Tomatina

A Beverage Industry Newbie's Adventures

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Time to Say Goodbye

Sales of Tomatina have not been brisk enough for the distributor to continue business with us, so Tomatina has been discontinued.  The Tomatina formula was meant to be pulpy, but this has proved a major hurdle for some customers.  Unfortunately, there are no funds available to reformulate using a smoother recipe.

Thanks to everyone for your support during this journey!

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Tomatina finds a NYC Distributor!

After a few months of dormancy, Tomatina has been reawakened!  It took quite a while, but Tomatina has now found a distributor, who is now delivering Tomatina to the following outlets, located in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn.  Get out there and try some today!

ALL IN ONE MART
AZURE
BACK TO THE LAND
BATTERY PLACE MARKET
BIG APPLE
BUTCHER BLOCK
CAFE DUKE
CHELSEA FINEST FOODS
CUCINA LIBERTA
DOWNTOWN NATURAL MARKET
E-Z CAFE
ELM HEALTH
FRESH START
GREEN PLANET
HEALTH NUTS
LASSEN & HENNINGS
NATURAL FRONTIER
OLDE BROOKLYN BAGEL SHOP
PACIFIC
PANYA BAKERY
PARKSLOPE FOOD COOP
PATRICK MURPHY
SIDEWALK CAFE
SIMPLY NATURAL
SOHO PHARMACY
STUR-DEE HEALTH FOODS
VITALITY HEALTH
EL AY SI

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Tomatina Available for Purchase Online; ABC News Review of Tomatina!

Check out this amazing review of Tomatina by Sara Moulton of ABC News.  She places Tomatina in the top 13 of all products at this summer’s Fancy Food Show.  There were 2400 booths at the show:

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2013/07/fancy-food-show-summer-2013-sara-moultons-top-13-picks/

Now you can order Tomatina online!  It is available both on OpenSky and Amazon.  Now anyone in the country can enjoy Tomatina:

OpenSky: http://www.opensky.com/tomatina

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Tomatina/dp/B00E57EEQK/ref=sr_1_1?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1374930844&sr=1-1

Over the past few months, I’ve been working on getting Tomatina samples into distributors’ hands, mostly.  You need a distributor in order to sell serious quantities of product.  Without a distributor, you must rely on sales from as many stores as you have time to sell to in your area.  That means selling, delivering the product, checking up on stock levels now and then, and doing demos.  It’s a lot of work to sell just a few cases of product here and there.  A distributor will make your life easier by making your product available to many stores, and they will take care of order fulfillment, giving you time to focus on demos, sales, and the management of your business.  

Along with a distributor, Tomatina needs a big name retailer to take interest.  This will draw in the interest of distributors and maybe even investors that can help the business grow.  Whole Foods, Wegmans, Williams-Sonoma…  They are all being called on.  Fingers crossed!!

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Stores are easy, Consumers are hard

Selling Tomatina for the past month and a half has been a been a great experience.  I was surprised by how easy it was to get into stores, but how difficult it was to get Tomatina in consumers’ shopping carts.  It makes sense though- Tomatina sits in a cooler, lost among a multitude of other beverages.  In addition, there is only one flavor, so if it only has one row on the shelf, it makes it that much more difficult for consumers to identify it, despite its catchy look.  On the other hand, product demonstrations have been very successful at selling Tomatina.  The key is to get the consumer to taste a sample and realize how wonderfully delicious Tomatina is, then voila!  They buy it.  So a lot of my time is now dedicated to sampling demonstrations.  The theory is that people will become familiar enough with the brand that they will then buy it without the need for a demo.  In any case, I am encouraged by the quality and number of outlets Tomatina is now sold in:

Westside Market (all stores)

Garden of Eden (all stores)

Elm Health (1 store)

