Thursday, March 28, 2013

we heart whole foods

I just can't say enough about Whole Foods Boulder and the incredible support they have given us, and to so many other local businesses and organizations too! I have been a huge fan of Whole Foods ever since I discovered their experiential grocery stores umpteen years ago and have been a dedicated customer ever since, in every city I've lived. I could seriously wander the aisles for hours, discovering new healthy food choices and products each time I visit and getting lost in dreams of what to cook next. When it comes to large corporations, many are generally viewed as intimidating and impersonal, but I can whole heartedly tell you that Whole Foods is quite the opposite ~ as I have seen first hand through the tremendous support they continue to show for local small businesses and our community as a whole, especially the creative one! They have been a beautiful believer in the Makerie from the very beginning, and that I will never forget. It has been really special and fun to work with their team to find new ways to partner this year and are thrilled to have them as a sponsor of Aran's food styling and photography workshops at the Lyons Farmette in a few weeks. Fresh, delicious, healthy food combined with unique ingredients is so much a part of what Aran is about and a perfect match with what Whole Foods stands for.

It all started back in the fall with a fabulous facebook photo contest to win a spot in her classes. Our winner was Dorian O'Connell & I've been meaning to share her story, in her own words below. This girl has heart!

My all time favorite blogger is Aran Goyoaga, of Cannelle et Vanille, who writes about her own food styling with her ellaborate plates and dishes. When I saw her food photography class was being offered at the Makerie, I was really excited and even more so when I stumbled  across the Whole Foods Photography Contest held in November, the winner to receive both days of Aran's workshops. I entered my photo of Pear Frangipan Tart on Thanksgiving. There were only four days until the contest ended and I was behind 75 votes. My mother said there was no way to get that many votes in such a short time! I was determined to win, but it was based on a popularity contest and I only had 25 friends on Facebook. The other contestants started a week before I decided to enter so I racked my brain to figure out the best approach to get as many votes as possible. So I decided to hit the town ~ going to coffee shops, bars, street walkers, and talking to everyone I came across. I would sit next to someone and try to come up with the best approach to have them vote for my Pear Frangipan Tart. They would either sign into facebook on my iPad or I would email them the link to vote. I only had four days to get people to vote! I spent a lot of mornings at coffee shops and late nights at the bars and was burning the campaign candle at both ends. Everyday I would send out emails asking people to vote again since they could vote every 24 hours and it seemed my plan was working! On the last day, I couldn't believe it but I was actually tied with the other leader. Now I was getting nervous. Maybe my mother was right, but despite my fears and doubts, I just kept at it, pushing and pushing right up to the last minute. It kind of took on a life of its own, as strangers told their friends and they told their friends and in four days, I managed to squeak out the most votes and won first place. Now what I learn at Aran's class I can use for my own Bakery Shop and web site ~ ~ and make my pastries look even prettier. Thank you Whole Foods, Aran Goyoaga, and the Makerie. And of course, to everyone that voted and supported me. 

We're excited for Dorian too! 

If that fantastic contest wasn't enough, Whole Foods is helping to kick off Makerie weekend by hosting a special cookbook signing at the Pearl Street store on Wednesday, April 10 from 5 to 6:30 pm. So for those not taking her classes, you'll have the chance to meet Aran in person and even taste a treat or two from her book. Whole Foods will also be providing the fresh ingredients for Aran's workshops, which include a homemade lunch for her Friday class. Oh those students are in for one special treat! 

It's an honor to have the chance to work with a company I have admired for so long and will share more about their presenting sponsorship of the Makerie Summer Series in the weeks to come. Many fabulous things are being planned for that too so don't let this late, lingering winter stop you from thinking about crafting on the farm with some fabulous food to go with it come summertime! :)

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