Thursday, January 26, 2017

Cha-Cha-Cha-Cha-CHANGES for 2017



After the hustle and bustle of the Holidays, Terry and I have dialed things down to a bit more low key.  Business goes on as always, but we are now taking a bit more of a relaxed approach to life these days.  Since we are between both Holiday and Farmers Market seasons, we have a little more time on our hands.  Besides the mundane tasks of doing paperwork, and going over our business needs, we find ourselves with time to experiment with new ingredients and new ideas for making even more yummy products to delight your taste buds with!   This is our FUN TIME!

Change is an inherent part of life.  In life, in order to get yourself in a better place physically, mentally, and even spiritually, we have found that the best way to accomplish this is to remove anything that doesn't serve you and to move forward by making the choices that suit your needs in a good way.  Business, just like life, deals with change on a daily basis. And just like in life, the best businesses remove what doesn't serve their needs, and replaces them with new offerings that are more in line with their vision. They also satisfy their customers by responding to their needs and requests as well.  With that in mind, we have both good news and sad news to report to you, our Peeps.

Starting with the sad news, Winter Goddess Foods is saying goodbye to both of our organic cocoa mixes.  Mojo and Muy Loco Coco will no longer be produced or available online or at any of our outlets or venues.  Both chocolicious hot drinks were dynamite products, but due to various factors, failed to find a regular audience.   We are sad to see them go, but as the saying goes, "Life goes on."

On the good news front, several changes and additions are coming to fruition over the next several weeks.  Sara, our graphic artist is reworking the labels on a few of our products.  As such, our delectable Butter Crunch Toffee Reflections will now officially be known as Oh My

Goddess! Butter Crunch Toffee, which more reflects the description of (and our fan's reaction to) our delicious product.

Both our savory Organic Wild Rice Bread and our spicy Aww Nuts! Slow Burn will sport new labels as well.

In response to our customer's needs, we will be offering a 16 ounce version of our nut-less Sunflower Apple Raisin Granola, which will join our full lineup of both 8 oz. and 16 oz. packaged granola's.  The new labeling is being produced as we speak, and we will introduce it officially at the Midtown Farmers Market in May!

And now, we are introducing two new offerings to the Winter Goddess Foods family!

Terry's newest creation,            Salted Turtle Shells have arrived.   They are a combination of her Caramel Moments and pecans covered in organic Belgian styled dark chocolate and dusted with sea salt.  And the taste? Ooey-chewy chocolaty goodness!  Worlds away from those chemically ladened "canned turtles" that you find at the local supermarket. Remember, our job is not to talk you out of your treat.  Our job is to make you a better treat.  Look for the Navigation bar at the top of the page and check them out.  (You'll be glad you did!)


Also, in response to our fans who are Chili-heads, and who have requested more "umph" in our sweet and savory nut mix, your prayers have been answered.  While our Aww Nuts Slow Burn has enough heat to satisfy most folks, there are some of you out there that wanted (and NEEDED) more spice.  I have been in the kitchen trying to develop an even spicier version of our Aww Nuts that will satisfy both the need for great taste and the need for more heat, and I believe I have nailed it.

On Saturday, January 28th, I will be doing test marketing and sampling of my newest creation: Aww Nuts INFERNO!   I have made a limited run of 8oz bags of this fiery taste sensation specifically for the Blaine Farmers Market this Saturday.  If you are a true Chili-head, and you are lucky enough to live in the Twin Cities area, please stop by for a taste of our "friendly fire", and let me know if I got it right.  For the rest of you, I plan to make this available online as soon as all testing, sampling and fine-tuning are completed. Stay tuned!

I am also in the midst of creating another tasty treat, but I am keeping things under wraps for now.  Suffice it to say that if I can get things to my liking, we may be introducing yet another product by Farmers Market time. Please check out our page on Facebook for the latest goings on of Winter Goddess Foods.  Thank you for your support, and we wish you all opportunity and prosperity as we swing into 2017 in earnest!