Zeytuna

Assorted Health/Specialty Stores & Delis

In addition, Tomatina is signed up for 2 exciting trade shows, happening over the next couple of months: the Fancy Food Show in NYC and the Healthy Beverage Expo in Las Vegas.  The hope is for a nice-sized purchase order from a larger retailer, which should help lead to better distribution (rather than my carting cases around myself), and even investor interest.  So that is the status of Tomatina right now.  Please feel free to purchase Tomatina when you see it in a store.  In addition to being a wonderful and healthy beverage on its own, it also tastes amazing with vodka, and makes a fabulous Ratatouille base!  In case you lost the recipe, here it is:

Tomatina Ratatouille
Serves 4
1 small onion, diced 
1 garlic clove, minced   
1 tsp. olive oil  
1 medium zucchini, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced 
5 Shitake mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup diced eggplant (OPTIONAL)   
1/4 teaspoon oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves
sea salt & pepper to taste


1 cup 
Tomatina or your favorite tomato juice
(Potato, Rice or Noodles) 
1.  Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until soft. 
2.)  Add diced vegetables and seasonings. Continue to saute until vegetables are soft.  Salt & pepper to taste. 
3.)  Add 1 cup of Tomatina. Simmer for 5 minutes.

4.)  Serve over sliced potato, rice or noodles.  

 

Check out the links below and follow TOMATINA

https://twitter.com/tomatinajuice

https://www.facebook.com/TomatinaJuice.

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Tomatina Hits the Shelves!

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Wednesday, April 10th was the first day to see Tomatina on a store shelf. I went door to door to a handful of stores that day and managed to get placement in three stores on Day 1. Now the product has to move. So we will find out soon if the packaging and the pricing are ok. The packaging and product itself are premium quality, and the brand is small and new, so the pricing is at the higher end of similar juices. Naked, for example, is now owned by Pepsi. Their ability to mass market Naked on an unbelievably large scale means that prices are going down. The little guys cannot compete in price, so we have to rely on quality craftsmanship and local appeal. Many customers know this and will deliberately choose a small brand for its authenticity and value. Tomatina offers just this, authenticity plus value.

In addition to going door to door to delis, I’m targeting restaurants, gyms, yoga & martial arts studios, and specialty/natural food stores. The owners & managers seem to be more difficult to locate in these places, whereas in a deli you can usually find them behind the register. But fingers are crossed for these, as they will create BUZZZZZ…

As of 5/4 Tomatina is available for purchase in the following outlets:

Upper West Side:

West Side Market

2589 Broadway, New York, NY 10025

West Side Market

2171 Broadway, New York, NY 10024

Chelsea:

West Side Market

7th Ave & 14th St., New York, NY, 10011

Garden of Eden

7 E 14th St., New York, NY 10011

Health Food & Vitamin City 

400 W 23rd St. #2, New York, NY 10011

L&M Delicatessen & Grocery

80 7th Ave, New York, NY 10011

Chelsea Bagel & Cafe

139 W 14th St., New York, NY 10011

Max Convenience Deli

364 W 23rd St., New York, NY 10011

Chelsea Gourmet Food Mart

194 8th Ave, New York, NY 10011

Ha Ha Fresh 

195 9th Ave., New York, NY 10011

Chelsea Hyper Market 

366 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

Chelsea Market Place

170 7th Ave, New York, NY 10011

17th St. Gourmet 

134 8th Ave., New York, NY 10011

The Pantry 

405 W 23rd St., New York, NY 10011

West Village:

Bagels on the Square

7 Carmine St., New York, NY 10014

Quick Stop Deli

251 6th Ave., New York, NY 10014

Abingdon Market 

1 Abingdon Sq., New York, NY 10014

Hudson Gourmet 

514 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

Elm Health - www.elmhealth.net

56 7th Ave, New York, NY 10011

Ray’s Deli 

452 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014

Ja-Ja Deli

164 Bleecker St., New York, NY 10012

Union Square:

University Place Deli

116 University Place, New York, NY 10003

Valent & Cook

74 5th Ave, New York, NY 10011

Soho:

Soho Market

213 6th Ave., New York, NY 10014

Soho News International

186 Spring St., New York, NY 10012

Bowery:

Bouwerie Iconic Magazine

215 Bowery, New York, NY 10002

East Village:

Ray’s Gourmet 

201 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

Please pick up a bottle if you’re in the neighborhood!

