I swear I didn’t get buried by the onslaught of decision making in the last four months. I also didn’t crawl into a closet, carefully crafting healthy snacks on my own. I’ve been nonstop, making decisions and making progress. So so many things have happened in the last four months; I’ll try to summarize as best I can now, and use this post as a launching for 2017, resolutions, and better tracking of Nibble progress.
- I started working from a commissary kitchen in Oakland. Forage Kitchen is a co-working space for food: I have a shelf in dry storage, another in the walk-in refrigerator, and another in the freezer. I reserve whatever station (stainless steel tables) I want for the duration I need, and I have access to use huge stoves, ovens, mixers, dishwashers, etc. and keep things on my shelves when I’m not there. Everything is big and professional and clean and new (the Kitchen opened around the same time I started there). My first few months have been completely overwhelming there as I learn how to use commercial appliances and cook at a larger scale. I’m in the kitchen now about 3 or 4 days a week!
- I launched with Byte Foods. I met the female CEO of Byte months earlier, and I had had the fresh food vending machine company in mind as I worked on packaging all summer. We finally launched in late November, which was tricky because everyone is eating sweets and holidays snacks during the month of December (and there is usually more free food hanging around an office then too). Needless to say, I’ve been delivering to them every week since, and we’re still working on how to continue to improve the product, get the word out, and grow with Byte. Very very exciting that that opportunity came my way!
- I established relationships with a few other platforms in the Bay – these are companies that connect small food vendors (or other local shops) with companies that want to supply food to their employees. It helps small folks like me because I can reach a wider audience faster, and helps me practice my kitchen process (with small batch hummuses, kitchen process and logistics = super important!). I’m hopeful that with employees coming back to the office and wanting to kickstart their new years resolutions of healthy eating, I’ll see demand for Nibble snacks grow through those platforms.
- A few amazingly talented people have started working with me, supporting me, and helping me in the kitchen. I truly would not have made the progress I did in the last four months without the long hours of these folks – I now have a better sense of what I need for next steps in terms of a team, the skills of that team, etc., and I’ve learned a lot from them!
- I’ve started to participate more in booths at events. This has been a great way to sample the product (currently, five unique hummuses with unlimited (well, about 12 different) vegetables to pair with them) and get immediate reactions and insights about what consumers like. It was actually pretty fun to make a banner, think about ‘tabling’ and what goes on a table at a booth, and make give-away cards to takeaway.
- In early December, I was elected President of Slow Food San Francisco. This is such an amazing amazing opportunity and I am so honored to be a part of this global nonprofit organization. San Francisco is the oldest chapter in America, and the prior Board has set the bar way high. I am seriously so excited to work with the seven other females that were also elected, and see what we can accomplish together!
I leave you with a few photos of the final packaged product that I’ve been creating, packaging, delivering in the Bay Area. My focus now is on what’s next – with funding, the snack shop, hiring, etc. Future posts for those topics. 🙂