Our New Wall

Sorry it’s been so long since my last post. I’ve been wanting to post as so much has been happening and I’m hoping to do one more this week too!

So how am I and Yoga-urt doing? Yoga-urt has been doing well thanks to all of you and this unusually warm winter (that is until this week). We’re having a good start to the year and are having a lot of fun right now with our 3rd Annual Month of February Pint-O-Rama.

Last week, we made a big change to our exterior – we got rid of the chalk wall and replaced it with a mural. Believe me, this was a hard decision as the chalk wall was one of my favorite parts of the store. I LOVED reading your messages, the inspiring quotes, the beautiful drawings, etc. I was obsessed with this wall and wanted it to inspire people and make them feel good.

But, the wall would get messy so quickly. People would sometimes write over other people’s beautiful messages and drawings, kids would scribble, and it was hard to keep up with it. It was a lot of work and very stressful for me. Sometimes I’d be at my day job and look at the camera and see kids scribbling all over it. Made me so sad.

So I decided about 6 months ago that I wanted to make a change – but what would it be? I hired a L.A. Muralist I had seen on Instagram to work with me on it, but I still had to come up with what it would be. I had a few ideas that she mocked up, but we weren’t getting there. So I paused, took a month or so to not think about it and then came back to it.

I researched a few walls in L.A. and the hearts spoke to me. At Yoga-urt, I feel like we are serving love. Yes, it’s organic/vegan softserve/icecream, but when we do it right we are serving you love. That was always the goal of Yoga-urt, to make our customers feel loved & happy.

I always knew I wanted to incorporate the beautiful words in our flavor names on the wall – Zen, Bliss, Serenity, Harmony, Power, Abundance, etc. as they are feel good words, so it was clear they could go in the hearts. And then one of my team members mentioned adding cones beneath the hearts and I thought it would be great to do that on a few of the hearts to show that the hearts represent the softserve/icecream – serving love!

As for the colors, some were from our brand/logo and there were a few new ones too.

I’m really happy with the wall. It’s beautiful, I feel still inspiring, makes you feel good as you enter the store, and is meaningful to me. What more could I ask for.

As for how I’m doing, I’m okay. Not going to lie and say I’ve had an easy few weeks (or years really), but when challenging situations come up you need to go through them to get to the other side. I’m in the middle of a few challenging situations, but I see some light at the end of the tunnel. And regardless of where this journey takes me, all I can do is learn from my mistakes, try to do better, and stand up for myself. It’s amazing really that I’ve come so far on this now 8 year journey and I’m so grateful to all that have supported me.

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2017: Year of Promise

Happy New Year everyone!

At the end of each year, I try to summarize it with one word. I had a hard time finding just one word for Yoga-urt this year, but what I settled on is PROMISE.

Promise that we are fulfilling what I set out to do and hope for all I want to do in the future. The potential of growing in whichever way is meant to be. PROMISE.

2017 was a good year for Yoga-urt. Our customers showed up for us in a big way. Coming to the store, buying pints, buying pies, sharing photos on social media, bringing friends and family, and bringing your good energy.

I can’t express enough how much your kind words and support mean to me. Although Yoga-urt had a good year, I had to deal with a lot of behind the scenes challenges that were very painful. But it’s a new year and so hopefully that is behind me now.

But the month of December also had many curveballs. My main soft Serve maker injured herself in mid December, just when my other two were taking time off for the holidays. So I basically had no soft Serve makers for the holidays. Luckily, I called 2 previous employees and they were able to cover for a few weeks – lifesavers.

I had 3 new team members start as 4 of my cashiers/servers took off multiple weeks for the holidays. It was a bit stressful but we made it.

I worked Christmas Day by myself. For the first time, I decided to be open and work the store that day which was a lot of fun.

The only downside the last few weeks is I did not get the time off I so desperately need. My day job closed between Christmas & New Years, so I had a big break from that which was nice. All I wanted to do was sleep in, do yoga, meet a friend or two, and not have a schedule for most of the days. My life is so scheduled all of the time so to have free days are such a gift.

But that didn’t happen.

