Trying something new, doing regular posts in the Category of Caught My Attention.
With these posts, I intend to list various things, in no particular order, that caught my eye or ear recently (past week? past 2 weeks? not sure, we’ll see how it goes – maybe just whenever they do). So here goes the first one:
Wholefoods is changing their buying model and making it harder for the small local producers to get on the shelves. Still possible, but not like it was in the past with local grocery team leaders and local foragers being able to make decisions to bring a new brand into their store. In the SoPac Region we’ve seen this slowing coming over the past several years, but reading it now, it’s being solidified.
(link on Fast Co.)
I work with the owner of Unforgettable Foods and he sent me an article about Justin Timberlake having the title Chief Flavor Officer (that’s what my title has been from the inception of Enjoy the Flavor) for beverage company Bai – which a month after JT joined them was bought by DrPepper/Snapple for $1.7B. It seems the days of simple “celebrity brand spokesman” has gone the way of now celebrity investors who do get involved in not only promoting the brands, but take a stake in them. Skin in the game as it were.
Recently I’ve been working in chocolate quite a bit. Not mass commercial milk choclate but local “bean to bar” dark chocolate that has minimal ingredients and minimally processed (like the Mayans did). That’s why these links caught my attention:
Thomas Keller (French Laundry) has a chocolate bar coming out, using EVOO instead of cocoa butter.
(link Olive Oil Times)
Destination travel around food has been becoming popular – I am noticing more organized group travel to places like Japan for food tours, or even locally there are groups going to Baja California for food crawls. And recently AirBnB has introduced Experiences that you can book when you travel for local things to do, many of which have a food theme. This article caught my eye, not only because I know currently the owner of ChocoVivo is on a cacao plantation expedition in Nicaguara, but also because this one is in Belize which is also known for chiles and hot sauce – one of my staple go to habanero sauces is from Belize and friends in the hot sauce industry just were there touring the farm and factory of Marie Sharps. I’ve been a fan of her Habanero (the X hot one with gold label) Hot Sauce for a while, but recently found a Caribbean market in LA that carried the whole line of products and I discovered a habanero with grapefruit pulp sauce that is fantastic – I have always thought citrus and habanero go well together flavor wise.
(link Chicago Tribune)
One other thing that caught my attention this week was on the NPR podcast How I Built That. They interview Alli Webb who started Dry Bar (I had no clue that salons that only blow dry and style your hair was a thing!) and they now have 70 locations, with 3000 stylists, and growing all the time. But the real take away I got out of this interview was how important it is to have the right people around you, supporting you but also covering things that aren’t your own areas of expertise. Whether those people are partners in your start-up or hired guns, you must have people with you who believe in your ideas, that you can trust and depend on, and that know their shit. You can do it alone, but I believe it’ll take a lot longer and be more of a battle. Going into battle with a good team is a better way to approach it. Get your perfect storm of powerhouse people together.
(link to podcast – look for Jan 9th 2017 episode)
And along those lines, I need to mention a little shout out to my friends (who I actually knew separately before I found out that they were partnering up) from Creme Caramel LA and Found Coffee who just had their official grand opening this weekend for their collaboration FrankieLucy in Sliver Lake. High Fives!!
(link Eater LA)
Big shout out to my cousin Ron who does this comic BestDayEvr who encouraged me to write more. I’m taking inspiration from his efforts in drawing more and hopefully I can keep this blog on track.
(link to Best Day Evr)