Can Hardly Believe It

I have these moments when I can’t believe Yoga-urt is happening. It’s surreal to me.

I haven’t made a big public announcement yet (that will come soon), but slowly, as I run into friends, I am sharing the news.  Some of these friends haven’t heard me talk about Yoga-urt for a few years. I think that they thought I moved on. Some people are shocked when I tell them, all are happy, and some even told me that they were inspired by my journey which means so much to me. 

I am so grateful to have this opportunity to see my dream come to life.  To challenge myself in ways I never did before.  To meet new people who are supporting me on this journey.  To see my parents completely support me after having a hard time with it at times, especially in the beginning (imagine telling your parents out of no where that you want to open a frozen yogurt shop called Yoga-urt instead of continuing to work in the corporate world :).

No matter what happens, I have already learned so much and know that I will continue to do so.

Even though I can hardly believe it, Yoga-urt IS happening.  It will be an exciting, crazy, exhausting year ahead, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Shutting Off

My big focus this week has been getting wholesale pricing for the shop.  I need stuff for our soft serve mix, fruit, veges, toppings, tea, coffee, cups, etc.  The list goes on and on.  This is not as easy as you would think.  Tons of calls/emails back and forth, but luckily, I have a few friends helping me out.  Now I have to go through everything this weekend and make some decisions.  Once that is set, it will be a big relief.

All of the plans were submitted this week.  It could take up to a month for approvals but there is plenty to do before then.  We need to figure out the interior design, finish R&D, set up accounting, start marketing, etc.  

Between my day job and Yoga-urt, I’m finding it hard to shut off.  My mind is constantly going until I hit my bed and then I sleep hard.  

I will make sure to keep my yoga practice up because it is so important right now.  I feel like I am a machine during the day and I need to make sure I don’t reach a breaking point.  I don’t think I will, but my schedule is going to get crazy towards mid April, so I am bracing myself.  Time for bed!

Chocolate!!! & Coconut Chai!!!

We had another tasting today at Taylor and it went very well!  We approved chocolate and coconut chai.  They were yummy!!!

Salted caramel was close, but we have to tone down the butter (dairy-free) taste slightly. That one should be approved next time.  Now we are moving on to peanut butter and green tea.  Those will be exciting to taste in 2 weeks.

We are also starting R&D on the smoothies and the waffle cones.  There is a lot to do in a few months but we will get there, or at least close.

The chocolate was turned in for nutritional analysis and the probiotics will be shipped on Monday to get their count.  This information will help us as we move forward and is truly fascinating to me. I can’t believe that we are getting nutritional analysis and probiotic counts on stuff that I am creating with my team. It’s crazy!

Other progress is that the plans for the city and health department will be submitted on Monday and I have a Coming Soon sign that I will be able to share soon.

It was a good but strange week.  Things slowed down at my day job for once so I was actually able to breathe a little.  I have been so busy with both my day job and Yoga-urt, that when I actually have a moment to slow down, it feels foreign to me.  If I’m not juggling 3 things at the same time, I think that something must be wrong.

Hopefully, things will balance out for me in the coming weeks, but I’m not counting on it.  Tomorrow, I have 3 meetings lined up for Yoga-urt and it’s a Saturday.  They are fun meetings though 🙂

Making Progress

Things are progressing but it’s never easy.

– Plans: I should receive the updated plans for review tomorrow. The hope is to submit them to the city/health department on Thursday or Friday of this week. It will then take up to a month to receive approvals.

– Marketing: We started the graphics for a small teaser campaign. The graphic designer is great but we are finding certain challenges. Specifically, we are doing a Coming Soon sign for outside the store. It’s beautiful, but easily mistaken for a yoga studio instead of a frozen yogurt store. Mostly because of the name. We’ll get there but it’s challenging.

– Operations: I’ve started on the employee handbook. I have some templates that I’m working off of and that is making this easy so far. I’m grateful for that.

– Vendors: I have friends helping me contact suppliers to get pricing for ingredients/toppings for the store. This is very helpful since I’m at work all day and can’t make the phone calls. Hoping that they make good progress this week.

– R&D: I have someone started on the waffle cone recipe this week. Excited to see what she crates. As for the soft serve, we will be going back for another tasting this Friday. Hoping for the best!