Blessings,

Nehemiah














Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Thank You and Season's Greetings from Winter Goddess Foods



As we approach the 2016 holiday season, Terry and I want to take a moment to thank our wonderful wholesale partners, our Farmers Market Managers, and you, our followers, customers and fans who we affectionately refer to as “our Peeps” for supporting our business this year. The outpouring of love, generosity, and support that you have shown us throughout the year has touched our hearts, and sometimes just blows our minds. It is gratifying to know that we have “done you right” by producing products that combine quality clean ingredients with positive intent, that not only taste great but make you feel good inside for eating or drinking them. We are humbled by your trust in us, and your continued affirmation of that trust. Your patronage of our company has made 2016 our best year ever! Now that the show season is over, we will be halting production of our products until the second week of January, in order to enjoy a well-deserved rest.

As we swing into 2017, Winter Goddess Foods will continue the mission of being good citizens in the world through our continued support of charities like Second Harvest Heartland, the Ann Bancroft Foundation, Sisters Camelot, and others. Thanks to your generosity and patronage, we were able to feed hundreds and hundreds of people, allow young girls and young women a chance to realize a dream, and do many other wonderful things for people throughout the Twin Cities. In our troubled world where times are tough for people, the only way we can make this world better is to work together to make it so. You have done this, and continue to do this, and for that we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

2017 will mark our eighth year in business, and Terry, Mary Ellen and I are looking forward to serving you, and we will continue to live up to that sacred trust that you have placed in us. We will also continue to hold that positive mind picture of you, our customer, enjoying our products with a smile on your face and joy in your heart as we have always done. That is our secret ingredient that we liberally apply when crafting and producing delicious, clean and sustainable products that are truly “Made with Love for your well-being!”™. Thank you, and best wishes to each and every one of you for a joyous holiday season and a prosperous 2017.

Nehemiah Inverse, Terry Williams and Mary Ellen Webber

Monday, November 21, 2016

It's Holiday Show Season!


With the Farmers Markets done for the year, Winter Goddess Foods' attention has turned to our annual Holiday Show Season.  For the next two months, Terry and I will be appearing at various venues around the Twin Cities area, as well as in Long Prairie Minnesota, making our tasty organic fare available for your holiday gift giving consideration.

To the left of our page (a little under our picture), we have listed our entire indoor show schedule for late fall/winter 2016.  Each entry is linked to the main page of each venue sponsor so you can find detailed information for every event.  This list will be updated as we add new shows.  Please feel free to click the links to find information about where we will be next.

Terry and I invite you to come out and see us during the Holiday season. We'd also like to offer suggestions on how to gift our organic comfort products:

1) Our Tranquility Chai or spicy Muy Loco Coco, paired with a purchased mug makes for a thoughtful and inexpensive gift for your loved ones.

2)For the health conscious or athletic person in your life, boxing up an assortment of our Cranberry Walnut, Banana Walnut and Sunflower Apple Raisin granolas is a great way to let them know you are thinking of them.  

3) Looking for a great Hostess Gift?  Surprise your hostess/host with several bags of Aww Nuts! or Aww Nuts! Slow Burn, along with a beautiful bowl to serve them in.  Who wouldn't want a nice bowl of tasty nuts for their holiday table guests?

4) Speaking of nuts, they also make the PERFECT stocking-stuffer for that guy, gal or child in your life.  'nuff said!

5) Our Caramel Moments make for another great stocking-stuffer idea for children and adults alike.  Keep in mind that they pair up nicely with that warm mug of cocoa, coffee, tea or even Irish Cream! A dozen caramels or even a bag of 25 will provide enough rich buttery goodness for everyone!

6) Looking to add a bit of class to that holiday gathering?  A dozen or two of Oh My Goddess! Truffles or Cake Gems will make you the hit of any get-together.  

Hopefully these suggestions will be helpful to you.  Feel free to let your imagination run wild, since our products have been employed in a wide variety of ways to provide pleasure and enjoyment to those you love. We look forward to serving you, our wonderful Peeps, for all of your holiday needs!

Blessings,

Nehemiah

Please note: The last day to submit all mail orders is Monday December 12th.  The last day to submit for all Twin Cities local pick up or delivery orders is Friday December 16th.  Please plan your holiday ordering wisely to avoid disappointment; i.e. Order early!








