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Artwork by @indg0
“Keep in mind that progress is not always linear. It takes constant course correcting and often a lot of zigzagging. Unfortunate things happen, accidents occur, and setbacks are usually painful, but that does not mean we quit.”
- Buzz Aldrin
Hey Starter Fam,

Today is the 50th anniversary of landing on the moon (I’m probably the 200th person to tell you that ;). I wasn’t alive for this moment in history but the event itself has always captivated me. Two years before the successful mission, things didn’t go as planned. A fire broke out during a manned launch-pad test of the Apollo spacecraft and Saturn rocket. Three astronauts were killed in the fire. Yet still, they persisted. Whether your mission is the space kind, or the food business kind or more specifically the plant-based soft-serve kind, the unexpected is guaranteed. And while this message isn’t anything new, I do believe that it’s one of the most important characteristics for an entrepreneur to embody fully. When you hit that brick wall you don’t let too much time pass, you find the way over, or around it, or under it, or you step back for a wider perspective and realize there’s a path you didn’t see without any brick wall at all.

Until this month, we have been enjoying a smooth business ride thanks to the luxury of experience. As a team, we were full on, checking everything off the list in preparation of our first public pop-up event. We hit our goal of a friends and family soft launch, but the unexpected happened and our public launch was halted. What happened? You’ll find out in this issue.

This was supposed to be the launch issue. Even though I know to my core that these business journeys always come with disappointments and unexpected turns, it still pained me, even to write this issue. If it wasn’t for a strong intent to share the real process for other entrepreneurs through Starter, you probably would have no idea of the setbacks.

Entrepreneurs tend to want to be fully in control and believe that we are. The truth is, we can put a vision out there, but others are also dropping their ideas and visions into the quantum field of potentiality. We are co-creating and every effort someone moves forward, the world shifts. So to be in flow in business, is not to have some exact definition, but to be like a willow tree. Have a strong mission and values that roots you, while also bending with the breeze. This month I am practicing the bending part. ;)

Sending the good vibes your way wherever you are.

