Thursday, September 1, 2011

Our New Cheese Family

Something about sunny September (yes, it's September) days like today makes me want to reminisce about the days spent parsing through resumes & interviews at Summit (in the early stages of my soy matcha addiction) with the goal of building a kick ass cheese-loving team. Slowly divulging details about Mission Cheese searching for the passionate few. Following interviews & careful selection, there was cheese university held amongst final construction details & dusty bar stools. The frazzled professor (me? frazzled? Nooooooo) did her best to pour all the love & energy out on the table in hopes that this daring team of cheesers would eat it up. It worked! Well, for the most part (we won't talk about the other part).

Ahhh...the good old days of early 2011.

Now as we enter September, it feels like a new family has been created. Not one to replace any other sort of family (obviously Mom, Dad, & Bro...you are the original & irreplaceable...I promise), but a seriously tight knit crew of characters from all over (we have Florida, New York, Michigan, Wisconsin, SoCal & NorCal in the house) that have come together in the name of American artisan cheese. In the first 4.5 months we have created bonds that I believe will last a life-time. We have laughed (hysterically), cried (only a few times), danced, burned arms, cut fingers, broken several wine glasses & ramekins, laughed (again...hysterically), mopped floors, shared hugs & our fair share of fist pumps. It is a team that I am truly honored to be a part of, so without further a-do...

Meet Liz! Interested in all things related to good food, it is no surprise that Liz is a natural cheesemonger. She is crazy intelligent & has experience working with the James Beard Foundation, the Oregon Truffle Festival, & most recently a killer butcher shop in SF's Bernal Heights known as Avedanos. Thank heavens she was on the free market & interested cheese. She has kept me sane in times of complete chaos and treats Lil MC like it is her own. I cannot imagine Mission Cheese without her, or her bad-ass sleeve tattoo. Give it up for Lizzie!



Meet Steve! Coming to us from Ann Arbor, Michigan Steve was the first person I interviewed for a position at MC & I knew from the moment I heard him talk about taking part in the complete decimation of a full wheel of Montgomery's cheddar that he was a perfect fit. Also incredibly intelligent (you will notice there is a theme here...lucky Lil MC) with cat like reflexes Steve has held the shop together in the craziest of moments (I recall an evening in the first week or so when Steve & I were the only people manning the ship...whoa). He is the brain behind Chedd or Alive. Steve is the bomb.






Meet Kendra! Kendra was the first to email me in November 2010 telling me about her love form cheese that developed while living in Paris and asking for an opportunity to interview. I began the interviewing process some 4 months later & of course it was meant to be. (How do you say no to that smile?) Between studying for her graduate degree here in SF (smarty pants! see...I told you) and mongering at Mission Cheese, Kendra is diligently working toward eating everything on 7x7's top 100 things to eat in SF list. It's dedication, and she's nailing it. We love Kendra!!!



Meet Lindsay! Lindsay came to MC in a pinch...on a Saturday amidst a mad rush, she answered a call for help (placed by Steve) & magically appeared to rescue Lil MC. She killed it in the dish pit (washing dishes...yep, favorite part of the job), and was pretty much hired on the spot for her superhero abilities. She is a Bay Area native, a crossword wiz (along with Steve), and has a smile that is known to melt cheese. She's not smiling in this pic...so you'll have to come see for yourself. Aha! A teaser.


Meet Eric (also known as DJ Lo-Fi)! After moving to SF from NYC, Eric was looking to change it up a bit and focus his work efforts on food. He contacted me via Facebook (yes, that's right...Facebook), came in for a sandwich, and the rest is history. He started his first shift by bringing the team some homemade pate (I don't lie), and immediately won our hearts. His height & muscles are also very useful when organizing small spaces, and his ability to describe cheese (and food in general) is remarkable. Eric has also made me laugh when in the most horrible/overwhelmed mood. E...I think it's for essential.


Meet Patty! She won me over with an Ode to Cheese that made me smile for days. Patty, also a Bay Area native graduated with a science degree from NYU, returned to the bay and had the urge to work in the kitchen. We share Patty with Bar Tartine where she is honing her skills in one of the most talented kitchens in the city. I am often baffled by how she remains standing and how remarkable her name is for nicknames (Patty-melt, Patty-cakes, Patticus Finch, Patty Sajak...amazing). We are lucky to have her knife skills & her ability for cheesey prose.


