While I would love to blog on both websites, my sanity demands that I live on planet Earth and be realistic about my limitations. So the blog about the coffee and baked goods will continue on our retail site - Good Karma Coffee. Please go to that site to continue reading my blog.
Well it has been awhile since my last post but you'll soon realize why. Weat Free has undergone some significant changes, morphed into a bakery and coffee shop, undergone a build out of a new space, worked on all things necessary to get a retail front open and has successfully navigated it all to the point of finally being open! Welcome to the world Good Karma Coffee featuring Weat Free Breakfast Foods!!
It has been tough to see my wife and in-laws work feverishly through this undertaking while trying to maintain an appropriate level of distance; not to mention picking up the areas where my wife doesn't have time to address...house/kid duties. I can honestly say that (a) I have fallen short of her efforts and; (b) it never ceases to amaze me the amount of work it takes to "manage" (and I use that term in regard to myself very loosely) a household with 2 young children.
It causes heart palpitations to see the amount of effort and details that go into opening a business. From the pseudo-outside looking in, it requires a monumental amount of attention to detail, navigating contractors, inspectors, suppliers, equipment, design, pricing, staffing, expense control, product development, financial acumen, marketing and most of all, PATIENCE. The results, if all of these areas can be successfully navigated, are displayed in the launch of a beautiful new coffee shop and bakery that has great equipment, staff, products and good mojo. The neighborhood has been supportive and the gluten free community is catching on. More time is being spent on marketing to generate sales but for a fledgling business in this economy, I'd have to say things are going great and they'll only get better.
Now that things are up and running, the gears are shifting for the family in terms of schedules...4:30am wake up calls for my wife..."Time to make the donuts!". Getting the kids ready for camp/school and making it to work on time is the challenge I face but I welcome this with the notion that it takes all hands on deck to maintain, well, life. I'm really looking forward to seeing how the future unfolds and am confident that this work as my family has proven time and again that in the face of adversity they can get it done in a manner the exudes Good Karma!
Until next time....
First and foremost, Happy Easter! What a wonderful day to celebrate life. Second, please pardon the delay between posts but as we all know, life happens. I won't bore you with the gritty details of a quick getaway followed by ER visits for both of our dogs but suffice it to say, there's been a few distractions to pull me away from my what I hoped would be a routine posting schedule.
So the world of Weat Free Breakfast Foods is is one that is fast paced and ever-evolving. The idea of branching out into a new space to accommodate the bakery has morphed into a space that will have a bakery in the back and a retail Cafe' in the front! This is extremely exciting, not without its trepidation mind you, but has transitioned the general path of establishing one business into establishing two concurrently. I am ever so pleased to share that my wife has identified a wonderful new space located at 31 North Avondale Plaza, signed a lease and the build out is underway! The goal is to be fully operational with doors open by the end of May and the world (at least our little section of it) will be able to enjoy the offerings of Good Karma Coffee featuring Weat Free Breakfast Foods. Research and development is well under way, coffee beans have been chosen, equipment is being acquired in a deliberate manner and a refresher on barista skills is in the near future. I do my best to, as stated in the past, to stay on the sidelines and chime in where requested but I assure you that my excitement level is off the charts. There's a really good feeling about all of this and, while there's still a ton of work that stands between now and the ribbon cutting, the project is on track and the progress will be shared with all.
It's time to enjoy the pot roast that is tickling my nose so farewell for now and again, Happy Easter everyone. I hope you all celebrate the rising of our wonderful Lord!
Well there's simply too much going to limit this post to one particular topic. This would be a like a weatherman only talking about the wind during a hurricane rather than the wind, rain, storm surge, flooding, power outages...you get the point. It is ever so apparent that part of the deal to get traction on your product is the cold hard fact that you have got to do the hustle! "The hustle?" you might ask; yes, the hustle. The hustle of lining up times with the stores who have graciously agreed to afford you the opportunity of placing your product on their shelves. The hustle of gathering your supplies such as cooking equipment, ingredients, marketing materials, etc. and pacing them up to go to a store and offer free samples to all the passers by in hopes that they are so overwhelmed with flavor that they immediately place an order for 1,000 units! Yes, the hustle...a necessary part of hawking your wares. My wife and mother-in-law are to be commended for their efforts this week and kudos on what could seemingly be described as a couple of successful tastings.
Meanwhile, back in the bat cave, the reality sets in that a new space is not a matter of "if" but rather a question of "when". Many new thoughts and ideas come flooding in: how much space is needed, what type of equipment, what is the layout, what is the expense going to be, can this be done, will we make it and, from this armchair baker's view: should they sell retail out of a store front or should they not? This is a very daunting question as it entails a whole new breadth of questions and complexities. Now don't get me wrong, this is not any insight as to what will happen one way or another as, quite frankly, the decision has not been made. Weat Free is, first and foremost, a bakery whose inspiration was to provide delicious gluten free products through appropriate channels such as the previously mentioned (previously in other blog posts that is) Cook's Warehouse and Natural Foods Warehouse. All i can say is that it is windy outside
OK, so every fledgling business has them but nobody knows what they're going to be or when they're going to hit until they hit...I'm talking about Growing Pains! Now understand again that this is from the perspective of the spouse watching from the outside as his wife works like a mad woman to get her business firing on all cylinders. Sometimes it's like watching someone blow up a balloon that has a small hole in it somewhere. They keep blowing it up and blowing it up but the air just keeps leaking out of it until you put a piece of tape over the hole until you get a new balloon.
This past week I watched the inevitable trains approach their collision. Two businesses working harmoniously with one becoming more and more well established and the other gaining traction, both in the same work space. The problem, to sound like a happy hippie, is with time and space, man! Both are in high demand and neither have adequate supply. I commend my wife for all of the tasks she takes on during the day and some (including me) see her as a SuperWoman. It's hard to see her facing situations that add more to her plate because, like a SuperWoman does, she will take it head on in the relentless pursuit of conquering the challenge. So all this beating around the bush translates into the simple fact that at some point, in the not too distant future, Weat Free is facing the reality of finding a new location to prepare and package its delicious goodness. This is a daunting, yet not insurmountable, situation that must be dealt with and chalked up simply to growing pains. It's a challenge....but it's a good challenge.
So this is blog is going to be from the perspective of the spouse of one of the owner's of Weat Free. My goal is to provide an inside scoop from an outside view of my wife working feverishly on this magnanimous endeavor to create allergen free products to the world, albeit one loaf of bread at a time.
A brief catch up: My wife discovered that gluten was giving her extraordinarily awful migraines and once she removed this little ingredient from her diet, voila, no more migraines. Good for me and the family; Great for her sanity and peace of mind. Now, being the tenacious woman that she is, an opportunity was borne out of this realization due to the rapid conclusion that gluten free products on the market left more to be desired in the way of taste. She and my mother-in-law began unlocking the recipes to delicious breakfast breads and decided that they were too good to keep to themselves. Combine this with a wonderful neighbor who had blazed a significant trail in this area along with her generosity and kindness and the next thing you know Weat Free is alive!
This week's update includes the fact that Weat Free Waffle Mix has been in Cook's Warehouse in Decatur for a couple weeks and all of Weat Free's product line will be on shelves in all 4 locations of the Natural Foods Warehouse markets located around Atlanta! This is very exciting news for Weat Free and our family as it is showing that hard work is being rewarded through recognition and we're hopeful that the end consumer will fall in love with what Weat Free has to offer.
Until next week...