Many people have asked me over the years how I got started making pies out of my home, and I’m always happy to provide my best advice. There are so many great family recipes that have potential to do great business.
Think of a family tradition that you all love — it could be an opportunity to make more money and share with the world something great from your kitchen!
The MSU Extension office offers regular sessions in Horticulture and Agriculture that can explain how to get started. In addressing the latest applicable laws, they do a great job of explaining how it is now easier than ever to begin a home food business.
Please take a look at this link for more details. There are new sessions starting often! Bon appétit!
December 23rd, 2010 · in Our Thoughts
My good friend Helga is so entrepreneurial! From building her own sustainable home to giving the best facial or back massage, I’m always impressed with her creativity.
Helga is one of the most openminded people I know. Most recently, my beautiful German friend has started her own business called Choices. She makes soaps and lotions the old fashioned, handmade way, using only natural ingredients — jojoba, olive and coconut oils in her soaps and pure essential oils in her lotions.
A couple of years ago I asked Helga to come to my house around Christmastime as a treat and learning experience for my kids. She brought a truckload of oils for lotion-making along with at least 75 different essential oils to blend and scent. My kids got a firsthand lesson! By the end of our party, my entire kitchen was slippery just like our arms, legs and faces!
Continue “Sharing the Entrepreneurial Spirit”…
December 12th, 2010 · in Our Thoughts
Maybe this looks like some kind of drug paraphernalia. But it isn’t — unless you think smelling vapors of essential oils of eucalypts and spruce can get you high.
Yes, this is a diffuser! My husband Dave has taken an interest in aromatherapy and has become a home apothecary! Everyone is getting Dave’s own special blends of essential oils for Christmas. (Don’t tell the kids. I’m sure they don’t read my blog anyway, so no Christmas surprises spoiled.)
Dave gave me this wonderful diffuser as an early Christmas present to help me improve from a recent cold. And it’s amazing how well it works! After feeling lousy nearing the end of our vacation in Florida, I’ve been regularly adding oils of eucalypts, pine and lavender to a little bit of Kleenex. In the past, bronchitis may have already settled hard in my lungs. This time, however, the oils have killed off any bacteria and have helped me to get better, faster.
Thanks, Dave — this is a great gift. I love it and want one for work!
We recently exhibited at the Making it in Michigan specialty food show, put on each year by the MSU Product Center. The event was held in Lansing at the Lansing Center with roughly 100 specialty food vendors and Michigan small businesses exhibiting.
Matt Birbeck, our Product Center counselor, has been working with us for about 5 years. His group helps new upstart Michigan business get connected with other vendors or government agencies for whatever they need. Over the years, he has helped us with grant writing, job descriptions, the interview process, marketing and packaging. He has also given us many names of fruit growers whenever we’ve been looking for organic fruits.
We were fortunate to have also received a great honor by winning the “Best Barrier Buster” award for entrepreneurial success. We’re glad to provide a great example of how a small business can really make it in Michigan!
We teach a class called “3 Steps to Great Service” to all of our front line people. Our associates understand that “it’s the pie” that people are coming in to experience not a root canal!
They’re coming in for the greatest pie in the country! All natural, old fashioned, hand-crimped pie with local fruit, sugar, unbleached Michigan-grown pastry flour, no transfats — just the good stuff!
Many times we’ve heard our guests say, “I haven’t had pie this good since my grandmother passed away. She made the best pie.” Our pies are nostalgic. Once people get their first taste, the experience is long remembered.
I am happy to be assisting one of our long time employees and manager trainer, Christina, teach the service class this week. It usually takes about 2 and a half hours depending on how many students we have. These classes are very interactive, and we all have time to share stories of what we think “good service” is and what “bad service” looks and feels like.
We are not perfect, but we’re working on it!
September 10th, 2010 · in Company News
We’ve just accomplished a huge feat at Achatz Pie Co. It’s taken over a year and hundreds of man hours, but our team worked together with Joann at the lead to receive our stamp of approval from the United States Department of Agriculture!
We now have all of the systems in place and can produce savory pies and additional items for our wholesale customers. Congratulations to our little band of hard workers who never cease to amaze me. It’s amazing what we accomplish at AHPC! From where we were in 2000, now ten years later in 2010 just blows me away. We more than quadrupled our business and have created 140 jobs for Michigan. Great job, team. Now onward and upward!