Guest Post: The Smart Kitchen [Falling Backwards Into Business + Nutty Butter Giveaway!]

sarah1

Hey guys! I’m enjoying one last day in Colorado before I catch a flight tonight back into Baltimore. I can’t wait to share my photos and stories with you guys!

I’ve got a really awesome guest post lined up today from my friend Sarah, who is (you guessed it!) another Blend Retreat alum. I remember first really chatting with Sarah during out Saturday morning bootcamp workout- and I fell in love with her spunky personality right away! And then when I found out that she makes incredible nut butters, I loved her even more! We got to hang out a bit in Charlottesville a few weeks ago- and I’m hoping that she’s planning a road trip up to Maryland soon! ;)

Oh- and she’s doing a pretty sweet giveaway too…

**

As Lauren herself knows all too well, life has a funny way of working out sometimes.

I’ve written often—OK, maybe once or twice– on my blog about the way that our ‘life path’ often chooses us, and not the other way around, and all of that other “I’m going to get ‘deep’ here for a moment and then back to our regularly schedule Beet +Watermelon Salsa recipe” business that happens in the blog world now and again.

I truly believe that one event leads to another, whether it is an immediate repercussion, or a strange twist of fate that you didn’t see coming…until you look back a few months (or years) and find the foreshadowing portent* that brought you there.

*Why yes, I was an English major!

So, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the passion I expressed for homemade nut butter over two years ago

….and the creation I deemed Nutty Butter…

…would lead me to this:

Hello, my name is Ms. Smart,* and I am a small business owner.

*Not really. Just in case you were confused.

I’m a teacher by trade, and never imagined myself as a “business woman.” Business was for my friends in college who bought suits and made presentations and were wined and dined into jobs that paid a whole lot more than the elementary schools where I was looking to work.

But when the combination of social media chatter and eager-to-eat friends resulted in sudden demand for my homemade Nutty Butters…I found myself falling backwards into business.

Within a matter of days, I was meeting with a small business advisor, ‘building a brand,’ fielding offers for 40+ jars of various flavors, and securing commercial kitchen space so I could get an official license to sell food in the state of Virginia.

Suddenly, the things like jar size, lid color, and sample cups seemed to be of the utmost importance, and giant boxes of each were showing up on my doorstep.

I spent Friday (and Saturday) nights*—and some days, too—handwriting labels and taping them onto jars…

*I know. I’m a wild one.

…while checking (and rechecking) the color-coded spreadsheets  have created to try and keep track of who wants what—and where it is supposed to go.

I’ve also spent a LOT of time sampling test batches of ‘buttah.’*

*More difficult than it sounds. Trust me. [And my stomach.]

And the only thing I know for sure is that I know NOTHING about what I’m doing.

But I have passion for pea-and other-nut butter.

And a mind that keeps on creating new flavors.

So I keep falling backwards, blindly, down a Wonderland-like rabbit hole, hoping that when I land, it will be soft and Nutty Butter* smooth.

*Yes, I did I just turned that noun into an adjective.

[Is it cookie dough? Or Nutty Butter?]

I’ve always heard that when you are ices skating, skiing, snowboarding, or generally competing in a foot-binding athletic activity (also, apparently those involving snow and ice) if you are going to fall, it is best to fall forwards.

I don’t actually know the validity of this statement, seeing as how the grand total of times I have attempted any of the previously mentioned activities—and the rollerblading fad of the 90s–comes in at less than the number of fingers on my right hand (as opposed to my left, which was the victim of a food processor related accident*).

*I kid. I kid!

And sure, that makes sense. You are a better angle to catch yourself without breaking a wrist, and you can see the ground in front of you and all of that. But isn’t there also some joy in NOT being able to see ahead of you? And a little bit of a thrill in the risk of the fall?

Despite what the faceless ‘they’ say, lately I’ve been wondering…is falling backwards really so bad?

BUT WAIT!! There’s more…

Because one of the best things about making Nutty Butter is getting to share it with other nut butter lovers, I want to give some away!

Which flavor? Well, that will be up to me…it might be an old favorite, or it might be a sneak peak of one of the FOUR new types I’m working on. [Trust me, they are good. ;)] From Lauren: She’s right- they ARE all good!!

I won’t just be giving away ONE jar…but TWO. One for Lauren’s blog…and one for mine. ;)

That means you have the opportunity to win two different ‘mystery butters.’

How to enter?

First, leave a comment here telling me what existing flavor—Cookie Dough, Oatmeal Raisin Cookie, Chai, Apple Pie, Cinnamon Coconut–you HOPE to win.

Second, leave a comment on my blog [The Smart Kitchen] telling me what flavor you think is the next to be revealed.

Oh, and tell your blends. ;)