Happy Easter! And Passover! And April Fools' Day! Whatever you celebrate, even if it's #SundayFunday or nothing at all, I hope that you're having a wonderful weekend and a great day.  I love Easter because it kicks off spring and brings together family, friends, food and faith. Today, we're going to church (my dad sings in the choir!) and then heading to my parents' house for brunch. 

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Big Game Grub

This week, January ends and February begins, which means for me that my Whole30 wraps up and reintroduction starts. Professionally, this time has me busy planning and carrying out marketing efforts for the "Big Game" (read this if you wonder why companies keep using every phrase besides the one that rhymes with "Duper Roll" this week) and my favorite holiday: Valentine's Day. But more on why I love V-day so much next week...

When there's a lot going on and I get stressed, I often make food choices that don't benefit me. This is my third round of Whole 30 and this time, I plan to successfully master the reintroduction period. Because, what was the point of cutting out dairy, sugar, grains, legumes & alcohol for 30 days, if I'm not going to learn something from the experience? Therefore, I'm sharing some ideas I plan to implement to stay on track this Sunday. Whether you're entering the reintroduction like me, starting #FebruaryWhole30 or just looking for some healthy recipes, read on.

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Hot Sauce

I believe that supporting local is better for your body and the environment. Plus, it’s more fun to shop outside at a Farmer’s Market than inside under fluorescent lights! In celebration of #NationalHotSauceDay, I'm going to introduce you to my favorite locally made hot sauce brands around Baltimore— their backstory, ingredients and differentiators. 

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“This is Portland. The City You’ve Heard You Should Like”

I bought this $5 paperback at Powell’s Bookstore, the largest independent bookstore chain in the world. I read the whole thing, cover to cover, sitting in the Portland Rose Garden and then pedaled back to my hostel on a bright orange Biketown bike. I learned from this little book, and by spending a long weekend in the small city, that Portland is a happy place full of optimistic people. Here, I will share with you my Portland recommendations in the hopes that you’ll love it, too. (Read On....)

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Small Business Spotlight: Ayoba-Yo

I did my first round of Whole30 in March 2017. On April 1, 2017, I went to the Emporiyum in Baltimore. That's where I met Wian, one of the founders of Ayoba-Yo Meat Co. I remember him telling me about the product, that it is similar to beef jerky, but that it has zero sugar. I replied, "where have you been the last month of my life?" Read on to learn about why Ayoba-Yo's beef snacks are so amazing.

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New Year, New Handle! I’m stoked to launch @pacelovefood today. I’ll consistently share blog posts about food, travel and daily life as a marketing entrepreneur in the natural products industry. Get ready for stories about local makers, plus my own health food hacks and favorite recipes.

I started Pace & Love Marketing two years ago with a plan to grow food brands. I continue this vision, but I have more stories to tell-- both in Baltimore and beyond. I will focus on recipe development, using products created by local makers, while sharing their stories. In addition, I will share travel recommendations to celebrate some of my favorite cities and places, while spotlighting their local makers, restaurants and differentiators. Finally, I will provide more glimpses into life as an entrepreneur, and share some tips and lessons I've learned along the way.

My goal is to ignite conversation, so please comment on posts or message me directly. I'd love to hear questions you may have, topics you'd like to discuss and what you're passionate about lately. Also, if you're a maker in the natural foods industry, get in touch with me about working together -- either for a feature on the blog or through marketing consulting.

Be on the lookout for my next post on #JanuaryWhole30, which I'll be starting January 2, 2018, with a focus on supporting local producers and striving to create minimal food waste! I did the Whole30 last March and again this past fall, and I love the program. It is not a diet, and the goal is not weight loss, but instead: food freedom! According to the Whole30 website: "think of it as a short-term nutrition reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system." (Source: Whole30 Step 1). A reset is just what I need after a holiday season filled with homemade pasta, Christmas cocktails and delicious desserts! Who's with me?!

Whether this is the first time you've come across my brand and you took the time to read this post, or if you've been cheering me on over these last two years: thank you. Your support keeps me going! Happy New Year!


Back to School, Back to Routine

Although I haven't had a first day of school in over seven years (!), September now means getting back into a routine. And, if you're anything like me, it all starts with food. In the summer, there are lots of weddings and weekend plans that can cut into meal prep, but September usually feels like a New Year with resolutions to plan meals and eat more mindfully.

