Its been a little while. I am drafting this email on our flight from San Francisco to Long Beach, which is near the Natural Products Expo. I am excited.
We've had an awesome trip so far. It's been the perfect blend of Emmy's and family. We started in Los Angeles where we attended the opening of the first LA Cafe Gratitude. The night was beautiful. What a great community we get to be a part of when we're on the west coast. The cafe is beautiful and the menu looks even more beautiful! If you are in the LA area, please go check out the cafe in Larchmont Village. In LA we stayed with Ian's brother, Conor, and ALL of the other Makepeace Brothers plus Ian's mother!! There were seven of us in their apartment. So much fun. Please also check out the Makepeace Brothers. They are amazing and I am so proud of how talented and devoted they are.
We traveled to Oakland where we had been staying at Ian's Dad's house for the past few days. We did two demos while we were there. One at the Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco and the other at Good Earth Natural Grocery in Fairfax. Both of them were extremely successful. We got an awesome response from everyone that tried the macaroons and it showed because both stores were selling them fast! It was great spending the time in the stores and looking at all of the products that we dont have on the east coast. We are pretty serious about our time in grocery stores! I imagine it's pretty funny to watch us, because we are constantly analyzing a products ingredients, packaging and price. Way fun for us! Aside from all of this we spent a lot of time with Ian's Dad, Bill, and his partner, Susan. We also got to see the Makepeace Brothers play a show in San Francisco!
There are quite a lot of products that we dont get to see in Ithaca because its not a major city and because the raw, vegan and gluten free selection is not AS available..for now that is! It's so much fun to try new brands and eat different produce. I get a little crazed over the raw vegan chocolate bars, fresh dates and amazing juice bars. Being able to buy my favorite kind of chocolate bar (by Coracao Confections) in a big grocery store feels so decadent! We are going to get even more of this over the next few days at the expo. There is going to be SO MUCH to see that we wont be able to see it all. We are coming up with a game plan tonight so we can do all of our planned meetings first before we just walk around and see what everyone is up to.
Before we left we had been training our newest (and second!) employee, Nis, to make macaroons. Training someone is a true test of patience and communication skills. Nis is awesome and he totally got the hang of it before we left. This is the first time that both Ian and I have been gone from the kitchen at the same time for more than three days! Macaroons were still being made and our amazing Daniel was packaging, sending out orders and managing the kitchen. This is a huge accomplishment. Go us! Plus Daniel and Nis! We look forward to continuing to teach others how to run our business even if there will be mistakes and communication errors. If you want to play a big game, it's not going to be easy! I keep reminding myself of this. What big game are you playing? What challenges come up? We are committed to growing this company so everyone can get to know and trust the food that we make.
We are also continuing to work on our branding project. Megan, our designer, has been drafting logo ideas and we have been giving feedback and researching all of the options. I am learning so much about design and power of type face, placement and color. Our goal is to have our new packages printed and ready to pack by the early summer. Here we go.