UPDATE 11/29/2013: ONLY 37 HOURS left TO RAISE $2,412 to reach our next milestone and maybe more!
ENDLESS THANKS to all of you for all of your support! We still have plenty of time left to spread the word about my campaign and to do some awesome things with my mom's sauce! Here are a couple to start:
MILESTONE # 1) From $26,000 to $35,000 I can finish art and label printing for individual cups (3 cups per pack) and the much requested and anticipated NO SUGAR ADDED version of Mom's Apple Sauce.
MILESTONE # 2) From $36,000 to $60,000 I can introduce individual cups into all 15 states and test the no sugar version in select markets.
*If I am fortunate enough to reach those goals I will be sending you the scoop on what can be accomplished with more pledges. Infinite thanks to all!
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP RIGHT NOW
Continue to educate others about my campaign. Share the link below via your social media pages, emails and blogs. If you live in a region that sells my sauce, the coolest thing you could possibly do is buy 2 jars, keep one for yourself and give one to a friend. We are working hard to get into as many states as possible so let's keep it all up, thanks again to all of you!
Here is the short link to the campaign so you can easily share it!: http://kck.st/HavApN
“My six-year-old son said this is the ‘best food he has EVERY eaten’ and I couldn't agree more.” -Laura O
“My husband will not usually eat anything unless it's homemade and he can't get enough of this stuff.” -Barbara L
“Just tried our first jar of Mullen's Apple Sauce. My daughter was just recovering from a flu and I needed to give her a BRAT diet (banana, rice, apple sauce & toast). I am going to tell our pediatrician about this. When the kids don't feel like eating, they WILL eat this. I wont be buying any other apple sauce ever..” -Southside Fan
My name is Jim Mullen. On October 16th, 1996, my life changed in a major way. I was a Chicago police officer in the Rogers Park neighborhood and one night, I was shot in the cheek and spine while on duty. I was instantly paralyzed and dependent on a respirator to breath. In that moment my life changed forever. I was in the ICU at Northwestern Memorial Hospital for 2 months, and spent 4 months at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago before returning home and bound to a wheelchair. My new reality inspired a passion in me for proving to everyone that life is what you make out of it. Ever since that day, I've remembered that life is precious and dreams are worth chasing.
I was having a medical scan of my heart one day at Northwestern Hospital, what I refer to as one of my regular “tune-ups,” when the lady doing the scan told me about her barbecue sauce company. Growing up, my mother, Audre’s, apple sauce was a hit with everyone. And because of her, I know what good, home cooked food tastes like. She was a self-taught chef, and we used to tease her about how her apple sauce was so good that she should bottle it. Even when I was just a kid, I used to joke around and say, “It’s like apple pie without the crust!”
Later that evening when I came home after my medical scan, I decided I would follow my dream and start my own food company. After all, my mother made the best apple sauce in the world, and I wanted to share my mom’s apple sauce with the world by getting it on the shelf of the grocery store, HAPPY FOODS, where she use to take me when I was little. All I have wanted to do is to make her happy, and this is my way of sharing a piece of her with others. When life gives you apples, make Apple Sauce.
HISTORY OF MULLEN'S APPLE SAUCE
In 2007 I got a small batch of my mother's special blend of apples & spices made and begged to get her apple sauce on the shelf at Happy Foods, the store where my mom shopped with me when I was little. It took a little convincing but they finally put some on the shelves. My mom was happily surprised when I got to show her the sauce all bottled up. More good news followed when people started buying it, too. Throughout this process I was madly giving it away to family and friends as gifts. Turns out, everybody LOVED IT and was telling me to just go for it and make it an official business. Mullen Foods was born.
WHERE MULLEN FOODS CURRENTLY STANDS & PROJECT GOALS
"Operation: 14 STATES IN 6 MONTHS"
Thus far, I have made it into over 200 stores in the Chicago land area and have recently trickled into a few stores in a handful of other Midwestern States.
In just the last few months I connected with a new high volume manufacturer who has met my high expectations for the taste, texture and overall quality of Mullen's Apple Sauce, Chicago's Finest Apple Sauce. More recently I have also connected with a couple distributors that are presenting a real opportunity for me to grow distribution. I am launching this campaign to meet the upfront production costs that will produce enough product to open distribution into 14 additional states within 6 months as well as for sales support and marketing integration throughout the duration of this initiative.
The largest piece of the financial puzzle is the upfront cost of production from my manufacturer. I have to make it, ship it and pay for it before I can sell it. I need to be able to get Mullen Foods in a financial position to be able to cover much higher upfront expenses for 30 to 60 days before income from sales comes in.
I can't tell you how many manufacturers I had contacted over the last three years that attempted to do justice to this locally famous family recipe that, quite frankly, just couldn't get it right. Today I am fortunate to have found the right manufacturer and the right distributors to take Mullen's Apple Sauce to the next level within 6 months. I also have the art in place for the new, beautiful packaging (see above). Most of the critical pieces have fallen into place for me to make a giant leap, to take my mom's apple sauce to the next level. A significant piece that is holding me back is upfront manufacturing capital. That's why this campaign is crucial.
Next comes development and sales support out in the field. I am able to do a lot with my voice recognition software for the business from my home office but because of my severe disability, I am simply not able to make the long distance trips and do the leg work necessary to take the out-of-state meetings that will facilitate all of this. Essentially, I need someone who can be my arms and legs in the field to make the face to face connections with everyone from the grocery store teams to their loyal customers. I need someone to get out into new markets outside of my home territory and get people excited to try Mullen's Apple Sauce and go buy it from their neighborhood grocery store. Additionally, I am hoping to raise funds for marketing integration throughout the duration of this initiative.
Once this campaign has ended we will keep you informed as to how to be a bigger part of Chicago's Finest Apple Sauce tribe. Time is of the essence and I thank you for your consideration in advance.
SOME OF THE PLEDGE REWARDS AND WHY I CHOSE THEM FOR THIS INITIATIVE:
Every time you see this magnet it will remind you of how you helped me cement the staying power of my mom's awesome recipe across the nation.
You offered your strength and support to help me open 14 new markets, so here's some support back to more quickly "get sauced"!
A reminder that I have carefully measured my efforts since day one to be able to seize this opportunity that can go from dream to reality status in just 6 months and I couldn't have done it without you!
And how can I not reward you with the fruit from my labor! Please "Get Sauced Responsibly!"
Many thanks to:
Creative Director, Content Strategy: Jeremy Glickstein
Communications Director, Content Strategy: Anna Holcombe
Video Production: Bryan Y. Schulz
Risks and challenges
Since I run Mullen’s Apple Sauce from my home office using voice recognition that is connected to a computer, I’m limited by where I can go to promote Mullen’s Apple Sauce. Long road trips and knocking on doors to get my sauce on the shelf nationally will require staff while I keep Chicago excited about my dream to expand Mullen’s Apple Sauce through 14 states.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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