Tortilla Factory Updates: 2

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We are getting closer and closer to opening day.  The equipment was moved into the factory yesterday.  The following are pictures of the latest developments.

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What Does “Going Green” Mean?

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Even though Created Whole has been producing tortillas for over two years, with the opening of our new factory, it’s as if we are starting at day one.  With a clean slate, there are a lot of aspects of the business that we need to take into consideration, one of those being creating a “Green” company

The term green is often thrown around, but what does “Going Green” mean?

According to Kaplan, who has written the book Greening Your Small Business, “going green is the implementation of a broad range of policies and procedures focused on conserving and improving the natural environment, both for its own sake as well as to improve business strength and sustainability” (12).

Going green involves adopting a set of guiding principles related to sustainability and implementing practices that support those principles throughout your business.  When it comes to sustainability, there are three elements that are involved:  environmental, economic, and social (Kaplan, 13).

The book offers guidelines and ways to help small businesses go green, emphasizing that companies need to focus initially on aspects of the organization that are already green, while continuing to implement further reaching strategies.

The book outlines 8 key steps to going green, and they are the following:

  1. Commit
  2. Define goals and objectives
  3. Assess your greenness
  4. Assess your risks
  5. Assess your opportunities
  6. Create a Plan
  7. Implement your plan
  8. Communicate

For more resources on the subject of sustainability and going green, please visit EnergySTAR.

Cited

Kaplan, Jennifer. Greening Your Small Business:  How To Improvce Your Bottom Line. 1st Ed. 2009

The Story of June

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It’s August, a month for summer to say goodbye, but still, Bakersfield greets you with a desert dry heat and a sun that tricks you to believe that your sticky skin is bronzing into a tan.  No. Sorry. A sun this hot says a hello with no bronze, only burn.

I’d forgotten the Bakersfield summers of all engulfing heat.  Living at the beach makes for endless, mild summers that flow so seamlessly, one never knows where Summer begins or ends.  I lose track of my days and weeks, thinking Tuesday is Saturday, and not realizing that I do have responsibilities besides riding my bike and walking along the beach.  Not realizing that it’s no longer June.

June was when we planned on starting out as a vendor at the SLO Market Nights, a crowded, shoulder-to-shoulder street fair and farmer’s market that happens every Thursday night, in San Luis Obispo, California.  Preceding June’s entrance, May was when we  hoped to be in our tortilla factory space.  Who knows what April gifted us with, but apparently not anything memorable.  March, greeted us with the purchase of a tortilla machine.

That was five months ago.  So why is there no factory ready?  Where is that agreement with Whole Foods and The Veggie Grill?  What is taking so long?

That, I don’t know.

Five months of waiting.  Waiting with frustration, and a deteriorating mood due to the fact that I don’t even have tortillas to eat (It’s been three months since I’ve eaten a tortilla. This shouldn’t be happening!!!  My dad owns the company!!!).  Wondering what to do to help.  Feeling like there isn’t even a business to call a business.

Today, I saw it again.  I saw the dream, I felt the excitement of progress.  There are other people dreaming with Created Whole and just as excited, if not more, to see us succeed.  Sometimes things happen slower than we think they should, but “shoulds” are rules without relevance.

This is happening.  Seeing the developments made me realize the gravity of how small we are, how much we have to work, and how fast this will grow.  Get ready, there’s a lot of work ahead.

Here are some pictures of the building where we will have our new Tortilla home!

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Facing Your Fears

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The Author, Donald Miller, wrote this on his blog, and it’s relevent.

We don’t normally face our fears willingly. Usually, God has to woo us into the desert. We are either chasing love or some other desire, and we find ourselves in the midst of a situation in which we have very little control. And when we lose control, we go into a mild form of trauma. But the good news is the greatest stories are lived in the desert. The great lives are lived in the places we most fear. If we fear being rejected, the great story has us standing at the door with flowers in our hands, if we fear losing love, the great stories have us letting that person go rather than clinging to them. If we fear taking a chance on a dream, the great stories have us quitting our jobs.

My friend Jeremy Cowart moved from Nashville to LA recently but decided to tell a better story with his move. Rather than packing up the family and making a long, boring drive, he called Jamie Tworkowski from To Write Love on her Arms and made a Fears Vs Dreams tour out of the move. They’d pull the moving van into a town, set up a table, and ask people to write down their fears and dreams on a piece of paper. The result was magical. Andy Davis joined in for a while and soon enough it was a mini-caravan of folks who were no longer interested in running from their fears, but willing to face them in order to live a better story.

So, what is your greatest fear? And don’t you know, the life you want involves taking that huge risk. It’s scary I know, because the truth is it might end in tragedy. But then again, half of Shakespeare’s plays are tragedies, and nobody thinks of him as a fool. He was brilliant.

May half your stories be tragedies too. And may the other half be comedies that work out great. And may they all be beautiful.