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Tomatina will see its day… in March!

Tomatina will be produced at the end of March!  It will be the week of the 18th or the 25th.  WHEW!

So many things have happened during the past few months!  We had to switch to a more expensive glass bottle from a plastic one, because oxygen would seep through the bottle and brown our beautiful Tomatina! 

The label was a total fiasco.  Figuring out the new design, the size, and the material- you’d think it would be a fun process but it is tedious.  Still, the outcome is worth the effort.  The label is stellar!

The Kickstarter campaign failed to meet its target, so all of the money and time invested in that project went down the tubes.  We’ll chalk that one up to a learning experience! 

Finding ingredient suppliers that will provide what you need, send it to where you need it, and in the quantities you need… tough!  Thanks to the co-packer for helping sort out this mess.  We even had to switch out ingredients and retest the juice… which is now even MORE delicious. 

Developing this product has taken a full two years.  NOW comes the hard part… selling Tomatina and finding funding for ongoing operations.  This is where faith in the product and the Founder’s skills & efforts come in.  I’ve been told to throw in the towel, to know when to quit, and certainly NOT to produce this batch before doing A B C D E F and G!  For better or for worse, there comes a time when enough costs are sunk to justify moving forward no matter what.  At some point you have to stop analyzing and ACT, and expect to miss some steps along the way.   

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Tomatina Blogger Write-Ups: Summary

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I have spent the last two months contacting bloggers everywhere to ask them to feature Tomatina’s Kickstarter project on their blogs:

www.kickstarter.com/projects/tomatina/introducing-tomatina

Through the generosity of these bloggers, Tomatina was featured on EIGHT different blogs. Two of the blogs are written by a woman named Nina who has endured too much suffering in her life. Like all of us, she has had too many loved ones pass away from preventable diseases. She does her part in changing the world for the better by blogging on the topic of health and wellness.

www.urbanveganchic.com

www.plantbaseddietsolutions.com

Another blogger named Lisa also featured Tomatina on her blog. Lisa is an avid tomato juice drinker from Canada. She wrote an amazing review and provided many facts about the health benefits of drinking Tomatina. Lycopene, found in abundance in cooked (or pasteurized) tomatoes, helps reduce muscle inflammation after a workout: 

www.figure911.com/2012/11/27/toma-who

Debbie Walton made a fabulous Tomatina Ratatouille recipe from her Tomatina sample:

www.thehealthseekerskitchen.com/2012/12/tomatina-ratatouille-review.html 

I also made this recipe also and can vouch for it- it is phenomenal! Of course I used some substitutions, but it still turned out amazing. Until you have spare Tomatina hanging around the house, maybe you could use tomato juice or sauce as an alternative. Debbie is a busy mother of 5, disease advocate, and nutritionist. She also sells related items through her blog- juicers, picklers, blenders, supplements, etc.

Angela LeMoine has a background in Environmental Policy, and is a Zumba instructor, stay-at-home mom, and food blogger, with a kickin’ website! She has written an energizing review of Tomatina. The enthusiasm with which she writes jumps right out of the computer screen at you. AND, she supplies a delicious recipe for Tomatina- a delicious pasta sauce! 

www.lemoinefamilykitchen.blogspot.com/2012/12/tomatina-not-your-typical-tomato-juice.html

Alyssa writes a fabulous weight-loss blog, inspired by her own struggle with food issues. I know Alyssa is an inspiration to her readers because she is so relatable. She has provided a valuable public service with this blog. She is also very kind to share her thoughts on Tomatina (and she has very good taste!): 

www.doublechindiary.com/a-review-for-the-delicious-tomatina-vegetable-juice 

Nick is from the beautiful state of Colorado and loves to cook. He believes that by cooking/preparing your own food, you can make healthier food choices (Tomatina agrees!). He works a 9 to 5 job and still has time to help Tomatina with this honorable mention:

www.macheesmo.com/2012/12/the-internet-kitchen-wyoming 

Finally, Beau writes a food blog with new twists on traditional recipes. He is from rural Western Kansas and is a stay-at-home dad as well as a consultant for Geographic Information Systems. He actually recorded a video taste testing of Tomatina in which he and his adorable daughter taste test Tomatina: 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CkvCJZDCUc 

Tangy, right? That’s because Tomatina has less salt than v8. Beau’s written blog is at www.somethingedible.com, and is a good read. 