Yoga-urt things kept popping up. Two promotional videos were filmed (one for Jane Velez-Mitchell’s Lunch Break Live), a did a demo on our product/store, had to fill in on soft serve making here and there, and it just never ended. Mostly good stuff, but a lot of work.

So unfortunately, I’m not headed into 2018 well rested but very fulfilled with a great December.

For me personally, this was a very dark year. My foundations were rocked to their core and nothing seemed safe. I know it was tough for many others also. I need to practice more self care and take a little break here and there. That is my hope as 2018 begins.

Mint Magic

Slice of Peanut Butter Prana & Chocolate Bliss swirl pie

December Sundaes

With Jane Velez-Mitchell filming an episode of Lunch Break Live

Demo at Live on Green

Yoga-urt Pies

Somehow, we pulled off our new pies for Thanksgiving and I think it was successful but it all happened so quickly.

We are always looking at ways to use the leftover almond pulp from making the soft Serve, and so creating a pie crust has been on my list for a while.

One of our soft serve makers went to work on the pie recipe and I approved the recipe a few weeks before Thanksgiving…I loved it. Tasted really good but you could also tell it was clean and healthy.

But then we still had to figure out how to fill the pies, what to include, etc.

I experimented a bit and was SO HAPPY with the results. Very simple but very tasty. And they looked beautiful.

So about 1 week before Thanksgiving, we finalized the pie recipes and I made a few so I could get some pictures. The pictures turned out even better than I thought. So that left one week to post and market the pies in order to get orders placed for Thanksgiving.

I posted the pics on social media, in our newsletter, etc., and the orders came in. It felt so good that people were excited and trusted that they would be good. We got more orders than I thought!

Last orders came in on Sunday, so that left just a few days to make everything. Pies. Pies. Pies. I made a bunch. My team members made a bunch. They were all picked up the Tues or Wed before Thanksgiving. Somehow it all worked!

I truly hope that each and every one was enjoyed. I feel so grateful that Yoga-urt was a part of your holiday.

And yes, we are bringing them back for the December holidays, and hope to bring them back more often next year!

Best of Glendale

Yay! We were voted Best Frozen Yogurt / Ice Cream by readers of Glendale News Press!

It means so much, especially because it confirms our appeal to non-vegans and vegans alike.

Thank you to everyone who voted for us and all of you that show your support in so many other ways. We appreciate you SO MUCH!

Dodger Flavor

Here’s the inside scoop on the flavor we created to celebrate the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series.

I think it was after game 2 that my Aunt posted a comment on one of my pictures that she would love to see a Dodger flavor. I thought, well that might be really cool, but how quickly could we do this? What would it be? What if they lost?

I contacted the person who creates our flavors and asked if she had time to create something. She said she did, so then, what flavor? We wanted it to be something Dodger related and also blue.

She knew of blue spirulina which is great because it’s healthy…but the company that sold it was in Sweden. I ordered it immediately because I knew time was of essence as we were still trying to figure this out. Shipping was going to take at least a week. Would it get here in time? It depended on how long the series went, who won, etc.

I asked people at my day job what would be a good Dodgers flavor. We obviously weren’t going to do hot dogs, and a lot of not very soft Serve friendly flavors were mentioned, but then someone said popcorn. I kind of liked that and mentioned it to Megan who does the flavors, and she liked it too. She mentioned maybe doing a cracker jacks flavor to make it more interesting, so that was the plan.

She worked on the flavor last weekend. We didn’t even get to run it through the machine for testing this time, because there was no time. But when would the blue spirulina come? And would the Dodgers win?

It came the day of game 7. If it had come earlier, we probably would’ve had it available earlier, but I thought it’s okay. If Dodgers win Game 7, we could have it the next day to celebrate. That would be pretty cool. But would they win???

I’m born and raised in Los Angeles so I grew up with the Dodgers. My family would go to one game a year when I was a kid and although I don’t really watch sports (although I went through a huge Lakers phase years ago), I’m always routing for them. But I was never routing for them harder than that night. Not only because I wanted them to win, but because we put a lot of work into this flavor.

So, we all know what happened. They lost game 7. At the same time they were playing game 7, Megan and I were playing in the kitchen with the blue spirulina to get the right color and final recipe. We had 3 gal ready to go…and they lost 😦

What do I do? Do I run the flavor anyway? Do I dump it? What do I say if we run it?