More to come soon!

Tired but Worth It!

This week has been pretty productive.

The plans have progressed. There are 2 more things I will have to decide very quickly – the floor and the ceiling. I wish I had a bigger budget and could just do what I want but I have to be careful. We wanted to do finished concrete, but the concrete isn’t in great shape so it’s more complicated. Tile might be cheaper. As for the ceiling, I think we’ll decide that tomorrow. There is currently a high ceiling so we have to decide how much to drop it if at all. We definitely have to drop it over the counter area. The goal is to turn in the plans to the city/health department by the end of next week!

I talked with the graphic designer who will do all of the graphics for the store and we have a plan in place to do a small teaser campaign. Hoping to see something soon. It will be very exciting when all gets printed/executed.

I also talked with 2 marketing people. I’m just starting to put a plan together. I don’t want to get overwhelmed with this, but I also know that it is important.

Tomorrow morning, I meet with one of my consultants and my interior designer. That should be fun.

I’m tired juggling this and everything else, but it’s worth it. I will take a yoga class tonight which I wasn’t able to do for over a week. That will make me feel better 🙂

Where to Begin

These last few days have been pretty good but there is one major challenge that is not exactly Yoga-urt related that has really taken a toll on me.  More on that later.

Let me start with the positive:

• Flavor tasting on Wed was good overall. Out of the 4 Flavors we tasted, 3 were so close, but we want to make small tweaks so they’ll get another round.  Although it was slightly disappointing not to approve any, they were still good and I love how my team won’t accept less than the best.

• Chemical Analysis – I dropped off our approved almond milk white mix for nutritional analysis and we should have that info in a few weeks.  Exciting!  Once we get that, one of my R&D members can do the rest of the Flavors.

• Store plans – They are progressing nicely.  Just need to figure out the ceiling and AC system I’m going to go with and we can complete them.

• Interior Design – Had a good meeting with the designer.  We have a ways to go but it is a good start.

Not so Positive:

• Fedex – Remember my last post about Fedex?  Well, that totally back fired on me.  It’s almost comical after I expressed my excitement in the last post.  For my first shipment, we were sending probiotic samples of our vegan vanilla flavor to get the count of probiotics tested. We carefully put it all together and guess what?  The package got held up at least 2 days due to bad weather.  The samples should remain cold so this is not good.  I couldn’t believe it but I can’t control things like this so I have to find the humor and let it go. Big sigh.  We may have to repeat it in a few weeks 😦

Now for the major disturbance this week. I’ll try to make it as short and sweet as possible. 

My taxes which were completed a month ago were not submitted until 3/4 for reasons unexplained to me.  This is huge b/c I am doing a refinance and need a form from the IRS in order to complete the refi.  My locked interest rate is now in jeapardy and this step is supposed to be completed before I get my SBA loan.  Big mess.  It is the last thing I needed.

The pressure is on my tax accountant to fix this and I will do what I can as well.

I’m trying not to let it, but it’s making a very exciting time hard to enjoy.  I keep reminding myself to take action where I can and then let it go.  It is hard.  It really consumed my week.

Another sigh.  

A new week is starting and I’m going to do my best to focus on all of the positive things, as there are many!

FedEx made me happy!

Well, I never thought that I would say this, but I was so excited today to open up a fedex account for Yoga-urt. I was smiling from ear to ear 🙂

Here’s the backstory.  Tomorrow, my R&D team and I are doing another tasting at Taylor Freezers and afterwards we are going to ship out the white base with probiotics for testing.  My food scientist asked me to bring a fedex label for this shipment.

I knew I wasn’t going to have time to wait around and pay at fedex, so I thought, why not start an account.  Not an original idea but the part that made me happy was that in the past, I would have to get permission from someone at the company I work for to do that.  Not this time.  I hesitated for a moment, then realized that I didn’t need permission, and sat down and did it.  

This was a big realization.

For me, starting a business was never about being my own boss.  It was really about an idea that I was passionate about and wanted to share with the world.  I’m seeing now some perks that will come my way but I also know that with responsibility comes both good and bad.  I’m curious to see how I handle it all, but I know that my yoga practice and my spiritual journey will help me along the way.

Namaste!