So, for us uninitiated, what is Roons?
Roons is a small, independent, women-owned, Oregon-based baking company. We make delicious, one-of-a-kind, gluten-free and grain-free macaroons locally in Portland, Oregon.
What is your big shipping challenge with Roons?
We opened our doors in September 2017, but our business took off in April 2018 when we won the first-class dessert business on Alaska Airlines medium-haul flights. We went from shipping small amounts of Roons to 150,000 in just a few months. That created a huge shipping challenge. Not to mention our product is dipped in chocolate, which is extra tricky in the summer months.
What kinds of shipping options did you explore?
We looked at refrigerated trucking, padded boxes with expensive cooling technology, thermal inserts, etc., but everything was too expensive or unsustainable. When we looked at Alaska Air Cargo, we discovered most of their locations have coolers or freezers.
And with priority booking we could choose our own flights based on time of day and air temperature at the product destination.
So, do you bake and ship Roons on the same day?
Yes! We bake all day and ship immediately; it’s critical that we get our product from our bakery to our customers quickly. What’s amazing is that we don’t have to warehouse any product — Hello, same-day shipping anywhere in the country! We can make good on our commitments. And surprisingly, Alaska Air Cargo is less expensive than slower, less flexible shipping options.
How is it working with the Portland Air Cargo staff?
They are simply the greatest team to work with. The manager met us on Day One and introduced us around to the crew. Of course, we brought cookies for a little extra bribery.
One shipment after another, we started building a rapport with everyone there. We worked with Robert, Brian, and Julia during the days, and Nash and Don at night. Every single time, the crew was helpful, happy, and thoughtful. Sometimes I wouldn’t even have to get out of my car before Brian would roll up the door and start prepping pallets for unloading. Some days when I had too many boxes and not enough time, one of the guys would climb into my van, and we would form an assembly line to get all the boxes onto each pallet.
What’s the effect been on your business?
We have shipped somewhere in the neighborhood of 250,000 individual cookies across the country since our partnership with Alaska Air Cargo started. And we have kept them in best possible condition, coast to coast. Working with Alaska Air Cargo has enabled our business to grow, to be flexible, and to meet customers’ last-minute needs better than anyone. I am beyond grateful for the Portland Air Cargo team and consider them all a part of my Roons story.