Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Finally, a few updates from Sarah & Tim!

Apparently we've been having so much fun, I didn't have time to post our adventures. So what have we been doing?

Well, I've been traveling for work. In August I traveled for two solid weeks back to back -- with a stop at home in between. First I went to Ohio and did a test at a bakery. Wow, it is hot next to those ovens! Then I went to NJ and did a test at a 3rd party blender. They will make a raw material for my new cereal for us. Then I went to Lancaster, PA where Kellogg has a cereal plant and worked on a new Organic shredded wheat project for Kashi. If you live near me or come to visit, I'll try to have a box for you to try -- but the rest of you might have to wait a bit before I can let you in on the secret! The sales samples (samples of the food the sales force takes out to it's customers to pitch the new product) are typically made 4 months before the launch. This new cereal will be shipped to stores in January 2009. It's surprising to most people that new products are complete so far in advance of getting them to the consumer.

This new cereal has been the craziest project I've ever been on. The biz decided in June they needed the new product and we've developed it and gotten it to launchable state in about 10 weeks. This is amazing because we should have started this project in January -- 6 months earlier! I had such great support from other team members and from our suppliers, but it was (and continues to be) crazy. More stuff to do, of course, but we managed to get it done and to meet (most) of the cost hurdles.

The only real fly in the ointment was that coming back from the NJ trip, I had some really scary side affects from the D&C. I was so sick by the time I got back to the Detroit airport, I couldn't drive myself home. I ended up getting a car service to drive me the 2 hours back to Portage. Thank goodness this was a work trip -- the ride cost $370!

Tim finished his second summer session class in mid August. Yeah! The summer sessions were hard, as anyone who's taken them knows. They are intense and condensed with very little down time. These past 2 weeks with no classes have been wonderful because he has time for some fun stuff and projects around the house. School starts again right after Labor Day, so the break didn't last long.

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