Archive for the 'LIving Foods Lab and Boutique' Category

Hitting The Ground Running


October 8th, 2012

Julie and Me
Well, things have been evolving pretty quickly around here. Julie and I have been hitting the ground running. That’s for sure. If you’ve missed the last few posts, you might not recognize this blog. A lot has happened! It still hasn’t fully sunk in as a reality. It all feels like a fairy tale to me. But if you missed the memo, Punk Rawk Labs HAS EXPANDED. It’s been a pretty dramatic change for me. My new partner, Julie, is a dream. If you haven’t met her yet, check out the newest video for PUNK RAWK LABS TV. She takes you on a GUIDED TOUR of our new space.

labels
The retail space is kind of functioning as our office/packaging center at the moment.

buildout in prog
We’re not sure at this point when it will be open. Right now, we are so buried in cheese orders, that we need to get caught up before we can open the retail space.

labs
The kitchen, however, is fully licensed and operational! It seemed at times like it was never going to happen. I have to admit, there were some crazy obstacles on the way here. But miraculously enough, the answers all appeared exactly when they were supposed to. It was a nail biter though!

seward
We haven’t officially started taking orders yet. As we are still getting caught up on our backorder. But we are slowly adding new stores. Our cheeses are now available in Minneapolis at the SEWARD COOP. In fact, Julie and I will be doing a sampling demo there next Sunday afternoon.

sidecar shelf
You can also find us at SIDECAR FOR PIGS PEACE in Seattle, WA! Sidecar is a non-profit store that raises money to support a pig sanctuary. Not only does the money go to a great cause. It also happens to be the best deal on our cheese (being a non-profit).

sidecar front
I just happened to be in town the day they went on sale (for a wedding reception). Friday the 28th. And insanely, I got an email the following Monday that they were already sold out! I couldn’t believe it!!

order boardIt’s an exciting time, to be sure! We’ve been hearing from the most unlikely places. This is our order board. Right now, we are working on orders for Denver, Portland, Seattle, Cincinatti, and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  We have a lot of stores to get to.  But when it’s all said and done, there will be quite a few flags on the US map (a full listing of stores which carry us is HERE).  Pretty magical.  I have to say.  But I should quit gabbing for now and get back to work!!  More updates soon…

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Veggie Awards 2012


August 3rd, 2012

veggie awards
Hello out there! We’ve been pretty busy over here working on our new SHOP. But I got the most amazing news the other day. Apparently, we’ve been nominated for a Veggie Award! Can you believe it? I was kind of shocked. And I have to admit, the news came at the most amazing time (as we were hitting some big snags with the buildout…UGH! I will elaborate more on this later).

nut cheese
The skinny is that Punk Rawk Labs Nut Milk Cheeses have been nominated in the ‘Best Vegan Cheese’ category. VOTE FOR US HERE!

food fightThere are some other nominees that you’ve seen on this blog. FOOD FIGHT! GROCERY which carries our cheese in Portland, OR. They got nominated in the ‘Best Vegan Storefront’ or some closely related category (I already voted so I can’t go back and look at the categories, but you get the idea). NOOCH | VEGAN MARKET (from Denver, CO) was also nominated in this category. They don’t carry our cheese yet. But they will be carrying it very soon…like maybe once we get our new shop open. So keep your eyes peeled.

veganessentialsVEGAN ESSENTIALS also got nominated for ‘Best Online Retailer’. They took over our online orders once we started getting too many to handle. And they are actually the only online retailer to carry our cheese at the moment. So check them out!

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Punk Rawk Labs, Inc.


July 19th, 2012

new shop
Well, in case you haven’t gotten the memo, Punk Rawk Labs is undergoing some big changes at the moment. Things just kind of BLEW UP RATHER SUDDENLY after our OFFICIAL LAUNCH. I’m in awe of the craziness that can ensue in this beautiful world if you remain open to change. I’m talkin’ straight out of the movies! I mean, a few months ago, I was literally destitute. My health problems had wiped out everything. I literally had no money, and I had lost my job due to my injuries. A lot of people had given up on me. Even members of my own family. But I’m happy to say that times have changed…
My cheeses started selling like crazy. All over the country. There were so many orders that it was way way beyond what my limited capacity body could handle. It was clear that something needed to change and fast. An unsettling moment to be sure. But a few good friends encouraged me to stick it out, hold on tight, and ride the wave. And now, just a few months later, I’m happy to announce that some very exciting developments have taken place!

julie
Punk Rawk Labs has now become Punk Rawk Labs, Inc. In order to meet the demand, it became necessary to expand production of our product line. Enter, my new partner, Julie. Here she is in front of our new shop. Julie is the perfect person to help take PRL to the next level. She’s an entrepreneur. In fact, she’s the former owner of HYMIE’S VINTAGE RECORD STORE on Lake St. here in Minneapolis (which incidentally was dubbed one of the 30 BEST RECORD STORES IN THE US by Rolling Stone magazine). Currently, she works in the food business.

seward
In fact, she just yesterday gave her notice at the SEWARD COOP where you might remember that I taught a CLASS WHEN I FIRST RETURNED FROM CULINARY SCHOOL. Julie actually helped me with that class as it was just a few months after my ACCIDENT, and I was still on crutches. In fact, I was actually on my way to a BBQ at Julie’s house with a bin full of kale chips when I got in the accident. Seems like the universe was trying to tell me something. But the universe didn’t stop there! At the beginning of this process, you could say I was pretty riddled with anxiety. I had to raise a lot of money to make this happen. And at that point, I really didn’t have any idea how I was going to do that. My friend Janice, who incidentally is a very talented healer (and creator of the FOUNDATIONS HEALING SYSTEM), told me to start taking a walk every day. That there was some place nearby where I would find the answers. And I would know it when I found it.