I feel incredibly honored to have Tomatina written about by so many wonderful people. I am indebted with gratitude!

If you haven’t contributed yet, consider making a contribution to Tomatina’s Kickstarter project. The money will go to help launch Tomatina and make it a reality. Your pledge will also entitle you to some great prizes, including Tomatina samples!

Regards!

John

www.kickstarter.com/projects/tomatina/introducing-tomatina

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Kickstarter Project: Tomatina

www.kickstarter.com/projects/tomatina/introducing-tomatina

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Kickstarter is a website on which you can post a project that needs funding.  Visitors to the project site can choose to help fund a worthy project for whatever reason, and will generally be rewarded with free products, entertainment, mentions, etc. 

Creating a Kickstarter project is an enormous amount of work.  Designing the website portion is the easiest part.  Then you must decide what to give away at each contribution level, being careful not to give away too much.  You also need a snappy video for the site.  Have you ever tried to arrange the production of a video?  It can be fun, but it takes a lot of time, money, and effort.  Finally, you will have to publicize your project.  I have chosen to contact several myriads of bloggers for this.  If more than one myriad did not exist before, they do now.  Myriads.  As a result, the Tomatina Kickstarter project has been featured on 4 blogs.

Two blogs are written by a woman named Nina who has endured too much suffering in her life. Like all of us, she has had too many loved ones pass away from preventable diseases. She does her part in making a change in the world for the better by blogging on the topic of health and wellness.

www.urbanveganchic.com 

www.plantbaseddietsolutions.com 

Nina loves to interview amazing and influential people.  I feel incredibly honored to have been among her interviewees!  Nina praised Tomatina in her post, as well as helped to promote the Kickstarter project, for which I also feel incredibly thankful!

Another blogger named Lisa also featured Tomatina on her blog. Lisa is an avid tomato juice drinker from Canada. She wrote an amazing review and provided many facts and health benefits of drinking Tomatina. She also taught me some health facts that I ought to have already known :/ Here is the feature: 

www.figure911.com/2012/11/27/toma-who

Lisa put Tomatina up in a contest against V8 and Heinz, and guess who won!!  …O Canada…

Finally, Tomatina was featured in a recipe, posted on a blog written by Debbie Walton, a busy mother of 5, disease advocate and nutritionist: www.thehealthseekerskitchen.com/2012/12/tomatina-ratatouille-review.html  I made this recipe and can vouch for it- it is phenomenal!    Debbie also sells related items through her blog- juicers, picklers, blenders, supplements, etc.  Debbie believes that food can be our medicine, and that a plant-based diet can help our systems defend against ills and diseases.  Tomatina agrees!

I cannot thank these women enough for the effort and kind words they put forth to help me with Tomatina. And whether or not the Kickstarter target funding level is met, I thank Tomatina’s contributors for believing in this project.  Make sure to visit the project website and follow its progress!!

www.kickstarter.com/projects/tomatina/introducing-tomatina

John 

Filed under health kickstarter tomato health benefits delicious Cancer financing inspiration lycopene

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The Amazing Health Benefits of the Tomato

CALL IT the revenge of the tomatoes. Until the 1800’s Americans considered tomatoes a poisonous fruit, either rarely eaten or boiled for hours to destroy its “toxins.” In traditional nutrition, tomatoes are wimps with some vitamin C and a smidgen of beta-carotene.


