Saturday, July 31, 2010

The weekend's here!

July's a crazy time of year, eh?  Between unpredictable heat and the the head-spinning amount of things to do around here, we upstate hilltowners can just wallow in the abundance of summer!

To support your many goings-on, we've been doing battle with vendors, and passionately trying to keep the Store fully stocked (read: stuffed!).  UNFI amd Albert's arrived yesterday, as did a *NEW* Friehofer guy.  Gillette Creamery has been in with all of our ice creams, and with the sole exception of Tropicana orange juice in half gallons (so sorry, Angela!), Byrne dairy is fully stocked.  Oh, and Meadowbrook milk is fresh in the cooler, too - including the Betty's chocolate!

We've gotten some new things in, as well as a few items that were here and dropped off my list, so I added them back in.  Hunan dumplings are in - and I also have some of Karen Sister's Thai chicken this week as well.  Albert's sent a new MacroVegatarian dish, too - I think it's Soba noodles.  Someone needs to try it and let me know...

I have new gluten-free bread in - this one's called Udi's - and we have a white and whole wheat gluten free variety.  Udi's also sent me a gluten free granola for those of you who've been requesting that.  Rustic Crust was running low, so I reordered the favorites and added a few new varieties, and also now have both shredded mozz in the dairy cooler and a Rustic Crust pizza sauce, for everyone who was horrified that I sold pizza crusts without the pizza sauce.  (I thought you could just use any old sauce!)

We also have a about a billion yogurts at the moment - Stonyfield Farms as well as Brown Cow, in various flavors.  Oh, and some goat cheese, for those of you who requested that, and a nice array of many other cheeses, too.

On the deli, we have had good news and bad news.  First, despite the fact that I haven't finished the final version of my survey and got it out (*what* is my problem!), a whole lovely bunch of you have returned to tell us about our subs and sandwiches - and all of it has been great reviews.  (On the other hand, I have to assume that everyone who hated their subs will not come back, so my sample is a bit biased...)  The bad news is that all of my promoting of the Jason's Roast Beef meant we sold out of roast beef by Thursday, and it won't be back in till next week.  I have a multi-fold solution, though - we just got in Heartland Farms organic bacon, and are planning to offer BLT's this weekend.  Yay!  And, Morning Fog Farm has a number of small roast beefs, and I'm going to have them baked for us, so by Sunday, we'll (fingers crossed!) have roast beef back in stock!

What else?  I am running low on spices, but they are ordered and will be in next week.  I am picking up more hotdogs, hamburgers and bacon, and maybe even a few strawberries, from Morning Fog this morn.  We have a few new chip varieties - including a tasty new one from Dirty Chips - and don't forget about the Tazo iced teas we have in the cooler.  Oh, and no one's been trying the cowboy cookies in the freezer - seriously, they are like eating fresh cookie dough, just slightly baked.  Incredibly delicious!

Keep an eye out for our postcards - you should have gotten them in your mail this week if you are in R'ville, Medusa or Preston Hollow.  We are sending them out to Oak Hill and Cornwallville next week, I think.  And - I almost forgot! - free coffee from 6:30am - 8am, all next week!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Grilling, lawn signs, Tweeting and the Tribe in Oak Hill!

What a week!  Was it the lawn signs??  Or has July BBQ weather just kicked in?  In any case, what a ride!

We've got some new things from UNFI last week, and more coming this week.  Tons of new meats from Morning Fog Farm, in Berne.  And - so exciting - we are planning to introduce at least one new deli sandwich, and (maybe!) one or two grilled sandwiches, and have our deli survey out for folks to fill out.

We've got fresh Vermont tofu, prepared Falafel, and Macrovegatarian's Hunan and Shangaia dumplings, plus a new Vegan dumpling and Pad Thai.  We've got more of Annie Chun's seaweed snacks - sesame and the wasabi (which I have had so much fun offering as samples this week!).

We've got amazing chocolate ice cream bars from Julie's in - dark chocolate shells with creamy milk chocolate on the inside, as well as fruit bars.  And, new this week, we've got two varieties of Soy Boy Ravioli and two varieties of tortellini, which I am dying to taste.  Or, better, someone! Come in and try a batch and let me know - I'd like to carry a tortellini salad on the deli.

