquarters and began immediately receiving excellent feedback and, of course, sales.

Over the course of a couple months, this ad was seen 240,000+ times with a reach of 25,152 individuals in and around the small town of Madison, IN. We paid just 40 cents per click and converted those clicks into sales at a very successful and profitable rate. We also benefitted from a great deal of organic reach from all the kind comments and shares of the post.

This marketing campaign was very special to me.

We helped a small business maintain revenue during a very difficult time.

We got delicious fruit and veggies into the hands and mouths of local residents during a time when it was tough to find those things.

And we are proud to say we ran a very successful marketing campaign that included website optimization and social media advertising, something we turned around very quickly and effectively.

It just goes to show that even during the toughest times, if you run a good business that offers a good product or service, match it up with good marketing and are willing to be creative and open to adapting to the current environment, anything is possible!