Everything Is Spiritual

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What’s your common response when someone asks you, “How are you doing?” I would venture to guess, nine times out of ten, you answer, “Good!” even when life is far from that description.  Besides that, people don’t really expect anything more than a one word response, and time constraints don’t lend themselves to any explanations of what’s really going down.  As people, do we even know how we are doing?  We are so out of touch, overworked, stressed out, drinking to numb, wanting to run, that we don’t even know how to answer that question, and we probably don’t want to know the answer because then we’ll have to face it.

So what is really go on?

People show continued interest in the tortilla business and ask what’s happening and how things are going.  My usual response includes shoulder shrugs, a series of head tilts, and a long drawn out “weelllll, ummmm…it’s good?” (and yes, that question mark is supposed to be there).  Good is not a useful or appropriate descriptor in most cases, and definitely not in this one.  The truth? How bout FRUSTRATING!!!! If we bought our own equipment March 1st, why are we still waiting on a location for our factory?  If it wasn’t obvious, having a tortilla to sell is a crucial part of a tortilla business and with the limbo of production, between outsourcing and setting up our own factory, every other aspect of the business like marketing, sales, and growth is on pause, and the more time that drags on, it seems more indefinite.

If this is really where we believe God is leading us, than why is NOTHING happening?

How often do we ask that about God and our own personal lives?  If God is part of my life, why am I still “stuck?”  Why am I being challenged and faced with “this?”  What is He doing?

I woke up this morning with a distinct thought.  What if it’s not about tortillas?  What if there is something we can learn through this period in our business and our lives?  What if it’s about us, us as people leading this business, and our inability to completely trust?  What if God is waiting for us to completely let go of our personal safety nets?  What if it’s not about warehouses and tortilla machines?  What if He is trying to teach all of us that what we use in our lives to replace trusting in Him limits His ability to bless us?

What if it’s really about faith?  Faith that God is who He said He is and will do what He has promised.  He said He loves us and wants to give us what we ask for (Matthew 7:11).  He said He is with us and will lead us (Genesis 28:15, Psalm 23).  We say we believe Him, but do we really live like it?

Rob Bell so simply writes, “Everything is Spiritual.” We are all spiritual beings searching for our path and purpose.  Everything that we do reflects something within us that yearns for deeper meaning.  So, it’s not just about tortilla machines and warehouses, package design and websites.  It may just be about letting go of our safety nets, having faith, while working our tails off to make things happen (Proverbs 6:6-10).

Tortilla Development

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These days, there are a lot of things in the works for us. For Created Whole, it has been almost two years since our first production day, production that happened and for only a short while longer will happen at a small tortilleria, one that we don’t own. To finally have purchased our own tortilla equipment is a huge and exciting step for us.

We’ve only just begun the journey, and at this point, our business is undergoing many changes. What we started out thinking, believing, and focusing on, has adapted and changed. We’ve tested the market and we have a different plan in how and where to market than when we started. It in a sense feels like we are only now launching.

There’s interesting balance between feeling like Created Whole is not progressing and then questioning how we are going to be able to keep up. The growth of the company is insignificant in comparison to the growth that has been seen in our individual characters. God has been opening doors and events and situations have happened that only can be attributed to divine appointments.

To give a brief update on some areas we are working on right now is the manufacturing side of things, where a lot of work has to be done in setting up the factory. Working out supply and distribution. And the major area of focus is marketing. We are focusing on creating a better website, one that looks professional, credible, is easy to navigate, and has an awesome store front. We plan on relying heavily on online orders. You can see the website we have right now at www.thebesttortilla.com. We are also putting together press kits and marketing plans to get our name out there. And, we are looking for people with talents and skills that can be utilized in this growth stage of the company and that would be willing to donate their time and strengths on a volunteer basis. If you want to be part of the growth, let us know. Email Tim@thebesttortilla.com.

Why Not Tortillas?

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A similar post has appeared in our blog addressing howwe got started in the tortilla business.When people ask us how we got into the tortilla manufacturing business, they are often searching for some explanation regarding a certain ethnic background. It only makes sense, right? Well, we don’t have any Central or South American background. Our background is living on a farm in the San Joaquin Valley, driving tractors through the fields, and flying airplanes. What we do have is a knowledgeable dietitian on staff and an interest in health.

Typically, people with our background, don’t make tortillas. Created Whole is nothing typical. We are breaking stereotypes. We are going to big manufacturers who tell us that what we are doing is impossible, but we know it’s possible. We have people that have grown up eating “mama’s tortillas” tasting ours and telling us Created Whole Tortillas are incredible! A product like this has to go to the masses. We are determined not to waste the potential at our fingertips and what God has blessed us with.

Wheat tortillas are the fastest growing product line, not only in the tortilla industry, but in the entire grain products industry. 62 percent of the food industry, both commercial and non-commercial businesses, reported using tortilla products in their operations. People are requesting whole wheat tortillas in restaurants and food establishments. People are expecting great tasting products that are also healthy. Tortillas are versatile and consumable. They are eaten at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as an appetizer, entree, dessert, or snack. With our background in health, along with an exceptional product, and industry timing, it’s only natural that we should enter this market.

So maybe instead of asking “Why tortillas?”, we should ask, “WHY NOT TORTILLAS?

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