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$1,845 pledged of $21,500 goal
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By Susie Kyle
$1,845 pledged of $21,500 goal
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About this project

THE SHORT OF IT

I've developed an unprecedented line of local ready-to-eat foods.  I have very specific, simple plans for expansion.  When successful, this serves as a model for others.

THE POSSIBILITY

This project is about the expansion of a brand line of local, artisan, hand-crafted foods, but it's also much more. When you and I make this project a success, a whopping success, then it can serve as a model for others to do the same and more in their own community.

HOW I GOT HERE

Seventeen years ago I started farming at the age of 50 because I was concerned about the quality of our food supply.  I became a farm activist passionate about preserving farmland and protecting our food supply, testified at city, county and state hearings, helped protect 50,000 acres of farmland in my county, did numerous farmers markets, and developed value-added products.  One day baking my Garden Burgers, I realized I was developing an entire brand line of foods the quality of which you couldn't find anywhere else.

WHERE WE ARE NOW

I have recently scaled back production, much to the dismay of many of my customers, until funding is in place for expansion.  I have been operating at break-even during the product development stage, so I've decided there is no sense in increasing production until I'm actually making a profit.  My budget outlines the simple steps to create this outcome. 

THE STARS OF THE PRODUCT LINE 

Here are my top 5 sellers

Garlic Basil Dressing – the star of the line and the benchmark for all our other products. When sampling the dressing 80% of the people buy it. I love watching their reaction. I'm still trying to figure out how to describe it. “Connection” is the word that comes to mind. The light goes on. They've just had a taste, a flavor they have never had (or it triggers a memory), and they LOVE it! We call it the “WOW Effect.”

Garlic Basil Dressing ready to be labeled, in 1953 Vintage Bottles
Garlic Basil Dressing ready to be labeled, in 1953 Vintage Bottles

It started out being a salad dressing, now it's a SUPER SAUCE. Use it on chicken or fish (any meat), pasta, potatoes, eggs, pizza, any boring dish, with mayonnaise (or not) on a turkey sandwich, wonderful with hummus... 

In season the garlic, basil and parsley are all grown by my daughter, Mari who has become the 2nd generation farmer in the family.  The addition of a moveable greenhouse will allow her to extend the seasons.

And I won't scrimp on the quality of the other ingredients in order to cut costs. We need a new paradigm for a “cheap” food system that is far from cheap in the long run. You see, my food has now become my activism.

Protein Peanut Butter Bars - for anyone who likes peanut butter, this is an instant YES, similar to the response to the 'Garlic Basil Dressing'. 

Yummy Protein Peanut Butter Bars ready to be wrapped
Yummy Protein Peanut Butter Bars ready to be wrapped

Ingredients: Aunt Patty's (Oregon) Organic Peanut Butter, Local Honey, Hemp (high in protein) Granola...crunchy and yummy, Organic Rolled Oats, Local Mt. Capra Goat Whey Protein, Organic Chia Seed (I've read we can grow Chia Seed in the Pacific NW), and North American Bee Pollen (soon from my local area).  A delicious, high protein in-between meal snack or meal (for some).

Garden Burgers

These totally raise the bar in the world of 'Garden Burgers'.  Whole-grain, chocked-full of veggies, fully-cooked, and frozen.  Gently warm and use as a breakfast patty, crumbled on a salad, in a sandwich, as a burger.

We take our Stir Fry Mix, mince it, and put it in our Garden Burgers
We take our Stir Fry Mix, mince it, and put it in our Garden Burgers
Balazs, NW Food Works Chef, pattying the Garden Burgers
Balazs, NW Food Works Chef, pattying the Garden Burgers
Baked Garden Burgers cooling waiting to go in the freezer
Baked Garden Burgers cooling waiting to go in the freezer

Ingredients:  Organic Lundberg Short Grain Brown Rice, Organic Millet, Organic or Local Onion, Mari's Farm Green and Red Cabbage, Carrots, and Kale/Collard Greens, Cheddar Cheese (Oregon), Local Organic Eggs, Organic Pumpkin Seeds (Oregon), Organic Sunflower Seeds (can grow our own or encourage a local grower to grow), Organic Ketchup, Nutritional Yeast, Organic Soy Sauce (may replace or leave out to take soy out of the recipe), Whole Wheat Flour and Sea Salt.  Quick, easy, satisfying, versatile, nutrient dense.

Garlic Roasted Sesame Kale Chips – I have discontinued making the Kale Chips (except for this EXCLUSIVE OFFERING for Kickstarter Backers in the Rewards!) because they are not cost effective to make and sell, though people continue to ask me for them all the time. Who knows, maybe I'll figure out how to make them cost effective in the process. What makes them so good is the marinade (the base of the 'Garlic Basil Dressing', Gomosio (roasted sesame seeds and sea salt)...a medicinal condiment high in calcium, and Lacinato Kale (the best for kale chips), but any kale will work. For those of you who would like to make your own to taste just like these, then check out the 'Kale Chip KIT' (below).

Garlic Roasted Sesame Kale Chips in the Dehydrator
Garlic Roasted Sesame Kale Chips in the Dehydrator

Kale Chip “KIT” - Also a Reward!  Everything you need to make the Garlic Roasted Sesame Seed Kale Chips: Fresh Lacinato Kale, Local Flavors Marinade, Gomosio (roasted sesame seed and sea salt)...a medicinal condiment high in calcium, and detailed instructions for making them in a dehydrator or an oven. We receive rave reviews from people who have purchased the kit. Actually more cost effective than buying the Kale Chips themselves.

While there are many more products developed, and more seasonally emerging all the time, these are the 5 we're going to focus on in this expansion.  But no worries, we'll be getting back to making our amazing salads too!