So, whether you or your kids are going back to school, or you're just looking for some new food ideas, here a few favorite items, services and combinations for you to explore:

Wholesome Nibbles: These hand-rolled healthy truffles are made with dried fruits, nuts and other simple ingredients and I am OBSESSED with them! They're sold in pouches of 3 (perfect to throw in the lunchbox) or packs of 8. I love enjoying these for breakfast, after a workout or for a healthy dessert. My favorite flavor is Choco Raspberry... but the Cookie Dough is a close second. Check out their website to order: www.wholesomenibbles.com. 

Gundalow Juice: This cold-pressed juice company makes the best fruit and vegetable juice blends out there. If "back to routine" means that you suddenly have a lot on your schedule, you might be forgetting about getting your nutrients. Drinking Gundalow Juice incorporates convenient nutrition in the most delicious way. They make it really easy for you, because you can order online and have your case sent to your home or office. Order the popular Crew Case: www.gundalowjuice.com/juice

In addition, Gundalow Gourmet is the personal chef service sister company to Gundalow Juice. The chefs at Gundalow Gourmet work with you on a menu for the week and then literally grocery shop, make your meals and then leave reheating instructions for you. It's an incredible service and they cater, too!

B'More Saucy makes Bayside Pepper Sauce for you to use as a marinate, saucy addition to snacks like popcorn or mixed into your salad as dressing. B'More Saucy is handcrafted at B-More Kitchen in small batches, and the recipe has been in Founder Aaron Barton's family for decades. It's available for purchase online, at Farmers' Markets or in retail locations like Gunpowder Bison's Farm Store (yes, it goes well on a bison burger!).

Gunpowder Bison Trading Co. raises bison in pastures on their farm in Monkton, Maryland. Visiting the farm is always an incredible experience, but what's more convenient is ordering the bison cuts to your home! Gunpowder Bison offers free delivery on orders over $150 in their premium shipping zone (includes the Mid-Atlantic region and surrounding states). What's great about preparing bison for dinner is that it cooks FAST so you can have more time around the table together. Also, bison is incredibly lean, super flavorful and very versatile.

Another great meat company I highly suggest trying is Ayoba-Yo Meat Co. I've fallen in love with Biltong & Droewors. If you're a fan of beef jerky, you'll be amazed how much better their beef snacks are. Biltong means slab of beef and it's marinated, spiced and then air-dried for 14 days, before being sliced and packaged. Droewors means dried sausage and it goes through a similar process of biltong, as both versions are not cooked but instead, air-dried. Biltong & Droewors contain zero sugar, but have a tender taste. I love enjoying a bag of biltong after a workout or sprinkled over salad, on pizza or in eggs. This is another great option for your/your kids' lunchbox, as each 2 oz. bag contains over 30 grams of protein! Order online (www.ayoba-yo.com) or buy from Whole Foods Market, Order & Chaos or Diamondback Brewery.

Lastly, there's a special duo that I love enjoying in the morning: "Overnight Oats" with B'More Organic Vanilla Skyr Smoothie & Toasted Muesli from Michele's Granola. Minutes in the morning seem to go faster than the rest of the day, so sometimes breakfast takes a backseat. But, I tackle that by making it the night before. In a glass bowl with a lid, combine 1 cup of B'More Organic Skyr Smoothie (I love vanilla), a half of cup of Michele's Granola Toasted Muesli and a teaspoon of chia seeds. Add more smoothie or more Muesli depending on the consistency you're going for (I usually like my overnight oats to be soaked!) Then, seal the bowl and set in the refrigerator overnight. Wake up, stir, add any toppings (shredded coconut, fruit, honey) and enjoy. It's so filling and delicious, and both companies are Maryland-based!

What are your favorite foods to grab on the go in September? Comment below!



The Value of Partnerships

Connection. Collaboration. Community.

These have been buzz words as of late, but they are very important ideas for entrepreneurs in the food industry who want to do a lot with a little. Connecting with like-minded organizations with common goals, collaborating on events and getting involved in the community are three ways to grow your small food business. Think: grass roots marketing + social media marketing!

This past weekend, I participated in a wonderful event with WeddingWire, on behalf of my client, Gundalow Juice. Gundalow Juice is a Baltimore-based, cold-pressed juice company, committed to fueling your ambition. I was approached by WeddingWire months ago regarding a "Bride Ride" that would be held in DC at SoulCycle. The idea of the ride was that brides, grooms, bridesmaids, etc. could have fun "sweating for the wedding" on the bike and then cool down with Gundalow Juice. I loved the theme-- and happily agreed to bring juice and represent Gundalow.

