Friday, April 30, 2010

We're in the Big League's Now

I'm really excited to announce that you can now buy Created Whole Tortillas at Rainbow Acres Natural Foods on Washington Blvd in Los Angeles. This is our first store location in LA!!!

The store in unpretentious from the outside. Inside, there is a deli and large vitamin and nutrition section, along with groceries and health foods. On Tuesday, May 4, we will be sampling Created Whole Tortillas between 11a-2p. So, go visit Rainbow Acres for your tortillas!


Rainbow Acres on Washington Blvd






Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Perilous Times of Farmer's Market

Farmer's Market is always adventurous. This week, I battled moderate LA traffic to make the drive to Shafter to pick up Tortillas, Pomegranate Juice, and Veggie Wraps (Thanks Nature's Food Market). New fliers, organizing, errands, random here-and-there tasks...I have literally been two hours past departure time for the last two days. Good thing this isn't an airline. I'd be fired by now. That being said, I did make it to Farmer's Market on time.


Wednesdays before market are usually really busy and turn into a late night. Thursday morning comes bright and early; 5:30am. My morning exercise has turned into carrying ice chests up and down stairs and lifting them in and out of cars. The trusty little Toyota can sure fit a lot of stuff.





Someday, maybe we'll invest in some tortilla transportation, but until then, airlines and mini-mobiles, and even bicycles are doing the job. I had to include the trunk picture because I didn't have time to take my bike out and put it together before I left in the morning. It definitely adds a dimension of fun.


Anyone care for a ride?

Over the last couple of days, Redondo Beach has been blessed with hurricane force winds. The trashcans, in the alley behind my apartment, added an element of interest to my day.
Here's a photo of my cute little Thursday morning abode. Someday, along with a new Gringo-mobile, we'll invest in a more user-friendly tent. I am getting more efficient at the one-woman assembly. Still, every week I hope a knight in armour will valiantly ask to assist me. Maybe, I just need to move my abode to Disneyland. Mickey likes whole wheat tortillas, right?
This week, I changed the set-up a little bit and also added more signs.

Until we get a printed vinyl sign, the acrylic paints and posterboard are very unique.


This metal beverage basket turned into a nice way to display the wraps and pomegranate juice.

I used my Union College business degree to the max through the promotional pricing strategy of whole wheat tortillas and veggie wraps: buy whole wheat tortillas and receive a dollar off the price of a wrap. Thanks Union College.

After clean-up and moving everything back into the garage, the market day ends at about 2:30p. Today was enjoyable, even though it was a bit treacherous towards the last due to the gale force winds. Thankfully, the tent didn't experience lift-off, which is always a plus. I'm looking forward to next week being just as positive, minus the wind, plus more customers.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tortilla Talk


It's a little bit small as the upload, but I was working on a half-size flyer for the farmer's market. This is what I've come up with so far. I still have another side to finish. I haven't decided yet if this will be the front or the back. The whole point of this flyer is to get the people that see us at the market to become connected with Created Whole online. The goal is for people to like us on facebook and read our blog, AND we are Twittering as BestTortilla too. So thanks to all of you that are connecting:)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cheers! Let's Drink To That

What if by grabbing another drink you would increase your energy levels, improve the quality of your skin, keep your muscles and joints lubricated, improve your overall health, make you look younger, and prevent you from overeating? Well take a sip of water, cause water is the magic potion that does all that. With all the technological advances no one has come up with a better liquid, but we tend to replace are water drinking with sodas, coffee, and alcohol.

Proper hydration regulates appetite, because often, when people think they are hungry, the signal is actually thirst. Being properly hydrated can also help you accomplish 25 percent more. Drink 2 cups of water first thing in the morning. This will re-hydrate you after a night of sleep and prepare your digestive juices for a yummy breakfast.

Often, during your day, if you don't have a water bottle with you, you'll not get enough to drink. Invest in a stainless steel bottle that you can refill during the day. I love my Klean Kanteen and take it everywhere. It helps me stay hydrated, and I'm also helping the environment by not using plastic bottles that add to the landfills. The bottles come in a variety of colors and sizes. You can find them at REI or buy them online at http://www.kleankanteen.com/.


So, this week, drink more. Your body will thank you!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Whole-y Communion

Our friend Gerard drove down to help with the market this week. He brought with him pomegranate juice to sell. He is a farmer's market veteran, and it was so great to have him helping. Our sales have been slow, so I was very appreciative of all the advice and tips he had.

Pomegranate juice has amazing health benefits, and contains more antioxidants than most other fruit juices, red wine, and green tea. Antioxidants are nutrients that help fight and rid the body of free radicals- the gremlins that cause untold damage to your body. You can read about some of the benefits of Pomegranate Juice here.