PROJECT GOAL:  $21,500

BUDGET

Reduce Ingredient Costs - $4,500

  •  by buying bulk ingredients at wholesale prices

I haven't had enough money at one time to buy in bulk at wholesale prices. I've been buying just a little below retail, so there is no profit margin. I was willing to do this while I was developing and test marketing my products. But I can't and won't expand until I cut my costs and increase my production.

Increase production for my chef - $5500

  • with the purchase of commercial equipment: a food processor, 3 bar blenders, a certified scale with a waterproof label maker, a large salad spinner and green packaging

Increase production for my farmer - $5,500

Increase sales for three of the stores I sell to - $6,000

  • with the purchase of a commercial display freezer and refrigerator for each store, "dedicated" to Local Flavors Products with a sign thanking Kickstarter and Backers (you guys)!
  • Yelm Food Co-op
  • Olympia Local Foods...a virtual Farmers Market
  • M & K Town Store, a downtown convenience store, Chehalis, WA

Sales haven't been my problem, something remarkable to say in this economy, but I have included increasing sales and brand visability in the project as well, and in some ways for a more altruistic reason.  These units can serve as a model for bringing fresh local food into "food deserts" where people in cities only have convenience store food available within walking distance, also creating another viable market for local farmers and food producers.

Up until now I've funded my efforts on a frayed shoestring and an empty pocket. To continue I can't do it this way any more and I can't do it alone.  But then that's what community is all about, a full-circle of support where we all win by giving and receiving, a perpetual motion machine.  With your generous support we can make this not only a successful business, but also a model for protecting our food supply one local morsel at a time, one community at a time.

Be sure to check out my premiums

Edible Flowers Booklet (photo of a display flower salad at market one day)
Edible Flowers Booklet (photo of a display flower salad at market one day)

I think you will like them A LOT!  Thank you for your generous support in helping to make this dream come true.

Risks and challenges

I have everything in place for expansion. Since my products are fully developed, I won't be doing anything new, just doing it easier, better, faster and more of it. I guess that would be new!

My biggest challenge will be running a larger business than one I've been able to micro-manage by myself. I have surrounded myself with very skilled and experienced people in food, business, marketing, writing and publishing who are available to help me take my business to the next level.

One aspect on my side is I've controlled my business' growth, and will continue to do so. Note: I'm not interested in going national with my product line. I think I will do well just serving my own community, and encourage others to do the same in their own community.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A GREAT BIG THANK YOU! on our Facebook Page for showing your support for locally produced innovative organic food and the dedicated farmers that make it possible.
    (optional on all pledges)

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    A GORGEOUS ORIGINAL EDIBLE FLOWER SALAD PHOTO signed by Susie, digital ready-to-frame and enjoy.
    (included on all pledges over $10)

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    1 BOTTLE OF GARLIC BASIL DRESSING IN A LIMITED-EDITION VINTAGE 1953 BOTTLE. ** (**indicates) Pick-up at a convenient location in Thurston and Lewis Counties only.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    1 BOTTLE OF LOCAL FLAVORS MARINADE (use to make Kale Chips, marinade chicken, salads, create) IN A LIMITED-EDITION VINTAGE 1953 BOTTLE. **

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    1 PACKAGE OF GARLIC ROASTED SESAME SEED KALE CHIPS, an EXCLUSIVE Kickstarter offer.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A CELEBRATION THANK YOU "TASTING'" PARTY!! AT 1 OF THE 5 STORES I SELL TO: Yelm Food Co-op, Olympia Local Foods, M & K Town Store, Chehalis, Good Health Nutrition, Centralia, and Jeremy's Mainstreet Market in Chehalis, WA.. Families welcome! You will receive a personal invitation with date, time and location of the event, scheduled for December-February.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    10-pack of Protein Peanut Butter Bars. 15-pack if you're picking up at one of our convenient locations in Thurston and Lewis Counties.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Digital Copy of "Edible Flowers of the Pacific Northwest," by Susie Kyle

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    KALE CHIP "KIT" w/Marinade, Gomosio (Roasted Sesame Seeds), Fresh Kale, including complete "how-to" instructions using a dehydrator or oven. **

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    HANDS-ON WORK PARTY AT MARI'S FARM: Tips, Questions & Answers, Lively Discussions, and Produce to Take Home. Yelm, WA. Depending upon weather, the Work Party will be held in November or March. You will receive an invitation with date, time and location.

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    YOUR SIGNATURE / OR NAME, OR NAME OF SOMEONE OF YOUR CHOICE on the Kickstarter BACKERS RECOGNITION BOARDS at 1 of the 5 stores I sell to: Yelm Food Coop, Olympia Local Foods, M & K Downtown Store, Chehalis, Good Health Nutrition in Centralia, and Jeremy's Mainstreet Market in Chehalis, WA..

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    A DIGITAL ROUGH-CUT OF MY BOOK, “A FARMER'S LOVE STORY," with all my FORMERLY PROPRIETARY RECIPES, including the GARLIC BASIL DRESSING. This is a BIG FIRST, and an EXCLUSIVE Kickstarter offering.

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    FARM-OF-THE-MONTH PROJECT – A UNIQUE PLAN to help support local farms. One page digital download.
    Estimated delivery: Dec 2012

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    A FARM DINNER IN YOUR HOME (or location of your choice) : Local, seasonal whole-foods 6-Course meal for ten, lively discussion, film and how to help strengthen your local, sustainable food system. Thurston/Lewis Counties WA only. We will begin scheduling the dinners in December through February.

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    NAME THAT PRODUCT - Put on your copywriters hat, be creative and have fun! Choose your favorite, zaniest or coolest name on the product of your choice.

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    BECAUSE YOU CARE and BECAUSE YOU CAN, plus your choice of any or all Rewards (sent at estimated delivery dates).

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Funding period

- (30 days)