Monday, June 20, 2005

Texas and other Locations 

We bought lottery tickets and came out even. We won what we paid for the tickets. No losses, no gains.

This is slightly better than some of our other ventures to secure funding. We've spent hundreds of dollars that returned zero for our expenditure and efforts. We've also spent tens of dollars that returned ,not cash, but other less tangible results. For example, a few bucks and some time to bake a cheesecake or bread, and we've garnered some positive feedback and at least one new potential customer. Or we spend a few minute's time talking and get some new connections or a lead on a supplier.

Our least expenditures get the greatest returns, and our big expenditures get no returns.

There's a lesson there, and it's probably not the one intended.

Other than that, while we were in Texas, we picked up some yummy local Texas produce and plants to grow.

We visited the World Market, and it was nice to have everything in one location. We can get most of what they offered here in Oklahoma, only we have to travel to several different cities and visit multiple shops in each city to get everything the World Market had under one single roof. It would be nice to be able to do that here.

Central Market carries fruits and vegetables and fresh herbs that flat out are not available here at all - even in the more exotic Asian, Thai, Mexican, and Indian markets. There was a lot of South American produce (yum!), and some African spices and foods we don't have here. I may go back again early next month to shop a bit more - and bring along a larger ice chest so we can bring back more produce.

With any luck, that construction that backed up the traffic for more than 2 hours on I-35 will be completed.

We weren't caught in it because I knew an alternate route that took us over the Red River only 25 miles out of our way. It was scenic, and virtually fee of traffic, and we didn't stress out sitting stalled in traffic for lengthy periods of time.

The next time we go down, there's an ostrich farm we want to visit to see if we can get some yummy ostrich steaks. The only ostrich meat we can get at the market is ground, and while ground is OK, I really prefer the steaks.

And I want to stop at some of the roadside produce stands we didn't have time to visit. We don't have many small farmers and backyard gardeners setting up portable booths or in the back of a pick-up selling their surplus, and I miss that, along with the food cart vendors set up in parks and the other (very few) heavily foot- trafficked areas. I'd love to be able to buy an eggroll at the lake, or a hotdog at the park, or a snow cone in the parking lot of a strip mall while out shopping.

But I'd have to move to another state to see it happening.

Manager is checking out the possibility of opening the Cracked Cauldron in another state, which is one reason for our increased trips. She's also discovered the temp agency she contacted will send her on assignments in other cities, so she can live there for a month or so and get a feel for the city, spend time looking up their regs and talking to other small business owners and see if another location would be a viable option. The attraction to staying in Oklahoma is primarily that we know the market here really well, we know the community needs, and we know the programs in place and hte cracks and nooks we can fill. With time, we can discover all of that in any other location.

So, we're looking at new locations - some of them quite distant, and we'll see where this leads us in our quest to open the Cracked Cauldron.

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