But recently scientists have discovered spectacular secrets in tomatoes—-various disease-fighting antioxidants, including the red pigment lycopene and an anti-clotting agent known as “P3 tomato factor.” These discoveries have transformed the tomato into a hot health food, increasingly believed to help prevent and even reverse disease.
Experts urge you to eat more tomatoes in any form —- fresh or canned, raw or cooked, or processed in soups or as sauce, paste, juice or ketchup.
The latest remarkable reasons why:

Fights cancer. Researchers have known tomatoes might help prevent certain cancers; in a Harvard study, eating lycopene-rich tomato sauce two to four times weekly cut prostrate cancer risk by 35%. The news is that lycopene may even shrink existing prostrate tumors. Before surgery, one group of prostrate cancer patients at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit was given lycopene extract for three weeks; another group got a placebo. Tumors in the lycopene group were smaller and less likely to spread.

Protects lungs. Eating tomatoes helps shield lungs from bad air and cigarette smoke. In a University of North Carolina test, people were exposed to high levels of ozone, an air pollutant. Those who drank a can of tomato-heavy V-8 juice daily in the three week test showed 20% less DNA damage in lung cells than those not getting V-8. Other research suggests lycopene helps ward off lung cancer.

Combats heart disease. Tomatoes can make you less prone to clogged arteries and heart disease. Dramatic new evidence from Finland shows that middle-aged men with low lycopene are three times more apt to suffer heart attacks or strokes and 18% more apt to have narrowed carotid (neck) arteries. Probable reasons: Tomatoes help detoxify bad LDL cholesterol, hindering plaque building. In one test, eating 60 milligrams of lycopene daily (the amount in 1 ½ cups tomato sauce or 2.2 pounds of fresh tomatoes) for three months reduced LDL cholesterol by 14%.
Also, an aspirinlike substance in the yellow jelly around tomato seeds helps thwart blood clots, according to Scottish research. The amount in only four tomatoes reduced clot-provoking blood stickiness by a surprising 72%.

Vision saver. Tomatoes may protect the eyes by deterring macular degeneration, a cause of vision loss in older people, suggests new University of Maryland research that found high levels of lycopene in eye tissue.

Skin saver. New German research shows that eating 1.3 ounces of tomato paste daily reduced sun-induced skin damage by 40%.

Brain food. Tomatoes are anti-aging nourishment for the brain. In a classic study, elderly women with the highest lycopene blood levels remained the most mentally and physically active.

To get the greatest benefit…

- Eat at least five weekly servings of tomato based foods.

- Eat tomatoes cooked, processed and prepared with a little olive oil. Heating helps release lycopene and you get the most lycopene in concentrated, processed products such as tomato paste and sauce, canned tomatoes, juice, soup and ketchup. Still Americans get half their lycopene from raw tomatoes. In new tests at Ohio State University, over a two-week period, blood lycopene was raised 192% by a daily serving of tomato sauce, 122% by tomato soup and 92% by V-8 juice. Other research shows that adding olive oil to tomatoes increases lycopene absorption.

- Eat a variety. Lycopene isn’t the sole tomato power. For example, tomato soup has more antioxidant activity than can be attributed to lycopene alone, meaning it contains other antioxidants. Raw tomatoes are lower in lycopene but still may be good at combatting blood clots.

Source: http://www.pcoastp.com/doc.aspx?page=id%7C5096

Filed under health health benefits tomato lycopene cancer lungs heart heart health delicious prostate cancer processed

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The Tomatina Festival is today, 8-29-12

We must live the tomatina to understand the tomatina

Can’t make it to La Tomatina?  Here’s what you are missing:

Of the many celebrations that take place in Buñol, one is notable for its originality and transcendence: La Tomatina. It’s the last Wednesday of August during a week-long Festival in Buñol, when, at about eleven o’clock, the tomato battle begins. An unforgettable hour of laughter and throwing tomatoes at La Tomatina has become one of the most international of Valencian and Spanish festivals.

La Tomatina has several phases and each contains a spark of charm that ends in short an unforgettable celebration:

The night before: 
Just as Buñol residents like it, the party starts the night before. There are no tomatoes yet, but already people are beginning to feel the pre-hangover that slightly alters your nervous system. To counter the anticipation, the people of Buñol and tourists alike spend the night at the fairgrounds, located on the paseo de Sanluis, where the bars and attractions are.  There they spend the entire night the party, with friends and music, laughing and dancing. Believe it or not, this all-night partying does not diminish the required strength for a war of great magnitude the following day.