Monday, October 31, 2016

The 2016 Farmers Market Season has finally ended *Sigh*


As always this time of year, Winter Goddess Foods and our wonderful Farmers Market patrons wax bittersweet on the last days of the market season.  Many of our neighborhood friends came by at the Midtown, Richfield, and Linden Hills Farmers Markets to get the last of the farm fresh produce, artisan produced food items and artisan crafts, before the onset of colder weather.  We received hundreds of thank you's and well wishes from our Peeps who showed their appreciation for the work that we do to bring clean, tasty organic goodness to our neighborhoods.  It is truly humbling to receive such wonderful appreciation from our neighbors and market shoppers from all over the Twin Cities area, and beyond.  We have even served people from all over the world who came to visit us for our products including folks from England, Italy, Iceland and Norway.  Our hearts are full, and we are truly thankful to the Great Spirit for the privilege of being able to serve so many wonderful people.

Terry and I want to recognize and salute all of our market patrons from the Centennial Lakes, Midtown, Richfield, and Linden Hills Farmers Markets who came to visit us throughout the season and purchase our products.  Thank you for allowing us to serve you and your families needs, not only with our food, drink, and snack items but with education about organic ingredients and sustainability, as well as a chance to serve up a little laughter and good feelings to raise all of our vibrations.  You are near and dear to us.


Thank you for allowing our company to fulfill our sacred trust to you by providing delicious, wholesome and healthy products made to the highest quality.  We wish you all a wonderful Holiday season, a comfortable and prosperous winter and Spring, and we look forward to serving you again in May 2017!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

It's Farmers Market time again!


Hello my Peeps, and welcome back to our blog!  Terry and I have had a lot going on over the last six months, so apologies to all for being away for so long.

Once again, it is our favorite time of year; Farmers Market time!  The weather has finally warmed into Spring (with the exception of last Saturday's windy cold snap) with the grass and trees greening and flowers abloom. Vendors, artisans and growers are bringing out their first offerings for purchase, with the promise of fresh fruits and vegetables coming later in the year.  For some folks in the Twin Cities area, the opening of the Markets are the true First day of Spring!

For Winter Goddess Foods, a few changes are afoot for the 2016 Market season.  As always, we will once again be a fixture at the Midtown Farmers Market, which is our home market, selling our wares and once again collecting tips for the Second Harvest Heartland food shelf.  Our company was able to collect enough funds to provide Second Harvest with the ability to serve over 2800 meals to our hungry neighbors in the Twin Cities last year, and we are hoping for an even better effort in 2016.

Richfield Farmers Market

We will also be vendors in two new Markets this year, with an emphasis on being closer to our home in South Minneapolis.  While Mary Ellen and myself will be at Midtown on Saturday, this weekend Terry will be starting our first year at the Richfield Farmers Market at Veterans Memorial Park at 64th Street & Portland Ave S, in Richfield MN  (held under the picnic pavilion) It is a well established venue swinging into its 25th year of operation, and we are please to be a part of this well run community institution.

Centennial Lakes Park

On Thursdays this year starting in June, Terry and I will be introducing our products at the Centennial Lakes Farmers Market at 7499 France Ave S, in Edina, MN. It is situated within a beautiful 24-acre community park and a 10-acre lake surrounded with beautifully landscaped grounds, formal and informal seating areas, swinging benches and fountains.  Operating our stand near the water will be the perfect change of pace from the "concrete jungle" and we are definitely looking forward to it.

Click these links for more info on each of our Market venues.
Midtown Farmers Market
Richfield Farmers Market
Centennial Lakes Farmers Market


We are also pleased to tell you that in advance of the Midtown Farmers Market opening, Terry and I were interviewed by Kelly Savage of the Corcoran News, the community newspaper in our area.  We received a nice write-up from her, which increased our visibility at the market and was remarked upon by a large number of customers who visited our tent.

There article can be viewed here!

For more timely news about our goings on, please check out our Facebook page at Winter Goddess Foods!

Blessings and Peace!

Nehemiah


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Happy Holiday Season from Winter Goddess Foods!



Over the last weekend, Terry, Mary Ellen and I finished our final show for 2015, at Jaimie Myer’s three day Winter Solstice event.  With our activities complete for the year, this gives us an opportunity to reflect on 2015, and look with anticipation to 2016.  While we have had a few disappointments this year, and have dealt with a number of health related issues, the positives far outweighed the negative.  We have added a few new retail partners, showed up on the radar of a sustainable food association, and caught the eye of our neighborhood business association, who has declared our company, “the best kept secret in the Twin Cities.”  We’ve also learned how much you folks out there love our company through your votes and well wishes during the Mission Main Street Grants competition.  In addition, we were able to raise a goodly amount of money through the generosity of our local Peeps for our local food shelf Second Harvest Heartland, and feed thousands of people in the Twin Cities.

