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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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).

Breakfast Burrito

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Here’s an idea for breakfast: Make some tofu scramble and wrap it up in a Whole Wheat Tortilla, and you got yourself a breakfast burrito.

Try this recipe

Scrambled Tofu

  • 1 lb firm tofu
  • 1 tsp chicken style seasoning (see chicken style season recipe below or use a vegan chicken style seasoning mix)
  • 2 Tbsp each:chopped green bell pepper, onion and sliced olives
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 Created Whole 100% Whole Wheat Tortillas
  • Avocado & Salsa

 

Place olive oil in pan. Add veggies and satay for 2 mins. Add tofu, and mash with a fork. Add seasoning and remaining ingredients.Cook for about 10 minutes over medium heat. Wrap scramble in a warm tortilla. Serve with avocado slices and fresh salsa. Serves 4

Chicken Style Seasoning

  • 4 tsp celery salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 4 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp marjoram
  • 4 tsp parsley flakes, ground
  • Pinch savory
  • ¼ cup salt
  • 1 tsp brown sugar

Mix all ingredients together.Store in airtight container.1 tsp of this seasoning may be substituted for one packet of George Washington Golden seasoning or McKay’s Chicken Seasoning.When substituting for McKay’s Chicken Seasoning, use less salt in recipe.

order tortillas at www.TheBestTortilla.com/order

Traveling Nutrition Challenges or Creativity? You Choose!

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Traveling puts a new perspective on the day to day. Along with new sites, meeting new people, and maybe dealing with language and culture differences, one has to face different habits and practices when it comes to food and eating. Out of the entire month of March, I’ve spent all of 2 nights at my apartment (I just cringe when I think of that fact and my LA rent…ughhh). But, the lack of time in LA, has lent itself to the adventures of 10 days in Italy, and I’m currently finishing up a 19 day work assignment in Rockford/Chicago, Illinois.

When it comes to your nutrition, living out of a hotel, hostel, or spending an entire day on an airplane or wandering airports, creates either challenges or lends a hand to a creativity, depending on how you want to look at it. Sometimes healthy options are not readily available, and you are forced to make the best choice that you can, or you must give yourself full permission to embrace the experience.When you are constantly on the go, it’s hard to plan ahead with your meals, but there are some simple things that you can do, that will save you time, money, and the headache of finding yourself starving, and nothing available to eat.

Here are some tips for when you are on-the-go:

  • Pack raw almonds in your carry-on bag. Protein and healthy fats keep you satisfied.
  • LaraBars are awesome; easy to pack, all raw, and contain lots of fiber.
  • Drink water! It’s soooo easy to let yourself get dehydrated when traveling. Take an empty Klean Kanteen with you through security and fill it up on the other side. You save money and help reduce environmental impact.
  • Eat as balanced as possible when you are traveling. You feel more jet lagged and tired when you are just grabbing candy and sweets.
  • And probably the best tip, and I’m serious when I say this because I’ve learned from experience; Tortillas are awesome to have in your bag when you travel! It’s so much better than the Kraft packaged snacks that Southwest dishes out or the snack packs that you pay a pretty penny for. Take Justin’s individually packaged Nut Butter’s with you or individually packaged hummus, or of course, I just eat tortillas straight. When you leave for the airport, take your tortillas out of the freezer, and when you eventually reach your destination, just put them back in the fridge…that’s if there are any left after that 10 hour flight:)

Tortillas took a trip to Whistler, B.C.


Best Mountain Snack EVER!

www.thebesttortilla.com

Full-Time Tim

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Tortillas eventually, or more like, initially enter most social conversations. It’s so hard not to talk about Created Whole for us, because this company is something that we are so passionate about.

Tortillas travel everywhere with us. A couple of weeks ago, the flight attendants of the family (Brenda and Kara), were grabbing lunch at Baja Fresh at LAX, and the young woman in line just happened to ask, “Do you ladies know if they have whole wheat tortillas?” Smiling, Kara says, “No they don’t, but I do,” while rapidly explaining about the tortilla business, and frantically trying to find a business card. Not having any business cards and only two tortillas left, she handed over the tortillas with the website written on a napkin. This business has comical moments to say the least.

Tim received a phone call last week from a woman who says she’s praying for us to get into Trader Joe’s and praying that we will be successful. She loves the tortillas. Stories like this have been happening for us everyday. From the random people we encounter, to our regular customers at farmer’s market, we need these affirmations.

This past week, Brenda was in Santa Barbara for work, and Tim was in Utah or somewhere, and Kara was enjoying the wonderful island of Oahu. Our lives are a little nutso. It’s a challenge to build a business when there isn’t someone dedicating all of their time to just tortillas. Three months ago, we set a goal that Tim would be our full-time employee by the end of the summer. We’ve needed him full-time for awhile, but he hasn’t wanted to let go of the security of his job. So, it’s the end of the summer.

