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  • German's love Cassoulet soup and our unveiling as Thyme + Season

    Transforming from Sugarplum Fancies to Thyme and Season has been an absolute whirlwind. Ordering supplies, tracking equipment from abroad, packaging design and coordination, designing banners, designing signage, endless administrative tasks, mastering Quickbooks accounting, implemeting inventory tracking software, website development, booth design, just to name about 10% of the 'what I have been up to lately' list. I made it through the firestorm that has been surrounding me the past few months and I can only hope that you are as happy with the newly repackaged company as Kaitlin and I are. So on to blogging about it and maybe I will throw in some pictures of the fun, with recipes and pictures of soups and meatloaf mixes in precarious situations to follow.

    First off I want to thank the German's for creating wonderful hoppy beverages boosted with yeast but just because you make good beer doesn't mean you, as a country, deserve to get an entire month off from productivity, yes you are outpacing the American's in this department, so you must be doing something right, but you seriously put my newly reminted company into a tight bind in the closing seconds before our first formal unveiling. So I ordered this fancy piece of eyeleting equipment from said German's in early September with the knowledge at the time that it would be delivered with ample time to put label to packaging before our first holiday show on November 3rd, but needless to say it was delayed by Oktoberfest which apparently runs from the latter part of September to the early part of November. With no tracking number and no delivery date in sight we had to pull a thirteenth hour MacGyver. You might be asking yourself what this means, ask your children or grandchildren for an explanation but continue reading.

    Thankfully the fine folks at Ben Franklin Craft Supplies we were able to orchestrate Plan B and crank out eyelets the old fashioned way with a punch, set and mallet (oversized name for a hammer). I want to personally thank Ian (Bike Teammate and Helper extraordinaire), Mike (Father-in-law) and Kaitlin (Best Wife Ever) for your firm grips and unwavering focus in the Thyme and Season kitchen during those late hours and Mike again for your army surplus supply of duct tape that I will write you a check for, I used a lot (see pic below).


    Tools of the T+ S trade

    Now lets rewind. Prior to lighting the candles and setting the non-German eyelets we had spent the first 3/4 of 2012 working on our new logo, branding and product packaging with our fantastic designer Kim, who is the owner and lead designer for The Phoenix Studio in Seattle. The process began this past January with the logo designs which underwent several rounds of font and color iterations before we made the final selections for our new image. Kaitlin and I spent a lot of time working with Kim to convey the image we had for the company and she took our input and came up with a clean, simple, unpretentious logo whose simplicity we have fallen for.

    With fresh logo in hand we quickly began the second phase of the process which was design of the packaging. This might sound like an easy task to the novice but it was a very tedious process with many late nights spent editing copy, checking proofs and re-checking proofs. Thankfully we had a wedding to attend in San Francisco in early October which gave me the undistracted time to get most of the final proof checking completed prior to our October 17th deadline which is when we were to have the final digital files at the printer. We made it with time to spare but this was only possible because of the tight timeline and wonderful project management on Kim's part, yes I did my part, but she helped keep the process moving forward without allowing me to get hung up on the silly details. It pays to work with true professionals like Kim, so thanks again Kim.

    Once the tedious part was behind me the baton was passed to the local print shop where Dan Sturgeon with Star Printing worked with Kim and I to ensure that the labels would be printed to our specifications and also before our tight deadline of the 26th of October. Needless to say Dan and his shop were able to stick to the deadline and we had our American Made™ labels in hand well in advance of aforementioned German made eyeleting machine, they were continuing to celebrate over hops and exclamatory shouts of "prost."

    After receiving the beautiful new labels from the printer there was a lot of finishing tasks to complete in a short 10 day window of time before the Eastlake HS Holiday Bazaar. This is something I was already very familiar with so organizing the finishing timeline and delegating the tasks was second nature, but throw in the German dilemma and a few other tasks, see first paragraph above and you had the potential for an explosive situation. Thankfully with the Plan B eyeleting and some wonderful help from some great family and friends the happy bags of soup, meatloaf, dips and boosters all danced right out of our kitchen and into the van on the morning of November 3rd without hassle or delay.


    Getting ready to dance

    Unfortunately my better half was feeling under the weather the day of the first show but my Father-in-Law Mike stepped up to help out and the show went off without much of a hitch and our customers new and old were excited about the new brand and packaging.


    The Happy new products perched and ready for sale

    I will be posting some recipe ideas and meatloaf in precarious situations in the days and weeks to come so please stay tuned, this is just the beginning.

    Garrett, Thyme + Season

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