Last, but certainly not lease, meet Sarah! (I know...we are working on a nickname, more on that later) Recently moving from Chicago & originally from SoCal (she grew up with Kendra), Sarah has been a natural addition to our family. Kendra calls her Sars...which then blossoms into Sarsie, Sarsipie, etc, but we are all a bit hesitant to call our new family member Sars (haha). We'll figure something out. I wouldn't mind having a double most times anyways. She has the most delightful energy & she is a lover of cheese. We are so happy to have her!


These are the wonderful people that have kept Oliver & I sane(ish) during the madness. They allow us to get away for tasty dinners & afternoons on the beach (and soon a 2 day trip!) I could seriously go on for days about this crew of individuals, but my time in this comfy chair is up...have to get to the shop.

Oh...and if you're interested in a little cheese fun, our 3rd Night Cheese Event, Sheep Fever, is September 15 (next week Thursday)! We will be chatting sheep's milk cheese with the Marcia Barinaga from Barinaga Ranch & Seana Doughty from Bleating Heart. Of course, these cheeses will be paired with California wine (maybe even some beer)...it's usually quite the party! There are still some tickets available & you can snag them here.

Hope to see you soon!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mission Cheese Goes to Barinaga Ranch: From Suckling to Shucking

On Monday, June 25th, the staff at Mission Cheese traveled to Barinaga Ranch in Marshall, California. The first excursion of many to come, the day promised a lesson in Basque-style sheep milk cheese making as well as a tour of the ranch itself. It did not disappoint. Marcia Barinaga the proprietor of Barinaga and the keeper of its 65 sheep greeted us at the entrance to her shipping container turned creamery with hair nets and booties in hand. We were there to help turn out and brine her beloved Baserri and Txiki (pronounced "cheeky").
Marcia, a microbiologist and science writer by trade, slid into the world of cheese making with the desire to continue her family's tradition of producing Basque-style cheeses, a practice
that was passed on through her father, a sheep herder from Idaho. Although her bent was scientific, Marcia's tone was loving as she discussed the procedure from milking to forming to brining to aging. The ranch in its second season has doubled in production from 3000 to 6000 pounds of cheese produced annually and this growth in size can be attributed to the careful sorting of the ranch's best producing ewes (we came to learn that a sheep called Panties and another called Guapa were leading the pack in production).
Our task, and we chose to accept it, was to weigh each freshly made Baserri (large format) and Txiki (small format) cheese, record their weights, and place them on the cart for brining and aging. The brining liquid was a saturated solution that included three different bacterium - B-Linens, Microdor, and Geotrichum. These bacteria contribute to the taste as well as the appearance of the cheese: B-Linens, for instance, usually the primary bacterium for most washed rinds, promotes the orange color that's become notorious as well as a fragrant meaty pungency that lingers in the air as well as the tongue. This bacterium gives the Baserri a yellowish tint and an earthy flavor.
While the cheese swam in solution, our team moved on to the milking room, a large tin barn where assistants Lolo and Ignacio shepherded the ewes on to the line for eating and milking. Utters were cleaned with iodine and then placed into the mechanized milker. Five at a time, the sheep moved up the ramp for their daily deposit, turning the din from whine to purr. Marcia told us that everyday it's the same order, the last four ewes
consistently the stragglers. A high point of the visit was trying the fresh sheep's milk, creamy and sweet, only hours from the utter.
A visit to Barinaga could not have been complete without a visit to the nursery, lamb nursery that is. Three of them, one black two white, were waiting rather impatiently for their afternoon feeding. Bottles were filled with fresh milk and each of us had a turn feeding the babes. We learned after that these three girls would soon be on their way to slaughter, as genetically they were unfit milkers. Oh, the ways of the farm!
After we bid farewell to Marcia, our day in Marshall continued at Nick's Cove, a roadside oyster bar and
restaurant. Due to excellent timing, we were able to take over the adjacent boat house building that sits away from the restaurant down a long wooden dock. We enjoyed 3 dozen oysters , several seafood chowders, a pasta bolognese, and some roasted scallops with corn.
As the sun set on Tomales Bay, we began our journey back over the Golden Gate Bridge. Our first excursion as a staff was complete, but the feelings generated and the warmth shared would indeed linger on. I can only speak for myself, but the visit to Barinaga has made me more proud of the product we sell, as it is a byproduct of the passion and dedication felt by cheese makers like Marcia Barinaga.


