Source of Pride

John’s Island Club’s six-part video series, “Sourced,” put a spotlight on the behind-the-scenes efforts of the culinary team led by Executive Chef John Farnsworth (right), to help members gain a better understanding of how the club’s food-and-beverage operation has achieved and sustained its excellence over so many years.

John’s Island Club partnered with a video marketing firm to create a six-part video documentary series, “Sourced,” that illustrates the complete process of how local ingredients are sourced, prepared and featured on menus.

The management team at John’s Island Club, in Vero Beach, Fla., has impressive tenure. General Manager Brian Kroh, CCM, has been with the club since 1996. Executive Chef John Farnsworth has been there since 1995, and Assistant General Manager David Colclough since 2003. And the list goes on and on.

And while a lot has changed over the years at John’s Island, something else has remained consistent: Its $10 million food-and-beverage operation has always been one of its best attractions. Even so, many members were unaware of how the club’s F&B operation achieved and sustained its excellence. And managers often heard suggestions from members that perhaps more local ingredients should be included on the menus.

“What they didn’t realize is that we do source local ingredients,” says Kroh. “And we have been for a very long time. Chef Farnsworth has developed amazing relationships with our purveyors. So we realized that we needed to show that to our members.”

THE GOAL: Give the members of John’s Island Club a behind-the-scenes look at its $10 million food-and-beverage operation, highlighting how the club’s culinary team secures top-quality seafood, beef, wine, beer and produce, and makes its bread and pastries, through special partnerships with local purveyors.
THE PLAN: Contract with a video marketing firm to create a six-part video documentary series, “Sourced,” that illustrates the complete process of how local ingredients are sourced, prepared and featured on menus, and make the episodes available to members through a video-sharing website during the first six weeks of the club’s season.
THE PAYOFF: Members received a clear understanding of, and appreciation for, how John’s Island sources its food-and-beverage products. The video series also had the added (and unexpected) benefit of highlighting lesser-known culinary team members and serving as a recruiting and training tool for new hires. And its success and strong reception has generated interest in doing similar film series for other club departments, including tennis and golf.
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That led Kroh to contract with a video marketing company based in Florida that specializes in private-club films to create a six-part documentary series, plus a highlight compilation, that would showcase where and how the club sources its ingredients in several key areas: seafood, beef, produce, beer, wine, and for the bread and pastries made on site.

Once it was completed, the six-part series, called “Sourced,” was hosted on Vimeo, a video-sharing website.

“Each episode tells the story of how John’s Island Club sources the products we use, no matter what it is,” says Kroh.

As a new season at John’s Island began, members were alerted each week, through the club’s weekly e-newsletter, that a new episode was available for viewing.

“It’s just like any other piece of marketing,” says Kroh, who reports that the cost per film, each of which runs between two and three minutes and features high production quality, was $3,000.

“Videos seems to be get better traction with members than brochures or other collateral,” Kroh adds. “This series has been a very effective tool.”

So much so that other John’s Island departments, including tennis and golf, are now hoping to copy the idea.

“As time goes on, we find more and more uses for these videos,” says Kroh. “What started as an idea to educate our members has turned into a way to educate and attract new employees, showcase the talent of our culinary team, and give our members more reasons to use and be proud of their club.”

View the videos here: