Another thing that is coming up is the release of the book "#BOSSLIVING" by G.C.Denwiddie. It is about becoming an entrepreneur and building your own business. I will be featured in the book and share my knowledge on maintaining momentum in the food industry as well as building a brand. This book will debut in May. There will be giveaways!
Sorry I haven't posted anything on my blog in a couple of months. As most of you probably know, I recently opened a store front a couple months ago at 423 Dupree Dr. in Jacksonville, Arkansas. I have been so busy and my life has drastically changed. I went from having free-time practically 24/7 to working 60+ hours a week. I don't get a chance to take all of the pretty pictures Of my creations like I used to. Now, I'm lucky to just get some good lighting! Haha.
The experience of opening my own store front has been a roller coaster. It seems like things are constantly changing and every single day brings a new challenge. At first, I was afraid we would get no customers. So many things were going through my head like "Our location is embarrassing. We don't have the proper set-up. What if people don't like the food? Will people appreciate this option in Jacksonville? I know we can't completely rely on our Little Rock fan-base to keep us in business. Will people be turned off and leave because we are inside of a thrift store? I'm out of money and I can't get things the exact way I want"...and so many other things!!! I decided to just let it go and think that whatever is meant for me is meant for me. *deep breath*
I am proud to say that not a single day has gone by that we haven't had a customer. And we recently received our first bad review on Yelp (amongst other great ones), which I'm quite proud of. It means people are coming to my establishment and taking the time to think about it and report to others. I believe in using negative feedback to make my services better. Every week that goes by, we get busier. More people are starting to hear about us and we are becoming known as a "hidden gem" with a "church kitchen window". The ribbon-cutting event took place a couple weeks ago and it was really heart-warming to see people appreciating samples of vegan cheese, gluten free cookies, and fresh juice. Since that event, we have gotten coverage in local publications and invited to teach cooking classes. I am so appreciative of that. With the opening of the storefront, I feel like I'm really able to have a more extensive impact on people's lives that I wasn't able to have before. I'm able to provide the ONLY raw vegan and kosher option in Arkansas and show those who are looking for healthier lifestyles that this one is not only attainable, but also TASTY.
I am happy that I've also been able to continue teaching cooking classes. I actually have a few coming up in the next couple of months. One in Jacksonville (at the community center May 7 6:30), one in Benton (this coming Monday at the Saline County Library at 6:30), and one in Little Rock (Whole Foods April 10 at 6:30). Being located in Jacksonville has definitely allowed me to meet some people that I probably wouldn't have met in Little Rock. I also think that in Little Rock we would have been more overwhelmed because there are only two of us, so I'm happy we are starting in Jacksonville.
And for the biggest announcement yet ...!!!DRUM ROLL!!! I just purchased a juicing operation by the name of Garden Press. Garden Press is Little Rock's first and only cold pressed juice operation. Bo Bennett is the founder and he is now handing the operation over to That's so Raw. I've always wanted to have juice as well because it just makes sense with raw vegan food. To my business partner and I, it was the best next step to providing more health and wellness to our state. We plan on debuting the juice at the first Bernice Garden Farmer's Market on April 12 and hopefully providing wholesale to local businesses by the end of May just in time for summer break. So, you will be able to get That's so Raw flax crackers, kale chips, bottled goji Berry hot sauce, and fresh pack salsa + Garden Press juice every Sunday in SOMA starting April 12!
I am also looking for kitchen help and I'm just now announcing that first here. I mainly need help juicing and prepping. If you are reading this and want first dibs, please call me.