Some of you might have heard that our neighbors in Oak Hill, members of the Twelve Tribes community, have decided to sell their land and leave to other communities.  Many of us have been saddened to hear this, as they have been wonderful neighbors, as well as providing valuable service - our porch on the Store, as well as several porches on our home, were carefully reconstructed or refurbished by their builders.  As it turns out, there is a good chance that the growers might be staying - we had the opportunity to talk with James, their grower, on Friday, and - good news! - apparently some of the community will be remaining in Oak Hill.  It sounded like they might even keep the restaurant open!  And - good news for the Store - he'll be selling us lots of fresh veggies, including mixed boxes of cherry and grape tomatoes, which sold out almost immediately.

Morning Fog's meats have been hard to keep on the shelf lately!  Glad you all have discovered them - see what I mean about the hotdogs??  I've got both pork and beef hotdogs, ground beef in tubes and in patties, bacon, pork chops, sausage, rib steaks and some larger sirloins.  You can get an even better price if you head up to see Susan in person - give her a call - 872-1772 or show up at her farm on the Switzkill on a Saturday.  For you vegetarians, I am going up this morning to pick more strawberries - gotta love those everbearing varieties!

On the deli - first, so sorry about the beginning of the week - we never expect silly advertising like lawn signs to have such an effect on business!  Boar's Head was back in, though, and completely resupplied us and have decided that we are worthy of a weekly visit, so hopefully, we'll be keeping everything stocked up...well, forever, now.  We're going to stay tight lipped about the new deli sandwich till it's finalized, but if you think BLT's or Grilled Portabellas sound dreamy, stop in and let us know.  I also have made some corrections (thanks to my amazing researcher friend, Lara) to the questionnaire and will have it ready by Monday for your deli feedback.

I'm always taking requests and there have been some calls for essential oils. Frankly, this isn't really my area, so if anyone has any suggestions - local would be fantastic, but if you have some brand suggestions, send them on.  We're still planning for some toy lines, have several lined up, in time for school starting.  Speaking of which, we have a BACK TO SCHOOL SUPPLIES box accepting donations - at the front of the Store- if you are out buying, pick up a few extras.

We're also getting ready to sell our home in Berne, and are needing a temporary rental.  Exciting, though a bit overwhelming.  We are a family of five, but frankly don't need a lot of room - so if you come across something, let us know.

Lastly - someone come in and help me figure out Twitter!  We're MedusaGeneralSt there - but I haven't the faintest clue how I get all of you to follow us over there!

(PS: Angela - get your lovely self back to Medusa - we'll feed you - eating lots always makes a girl sleepy!)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Is it Saturday again?

...which means we got a lot of new UNFI stuff in yesterday!  The Hunan dumpling revolution continues, plus by popular demand, we've also got some Shanghai dumplings, as well as the Artichoke Spinach noodle.  Just in time, considering it's going to hit near 90 again today.  Don't cook - eat here!

I also have more coconut water, the regular and a new variety.  And more seaweed snacks - seriously, we sold out of the seaweed snacks last week!  If you haven't tasted them, drop in today and remind Jason - he has a package he was going to put out for tasting today.

Because that's the kind of week it's been, I also now have Hyland's ear drops, for kids and for adults - we've all been in the Lake a bit too much, I think.  We're stocked back up on all of our chips, and now have popping corn.  (Someone came in for some and he and I were both totally horrified that I didn't have any...!)  We also resupplied all the natural colas...yum!

For all of you carnivores out there, we have meat.  Lots and lots of meat.  Nice grilling rib steaks, as well as pork and beef hotdogs and hamburgers, from Morning Fog Farm in Berne.  Plenty of Freebird chicken, breasts and boneless thighs.  (Chris, from Albert's Organics, even insists he's got ground lamb for lambburgers - it didn't really appeal to me, frankly, but if you find the idea thrilling, give me a ring, and I'll order you some for next week.)