With the pomegranate juice and tasty tortillas, it was like partaking in Holy Communion. Take a look at the video and some of the market excitement.

video

People are giving us rave reviews about the tortillas (which is so awesome). Gerard says that we have a goldmine of a product. The feedback we have received is so encouraging. Thanks everyone for being a part of this dream and supporting us. You guys rock!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Has Anyone Told You How Special You Are?

There's an interesting article about how specialty food product sales have swelled this past year. Sales within the specialty food market are still growing, even with the economic times. This is good news for our extra special tortillas. Retailers are also buying local. Another plus. They reported that 23.4 percent of the foods they sell are local, made within 250 miles of the store. The article has other interesting facts about growth trends and opportunity. Take a look at the article here.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Logo Brilliance


We're excited because we finally have a logo!!! Yea! Gary Manly, who is a creative genius, designed the logo for us. Let us know what you think!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Goals

The other day I was looking over, updating, and revising the business plan. Towards the beginning of the business plan, we have our company goals and objectives. Just wanted to share them with you:

Created Whole Goals and Objectives
  • To create a movement of public demand for more natural, healthful, and nutritious food manufacturing methods
  • To improve the quality of life, health, and financial status of our employees and customers
  • To be innovative and forward thinking
  • To serve our employees first and customers second
  • To create a culture that is fun, uplifting, and one that people want to work in
  • To offer job opportunities for men and women with past criminal records
  • To positively impact our customers and community
  • To practice sustainable business, "go-green", and have low impact on the environment
  • To make the best tasting, highest quality tortilla on the market
  • To expand our line of whole wheat tortillas to include additional products
  • To become a household name
  • To be sold at a national level that includes accounts with stores like Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and Costco
  • To have Created Whole Tortillas used in fast food establishments like Taco Bell, Chipotle, and Veggie Grill.
  • To establish joint ventures with frozen burrito manufacturers like Evol Burritos
  • To have agreements with Starbucks and other cafes where Created Whole Tortillas are used for pre-made wraps.
  • To be part of Allegiant Airlines "Buy on Board" program as sandwich wraps.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Letters to God

I went and saw Letters To God this afternoon. It's the story of an eight year-old boy who has cancer. He writes letters to God, and through his letters, lives around him are changed. It was a touching and powerful story. It's also very sad. I'm not sure I left with more hope, but I left feeling like I have so much to be thankful for.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Bananas

I rummaged through my closet this afternoon looking for a t-shirt to throw on. I pulled a turquoise, flowy tank out, and right then, my "Banana" tee caught my eye. I smiled. My banana tee has a story behind it.

One morning, a few years ago, I remember complaining because we had nothing in the house for breakfast. I specifically made the biggest deal that we didn't even have bananas. When I got home late that evening, there was this ginormous box of bananas on the counter! A huge box completely filled with bananas! Not squash, not potatoes, not apples; BANANAS. Apparently, the grocery store had just received a fresh shipment, so the produce manager gave my mom this box, for free.

Before they call, I will answer. While they are still speaking, I will hear.
Isaiah 65:24
Bananas is a good reminder to me that there are answers. That there is One who hears. One who hears the little things, even when it's in the form of a complaint. No matter in what form we come to Him, He always hears. Today, "Bananas" reminded me that He is hearing us in all of our questions and concerns with the tortilla business.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

What's Your Louis Vuitton?

I think working as a flight attendant is fun. I meet really interesting people. People are just fascinating, and when they get on a plane, it's like Peanut Butter and Pickle Sandwiches; an odd and unusual combination that really doesn't mesh...but it works (for some people).

I use the personal reminder of, "These folks are not professional travelers" to calm annoyances that I feel during a work day. Yesterday, I went to Northwest, Arkansas-LAX turn. On the way back, there was a gentleman that boarded the aircraft, looked in his mid-thirties, carrying an expensive duffel bag.

Throughout the 3 hour flight, one of the other flight attendants, and myself, chatted with him and the woman sitting next to him. The two of them were funny, and they made us laugh. Toward the end of the flight, He got up, and we had the following exchange (more or less):

Gentleman: "I just have a question. I have my $1500 Louis Vuitton bag, and I don't want it to get crushed in the overhead bin when I travel back to Arkansas, cause it's really nice. Is there another place you have to put bags?

Kara: "No, not really. Pretty much under your seat or the overhead bins. Maybe in crew stowage, but probably not. It would depend on who was working if you could put it there."

G: "I mean cause I usually fly first class, and when I fly first class, they put my bags in a different place.

K: (smirking) "Well, uh...obviously Allegiant doesn't have first class." (teasingly) "So you're VIP or something, huh?"

G: "No, I'm not trying to be difficult, it's just my wife and I like nice things, and have nice things, and it's a really nice bag. I could have brought my $3000 Louis Vuitton, but I brought my $1500 one."

K: (definitely trying not to laugh). "Well, hmmm...maybe for next time, bring your $5 bag." (and now laughing).