Looking forward, in 2016 Winter Goddess Foods will be working closely with the Neighborhood Development Center to identify and implement strategies to make our business better than ever.  We are considering the development of a few new products to add to our growing catalogue, and we are also looking to add more retail partners to our Winter Goddess family.  2015 was a great year for us, and we expect that 2016 will be even better!

Terry and I would like to thank you for your continued support of Winter Goddess Foods.  We ask that not only during this season but throughout this year and into next, that you consider doing something good for those who are less fortunate.  Everyone needs to be shown that they matter, and by doing good for others, you shine as a light of hope for humanity, and as a positive example of how we should be with each other.  Here’s wishing all goodness, blessings and prosperity to you and yours, our dear Peeps, from the bottom of our hearts.

Blessings,

Nehemiah and Terry

Friday, August 21, 2015

Our Farmers Market Love Letter

Midtown Farmers Market

Our Farmers Markets are in full swing now, and of course, Winter Goddess Foods is in the thick of the season.  But why go through all that hard work and aggravation, not to mention getting up at curse-word dark thirty to get everything ready and loaded into the car?  Why battle the threat of bad weather, or the competition from scheduled events drawing customers away?  Why go through the hassle?  Well that explanation requires a short trip back to memory lane for an answer.

 With all the growth that we have experienced over the course of time, it's hard to believe that just 6 years ago we started selling at our first market - the Midtown Farmers Market in South Minneapolis. Back then, market management relegated us to the Tuesday Market day, since we were an unknown with no experience or following, reserving the more financially lucrative Saturday Market for the more experience, and bigger name growers and artisans.  Undaunted, through hard work, and at some points sheer force of will, Terry and I survived and thrived on Tuesdays.  Like a phenom minor league prospect in baseball, eventually we received "the call," and took our spot in the Saturday market, where we have been ever since.


Through those years, we have tried and failed with a number of ideas for products that seemed like a good idea in theory at the time, only to fall flat in practice. (Frank's Oh-so Crispees, I will never forget you *sob*)  At times our desire to create clean food items directly clashed with the realities of food preparation and preservation.  No matter how green you want to be, some foods do require some sort of preservative, even a natural one, to allow for a decent shelf life and to retard spoilage.   Finances also played a big part in what we could do as a Mom and Pop Shop compared to the big boys.  Still, we did what we could while remaining true to our ideals, and to the trust that folks show for our products.
 
Having never operated a business before, Terry and I had a steep learning curve to overcome.  We learned that not all packaging suited our product needs; especially for durability. We struggled through horrible, uninformed and incompetent suggestions for branding, labeling, printing and marketing, throwing tons of money away in the process.  Our biggest lesson learned was that not everyone has YOUR best interest at heart.  We found out that there are those out there who will talk a good game while doing whatever they can to siphon away your hard earned dollars, or your time and effort, based on promises they could not or would not keep.  To those folks we say, thank you for being our teachers.  Now, we know you.

Prior Lake Farmers Market
Why mention our struggles?  Quite frankly it was the Farmers Markets and our love for them that kept us going even through the dark times.  We love the Midtown community and the drive of the people here to make something worthwhile, sustainable and just plain fun for everyone in the area.  Changes in Market management have improved the mindset and follow-through to new heights, sparking positive changes, ideas and innovation, and we are so proud to be an active participant.  The wonderful communities of Prior Lake and Elk River are also near and dear to our hearts, and we are happy to serve and educate our friendly market attendees.  Their kindness and openness make us feel like honorary members of those communities as well.


Elk River Farmers Market

Our desire to serve and to be a part of such a wonderful family (The Farmers Market Community), as well as our desire to be good citizens in the world helped us to endure the adversity that molded and shaped us into who we are as a company today, and it will continue to shape our business in the future. We took our lumps, and while we were knocked down, we were never knocked out.  At each challenge, we rose to the occasion and not only succeeded, but improved as a business.  Each market day brings a smile to our faces in anticipation of seeing and serving our "Peeps," educating the public about healthy food choices and sustainability, and combating the misinformation or confusion about organic produce and products.  Terry and I would often say that even if we were to hit the Lottery, we would still do the Markets because we love them so much!  This is where we live, this is where we dance, and we are so very glad to be here.  Thank you, Farmers Markets!