EXPERTS IN PRODUCT SAMPLING

We offer a broad and deep portfolio of product sampling options, from turnkey themed co-ops with major retail partners to custom targeted campaigns at #1 lifestyle touchpoints. We also offer end-to-end services including sample overwrapping and tip-on, fulfillment, and consumer/shopper research.

Our leadership team is comprised of former CPG marketers from Kraft, P&G, Nestle, and major agencies, so we approach brand trial strategically and with the combined experience of those who have been in the sampling trenches on both brand and agency sides. The Sampling Store was founded in Stamford, CT, its headquarters office moving to Apex in 2004, maintaining regional presence in the Northeast and other parts known.

Over the past two decades, we’ve delivered on trial and conversion objectives for hundreds of CPG companies, including Kraft/Heinz, Mondelez, P&G, Pepsico, Nestlé, Uniliver, Clorox, Campbell’s; and many major retailers including Walmart, CVS/pharmacy, Walgreens, Publix, Kroger and others.

OUR TEAM

BRIAN SCOTT SOCKIN

CEO

Brian brings more than 30 years of marketing and new product experience to the business from both client and agency sides. Prior to founding CoOptions and Sampling Store in 1994, Brian was a brand manager at Kraft Foods and co-founder / CEO of Colangelo Synergy, now an Omnicom agency.

Brian has his BA in Psychology (Binghamton University) and his MBA (Wharton). He is also an author of ten published books, including The Pocket Marketer (Warner Books). His passions include tennis, sailing, motorcycling, hiking, writing, birding, and archery.

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DARLENE GENANDER

PRESIDENT, COOPTIONS HEALTH & WELLNESS

Prior to joining us, Darlene held positions at Kraft Foods in Marketing and New Product Development, and Sales at Procter & Gamble. Darlene brings special expertise to the firm in health and wellness marketing and promotions, managing our Yoga Studio Network™ and other health and wellness sampling channels.

Darlene is a Certified Yoga Instructor and highly engaged in local and national yoga communities. Darlene’s other passions include hiking, 5K races, yoga, nature photography, gardening and reading.

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JANET NICOLINI

SVP BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Janet is an accomplished marketing professional who turns brand strategies into impactful plans, grounded in consumer insights and brand equity and benefits. Janet has held senior level management positions for both consumer packaged goods companies (Kraft Foods and Pepperidge Farm) and agencies (Octagon, CoOptions).

Janet holds her BA in English/Journalism (Binghamton University) and her MBA (St. John’s University). She is also a co-author of The Pocket Marketer (Warner Books).

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SHAN STUMPF

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Shan earned his BFA from Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, FL and has been an art director, graphic designer, and illustrator for various publications over his 20-year career. Shan has won national awards, is a public speaker, and has judged an international design competition.

In addition to his involvement in the art and design world, Shan is a big music fan, (especially jazz), a bit of a foodie, has an interest in antiques, graphic novels, and various forms of visual storytelling.

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CAROLINE WATKINS

DIRECTOR PROGRAM MANAGEMENT

Caroline comes to us from the social work world, bringing with her an understanding of what makes people tick. With extensive experience in both social media marketing and customer service, Caroline has found a home in her supportive, client-facing role with The Sampling Store.

Caroline has a BA in History and International Studies (UNC Chapel Hill), and her MSW (Boston College). She enjoys reading, writing, and hiking, and would die to meet Dolly Parton.

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BRAD LANGER

SALES & ACCOUNT MANAGER

Brad Langer has been in the entertainment industry for more 30 years, working as a radio announcer on AM & FM stations in New York & Florida; puppeteering for Disney; working for Jim Henson (Muppets movies, TV specials, and special events such as Radio City’s Night of 100 Stars). A master of accents and dialects, Brad is also a book narrator and the worldwide voice for Forever Yours, International. Brad joined us in sales and to help manage entertainment-related programs.

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