Bunk beds, frequent meals in interesting restaurants and driving in the PROBAR® Bus. One of the above three is the typical response when one of our children is asked what they enjoy most about being on the road. For the big kids hauling the little ones from place to place, I’d think Sara and I would agree – the best part about being on the road is the time we’re having together as a family. This vagabond clan of wandering nomads has only been on the road for a few weeks, yet we’ve found living within tight physical boundaries liberating for the ‘life experience’. Everyone’s box is a little different. It just so happens our life rolls and bounces a bit. I’m still learning to absorb the bumps and trying to avoid the potholes.
We moved the traveling band from the Corona area to a small RV park just a few miles from the Anaheim Convention Center, which minimized back and forth travel during LA traffic hours.
Expo West is the largest natural foods show around. If something’s happening in the industry, it can be found during a blazing three days of furious joint and foot pounding over a marathon of carpet covered concrete, surrounded by quasi store fronts sandwiched into a 10 by something configuration.
I managed to avoid the tired foot syndrome by spending all but a few hours caged in our 10×10 zoo exhibit, meeting with familiar friends, PROBAR® reps, greeting passers by and sampling out a bundle of Nutty Banana Boom bars – our newest addition to the line.
The girls showed up to help in the booth and hand out samples, but it wasn’t long before our 5 and 7-year-old daughters figured out that every thing in a bowl, plate, or anything slightly resembling a Costco style sample tray was open season. What kid wouldn’t think they’d died and gone to freebie heaven in an environment encouraging tastes of everything from Himalayan Gogi Berry Juice to Organic Jelly Beans? (A 10 pound box which Alexandra managed to persuade from a departing exhibitor eager to unload the excess goodies at the end of the show – somehow we ‘accidentally’ misplaced the clear bin of rainbow colored sugar bliss and it never made it back to the RV).
Aside from spending time with the incredible group of representatives who manage our brand across the country, we were fortunate to establish relationships with several new retailers and two new rep agencies on the east coast. With a few key retailers and many sharp reps frequenting our booth, we took advantage of their willingness to sample and provide feedback on Art’s newest (Top Secret!) creations. Based on the number of taste buds craving and motivating consumers to purchase our current line of three bars, what better venue to experiment with several potential new flavors than a show with countless willing and interested visitors. The results? Get ready for a totally new twist on the Original Blend with a very dark, rich secret!