2018 Grain Free Year in Review
<–This collection of photos makes me laugh a little. It’s a compilation of the “best nine” photos from our Instagram account 2018 photo posts.
Why does it make me laugh? While it captures some great photos and moments of the year, it doesn’t begin to touch on the best (or the worst) of 2018.
What it DOES capture is how popular our Keto items were (5 of the 9 photos), our ever-popular and much-loved grain/soy/dairy/nut–free whoopie pies (order here), a midnight post of our mini apple pie cakes, and my favorite daughter (and yes, I only have one daughter 🙂).
So I decided I’d put together a list of the true highlights myself. I did that when I first launched my business, as I ventured from my personal health journey (read my full story here) and built my small business from the ground up (see that previous 2014 re-cap here).
I believe that reflecting is key for moving forward and setting new goals. Plus, thanks to social media algorithms, my staunch opposition to paying for (ineffective) advertising, and the fact that I often post late at night, you may have missed some of our best highlights of the year! (Oh, and did I mention that our e-mail newsletter doesn’t always reach our subscribers? Please send technical help and SOON!)
As we begin a new year and establish a new set of goals, enjoy our reflection over 2018:
WINNING RECIPE PUBLISHED
My keto Paleo grain-free soup recipe was published in a local utility magazine! I won their recipe contest for the month and was up against several other entries.
This soup is a client favorite, and something I personally enjoy throughout the winter and year-round. Find our award-winning recipe here:
LOCAL MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS
- I was SO excited to be interviewed by TWO of our local media outlets – one being my hometown of Granville, Ohio! Later in the year, a customer stopped by and mentioned how her husband’s health had COMPLETELY turned around by reading my story in the paper and changing his diet. What an honor and a blessing!
- (Side note: There is a tremendous back-story to this photo; it was taken on a day when I had lost my car keys and almost didn’t make it to the farmer’s market, which was a story in and of itself! Also, the little guy in the pic loves our sandwich bread and calls it “Bobby.” Aww!)
Granville Sentinel article: http://bit.ly/GGFgourmet
Newark Advocate/Aces of Trades article: http://bit.ly/Advggfgourmet
- FINALIST IN THE OHIO SIGNATURE FOOD CONTEST
- I was thrilled to be chosen as a finalist for the Ohio Signature Food Contest with our keto-friendly rosemary bread. As I drove to the competition, I thought, “Wow, what an honor! If someone told me five years ago I’d be presenting a keto bread to a panel of judges…”
Although the rosemary bread didn’t win the contest overall, I’m so thankful for the opportunity to have participated, to have met the other entrepreneurs, and to spread the good news even further about grain-free living. Honestly, though – if they had tasted our regular sandwich bread… !!! 🙂
2018 SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS took me to Charlotte, Raleigh, Logan, and Columbus, Ohio:
Many thanks to Living Free Expos, Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest, and Woven Women for having me as a conference speaker in 2018! Guests were able to enjoy free samples of our grain-free & Paleo treats as I shared about the differences between Paleo, Keto, and grain-free lifestyles, and how removing just one crumb made all the difference to my health and those I have coached.
SERVING UP GRAIN-FREE TO 32,000 PEOPLE!
- I was incredibly humbled and amazed by the many who returned to see us during our third year at the Cincinnati Holiday Market! (And a HUGE shoutout to the many friends who helped us get there! I don’t have enough words to thank those who helped prepare, package, load vehicles (TWO of them) and assist me at the show!)
- Although the crowds challenged our production capacity a bit, it was truly exciting to know our products (especially our stuffing mix and pumpkin rolls) would be part of so many Thanksgiving tables. Many thanks to Cinci Holiday Market for allowing us to be part of such a great show!
I held two cooking classes in conjunction with Healthy New Albany to benefit the New Albany Food Pantry. It was such a joy to show participants how grain-free & Paleo can be simple and taste great.
Participants helped with the cooking, and in December they decorated their own allergen-free cut-out cookie with our “think outside the box” decorations (ground carrots, chocolate chips, mint, etc.)
Who could forget our organic strawberry cake? Made with Sunbury Farms organic strawberries (because they aren’t grown on straw! Did you know this is an issue with strawberries because of cross-contamination?)
Anyway, this cake (Jen’s favorite) was one for the record books, and was free of gluten, grains, soy, dairy, peanuts, nuts, refined sugars, and anything artificial!
The Oven Saga
I finished out the year by having our third (yes, THIRD!) oven delivered. It was yet another story in and of itself, starting with my 20-year-old oven randomly scorching cakes last spring. Then, the first new oven delivered just didn’t work. I could go on, but I’ll spare you the details!
Let me just say, if you haven’t adjusted from an old-style oven yet, prepare yourself – it’s a huge adjustment! I’m very thankful to start the new year with this latest appliance.
Sadly, I had to bid farewell to my larger garden this year. I was hoping to start co-gardening with my neighbors, but a huge nest of thistles took over and then a week of rain ensued – and I lost the battle.
In the end I was pleasantly amazed by my smaller garden’s bounty of organic raspberries, compost volunteer pie pumpkins, and incredibly… these beautiful surprise carrots in November!
Just in case you missed them, our top Facebook posts of the year were:
- Jen getting creative: Paleo Ice Cream Sandwiches
- Farmer’s Market story: The why behind my business
- Bacon – How do you like yours? (sorry, still looking for this link!)
And, last but not least, my attempt at reviewing a Paleo-ish restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio, turned into more of a story than could be anticipated when my car was towed while purchasing a late lunch. After a very long day getting my car back, the “icing on this cake” story was when I arrived home a few hours later and could finally eat – only to discover that the restaurant had topped my Paleo meals with none other than gluten-filled crisps…the only “gluten” item the restaurant had on the menu. BOOOO!
Looking back, what a year it was. I consider it an honor and blessing to know each one of you and be part of your health journeys. Cheers to a bright 2019 for all of us!
I am working on my new goals, how about you?