WeddingWire invited thousands of their DC e-mail subscribers list to the event, and included that Gundalow Juice would be providing juice. In addition, the popular DC blog "The DC Darlings" picked up the event and shared it with their followers, too. Before the event even happened, there were tens of thousands of women (and men!) in Gundalow Juice's target market who had an introduction to the brand. That is a huge opportunity-- and especially great to have been introduced through a reputable brand like WeddingWire.

An awesome part of this event was that I actually got to join the riders (including a few friends from high school!) and have a blast on the bike. Just another day at the office for a food marketing professional! It's nice jumping in and being part of the workout, especially for something like a SoulCycle ride, because we rode together as a team. That made it more natural to connect with the riders afterwards when I offered Gundalow Juice, because we had all worked out together!

The event was over 75% filled, which means it was a success for WeddingWire. I feel it was a success for Gundalow Juice, because the attendees were able to try the juices and ask where they can buy them. We also had a few extra juices that we left with the SoulCycle instructors-- because fueling their ambition requires the best cold-pressed juice available!

So, when determining with which organization you should partner, ask yourself a few questions:

  1. What kind of reach does the organization have? (Quality and quantity! Yes, there were many people, but what was great about this was that they were perfect for Gundalow Juice's target market: fitness focused and likely looking to incorporate healthy choices into their day as they got ready for their wedding)
  2. Is the event located in an area I want to grow? (In this case, it was within blocks of two accounts!)
  3. Has the event been successful in the past? (The event was well attended in NYC, Boston & Miami)
  4. What kind of credit will the organization give to your brand?
  5. Will the organization be inviting social media influencers?
  6. What other vendors will be present? (In this case, I was the only one there, representing Gundalow Juice. It's great when there are other like-minded vendors, but I generally avoid events where there are multiple competitors for my client.)

Special thanks to Allison Donnelly from WeddingWire who produced the event, SoulCycle 14th Street for kicking our butts, and all of the riders (especially brides to be!) who sipped and shared the juice! What kind of events have you found to be successful? Share your story below!



Source: www.paceandlovemarketing.com

Do What You Love

In honor of National Small Business Week, I'm sharing some tips and tricks I've learned over the last 18 months as an entrepreneur. In November 2015, I started Pace & Love Marketing with the vision to support and grow small businesses in the food industry through social media marketing and business development. 

Whether you're thinking about starting your own business or looking to sharpen your skills, Skillshare is a great resource. You can learn about everything from photography to calligraphy and even how to sew. This can be a good resource for anyone who wants to develop new strengths or even share his or her best practices as a teacher. 

Are you looking for a side hustle? Or, maybe you're looking to outsource some of your administrative work. Upwork is a way to hire people to create your website, find an accountant or even a virtual assistant.

If you feel like you're going in a few different directions, this is a good one: I use Getplan to plan my day. I like it because it's a to do list meets calendar. You can drag your action items from morning to afternoon or slide to the next day-- but they don't go away unless you actively click to cross it out. 

My CRM (client resource management) of choice is Streak. It connects to my google mail and I use it to handle sales for my clients and for my own leads. It's affordable and very user-friendly.

My accountant is great, but it's important for me to maintain my own bookkeeping everyday. I use the self-employed app through intuit. Use this code for 50% off!

Who loves podcasts? How I built this and Food Marketing Nerds are my top go-to podcasts right now, and I'm hooked.

Finally, my favorite digital resource is my social media unified platform, Falcon.io. I can engage in all of my clients' social media activity, create content calendars, measure analytics and run listening reports to get to understand specific topics. Falcon is the closest way for a human to feel like a wizard.

As we enter this new month, I'm holding myself accountable to plan ahead and stay organized. This starts by putting pen to paper and writing down my goals. I'm happy to cross one of these goals off the list: writing my first blog post!

What are your goals? Feel free to share them in the comments and check back next month to see what you've achieved. Also, if you have other favorite resources or tips for entrepreneurs, don't hold back! Let's build each other up and conquer May together!

Pace and Love,

Kelly Pace Stegman

Founder, Pace & Love Marketing


Photo by Zach J. Kane Photography