hanjin
Well, before long, I found myself walking every day to the train tracks near my house. There’s a big switchyard nearby. It’s kind of famous among those who like to jump trains. But I kept going to that spot. I think because it felt like I was connecting to something larger than myself. I was fascinated by the idea that there was a time when the trains were bringing all the information from the outside world. One thing I kept noticing there were these ‘Hanjin’ cars. And they really stuck out to me. As when I worked in Seattle, I worked at a seafood restaurant right on the pier of the Puget Sound. And these huge boats with these ‘Hanjin’ cars were always floating by.

penta

Well, interestingly, there was another party that was interested in helping with PRL’s expansion. A tech company from Korea called Penta Systems Technology based in Seoul. I got connected with them through a friend from childhood. We played violin in the orchestra together. Went to junior high, high school, and college together. And in fact, she lived across the street from me in college. And now, she is the Vice President of Penta. Small world, right? It gets smaller. A few weeks ago, I went to ship a package of kale chips to her to try. And she said, why don’t you ship them to me at work? I said, ‘Sounds good. What’s the address?’ It turns out that her office is located in the Hanjin Shipping Building in Seoul. Can you believe that?! The universe had spoken again! From the other side of the globe!

new windows
I am very happy to announce that Punk Rawk Labs has formed what might be described as a multinational corporation. And I am now the CEO of that corporation! Talk about a dramatic turnaround! I have to say, I can hardly believe it myself. It hasn’t really sunk in yet. I am so very honored to have joined forces with Julie and Penta Systems Technology to form a new improved Punk Rawk Labs!

wet tile
Our new shop is still under construction. But the buildout is coming along. In fact, it might be done as early as this week.

tile
The tile has been laid. Some beautiful grey quarry tile in accordance with state and local codes for commercial kitchens.

rubic
The walls have been painted. Well, at least some of them anyway. We still have a few to go.

amber
We’ve even had at least one celebrity visit so far! Here I am with AMBER SHEA CRAWLEY (fellow MATTHEW KENNEY ACADEMY alum) and author of best selling vegan uncookbook, PRACTICALLY RAW.

practicallyI am feeling so happy about the next phase of our development. It really feels like the right people in the right place at the right time! There are so many amazing coincidences bringing this thing together at the moment that I am just soaking up every moment. Karma really does happen! And it is so freaking beautiful, that it might just burn my eyes. I am so looking forward to having some free time so I can try out some of Amber’s recipes! Free time!  It seems like such a far away concept.  :)  But it is coming soon to a theatre near me!  I’ll keep you posted on what develops…

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Vote for Punk Rawk Labs!


June 24th, 2012

kickstarter
Hello out there! It’s been a while since I posted. Things are in flux here. Big time! It all started innocently enough with my OFFICIAL LAUNCH CAMPAIGN on kickstarter. I was just trying to raise enough money to buy equipment to make enough cheese to pay my bills. But somehow that’s NOT WHAT HAPPENED. Not exactly anyway. I mean…don’t get me wrong. I did raise the money to buy the equipment to make small batches of cheese. But then, it just kept going…and going…and it’s still going!

I started selling cheeses ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. Not just selling them…

selling out
…selling out of them! And fast. I can’t keep them in stock. I can’t make them fast enough. And the orders just keep coming. And coming. Success is a beautiful thing! It’s hard to believe at times that this is happening. Though it does bring on it’s own unique issues.

kale 2As many of you are aware, this business was born out of a recovery from some serious health issues. And as many with health issues can attest, it’s a very financially draining situation to recover from. Not exactly the ideal situation for starting a business (which generally requires a lot more financial stability than a medical drama is really conducive to). At the same time, there’s never really an ideal time to start a business. And at the end of the day, you just have to decide. Am I going to make this happen? Or aren’t I?

new shop
So I’m going out on a limb. The next step is to get caught up on orders. And in order to do this, I need a space which can facilitate the production. So that’s what we’re working on now. It’s requiring some creative financing. And it’s also requiring me to step way outside of my comfort zone. A personal growth situation, for sure.

stamp

I will keep you posted on my progress. But in the meantime, I’m one of many businesses that have applied for a $250,000 grant to expand. We could definitely use it! If you have a moment, would you mind going to THIS WEBSITE and searching for ‘Punk Rawk Labs’ and voting for us? We need 250 votes in order to be considered for the grant. Right now, we have about 30. So we could use some help! Thanks for your support!

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Food Fight! Grocery


May 20th, 2012

food fight!

Portland Peoples!! Good news! Our cheeses just got picked up by FOOD FIGHT! GROCERY in beautiful Portland, OR. We sent them four cases of our best flavors (unfortunately, only three of them got there. Thank you, post office!) plus free samples! Go on down and check it out!

nut cheeses
Mmm…Nut Milk Cheese! Check out the latest REVIEW OF OUR CHEESES HERE!

every dayAnd the good news is that if you can’t make it today, you can go down tomorrow. Because apparently, Food Fight! is open every F^&*ing day. So there you have it! In other news, progress on opening our NEW SHOP has slowed. Mostly due to the fact that I am having to continually relearn the lesson that I have LUPUS (OR SOMETHING LIKE IT). Ugh! I was really riding a wave, wasn’t I? Not sure what this means yet other than that train was moving too fast for me. And I might have to get off and wait for a slower one. Don’t know yet. I’ll keep you posted…

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