My new favorite word is "brilliant". My mentor David says it and now I do too. I love this word... "Brilliant!"
But, what I want to share is how difficult producing a run can be. The labels are what's holding the batches up now. The printer made errors and I made errors. Back and forth, back and forth. A week has gone by since we last produced and the bottles are still not labeled. It'll probably be another two weeks or so until they are ready to share with the world. Really bummed out about that...
Sometimes, I'm happy we're so small. Being small lets us make mistakes (like labeling) and learn from those mistakes with minimal monetary consequences. But, being small does have limitations (duh!).
So, we're thinking about expansion. And, we're dreaming. BTW, I'm a visual person so I like to visualize my dreams. I'm dreaming of the day when we're a nationwide brand and families all over the nation know our name. I'm dreaming of the day when families love our product and us keeping families healthy and "pure". I see families who have more time to spend with their families because we help keep them out of the kitchen. These families spend weekends at sports, family/friend events, or anywhere else that makes them happy. I see happy, growing kids who love and share their visions with world. And, I see communities who help and care for each other.
I did a personality profile of myself recently. It said that I am a "social" person. I'm more of a humanitarian who loves to help and talk. I think it's true. After all, that's why I started GoGo in the first place. I guess I'll just keep dreaming for now. Until it starts happening....
I'm sitting in the hotel room writing this blog missing my kids. Last time I came so early in the morning I was pulled over for swerving (see previous post). So, to prevent my premature death or incarceration I decided to book a hotel this time around. It's not the first time I've left my kids at home but the "pain" never stops does it?
It seems like recently my batch runs just don't want to go smoothly. This time, it wasn't the juice that is causing my problem but my label. The printer sent the wrong label! Seems silly that they would run a different label than the one I had requested (email proof to back me up). But, this is going to slow the product getting out to you. (ugh)
But, at least this time around, I'm really happy with the juice. It is everything that I expect and want in juices we provide. No ascorbic acid or nada! And, we're using Reverse Osmosis water (better than regular water).
It's really late now and I have to be up soon... so I'm crossing my fingers that everything goes well. Wish me luck!
After many attempts (3) to create a 16oz 60% juice bottle we finally have something. But, honestly, I still don't like it. It's not good enough yet. This is the story of what happened...
We initially tried to create something without ascorbic acid because we wanted our products to be COMPLETELY pure. We peeled, cored and de-seeded our pears and tried to bottle the juice. Unfortunately, it smelled but didn't visually look or even have a fermented taste. It was unacceptable to us... so we scrapped the entire batch.
We researched, called around and created another product. Problem after problem (sourcing ingredients/supplies, delivery delays, etc) arose as we tried to bottle the product. This occurred for the next 3 weeks.
Then, we pushed through and decided it was full steam ahead (problems and all).
The day came we were supposed to bottle. I had to get up at 2AM in order to be prepared for the 4AM run. Around 3:45AM I was pulled over in the middle of heavy fog. The officer said he pulled me over because I was speeding (@ 75mph) and swerving (because I was exhausted). He asked me if I was drinking (of course not) and let me off with a warning. I was so thankful as I really don't need another ticket to add to my record. By 4AM I was thinking positive thoughts and realized that we all contribute to "nice-ness" in this world. The officer really helped me make it through the day (with the warning to stay alert). It was actually a very positive experience as I felt "good" because of it.
It's been a couple weeks since the run and the problems have not stopped coming with this batch. It's been bottled and everything but I'm just happy with it (the taste). So, I'm thinking about scrapping it again.
Actually, this whole thing has turned into a good experience. Because of it, I've learned more about production and planning for the unexpected. And, we how have an even better product on the way.
I haven't stopped trying to create the best product EVER... and I think we are really close here. I hope you all bear with me (and are flexible with the taste) because the product I'm working on now is a peeled, organic pear juice without any vitamin C or anything! Crossing my fingers that it works out... and I'll definitely let you all in on the progress. Thanks for taking the time to read this and I'll talk with you all later!
I actually went to an Alief ISD school so when I read about this it really saddened me. It's such a shame to hear of these stories.... so unnecessary, arrogant, and so many other negative words.
Let me start off this blog by saying that I'm a pretty good driver; I've never gotten a ticket, never been pulled over and I've never been involved in any type of accident. With that said, two nights ago I ended up stuck between the railroad tracks off Middlefield Road in Redwood City.