In Good Food We Trust,
-Emily LaFave Olson aka ELO
The Starter Pack
1. LOCA - Mild Nacho Plant-based Dip: Bury it in the bottom of your bag and slip it in past security at the ball game. Fix yourself your own plant-based nachos. Guaranteed to elicit more stoke than a flash on the jumbotron. 
2. Barnacle - Kelp Salsas: If we told you to imagine your next umami fix was coming from a kelp salsa, you might raise a brow at us. But hang with us. Packed with the minerals of the sea and the satisfying dip of a classic salsa, now you finally know how to get kelp in the on the regular. Sustainably harvested too.
3. Venetian - Ginger Ale: A vintage soda company in Vermont, brought back to life a century later by great-great grandkids. Hooked us with the balanced bubbles and fiery zing that can only come from fresh ginger juice.
4. Juna - CBD Drops: Choosing your preferred CBD these days is just a tad overwhelming. These women-owned, single-origin CBD drops are lab-tested, traceable, and clean, containing no herbicides and pesticides.
5. Snacklins - Miso Ginger:  The snack category has been extended into every vegetable imaginable. This makes us happy. A combo ranking high on our list: yuca and mushrooms - puffed and salty. A bag seems to prompt the hand to bypass all brain signals to stop and shovel them in the mouth.
Meet Alli Ball our Contributing Editor to The Starter Pack!
Alli Ball is the creator of Retail Ready™, an online course for food business owners who are looking to grow their packaged food businesses. Prior to that, Alli was the former Head of Grocery at Bi-Rite Market in San Francisco, where she supported the sales & growth of thousands of products. Find her on Instagram at @itsalliball.
The 🌿🍦 Journal
The play-by-play of the makings of the ice cream business this month.
Our 350 lb Taylor soft-serve machine arrives, taking five people to move it into my garage. In the back of the truck while we unload my co-founder Marika begins labor contractions (!!). And eight hours later - baby Banyan is born. Our soft-serve dream team has grown, and we all are (going to work the theme here) over the moon about it. ;)
Move the machine and plug it in - that's the task. Seems simple, right? Other than the thing being a beast in weight, it also requires 220v for which we don't have an outlet. We got creative. Run it off a generator from our living room.* Also a good test for us as the current model is to serve pop-up style, with generator required. *technically the living room of one of our AirBnb units we are living in while renovating (yes while also starting a business, we like it full on around here ;). 
Our recipe for vanilla that we had perfected in our little Cuisinart machine - it failed majorly in our pro equipment. Wanted to cry a little as it came out like playdough. The chocolate however with a different ice cream base was a success. The machine overall though was majorly struggling to pull more than 5 servings. It's supposed to easily handle one per minute continuously. It took an hour to freeze when it should be under 10 minutes. We invited friends and family to an event the next day to do a trial run. We only have one flavor and a machine that seems to be struggling. I question whether we cancel it. We roll with it anyway.
Friends and family come over for a "soft launch" (thx for that one Moll) - machine gives us hell the whole event, stopping and not able to pull the swirls. Ugh. Still not sure what's the issue. Have we dialed the settings in wrong? Is it our recipe? Buy a faulty machine? Not enough power? Still - made some early fans. :) 
Confused as to why our machine is failing to freeze quickly and struggling after 5 swirls, I seek some answers.
With the machine strapped to a makeshift pallet in the back of my SUV, I drove to Toolmaster, a generator rental company in Lihue, HI (these people were angels). We find their highest powered, quiet generator a 7,000 watt model. All the specs of their highest powered generator should work, on paper, but alas more struggles. Though now I'm more knowledgable about electrical currents and power than I had been since my high school physics class. A small win?
Finally ask around for someone who might have a kitchen we can borrow to use hard-wired power. Still wondering did we buy a faulty used machine or is it a power issue? Friends at Common Ground come through and let us into an old kitchen that's about to be demolished in a week, but available! and has power! My husband to the rescue to help with electrical, my mom on site for moral support. 
Expletives of joy! The machine (with at least our chocolate recipe) running like a smooth operator. Stoked beyond to know our machine is working properly. Disappointed to learn that the generators aren't delivering on the power we need. We had hoped to be able to start pop-up style and had an event we could launch at in July. Now, that was off the table and time for a new strategy. 
We are regrouping as a team and looking for a different path forward. Some friends have sent us ideas on how to cleverly bypass the power issues of the generator, we are strongly considering a physical location with a direct power source but need build out costs to be minimal on our budget. Hoping for a synergistic retail partner that wants some soft-serve in their space! If you have ideas or leads, please let me know by hitting reply on this email. Till next month. ✌🏼
Food.
Founders.
Stories.
Read: This Kenyan Female Founder Wants To Radically Change The Coffee Industry
- Forbes
“Vava Coffee has worked with over 30,000 smallholder farmers across Kenya and Tanzania. But at first, it wasn't easy. Even in working with farmers, she was amazed to see that these farmers were reluctant to work with her. Why? “Because I’m a woman," she says. “And because my skin is the wrong color. Because they think that help only comes from white people.” Read.
STARTER SAYS: When she hit roadblocks as a black woman in business, she created workshops for female ‘agripreneurs’ - think agriculture meets entrepreneurship - to educate women in business beyond herself to shift the culture.  - ELO
Listen: Bob's Red Mill
- How I Built This, NPR
"I got a call in the middle of the night got up put my clothes on and jumped in the car, I lived just one mile from the mill, I lived up on the hill and the mill was down in the valley and when I came around the corner and I could see this fire reaching into the heavens, and realizing that was my business." Listen.
STARTER SAYS: A devastating fire could have been the end of it, but he found a way in the unexpected and has grown Bob's Red Mill into a $100 million dollar business.  - ELO
Watch: Mashama Bailey
- Chefs Table Season 6, Netflix
“After I wrote the menu, I was very nervous but I sent a copy to Gabrielle (of Prune). She looked at it and said this food is all over the place. I don’t know what this menu is telling me. It’s not really telling me a story.” Watch.
STARTER SAYS: You pour your heart into your menu and then have the guts to send it to your mentor. But you don't get the feedback you were hoping for. It turns out sometimes the redirection is exactly what we need. - ELO
Wake-up!
Thank you Dominque Crenn for this wake up call, every food entrepreneur should be building a conscious food business here to heal our planet. No time to waste on any other kind. If you have an idea and you are hesitating and waiting...get moving on it.
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