The Reality Of My Efforts

Our local business paper has covered the Smoked Vanilla Kickstarter! This is so great, and I am thankful that the Coast River Business Journal sees the merits of what I’m doing.

Here’s the link to read the article:

And, what exactly am I doing? This effort is about a lot more than just me and my vanilla obsession. It’s about building a business and helping my community. When I started the business, I was scared and frustrated to find myself in a place that basically closes down for half the year. The tourism economy of this area lends itself to jobs like sandwich makers, motel housekeepers, and campground bathroom cleaners – all jobs I did! And, I was considered one of “the lucky ones” because I’d worked enough hours at my three jobs over the summer that I could collect unemployment insurance. That was considered a real bonus.

Young people I spoke to on the Long Beach Peninsula were lucky to earn $10,000 a year! And not for lack of desire, just because most of the jobs in our community are based in tourism/tourist economy, which means low-paying, menial, and seasonal work. A “good job” was in a cannery, or on a fishing boat, or in the logging industry. While that might sound romantic to the outside observer, fishing and logging are very dangerous work, and both are highly competitive fields, cannery work is smelly and harsh, and wet and cold. I bow my head in total respect for anyone that holds any of those jobs! Man, it brings tears to my eyes now just thinking about the many people lost at sea or killed by falling timber just in our tiny communities.

Vanilla on the other hand, could offer some clean, safe manufacturing, and year round work to our community, and while the agriculture side of vanilla, chocolate and coffee can be bloody and exploitive, I have worked hard over the years to build relationships with reputable importers and even cooperative vanilla farms that really help small farms and family farms do well, even putting their children through school.

This is the bigger vision I have for the vanilla, not my face on a label or a bottle shaped like me, but to really help and make a difference in the lives of everyone involved. We have about 24 hours left of this campaign, I ask you to please share the link if you haven’t. If you can throw $2 in I appreciate it, and more of course, but sharing the link and saying something about it is very important. Maybe some one you know has the ability to be an angel investor, or sees the merit of what I am doing and wants to help.

Thank you all so much for backing this campaign! I cannot even tell you how thankful I am.


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