Thursday, May 10, 2007

To the Cheese, cheese

Al queso, queso is a privately held, family run business. They started with one store and they have grown to somewhere around 19 locations. They were one of our first big clients and the owner (Hugo Diaz) just loves our savory cookies.

They now have a website where you can buy some of their products. Unfortunately he does not have Sugar & Spice products on the site. I will have to have a talk with him about that.

Regardless, I do hope that they are successful with their website and that it does help them get more sales. Meanwhile I have created a little list of what I would like to see on his website:

1. A list of his stores with phone numbers and hours.
2. Pictures of the products and some more descriptions
3. Maybe a map of the zones where they deliver
4. A Little history of the company.
5. Information about some of the companies that they buy from

This last one could be more informative like a little history about each firm. I happen to know that many of the products that are sold at his stores are from small companies. I would love to read a little about each of them and what makes their products so special.

If you have any suggestions that I may have missed send them to me. I could even send him a link to this blog so he can view all the comments directly.


Marc said...

I had a jamon crudo sandwich at their stand in Falabella on Florida when I was up in BA a while back. Riquisimo!

Their tablas looked good too but a bit too much both in price and quantity for a quick snack.

Anonymous said...

Thank you asadoarg for putting into words so eloquently the feelings I wish to express about that site and others that have shocking double standards.

She apparently started this site in her own words because she wasnt allowed to post her comments on a australian cooking site based in Argentina La otra cocina.

I personally know this woman and can state that she is a very fair and generous soul and by the way she has an argentine husband so that says a lot as well.

This Mercedes women who ironically lives in the United States has stated that she does not like negative comments about Argentina to be posted and then in her posts she makes 10 times more rascist remarks and allows comments from her Argentine fans that would be prosecuted in most international courts for rascism especially the first one against La otra cocina.

If you read those comments they are terribly rascist and they go by unchecked by this so called lover of democracy.

I have noticed that she has started a campaign as well against the founder of this blogsite Matt and Deby from tango spam as well as Will Bonner from discovering Buenos Aires.

Her blog is the worst kind of psuedo nationalism that there is and anyone associated with here must have rocks in their heads


Unknown said...

Hi Asado,

I have had conversations with people people that have shopped there and most tend to follow the same pattern. That is, they like what those stores offer and feel like maybe they are a bit on the expensive side.

What I normally respond is that they should take into consideration is that those are all small stores and they keep small stocks of products hence they tend to be very fresh. This is an expensive way of running a store but I think it´s part of their focus.

I am pretty sure that they are cheaper than their closest competitor, which is Valenti.

Unknown said...

Hi Peter,

I posted on Yanqui Mike´s blog regarding this. I also felt that it was unfair how Ms. Cupcake was treated.

I still believe that the answer lies in Yanqui Mike´s comments and not only applies to foreigners but to Argentines as well.

I felt that most of the commentators on Mercedes site are guilty of generalizations, and racist remarks. So much so, that after trying to write contsructive comments on her site and bouncing up against these individuals I pretty much gave up on them.

Notice that I said most and not all. These generalized comments have a way of flying from both sides of this equation and it would be much better if we try not to make them.

However, what do you call a campaign. Has she gone further than her blog?

Marc said...

Totally agree Frank, looks like they have unique quality products that are fresh where the prices are justified instead of extreme markups on your run-of-the-mill goods.


Peter, why are you going around and repeating the same post on everyone's site? I wish you would stop, one place is enough.

Anonymous said...

I agree with those comments of anonymous completely.

Thanks Peter for sharing them here with us


Unknown said...

John Mclean was nice enough to write some specific views on his thoughts of the Queso, queso web site. He initially thought it would not be appropriate but I reasured him that I thought his comments were constructive.

The rest is all John...

Gratuitous music and animation.

Unreliable or slow servers. The first time I tried to
connect to the Queso site I got an error message.
Subsequently when I could access the site, pages took
up to 30 seconds or more to load. I was able to surf
web sites in other parts of the world while still
waiting for the Queso pages to load.

Pages don’t display correctly. Web site designers in
Argentina seem to design sites to work under Internet
Explorer/some flavor of Windows, and use
Microsoft-specific web features. This is probably the
most significant problem and is often insurmountable.
I use a Macintosh and Safari to browse the web
(IE/MacOS often doesn’t display some sites correctly
either). Web site design should ALWAYS be browser
independent. For example, on the Queso site, the
“click to order” (agregar) buttons are displayed in
the incorrect location on my computer. IE use, at
least in the US, has fallen due to security issues,
and most experienced users overwhelmingly favor a
non-Microsoft browser (often Firefox). Only in the
last few days has the La Nación site has been
displayed properly on my computer (previously the text
would disappear as I ran the cursor over it). I never
run into these problems with any other web sites
anywhere, worldwide.

Clickable links should be obvious. On the Queso site,
it was not immediately apparent to me that the
different items on the home page were actually links.
I think a much better scheme is to have the same links
on each page such as: (who we are /locations /products
/checkout etc.), so that global jumping between pages
is possible.

The home page needs to be more informational – I hate
having to load a page where the only think I see is a
graphic with an “enter” button. Or worse still, no
indication of whether there are any links …

E-commerce sites ALWAYS need to have prices listed.
If I have no idea of the cost of an item, why would I
bother to further browse the site? This situation
seems very common, and I can’t figure out why one
would have a site without pricing information (at
least some approximation), even if it were not
possible to order online. I don’t want to leave my
email and or telephone address and be hounded by a

Businesses need to check their web sites from a
typical customer connection, not directly from a
computer that has the site loaded. And most
importantly, web sites need to be tested by somebody
other than the developer, before approval is given and
payment made to the designer.

Some more specific comments about the Queso site:
I agree there needs to be more information (including
pictures) about the products for sale, indications of
size/weight of some of the items, and a better
description of the platters (tablas). I’d like to
know before ordering some of the expensive platters
where the actual cheeses (like the Brie) were
produced/brand. The font sizes in some of the
descriptions are too small. Mini maps of the store
locations would be useful (I love how in Paris every
business tells you which Métro stations are closest).

A 48 hr delivery window seems a little big too me
(well only that short of a time if you live in CF) …
not everyone has a maid/wife at home all day. I think
an option to have an order prepared for pick-up at a
store would be a useful addition. I don’t think the
customer should have to choose which store location is
closest. I would like to know the approximate
delivery costs before I place an order.

I always figured that if I were crazy enough to start
a business in Argentina I would focus on good customer
service … I’m sure it would be a unique experience for
customers - except yours of course ;-)