Sunday, January 16, 2011

Lost in the Supermarket… Where are all the Food Entrepreneurs?

I read a lot of blogs (when time permits), mostly business, some cooking or food related, a few just for an escapist view into other people’s lives. In the past few weeks everyone has been posting trends, goals and things to accomplish in 2011. What’s struck me about much of my reading is, none of them I saw were posted by people who own food companies (ours are still forthcoming, though I admit they’ve morphed a bit in the past few weeks).

A quick search on Delicious, Google and Mashable (alright, maybe a longer search, there was a lot to look through), shows thousands of food blogs. Recipes, grocery store, farmers markets and product review sites abound.

I think the process of how my company transforms and grows creates quite a bit of fodder for content (and some days pilots for sitcoms) and while I don’t always have time to put fingers to keyboard I wish there had been blogs like mine out there when I was getting started. I’d be interested in reading some of what are others who are creating food products are going through today.

Every industry has their unique challenges related to their business - regulations, getting to market, sourcing suppliers and building a client base come to mind. We can’t all be out there doing this alone.

So, if owning, launching or running a food company is everyone’s new “go to” business… why aren’t more food companies blogging themselves?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

And I’m Always on the Run… Five Favorite (Fast) Foods of 2010 (in PDX)

As one can imagine, I spend part of my days (weeks) driving to client deliveries, meetings and just running around in general. In reality, I am my own ultimate client searching for great tasting food to grab on the run. When I’m not munching on our own tarts, here are a few of my favorite fast treats from the past year.

Pain Au Chocolat, Florio Bakery. Carrie Birrer & staff do a great job turning out flakey goodness in pastry form from their small bakery in North Portland and their pain au chocolate (chocolate croissant) is certainly worth stopping by and saying hello for.  

Vegetable Bahn Mi, Best Baguette. Bahn Mi really nails the fast, cheap & good trifecta of food. It’s even more appealing that they have a drive through, allowing for even faster food while on the run. The mixture of tofu and vegetables (usually carrots and taro or radish) is well seasoned with enough dressing to offset the bulkiness of the bread. If you see someone driving down 82nd with a long white sandwich bag protruding from their mouth, it’s probably me.

Caramel with Salted Dark Chocolate Ice Cream, Ruby Jewel Scoop Shop. I’m hot, I’m cranky or I’m tired (and cranky or maybe just cranky) and like a little kid, ice cream will hit the spot and while maybe not make everything better, a sure heck of a lot sweeter. I’m a big fan of Lisa, Becky & Co. and when they decided to open physical ice cream shop I hoped we’d see other great ice cream creations from them. I was not disappointed. The caramel with salted dark chocolate ice cream is like an adult sundae in a scoop, creamy, salty chocolately… just don’t let me buy a pint! 

Roasted Mushroom Sandwich, Meat Cheese Bread. For a sandwich shop that specializes in their namesake, the menu item which is generally my only menu option, has turned into a favorite. (Though it’s a bit messy, I don’t recommend trying to eat this one while driving).  See my previous post about why I enjoy this sandwich (then go get yourself one!).

Where would Portland be without coffee? Something needs to cut through our damp gray winters and a cup of Mudd Works Mudd House will have you bright, upright and ready to conquer your day. I tend to grab a cup when I’m at Mr French’s Coffee Kitchen (a friend and a fave coffee house client of ours). 

Judging from above, I’m fairly well-fueled for our week (and working on our 2011 goals). The downside is, the tart mobile could really use a good vacuuming!