The morning: 
The next morning the preparation begins. It is time to regain strength, which is why most early bird attendees come to the town square, around 9 am, to eat pastries that the city of Buñol distributes to the people. Gradually the square fills. The smell of morning adds to a strange sense of excitement for anyone who has already been to La Tomatina, and doubt and nervousness fills the person who experiences it for the first time. You can almost smell the tomatoes before having them all over your body. Some locals choose to participate by filling buckets of water and throwing them on participants and passers-by.

The soap stick: 
The party is is not allowed to begin until volunteers climb a huge stick covered with soap and reach the top, where a ham shank is perched. It’s a game of endurance, coordination, strength and skill, and the winner has the crowning privilege of being applauded by all, and of course, gets to keep the ham. Meanwhile, newcomers scope out a place in the crowd, and search for some place of escape in case of being gunned down during the battle. To get the crowd going, the people sing songs and chant. Others throw buckets of water from balconies, soaking participants. Others make wardrobe adjustments, tearing apart their clothes, using their shirt sleeve to make bracelets or headbands fit for the ensuing war. Some just wear a bathing suit & diving goggles or even a costume. Suddenly participants hear an uproar of applause accompanied signal indicating that someone finally grabbed the ham, and the Tomatina is about to begin.

The Battle: 
Now is the time to take your position. The crowd chants, “to-ma-to! To-ma-to!”. Buñol is now filled with people with torn-up clothes & buildings covered in protective plastic, ready to be painted red. This is the portrait of Tomatina that appears in all the pictures and over 100 websites dedicated to this party. Finally there is an explosion of fireworks announcing the commencement of the festivities. The beginner will look around, wondering where the tomato-filled trucks are. Those who know where to look will be sing and jump as they see the first trucks arrive. The loud sound of the horn means the start of the battle, as droves of people make their way to the coveted ammunition. With eyes closed, tomatoes are thrown everywhere, rarely with a defined target. One truck comes after another; everything starts to take on a red color, as a river of acid forms that few worry about diving right into. After an hour the battle is over, announced by a shell.

Withdrawal: 
It’s time to retreat. Those who survived valiantly until the end are now looking for a place to be able to remove all the tomato stuck to their bodies. Buñol locals will bring out hoses in an act of humanitarian aid. Others use public fountains, or go to the local pond in order to go home cleaner.

Back to normal: 
The neighbors remove the protective plastic covering their homes, and and with the help of some villagers, begin cleaning everything with hoses.
 In about two hours everything is back to normal. Now it’s just a matter of one year before painting the town red once again. Buñol will once again be ready to welcome any brave soul to participate one of the world’s most exciting festivals. 

Source: http://www.bunyol.es/html/main3.php?pagina=vive.php

Filed under tomatina tomato fight celebration tomato festival party Bunol Spain inspiration Valencia

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Making of the Tomatina Video

It was a lot of fun making the website video.  To film the video, a contact at a networking event recommended these two young, talented, documentarists.  Documentaries?  For a commercial??  It didn’t have to make sense- their work was great, so they were hired.  

Finding models was easy.  There are lots of places in NY to find people who want exposure and training.  However, knowing someone who fits the role is a great help!  His lovely friend took the female role.  

Managing props was a bit of work- imagining what props could be needed, finding the props, making the props, waiting for props to be made,  getting all the props to the shoot… Then there was scheduling- finding a time when the perfect room with the perfect lighting was available to 5 busy people is not so easy.  Everyone showed up (whew!), so it was a go.  Whoops!!  The wrong room was reserved by accident :-(  Luckily the right room was empty, and the LGBT Community Center was very accommodating to let us have it!

It’s impossible to know how many frames were filmed for this 30-second video.  The whole thing took 6 hours.  The videographers took disciplined care to make sure that every single sequence possibility was covered.  It was really impressive to watch!  The actors were just as impressive (& patient), and looked like they were having a great time.  Although the shoot went two hours overtime, getting a cab at rush hour was the longest, most arduous, part of the day.  Still, the shoot was a huge success and we can’t wait to share this fun Tomatina video with you!  (It should be finished by early June and posted to the website!)