G: "oh, well...alright. How bout you just bring me that Bacardi?"

And of course the three of us "stews" had a laugh about that one. I just kept thinking are you serious? People are just ridiculous. Spending that much on something just to put stuff in? Is it really important? How many people could you help in this world with $1500? How many lives could be changed with $3000.

But, then it got me thinking: What's my "Louis Vuitton"?

What do I have in my life that I put so much value, time, money, or energy into that is in reality, insignificant? Is it that I think I am better than this gentleman because I didn't spend $3000 on a bag? But really, am I any different? If I did have extra money just to spend, how might I spend it? It might not be a $1500 bag, but I'll admit, it would be on myself.


How could I change the world around me if I stopped with so many of my own "Louis Vuittons"?

Earlier this month, I visited ADRA's Gift Catalog. ADRA is an organization that improves the lives of people around the world. The agency searches out deprivation, social injustice, and need, and then searches out ways to eliminate them. Through the gift catalog, you can browse gifts by program, region, price, or view them all. Did you know that it only takes $2.25 to feed a street child in Brazil?

I know how it is for some of us: college students, college grads with loans, making chump change as flight attendants. But, I want to challenge you (and myself), to give more. To stop with so much of the "Louis Vuitton purchases." Let's give, whether it be our money or our time, and see what happens.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Where We Gonna Go From Here?

Mat Kearney sings a song, and there's a line of the song that repeats,

"where we gonna go from here"
That line has been repeating in my head all morning. As of now, the bakery doesn't want us to make tortillas there any longer. What I posted yesterday was more appropriate than I realized about trusting in God to bring us through "that great wilderness." Pray for our business, because it seems we are at an impass.
"And try Me now on this," says the Lord of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it."
Malachi 3:10
Now, I need to halt the tears, get myself together and go to work. Another Northwest Arkansas trip.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

That Great Wilderness

Have you ever had the feeling of being completely overwhelmed? Uncertain and unsure? All the thoughts of, "How is this even possible?" Then, the hopeless statement follows: "There's just no way." In one word your mind says, "insurmountable."

Mine has. Mine does. It did this week.

Not knowing what to do next brings my stress level up to medium high and compounded with minimal sleep, that shoots me over the moon. Welcome to the first week of April.

Happy April Fool's?

The "insurmountable" this week brought something beautiful along with it. I had an intensely precious moment with God. Just me, God, and my tears.

This is what He said to me:

And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. Your garments did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the Lord your God chastens you. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing; a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper. When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which he has given you...[He] who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end. You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. Deuteronomy 8

Saturday, April 3, 2010

And The Winner Is...

Thanks to all of you that took a guess on how many tortillas were in the suitcase. Most of the guesses ended up being a significantly large number.

So the magic number was 24 dozen. I'm almost a little embarrassed because most of you think this business of flying tortillas here and there is a large operation. I should have made myself clear: the tortillas were in a carry on suitcase. You may think 24 dozen is a small amount, but let me tell you, that bag is SO heavy. I can barely lift that darn suitcase when there are that many tortillas in it. Thank goodness there are no weight limits for carry ons.

Anyway, there is a winner. Jessi guessed the amount exactly. Congratulations! You will receive your tortillas next week. And thanks again to everyone that participated!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

One no Closer to YES

I glance at my watch. Ughh, two more hours. Looking up, I chirp, "Would you like to try a whole wheat tortilla? They're really good!" I'm like a song on repeat. That favorite song you unintentionally over play. Fantastic at first. Gets a little annoying after the nth play.

Sometimes they look at me and say "No, thanks." Sometimes they pretend I'm not there. Sometimes they think I say "Holy", and look at me with questioning eyes. Maybe "Whole" and "Holy" are interchangeable when a tortilla tastes this good.

I've developed a love and loathing relationship with Farmer's Market. I look forward to the social interaction. I like when people say, "These tortillas are so great!" I like that people are coming back every week for "their" tortillas. I like that I am part of this business. I like feeling like I have a purpose here.

On the other side of the coin, I have to get used to letting the "No's" go. Sales trainers say that one needs to be excited about each no cause that means one no closer to yes. I'm working on that excitement level. The gurus also tout putting a monetary amount to the No and mentally say, "Cha-Ching! Thanks for the no cause I just made money off of you." Right now, my thought process follows the path of, "Please! Can I just beat last weeks sales?"

I had a certain amount of "Yes-es" I wanted today, and I didn't get em' all. But, I did receive some. There are a handful of households in the Southbay that will be enjoying their first Created Whole tortilla dinner tonight. Cheers to that! It didn't rain today, and it was supposed to. Another plus. I made it through another market alone. Sigh of relief. We got our health permit for the next quarter. Fantastic! And, I'm given another week to prepare myself for all of next week's...
YESES!!!