Would you like ice with that? Extras add to experience.

Like most of Australia, I’ve spent the last few weeks parked under a pandanus palm with an icy cold beer (and my family) for company. Everything about the break has been great: having the time to go and be slower, digging my feet into the sand and spending more time cooking.

By which I mean, eating quite a lot.

We’ve been staying in a reasonably small, beachside town on the Sunshine Coast. But we’ve had some cracking food experiences. Amazing espressos (even on Christmas morning!), hand made gelato and fresh-off-the-boat fish.

Camping, we’ve been cooking one a one-plate BBQ.

There’s a well worn sandy track between our campsite and the butcher’s shop: not just from necessity, but also from choice. He’s passionate about what he does, sells only top notch produce and totally knocks service out of the park.

On the last day of our holiday, I moped into the shop and chose a few packs of sausages to take home. The butcher took one look at me and said, ‘Heading home today love?’

Was my end-of-holiday cloud that obvious?

I pottered around the shop for a bit longer, and then went to pay. My sausages were packed into a reusable freezer bag, filled with ice. My (new) best butcher friend said, “Figured you’d want to keep this cool in the car, am I right?” Dead right! His simple gesture solved the problem I hadn’t realised I had (a hot car and no space in the Esky). 

When I asked what I owed him for the bag, he snorted. “Nah, mate. I don’t charge for ice. And you’ve been in here most days for the last couple of weeks. I reckon I can sling you a freezer bag to keep your snags cool on the way home.”

I loved everything about this response.

This is a guy whose pumping business is built on understanding what his customers want—great produce and a friendly face—and on making their lives a little easier.

How could you strengthen experience by making your customers' lives a little easier?

Emily Verstege