Sunday, February 22, 2009


Hey everyone, sorry it has been so long...  As I write my two children are creating havoc around me...  ahhhh, kids...  They make life so much more interesting!  

Speaking of kids, I received some surprising information about my son recently.  He is an energetic three year old who always seems to be wiping his nose on his sleeve - seriously, the snot never seems to go away.  Recently he has also been suffering from some rashes.  WE went to our naturopath and did a blood test to look for food allergies.  Guess what the results were? He has an intolerance to fish, FRUIT, and the combination of dairy and grains.  

Yes, you read that right, FRUIT.  All fruit.  Well, all fruit with the exception of melons.  So just in case anyone was wondering about my commitment to seeing this market project through, that commitment level just went through the roof.  I mean, it is nearly impossible to find foods with no fruit in it - citric acid?  Fruit. Ascorbic acid?  Fruit.  Olive oil?  Olives are fruit. Fructose and date sugar?  Fruit.  Can I have all the Moms out there with kids who have food allergies give me a woo-woo?  I have joined the club...

So what does this mean for the market?  Well, it might mean that I am going to have to find a source for melons in January...  Ultimately what it means is that I will be even more diligent with my product purchasing.  Obviously, some of the products wont be purchased with my families needs in mind, but those of you suffering from food intolerances and allergies should know that your needs will be met.

That being said, if anyone would like to share some brands you have found that meet the needs of the food allergy group, please let me know.  This market is for us all, the more I know about what you want, the better a place it will be.

Until next time,

Monday, February 9, 2009

Darn Groundhog!

Why is it that our calendars have a whole day labeled "Groundhog Day"???  I mean, seriously, Groundhog Day?  Yet, we all want to know - did he see his shadow???  Last week, here in the Northwest, we had some of those classic early February days - warm, sunny, oh-my-gosh-spring- is-right-around-the-corner type days...  We are so funny up here!  So quick to forget that it is FEBRUARY!!!!!  I fall into the trap too - the darn groundhog saw his shadow which, I think, means 6 more weeks of winter - and yet, we are convinced that warm days are on their way...  Hahahaha, we woke up to snow at my house this morning!!!  Ooh, and they just said more snow on the way this afternoon...  How does the groundhog know???

Alright, enough of that...  I am working on the marketing portion of my business plan.  Words like industry, competitive analysis, and market penetration are now in my vocabulary.  I am so thankful to have this class as a guide to figuring all of this stuff out.  The assignment that I worked on last week was an interview with an entrepreneur.  I chose my friend down in California who runs a small natural market, similar to what I want to create, check it out at  It was such an insightful conversation.  Her biggest challenge has been with keeping her books up to date.  With that in mind, I am hoping someone out there has a good referral to an accountant.  I am looking for someone who can appreciate the vision of the market, and also have experience with bookkeeping for small businesses.  Please, please, please help me out with this!

Another insight I had during my interview is how crucial it s to keep up my communication with the people who will be keeping the market alive - YOU!  My goal is that when my regulars walk into the market, they find exactly what they are looking for.  My goal is not to be Whole Foods or Trader Joe's, my goal is to be Sky Valley Natural Market.  What does this mean?  I want to embrace my people, and honor that you all know what you want.  I want to have a relationship with all of you so that you know you will find what you need at the market...  And if I don't have what you want, I am happy to order it for you.  I think that sounds pretty good, what do you think?

Until next time,
Smile a lot,