Be sure to come to Night Cheese on August 11th to meet our staff and discuss the many other cheeses we are proud to showcase at Mission Cheese!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hallelulah...Holy Shit!

The past nine weeks have been quite the whirlwind! This post was supposed to go up the morning of April 13, opening day. I actually had many fond daydreaming sessions about the opening day post when I would write "Mission Cheese is open for business!" Then crazy happened. Good crazy. Delicious crazy. Frustrating crazy. Exhausting crazy. Overwhelming emotional crazy (sorry Oliver). Hilarious crazy. Crazy love. Lots of crazy. There will always be a snippet of crazy, but I feel like we are settling into our little shop at 736 Valencia, and it feels mighty nice.

For a nice trip down memory lane...this (left) is was the space was when we found it back in October 2010. To your right...is what it looks like now (generally with some booties in those beautiful stools). I could not be happier with the way things turned out & there is a long list of people to thank for making it happen. Bringing MC to life was the most humbling experience I can imagine as there is only so much you can do on your own. which also makes the experience very communal & infinitely more special. Lots of love has been poured in from the generous family that has welcomed Li'l MC. What a trip. Hallelulah. Holy shit.

Now that we (we now being an AMAZING team of 7 Cheesers) have had just over two months of getting in our cheese loving groove, we can look back a have a good chuckle at some of the bumps in our road. Ingredient swap-a-roos, dishwasher lessons, undersized oven mits, batched cheese wrappage, scrambling wipe-out caused by a rascally bar towel (yep...that was me), clogged toilets, slow-motion mop bucket spillage...just to name a few. There have also been some classic characters that have entered MC leaving us with amazing quotes & countless laugh sessions. I feel compelled to share at least this one...

Seemingly normal man walks into MC & finds a space at the center of the bar, directly in front of lucky me...

Man: I need a shot. (eyes crossing & lips pursing very strangely)

Me: I'm sorry sir, we only have wine & beer.

Man: I guess what I'm saying is I need something strong...and quick.

Me: (very perplexed perhaps disgusted facial expression)

Man: I need a shot.

Me: I think perhaps what you need is a burger...before it's too late.

Lady customer at the bar: I think it's already too late!

Man exits. Phew.

The MC staff has also already earned their crime fighting badge. That's right. Last Thursday Mission Cheese was Mission Cheese...and Justice, when our man-cheesers (Eric & Steve) confronted a man who tried to steal both a phone & a purse from delightful MC customers. Both were recovered (and greeted with a round of applause from a full house of cheese lovers) & the thief was identified & arrested. We certainly did not want to be responsible for putting anyone in the slammer, but when one messes with our cheese lovers...they leave us no choice. Justice was served.

Most importantly, we have served up some serious amounts of American artisan cheese. Sharing stories & great conversations about our fermented friend...and life. Every day is an adventure, and we feel very fortunate to have such lovely & curious people walk into the shop every day (except Mondays...ha). Ya'll rock.

It has certainly been a wild ride thus far, but I would do it all over again in a half-second.

Next post (yes, we are back in action), it will be my pleasure to introduce you to the kick ass team of Cheesers that make Mission Cheese an amazing place to be.















Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Parents...and the many ways in which they rock.

We are down to the wire cheese lovers, so I do not have as much time as I would like to write an update...but a mini-update is better than no update. Yes?

As mentioned in my last post, my Parents were in town for 10 days of Mission Cheese-ing. Unbelievable Troopers. Definitely worth sharing.


Just for a little context, let's flashback to just under two years ago on a drive back from Mendocino...

Mum: I don't understand why you would quit your job. It's a good job. There are so many people looking for jobs!


Me: I am miserable in my cubicle. Life is too short to spend it on something I am not passionate about.

Mum: I just worry!

Me: It's going to be great, Mom! People love cheese!


Mum: You'll understand when you're a mother. We never stop worrying! DON'T DO IT! PLEASE! (sniffle sniffle)


Despite the worries (and they still worry), my Parents have been nothing but supportive from the moment this mission began. My Mum met me in Europe to kick things off & was a complete rockstar on cheese explorations through England & France (we only really got in 1 fight when visiting a COMTE aging facility...and I can barely remember what it was about). Then, they let me borrow a car (Mazda!) furnished with a GPS device (which I insisted I did not need...and I was 100% incorrect) to drive all over the country and visit cheesemakers & subsidized my lodging so that I would not bring my tent & camp alone. They visited creameries with me in Wisconsin, and my Mum even came to meet up with me on the east coast to accompany me on my drive back to Cali. On that drive, somewhere in Oklahoma in the middle of the night we (Mum driving) ran over a dead dear in the center to of the road at 75 mph (not recommended). It has been a journey.

