My trip to Florida by Michèle Miller
Flying into Miami as a winter storm shut down the Northeast left me giddy with relief and ready to embrace the urban tropical life. Miami ranks high in the fitness world for gyms, yoga studios, and events that are a natural fit for BOLA granola. We have made a lot of new friends there amongst the different communities with both locals and Snow Birds alike.
Road Trip: Miami, Naples, Sarasota, Ft. Myers & Tampa
It’s not all about Miami. I wanted to go elsewhere in Florida to meet our newest customers. Simple, right? Just drive to Naples on the west coast and then up to Tampa, stopping along the way to visit stores and offer samples. I had no idea what I was getting into.
What looks like a quick trip can become a long, slow, or very fast ride through an endlessly repeating landscape of malls and miles. Lucky for me, Riley, who leads our team in Florida, did all the driving! Full disclosure…he’s my son! Starting at Wynn’s Market in Naples we visited all the Whole Foods Markets along the way–seven! We got everywhere on time and enjoyed great food too. A shout out to Bianchi’s Enoteca in Tampa for delicious food and a gracious welcome from our old Berkshire friend Susan.
As many demos as I’ve done in ten years, I always learn something new or meet someone special. This tour was no different. It reminds me how important it is to know our customers. From Whole Foods to our independents, everyone is concerned with eating well, and that’s what we offer. Our Barely Sweet BOLA granola is an especially big hit with only 4g of sweetness from New England maple syrup. People love seeing a picture of our neighborhood, a world apart from Florida.
Four days in, I took a flight north to Jacksonville and St. Augustine to do some more sampling and visit a dear friend before heading home to the frozen north! The three Native Sun stores have been in the BOLA family for years so it was especially fun to visit them. A week flew by and the forecast was dire. It would be a bone-chilling return but I kept my flip flops on until the last possible moment.