(This post originally appeared on The Guardian)
I finally figured out why the sales of my company have been so flat over the past few years. It’s because I don’t look like anything like Frank Acosta.
Acosta is one of the co-founders of Manhattan Milk, a small business that delivers fresh milk and other dairy products to clients in New York and New Jersey. He’s also … well … hot.
“He’s such a hunk,” one longtime female customer who lives on Manhattan’s Upper West Side told the New York Post. “I have not bought milk or eggs from a grocery since I started with him.”
She’s not kidding. I’ve seen pictures. The guy is good-looking. Very good-looking. He’s a former fitness trainer who still works out every day. He’s got the hair and the beard and … you know, the whole thing going on. And yes: he’s single. But the success of his business is not all due to that. Like any successful small business owner, he’s also a very hard worker.
The 40-year-old Acosta, since starting the company in 2006, hand-delivers up to 600 cases of milk a day. He starts prepping the product at 11pm the night before and is usually on the road by 1am making deliveries to commercial accounts and finishing up with customer calls around dawn. It’s a grueling schedule. “I don’t take vacations,” he says.
Does the fact that he’s attractive help his profits? Well, it sure doesn’t hurt. Besides hitting on him all the time and filling up his Instagram account with invitations, his customers are willing to pay a pretty penny for the thrill of getting their milk delivered by a hunk. According to the Post article, each gallon costs $8, with some families paying up to $100 per week for a regular delivery of the company’s single-herd, grass-fed, low-temperature pasteurized milk produced at an upstate New York farm. Fresh eggs, heavy cream and New York maple syrup are also popular items.
But being a hot-looking guy does have a few drawbacks: Acosta says he occasionally loses customers because of “jealous husbands”. More frustrating is he sometimes finds himself so in demand for deliveries that he’s unable to do anything but deliveries. If there’s anything I’ve learned from running a small business for two decades is that you can earn a living doing the work yourself, but you can’t really grow your business – and make serious money – until you bring other people on to do the work for you. Acosta does have other drivers but admits that he’s still the big attraction. “Do people want it from me?” he says. “110%.”
Which I guess means Acosta needs to find more hot delivery guys like himself. Sorry Frank, I’d love to help, but I’m wrapped up doing other things. You understand, right?