So, back in the present, this trip was a pretty big deal. The first meeting of MC, which I like to call their granddaughter. Finally putting it all in perspective & the grand realization that...there is no turning back. My Parents dove right in, ready to help.

They drove all over the Bay Area looking for cove base tile (necessary for kitchen & bathroom areas...and not very easy to find if you want it to be somewhat attractive). Installed & grouted the tile. Unpacked much of the refrigeration & put it in place (not easy). Installed the sound system. (surround sound...you better believe it!) Reupholstered & reinforced the chairs...all 14 of them. Purchased lights, napkins, a grinder. Chiseled rough parts of the cement wall...and provided some much needed unconditional love. All the while, keeping their worried minds in check...most of the time.

I don't think all the curds of gratitude I could gather would do the trick on this one. My Parents have always been the most generous people I have ever known. I am just lucky that they are mine.

Mission Cheese...made possible by Richard & Dianne Dvorak. Mountains of curds to you...and lots of love too!


In other news, we are getting very close (in case you have not read about it already in 7x7, Inside Scoop, Eater, or Grub Street...EEK!) We have passed final building & health inspection, and the last step is obtaining the certificate of occupancy...which will hopefully happen early next week. So, we are targeting next Wednesday, April 13 for bringing cheese to the people. We are still waiting patiently on the beer & wine license...but we can still get our cheese on.

Also, the IndieGoGo campaign is still on & we are almost $2K away from our goal. While there is nothing (I mean NOTHING) I like less than asking for MOOla. We need it! Pass it on. You rock.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Chair Party (HOORAY!) & Budget Woes (NOOO!)

Things are moving right along and 736 Valencia is looking more & more like Mission Cheese every day. It is pretty amazing to watch months worth of decisions come together. I cannot wait to share!

Speaking of decisions...selecting chairs for the shop was no easy task. It was certainly not a problem to find chairs that I liked, but it was a bit of a problem finding something that both I liked AND was less than $100. Chairs, my friends, are expensive! The search had been on for nearly 3 months, when I finally stumbled across some options on my trusty friend, Mr. Craigslist. (Thanks to Allison Bloom who has been helping me with design tidbits!) I drove a zip car down to redwood city to pick up 15 of these puppies, at $10 each. (score!) Pretty nice...except for the fact that you cannot see the seriously layer of grim in the photo, aaaaaand I hate purple. Minor details. Nothing that could not be solved by a CHAIR PARTY! (WOOO HOOO! PAAAAARTY!) We invited over a few of our closest friends to take part in the joy of scraping grime (a.k.a. boogers), sanding, priming, and painting. Hooray!

How do you make such un-party-like activities fun, you ask? Good question. Simply add Judy, Kris (who apparently was not having much fun according to the picture to the top-right), Catherine (check out those gloves!), Ali, Steph, Jenny, James, Wavy, Dawn, and (of course) Oliver. Then you add some Devils Gulch & St. George, wine, brewski, Little Star, and some tunes. Voila! Party. Oliver even fashioned a sweet tarp to keep the sanding/de-booger station dry. Fancy! Best friends on the planet. Curds down.

It was a full day of chairrific times...and let me tell you, the fun continues as my Mum continues to work on fixing the purple cushion issue. I really wanted to go with a very au naturel look with painters cloth (natural/off-white heavy canvas), but for durability sake, we are going with black pleathery naugahyde. I know...gross, but it looks good & will hopefully last longer...decreasing the overall footprint. Yay?!? Check out the finished product! Mum's fingers hurt a bit after a day of stretching & stapling, but she was certainly the woman for the job. (My Mum & Dad are in town for 10 days to help with the shop...but I think that calls for a separate blog post, no?)