I was coming from the Draeger’s Market (Menlo Park store) sampling of GoGo Juice to pick up Betty (the founder) when I realized that I wasn't driving on pavement anymore.
All I can remember is making a left turn, bumping around then realizing what was happening. I tried to make a quick turn to get out of there and found myself too close to some big rocks so I backed up. Another bump made me think “oh there are the tracks again!" I tried to drive forward, and nothing, the car wouldn't move. Then I tried going on reverse, nothing! Ahh! To make matters worse the railroad arms start going down and the lights start to flash. My first thought was to get out of the car. To my relief it was a false alarm - no train was approaching. So, I step out of the car, check out the damage, which thankfully wasn't horrible and called Betty. Oh, did I mention that I was driving her car?
So I called her, scared and concerned. How am I supposed to tell the owner of a beautiful white Mercedes that it's stuck in between some railroad tracks? No time to think, so I just called her and explained the situation as best I could. Thankfully, I was within walking distance to where I was supposed to pick her up. So, she comes and after a bit a really nice man comes up to us and offers to help us. A friend of his comes and both men try to help move the car off the tracks. Then, a very good looking CHP officer sees the situation and stops too.
With a little smirk in his face he asks, “What happened?” He immediately calls for a tow truck as we were in a “critical situation”. As we wait another very good looking officer stops by to asses the situation. As shaky as I am, I manage to make chit chat and come to find out that similar things have happened to others. Phew! I didn't feel as bad anymore, plus being next to two very good looking men, how could I?
One of the officer leaves and I start explaining why I was in Redwood City. This, of course, lead to us talking about GoGo Juice. By that time, Betty is already there and gives him a bottle. Another California Highway Patrol officer, who wasn’t bad to look at either, shows up and Betty gives him a bottle as well. So, there we are for a good 40 minutes waiting for the tow truck to show up talking to two officers about GoGo Juice with a car stuck in the railroad tracks and two police cars around us hoping the railroad crossing signals don’t go off again. It was quite a sight to see I will admit. Finally the tow truck comes and the car is pulled out. What a night!
As we were driving home, I realized how fortunate I was that nothing worse happened and how true the saying, “If there’s a problem with a solution, why worry about it? And if it has no solution, then why worry about it?” Thankfully, our problem had a simple solution and Betty and I made it home safely.
This past Sunday we participated at the Walk Now for Autism Speaks event in Sacramento hydrating the participants with samples of our juice. It was a really hot day in West Sacramento, which made pear juice the perfect drink to give out due to the cooling effects that pears have, and thankfully the participants thought the same thing!
This was our first sampling ever and we didn’t really know what to expect, especially at such a big event. We had a lot to do prior to the walk and even on Sunday there was lots to do to set up but luckily we had help from the amazing volunteers at the event. Before the participants started to arrive we kept wondering, what are people going to think of our juice? Are they going to be interested in trying it? Have they ever tried pear juice? Are the kids going to like the taste?
We always appreciate feedback from everyone, but actually seeing people try our juice and hearing them talk about it was a different experience. We got great feedback from people and we loved seeing both adults and children come back for seconds and even thirds! That alone was one of the biggest compliment we could have received.
Aside from getting great feedback from people, we loved seeing friends and family in custom made t-shirts coming together to help raise money for such an amazing cause. It's truly inspiring to see such unity amongst people and we can't wait till our next event!
The GoGo Team
I almost fainted today while visiting Dr. David Traver, a DAN! doctor, located in Foster City. He was nice enough to meet with me in-person to talk about GoGo Juice. I brought over a few bottles and we chatted at his reception counter. All of a sudden, I felt strange (almost nauseous). I was dizzy and then felt my eyes close as everything went black for a second.
Dr. Traver sprang into action and immediately tended to me. He gave me some juice (ironically, the opened bottle of GoGo Juice I brought for him and his wife to taste) and handed me a powerbar from his office. His wife, Kimi, gave me cup of water and we sat talking while I recuperated. This all all happened within a matter of seconds and immediately I felt better.
As I sat there trying to hide my sweating, I became increasingly embarrassed. "I didn't expect to receive medical assistance from Dr. Traver today" I told Kimi laughingly. Dr. Traver asked if I ate and my answer was no. This was the first time it's ever happened to me and I certainly wasn't expecting my body to react this way (ah... signs that I'm getting older). Dr. Traver threw out the word "hypoglycemia" and it kinda scared me.