I didn’t know what to do. I actually had a morning meeting at the store the next day, so I decided I would sleep on it and figure it out in the morning.

I still didn’t know. It got to 11am and I had to decide. I decided it was worth running anyway. Not only because it was a super cool flavor that we wanted people to try, but also because the World Series had united L.A. and plus the awesome series was worth celebrating.

So we put it in the machine and went for it. So far, the response has been really positive. We are keeping it for the whole weekend too. I’m glad we went for it. It would’ve been way more cool if they won, but it’s still pretty sweet.

Peanuts & Cracker Jacks

Swirling with Vanilla Harmony

Another Month

It’s been a month since my last post and honestly, it’s been a tough time for me.

On a personal level, my mom’s health has been declining and it’s extremely tough for my family and for me. My mom is the #1 reader of my blog and one of my two biggest supporters (with my dad). My family is struggling and I’m so exhausted and overwhelmed with what I have on my plate that I don’t get the chance to see them or help in the way I would like to. It is emotionally hard on so many levels. My mom is a fighter though and our love is strong.

In addition, I’ve been dealing with a very hard Yoga-urt situation for over a year now that never seems to get easier. There is hope it will end soon, but it has taken a toll on me and caused many sleepless nights. 

I took a yoga class yesterday and when I was holding chair pose, I had this thought that it’s like I’ve been in chair pose for over a year – it’s tough, Uncomfortable, exhausting, way longer than anyone should have to hold it, even painful – but the forward fold/surrender is hopefully coming soon. And as my sister said, my muscles are getting stronger which will help me in the future.

Just like life, yoga isn’t always comfortable, but it’s another reason I’m thankful for my yoga practice. It has taught me strength, resilience, patience, and hopefully grace.

On the positive side, which there definitely is, I love seeing our customers at Yoga-urt and seeing them happy brings me so much joy. When I question what I got myself into, coming to the store and seeing smiling faces means the world. 

As we start heading into our slower season, I hope I can catch up with myself, recharge, start finding some balance, and will continue to focus on the positives of which there are many. I know I keep saying this, but one day I hope to get there.

Namaste

The Hits Keep On Coming

Sometimes it feels like I can never catch a break. Something happened this last week which feels like a bomb has gone off. It’s hurtful, uncomfortable, and makes me feel physically ill. I haven’t been able to sleep since I found out. 

Everyone will find out soon as it has to do with Kenneth Village where Yoga-urt is.

I try to be very candid on this blog but I am also very aware that anyone can read it. So I know I have to watch my words sometimes and hold back a bit as to not cause unwanted conflict. I wish that wasn’t the case as I want to let it all out, but I also don’t want to make things worse for me. 

With that being said, this one hurts and I didn’t see it coming. And the hurt is probably only going to get worse. I am angry, but even worse, I feel like I’ve been kicked in the gut. 

I’m having a hard time dealing with this and it’s only been 5 days, with so many more to go.

So what do you do when you don’t have the power to change something that will negatively affect you? I honestly don’t know the exact answer to this so if you know, please share with me. I need all the tools I can get.

But I guess this is when I need to get spiritual. I’ve been a bit out of touch with my spiritual side the last few years as I’ve been a machine juggling my full time job and Yoga-urt. I used to read books, go to workshops, connect with people on a deeper level – but there has been no time for any of that. 

I’m also trying to remind myself to focus on what I’m grateful for because there are so many things to be grateful for. They are hard to see this very moment, but they are there. I also think about what is going on in Houston, and then realize my problems are really minor compared to the suffering going on.
But this is going to be hard for me and it feels like one hard thing after another. And yes, big picture, things are going well but OMG, I’m so sick of dealing with one crappy thing after another. 

I have to believe deep in my soul that these 6 years of committing myself fully to Yoga-urt, while  carrying the better part of this journey on my own, has given birth to something that can’t be destroyed. Something that is magical and meant to be. Something that is loved by more than just me. Something that makes people feel good which was my original intention. 

I have to have trust in the Universe that all will work itself out. 

Today, it feels like a bomb went off. I hope that very soon, things settle and I can be at peace again.