Filed under tomatina video

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New Juice

Well, not so much the juice as the business plan.  This juice is constantly bringing new challenges and changing course.  Every week it looks like a new project altogether.  Of course it’s the ”new juice” factor that allows it to morph and survive.  Tomatina won’t give up so easily.  Besides, it’s having too much fun.

After the startup costs and cash flow projections were done, it was apparent that Tomatina would not see the light of day.  What investor is going to come along and give $300K to a brand with no sales?  So all assumptions had to be trashed, new quotes solicited, and business models scaled back or changed completely.  Lucky for Tomatina it had not yet launched.  Mistakes early on can be very damaging, so why not take the time to rework things?  Final decisions haven’t been made yet as to bottle, label, co-packer, and distribution channel, but all options are being explored. 

Meanwhile the website layouts were finally turned over to the web programmer, so hopefully the site will be up by June.  The graphic designer came up with a few really beautifully detailed Home Page ideas.  A very simple design was chosen in the end, but there may still be a way to include the other designs.  Writing the copy was rather tedious and luckily the designer helped with that!  Being witty and friendly and exciting all at the same time is not easy.  Selling products through writing is not easy for someone trained in critical writing.

Hopefully by the next blog post, Tomatina will have a fully commercialized recipe (finally!).  There will be a co-packer, bottle, label, and distribution plan chosen.  If there was a launch date too, we’d have to start a giant tomato fight in the street, and call it Tomatina!

Filed under hopes and fears product development website development financing business plan

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It’s been ages!

No writing in a while, huh?  I wonder who reads this anyway (hi Sis!)…  Updates… We’ve got a really cute label.  We are making a video for the website and for YouTube.  These artistic things are the FUN part of this project. 

Digression: Not too many numbers had to be crunched to figure out that I don’t have the money to do this project on my own.  I’m just hoping I have enough money to finish developing the product.  I will need an investor if this delicious juice and wonderful brand will ever see a store shelf. I’m not sure yet about profit margins- I’m sure flavored water (or the like) has better ones, but this juice has the potential to outlive any trendy beverage. 

Anyway… we are working on a website with a twist: On the About Us page, we are going to give you to remember us for something special.

The juice recipe had to be adjusted a LOT to meet bottling requirements, and is actually improving EVEN MORE in taste, which is HUGELY exciting!  Are capital letters obnoxious? 

I hope you find this blog worthwhile- we love you for reading!

Filed under business plan product development trends

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Snag!

The viability of Tomatina is called into question again.  The instructions provided by the food scientist (over the last several months) is incompatible with the reality of the equipment used on juice filling lines.  The recipe needs to be changed, yet again, in hopes that it still tastes good and meets the guidelines.  Unfortunately the guidelines are not clear, so I wait on others to please answer my emails so I can start toiling with recipes again.  Then the juice can be brought to the people for taste testing, fingers crossed.  In addition, it seems the co-packer is not interested in Tomatina, but he’s the only one who can produce the juice for various reasons.  I will still try to develop the juice and the branding in the hopes that he will LOVE the potential.  This includes a website, a gorgeous bottle prototype, juice samples, a business plan and/or PowerPoint presentation, and a personal visit: the caveat is months of delays- what else is new? 

The alternatives are more daunting: pilot plant, power-player investors, beaucoup bucks…  I’m just trying to focus on the next step, exhausting every possibility for the original do-it-yourself concept.     

Filed under product development business plan

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Hello!!

Tomatina product development is still going!  Although the last recipe did not survive further taste tests, the recipe was tweaked and it got great feedback!  So hopefully this last batch of samples sent to the lab will reveal one concoction with just the right acidity level.  Meanwhile, the bottle label is coming along and looks fabulous at this stage.  Let’s hope that a delicious product, a bottle prototype, and some savvy presentation will convince the co-packer that this is a go.

Filed under product development