On a not-as-fun note, the final budget had some last minute complications (a.k.a. overages of the not so small variety). Without boring you with the details, I just wanted to send on news of the campaign we have launched via IndieGoGo (amazing website!) to raise funds to lighten the blow...and the response has been remarkable! As of day 4, we are over half-way to raising our goal of $12,000 thanks to the amazingly generous community that has embraced Mission Cheese. She's the luckiest truckle I ever did meet! Just in case you have not checked it out yet, HERE is the link. Pass it on. Spread the love. Eat some cheese. A little shortage in MOOla cannot stop this train! We are so close to the finish!

video

Barrels & buckets of curds overfloweth!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Team DIY. Making it Happen.

I know that an update is necessary, but my head is in a bit of a tizzy these days, so I may be a bit short & unorganized. I am not mad at you. I promise.

Construction is moving right along & I cannot say enough about the amazing Stingray Builders team. They seriously rock...and as a result Mission Cheese is going to be beautiful! Since last post, rough electrical inspection was passed, walls have been finished & cabinetry is being secured in place (they are making custom cabinetry for 2 of the walls...for maximum efficiency), and walnut slabs have been...planed, yes, planed.

In addition to the very professional work happening, I have gathered some friends & soon-to-be family (Oliver & I are engaged! WOO HOO!) for some DIY weekend projects. Brewski required.

Mission: Tile
Perhaps week 1 of official designing of the shop, I found Heath Bright Yellow tile (color G44...to be exact). We have been friends ever since. I have carried the sample tile in my bag for months...it just makes me happy. Even as the estimated cost of the project came in over budget, I vowed to have this tile for my beloved. So, the deal was...spend the money on the tile & save money by installing it ourselves. Done. Love it.

As I talked tile with more experienced folks, I began to understand that installing Heath tile (hand cut) is no ordinary tiling job. Each tile a bit different. One bends this way, one the other. Pear shaped ones. Skinny ones. Light ones. Dark ones. Rotund. You get the point. I began to get nervous. Was I about to ruin this gorgeous tile? I had to call in some experts...


Meet Keith (left...the male). Expert DIY-er & home-improver (also my best friend Ali's main squeeze) and Mission Cheese tiling team lead. He was the only team member to tile previously...and he had a serious tile saw & most of the necessary equipment. This task would have been insanely difficult to pull off without him. Rockstar.

Also on the team were Oliver (of course) and Mom, Shelley. Shelley is an expert quilter...so of course tiling would come naturally. Just made sense. She was a trooper getting to the shop with us at 7 am & leaving around 8:30 for pizza & bed. Oliver's sister Beth & boyfriend Garrett would come in for the final stretch. Clutch.

After the tile was in place the rest was fairly easy. Dry. Grout. Dry. Wipe. We nailed it! Curds of thanks to all involved (including the knee pads). It was a great weekend & I could not be happier with the result! More pics on facebook.

Mission: Floors
How hard can it be to stain concrete floors? I mean...it pretty much seems like painting. No?

We consulted anyone that we could think of to prepare ourselves for the project & watched the Soycrete instructional video at least a dozen times. Equipped with the stain, sealer, sponge mops, buckets, rags & a wet vac...there was only one more necessary item, the floor buffer. You know, the floor buffer often seen in the hands of a janitor cruising through the school halls before he is trampled by teenage brats in a corny 80's flick. Yep, that's the one. Seemingly easy to operate & efficient floor cleaner. The rental of the buffer went a bit like this...

Frank (the very friendly Hawaiian man at Action Rentals): You guys have operated one of these before, right?

Oliver: No.

Frank: (chuckle) Well, we better give you a few pointers. (other friend behind the counter also chuckling)

Frank gives us a very simple run down & demo. Make sure the handle is adjusted to your height so the buffer is flat on the ground, up to go right, down to go left (or maybe it was the other way around...you get the point), and so on. Then Oliver gives it a try. A little shaky at first, but overall under control. Then I try. The buffer nearly yanks my arm out of socket & jams into Oliver's foot. I begin laughing hysterically & try again. Buffer yanks in the same direction plowing over the carpet runners in the shop. Hunched over, silent laughing...tears.

Oliver: I guess I'll be the buffer.

Frank: Good Luck!

Long story short...we buffed the floor twice following close behind with the shop vac. I was never able to operate the buffer without replaying the above scenario...instead of Oliver's foot, it was the bathroom wall. (whoops!) Dear friend & Mission Cheese VIP Jenny O'Connor was able to master the buffer to give Oliver a few breaks from the vibrating beast. She also snagged some great video footage of The Buffer that will hopefully be posted on the MC facebook page.

