We had to figure out how to ship from our barn to people's doorsteps. Google Workspace and Google Analytics were a big part of figuring those components out.
Sheila C. Patinkin
Sheila Patinkin raises Wagyu, the Japanese cattle famous for their superior beef. It’s not the career she expected: she was a pediatrician in Chicago when her husband passed away suddenly. “I was grief-stricken, and it felt important to be closer to home, which was Vermont,” Sheila recalls. “I was looking for a niche business, and Wagyu is very artisanal, very hands-on.” So at age 52, Sheila purchased a farm near her hometown of Springfield, along with 20 embryos that would become her first full-blood Wagyu herd. Vermont Wagyu launched in 2011, selling sides of beef to top New York restaurants. Then the pandemic forced a U-turn: Vermont Wagyu still supplies Michelin-starred chefs, but 90 percent of sales are now direct-to-consumer, with about 3,500 ecommerce orders per year filled by Sheila and her family.
Vermont Wagyu already used Google Workspace to organize their livestock forecasts and finances. When 2020 brought a new urgency to marketing, they turned to Google Ads to reach new customers. Max Patinkin, Sheila’s son and an attorney by trade, handles the digital marketing for the business. He says about 25 percent of Vermont Wagyu’s sales come from Google Ads, and they generate up to 40 percent of the company’s growth. To understand what works best, they use Google Analytics. “Really drilling into how the website is performing, how campaigns are performing, is critical,” Max says. ”Each dollar returning to us allows us to support the families that work for us and the growth of the herd.” All four of Sheila’s children are involved in Vermont Wagyu, and as they partner with other local producers, they also shine a light on Vermont’s artisanal traditions. “Being a multi-generational farm is something that we really take to heart,” Max says. “And it's nice to see that evolution and support an agrarian business in a great state.”