We now have 4 specialty sandwiches - the Medusa Cobb, Jason's Roast Beef, the Mandy and the Medusa Mozz.  (Will have to figure out how to upload our whole menu somewhere here!)  And, coming this week, we'll have an American Club, with Boar's Head's all-natural, preservative free turkey and ham.  We're thinking of switching the pasta salad to the Wild Thymes Parmesean Walnut vinegrette instead, too - you come in and taste.

And, hey, our look continues to evolve - Susan Caumont, from Cocoa Beach Gallery - - has hung paintings for us.  They are all reasonably priced and look fantastic!  (I'll post some pics soon!) It has made our wifi cove look so much more charming!

Soon, we'll be on Twitter (OMG!), and my kids and I have plastered most of Oak Hill, Greenville, Rensselaerville and Berne with lawn signs!  It has been an achingly slow week, but we have high hopes for the weekend and the coming week!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Friday delivery!

So we have coconut water arriving.  No kidding.  Frankly, it doesn't sound like my taste, but Chris, from Albert's Organics, claims it is THE NEXT BIG THING, and he's in the know about this sort of stuff.  Delicious and really good for you. Plus some cool water I just discovered called Waaa-TAH! 

In other news - there's more falafel coming - I can't believe we sold out of it!  And in response to the Hunan Dumplings revolution, I have two cases of those and Spinach Artichoke Noodles arrving Friday, too.  Plus a new something from MacroVegetarian.

Fresh produce lovers - we are looking at a great week - I have peaches, blueberries and strawberries arriving, all at a great price.  We are seriously thinking about lemons for next week - we have to get a juicer first.  Lots of oranges, apples and avocados in stock, with celery, carrots and cukes arriving tomorrow.  Bob Kropp and Stephen Kenney have been working hard keeping us stocked with beans, cauliflower, broccoli and lettuces.  A smorgasbord of fresh stuff!  (Stuffed into a too-small cooler, in some cases!  Sorry!)

We have some fantastic new sandwiches coming up for the weekend, too - mozzarella, with sliced tomato, roasted red peppers and black olives with a drizzle of olive oil.  It would work as a lovely salad, as well, for my gluten-free friends.

Salads, galore, folks - can't seem to keep them in stock on the deli.  I think we still have Beans, Beans, Bean salad and Classic New England Potato, all with organic ingredients.  More pasta salad as soon as I get my Wild Thymes delivery - the Tuscan tomato basil vinegrette is amazing on this salad!  I really want to offer chicken and tuna salads, too, but UNFI's been out of stock of the chicken so far.  Fingers crossed for next week.

Last, but most deliciously - we have blueberry pie coming on Saturday morning!  Tiffany and I have been offering Julie's organic vanilla ice cream on top - you've gotta try some!

Stay cool - hopefully we'll have ice - and iced coffee in another day or so!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

What a weekend!

Wow - what a holiday!  So great to see so many of you!

Just a few reminders...  I am placing a UNFI order this week - let me know by Wednesday if you have any case orders.  Would probably be willing to split some organic soda cases...

We also have a few new sandwiches coming up - the Medusa Cobb has taken on a life of it's own!  Soon, we'd like to offer organic chicken and tuna salads, either tossed onto a salad (Angela-style!) or on a hard roll.  Signature sandwiches seem to work better than relying on me to come up with a sandwich of the week, so I think that's the path we're going to take.

We have fresh Beans, Beans, Bean Salad this morning, and we're making fresh pasta and potato salads later today.

We have pie - strawberry rhubarb and apple - and we're offering them with a scoop or two of Julie's organic ice cream.  Tasty!  If we move these quick enough, we're considering raspberry and blueberry for the upcoming weekend.

We (read: April) is anxious to move onto to a few other plans we've been cooking up.  By this fall, we are hoping to offer a few lines of quality toys, at affordable prices.  We have several brands in mind - the front of the store needs some alterations first.  But stay tuned - this promises to be exciting!

Along the same lines - several of us have an irrepressible interest in the community arts.  As soon as we have accrued enough capital, we are planning a renovation of the building behind the Store, to offer both open space for the community, as well as workshops.  The idea is pretty vague right now, and such a space will share quarters with several other projects planned back there.  But I thought I'd give fellow travelers a nudge - if you are also passionate about community, and about learning, drop in - I'd love to hear what you think!