After cleaning the slab, we spread the stain as evenly as possible. Turns out...as even as possible is not so even! The slab, which we thought to be very porous (since it's new concrete) throughout...was not. An expert in this situation would have likely etched the concrete to ensure even & adequate porosity. We are not experts, so the floor is what I consider...well, authentic. I like authentic.

In addition to the weekend DIYs, we are doing everything else required to prepare for opening...buying stuff, applying for all necessary permits, ordering sinks, finalizing lighting, buying more stuff, selecting a point of sale system (iPad!!!), payroll, insurance (thanks to friends at The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen, I found an AMAZING company!), merchant services, buying more stuff...I could go on for days.

Most importantly, I am currently assembling a kick ass cheese team. So, this is a last call of sorts...if you or someone you know have cheesemongering/culinary experience OR just plain love the idea of bringing cheese to the people send resumes to sarah@missioncheese.net along with answers to the following questions...

1. Tell me about the moment you realized your love for cheese.
2. What is your favorite cheese & why?
3. Favorite 3 (or so) places to eat in the Bay Area?
4. Do you like people?

When IS opening day?!? Good question. No earlier than March 18 & hopefully no later than March 31. That is all the detail I can provide at the moment.

Giant sized curds of gratitude to Keith, Shelley, Beth, Garrett, Jenny & Oliver for getting their hands dirty AND to the Spilgers, Kris & Judy, and Chris Hagen for keeping our stomachs happy! (3 Tartine deliveries were made while we were busy at work making Team DIY the best fed crew around!) You all rock my world.

Enjoy your week cheese friends!





Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It's Alive!

I am sensing a trend. Weeks go by without a blog post. I decide it's time to nail myself down & go for the gold. Then I stare at a blank screen because I have no stinky cheese clue where in the nuts to begin. Well...take that blank screen! You're not looking so blank anymore! Yeah. Ok...ah hem.

During the month of January, Mission Cheese seems to have become a full on living & breathing spitfire of a truckle charging to the finish line. I, on the other hand, can generally be found stumbling behind & taking orders. My arms may flail from time to time, but all in all we are having a blast & getting shiza done.

Construction at 736 Valencia is fully underway & there has been serious progress, thanks to Sacha & the Stingray Builders team (amazing partners for anyone out there looking to...you know, build stuff). Rough plumbing is done & approved by inspectors (check) and the design for the cabinetry (essentially the walls) is nearly finished and moving into production. The one actual full wall being built (ha...yes, only one) is up & the bar/counter has been roughed in as well. I was able to see the 3D version of MC in Sketch Up (a crazy architecture-type program that I have zero idea how to maneuver) and it made me misty eyed. She's going to be perfect!

Sacha & team also secured this amazing slab of salvaged walnut for the bar from a kind man named Jim in Peteluma. Awesome. (aaaannd fist pump. I tried to hold it back...I really tried.) I will also be picking up my tile from Heath in Sausalito & table tops from Heritage Salvage in Peteluma (hot place for salvaged walnut it turns out) this week, and bar stools are underway (more to come). Chairs are the last major item on the furniture list. So many lovely chairs & so few within my micro budget. Any ideas?

Now, this next bit is a titch embarrassing, but fully embracing this process, I will share. There was a cheese photo shoot. Yes, that's right, me & Bayley Hazen Blue, Capricious, Cirrus, Appalachian, & Red Hawk. (Yum.) Since the space itself is not ready for the camera, my dear friend Peter Prato unleashed his artistic ways to capture the soul of little Mission Cheese for press releases & the like. Oliver, Jenny, & some brewski graciously accompanied and successfully eased my nerves for what turned out to be a hilarious afternoon of outfit & cheese changes. While my hair could have used a bit of brushing (whoops), I think Peter nailed it. These curds are for you and your magical ways! Here's a sneak peak at the madness. Momma clear a space on the mantel. Ha.

Other happenings may sound a bit snory, like choosing merchant services, a POS system, insurance, & payroll...but I have managed to find some amazing people that have been kind enough to talk me through the details & not try to rip me off (so far...fingers crossed). For any other business budders out there, I would be happy to share who & what I found in my search.

All that & the Packers are in the Super Bowl! Get right out of town! Three cheers for a cheesehead VICTORY! Go Pack Go!