Every time the three of us (Tim, Brenda, Kara) get together to talk about the future of tortillas, each one of us has a, “You’ll-never-guess-what-just-happened-to-me-story.” There some pretty exciting opportunities “in-the-works” right now that can’t be shared at this time on such a public forum, but the one thing I can say, is that things look good. There’s a lot to be done. So much so, that we had an intervention with Tim, and he’s done working for anyone but Created Whole.

Congratulate Tim on his new position as full-time Director of Operations/Production!

This Frustration Can Be a Good Thing

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“Dad, these tortillas…they are SO salty. Why are they so salty?” I question mid-chew, as I sit in the backseat of the car. He asks for a piece to try, and then he is quiet for a moment. He begins to shake his head back and forth, in a sense of confusion and mutters how this salty tortilla could be. Mom and I begin to question, “Did you forget that you put in the salt and then added extra unknowingly? Did you measure too much? Did the recipe mix unequally and it only is this dozen that is unreasonably salty? He shakes his head more vigorously, and replies, “No. No. I measured everything right. I made the recipe exactly right.” He’s just as stumped as we are. We go about the day, but every hour or so, we return to the topic of the salty tortilla. We are all very bothered by this occurance.

Come to find out, the whole batch is ruined, all 56 dozen. And, come to find out, it has nothing to do with a mistake that we made or anything that we really had control over. It was the bakery owners that made the error, and even though they admitted to adding more salt without our consent, they were unwilling to refund us or make another batch “on the house.” In all points of business, the people involved must be honest and willing to make amends for mistakes made, however costly they may be. There are different ways to learn in life, and one is by seeing how NOT to do things. Created Whole will always be committed to honesty, quality, and integrity, unlike some in the business arena.

The frustration with the current bakery we are working under has risen significantly over the last year. The owners have increased the price per dozen that we pay to make our tortillas at their facility, a price that is unreasonably high. The going rate gives us little added benefit. We are only able to make tortillas on their schedule, and at their convenience. The relationship seems fragile, breakable. We are caught in a tight-rope, scared to make a misstep that could send our baby business plummeting to sudden death.

The three of us (Tim, Brenda, and Kara), share equal responsibility (for the most part), for the decisions made within our business, but as the daughter (Kara), I look up to my father as the leader. He is intelligent and extremely capable, and it’s really because of him that this business began. I have been at the point of breaking for quite awhile, not wanting our business to continue like it has. We are stuck in limbo, because without production, we cannot grow. Without growth, in all honesty, it’s time to ask the question, “What the hell are we doing?”

I hate it when something happens with our tortillas, because I am so emotionally attached to the success and the quality of Created Whole. I think one makes better decisions when there is not the emotional attachment, but the attachment is an indicator of how much I care. We all care. I think, somewhat ignorantly, and it’s easy for me to say, “Let’s grow.” I don’t know the feeling of debt. I don’t really know what it’s like to fail. To jump completely in, with nothing and no one to fall back on and not look back. To me, the concept of just diving head-first into waters that are murky and with depth unknown, seems much more rewarding than hanging out in the kiddie-pool with rubber duckie arm bands. Sometimes, I think that Dad is just fine with the kiddie pool. I become angry that he’s not doing anything (which is a completely unfair and a wrongful accusation. People are not the most rational when angry.) But, I see that he does care, maybe even more than I do.

With the latest bakery frustration, I feel thankful. Maybe this will be the last straw for Dad. Our goal was for him to be the full-timer in our company by the end of the summer. It’s almost the end of the summer, and I think that we are all at the end of our patience with our current situation. So, this time, the frustration that we are experiencing may just be the catalyst to take us into the big markets that we keep dreaming of. So, maybe this time, this frustration can be a good thing.

Not The Enemy

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Have you ever heard people say, “I can’t eat that. Too many carbs.” We sometimes hear people say, “Sorry. I can’t try your tortillas. I’m not eating carbs.” A human body needs carbohydrates to run efficiently, and whole grains are a great source of energy.

The recommendation is to make one half of the day’s grains whole. Nearly nine out of ten Americans aren’t aren’t choosing whole grains often enough to meet the minimum recommendations. On average, Americans consume less than one serving per day. Even more astonishing is that four out of 10 Americans consume less than one whole grain product during two weeks of their usual eating habits. Consumers are showing a strong interest in whole grains and one survey revealed whole grains as one of the top three foods that respondents were likely to choose for their own health. Data also showed that four out of five people are trying to eat more whole grains and two out of three people are trying to reduce their refined grains intake.

According to Mintel, just last year, manufacturers launched more than 3,000 new products with a whole grain claim-to-fame. The largest growth areas are bakery, breakfast cereals, and snacks. Registered Dietitian, Tina Miller, states, “Carbohydrates are not the enemy; just choose them wisely.”

(for more information about this entry, please visit http://www.todaysdietitian.com/

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