Oh my goodness... I am writing fresh from the greatest experience thus far in the Sky Valley Natural Market journey! I spent all day Saturday in Anaheim, Ca at the 2009 Natural Product Expo West. Thanks to my sweet friend Jazz (www.wet-noses.com ~ check it out if you have a dog) I was able to attend the trade show at no cost to me. I flew down Friday evening and walked the show with my dear friend Susie and her posse of amazing women (www.bigbearhealthfood.com - my mentor in creating "market magic" :) ). I learned so much and had a GREAT TIME!'
So the really good news is that there are so many small companies out there with such amazing products, really trying to make a difference in the world. What was really exciting was that this industry is really big - I mean, the show itself took over the entire Anaheim Convention Center which is no small feat! I had so many tasty samples and spoke with so many wonderful people, it was really inspirational... Allergy free foods were very well represented, as well as product made especially for kids. There is really a wealth of companies out there who are not represented in the larger chain stores here in town - yipee!
One of the insights I had while at the show was that there are some really great products coming out of California, as well as other places across the country. When I think about keeping things local, I also want to balance that with supporting small companies with yummy food to share. As I think about my inventory, my goal is to keep produce from Snohomish county, meat from Washington state, bulk/baking goods from the PNW and prepackaged goods from the west coast as much as possible, but stay open to small, American companies that need our support... Does this sound good to you all? Its all a learning process for me, but I am LOVING the ride!!!
Another thing that I have been playing around with lately is having a place in the market where I highlight one of the companies whose products I carry. I want to share with YOU the reasons I do what I do... Also, in that same area, highlighting a local farm as well. This is really exciting to me, as part of my vision for the market is to create a place for networking and education.
Okay, time to pick up my boy from school,
Until next post,