As I was driving home today after my busy day of appointments and meetings I reflected on how truly wonderful Dr. David Traver and his wife Kimi were to me today. They didn't even hesitate to do what was necessary to help me even though we just met. They were kind and welcoming. And, they are truly passionate about helping families on the spectrum (as evidenced through the discussions we had throughout the entire meeting).
Thank you Dr. Traver and Kimi - I really appreciate all you've done for me today.
It's 70 degrees outside and I'm inside with a jacket, socks on, cup of tea and still freezing! My back, neck and head hurts and I have a ton of work! Ah... that's the life of a mom with two kids in daycare and pre-school. My kids have turned in incubators of germs but I love them none the less.
Well... there's no choice but for me to suck it up and TRY to go to bed early tonight. I'm rolling the dice hoping my oldest doesn't wake up from growing pains, nightmares and wetting the bed like he did last night. (He's a big boy now with the occasional accident - no diapers at night). No wonder I'm exhausted....
Betty - one tired and sick mom
It’s already been two months since we launched GoGo Juice and the response that we’ve been getting from people has been amazing! We are really happy to see such positive reactions from everyone who has tried our product and hope to continue hearing from all of you.
A lot of new things have happened since we got started; we’ve been accepted by the Feingold Association, we’ve officially become an SCD approved food; and we’ve been selected to present in the American Food Venture Forum, something that only 18 new companies were chosen to do. To me this is all really exciting, but nothing excites me more than to hear more and more people talk about us on Facebook and different blogs and websites. That is truly what reinforces my belief that GoGo Juice is providing something good for people out there. That was, and continues to be, our main goal.
Please continue letting us know here or in our facebook page what you think about us and how we can make our product even better!
The GoGo team
Hi Everyone - we're safe and together. I live in the city of San Bruno. Luckily, we lived down the hill from where the gas explosion occurred and missed the explosion. I feel extremely lucky that my family is safe and together last night. Thank you everyone that called to check on us last night and this morning. We really appreciate your offers of shelter and prayers.
Last night, after picking up my kids from school and daycare, we headed home. Right as we were exiting San Bruno Avenue my oldest son, Gavin, yelled "fire"! I turned and saw a gigantic fireball and was shocked. The smoke was light and white so I knew it just happened. It must have just happened I thought. The scene getting home was very chaotic. There was traffic on the streets as distracted drivers strained to get a better view of the fire, traffic building up, and people outside of their homes looking in one direction towards the fire.
Luckily, we had plans to eat out and headed home to pick up Andre (daddy). We parked the car in the lot and stepped out to access the scene. There was a loud, continuous fan noise and we assumed it was a plane's turbine rumbling loudly. We could smell the smoke and by now the smoke was black. Our first thought was "let's get out of here before something else happens".
At dinner that night, we were glued to the news broadcast hoping to hear what happened and if our home was ok. By 8PM, we decided to go home just to see what was going on as the fire hadn't spread to our part of the neighborhood. The roads were blocked, fire and police cars everywhere, traffic was heavy, neighbors walking everywhere, and the power was completely out.
Andre took the kids to his sister's house and I went back inside the house to get supplies we would need that night (toothbrush, clothes, etc). Plus, my work with GoGo Juice is stored on my laptop which I left at home and wasn't backed up (I will definitely do that now). Flashlight in hand I headed into the darkness and chatted with neighbors quickly where I was informed there was a voluntary evacuation for our area.
Quickly, I packed a suitcase full of belongings (my emergency kit came in hand here). I headed out the door and meet saw that our elderly neighbors were getting out too. I thought about our other elderly neighbors and hoped they were able to get out too.
Once at my in-law's home the Giants game and we were distracted for a while. By 10PM we realized we had to stay the night and turned the game room floor into our bedroom for the night. It was extremely hard to sleep that night. Everyone was up bright and early and the kids enjoyed playing with their grandparents this morning.
After the kids were dropped off at school and daycare this morning I headed home to access the damage and take a shower. Thankfully, the power and water were back on. There's still a smell in the air, debris in the road, helicopters flying above us, and streets blocked off every so often, but at least our home is safe and standing.
The television news channel is on right now as I write this post. My heart and prayers go out to my neighbors who just lost their homes and loved ones. I don't even want to imagine "what if that was us". I feel blessed that I was able to hold my family as we slept last night and truly know that they are all that matter in this world to me. But, this fire burned way too close to home.
Betty - Founder of GoGo Juice