When you are building a new business there are lists and lists of things to do:
Decide who your business serves
Create your mission
Write a business plan
Market to your customers
Build a website
…..and it goes on an on.
Great Photos are key to a marketing plan and to a great website. For this reason I decided to hire Angela Stevens, of Juniper Studios, a small local business owner herself. I met Angela through her role as the Farm Fresh Connect Coordinator. Farm Fresh Connect is an online market where I can purchase my vegetables from local farms. It is a vital tool for people like me who are trying to buy local, organic foods grown right in the region.
Angela drove to my house on Tinmouth Pond on a blustery February afternoon. I was ready with a variety of dishes I spent time preparing the weekend before: A butternut cauliflower bisque, Pozole Rojo Chili/Soup (from Thug Kitchen), soft tacos made with Vermont Tortilla Company tortillas and filled with a lentil chili mix, Lentil-Quinoa Nut Loaf (from The Kick Diabetes Cookbook), and a Greens and Roasted Pears salad with a blueberry no-oil dressing I invented. (see recipe below). I made sure there were lots and lots of fresh, colorful vegetables for the taco fillings that Angela would be able to capture on camera. I had bought a new apron with lovely, large vintage-style vegetables that I wore over a freshly ironed white button-down shirt and jeans.
She started by taking some photos to see if the natural light coming through my east-facing windows were enough. She decided the light was good and she started clicking away, occasionally climbing on a stool to get photos from above. She would remind me to smile as I cut vegetables and also warn me not to slice my fingers off as I smiled, looked at the camera, and paused my chopping!
Angela and I both stayed busy and she was so gracious and complimentary, every so often saying, “Gorgeous” or “Beautiful” complimenting both me and my food as she shot the photos. I felt giddy and in the hands of a true professional. The hour and a half went by quickly. I made one wardrobe change and she took a few photos of me and my sidekick, Lulu. It was a great experience and I recommend anyone starting a business where you are the face of your business, take the leap and hire a professional photographer. It will be worth every penny you spend. See the rest of the photographs Angela took that day here.
Arugula Salad with Pears, Pomegranates, Purple Cabbage and Pecans with Creamy Cashew Berry Balsamic Vinaigrette
Yields 4-6 servings
4 cups arugula and/or spinach washed and spun dry
1 whole red pear, peeled and cored and sliced into ¼ inch slices
1 cup pomegranate seeds (you can find these in the frozen fruit section or in the produce section by the prepared fruit trays)
½ cup pecans or walnuts
1 small red onion, thin sliced
1 Tbs maple syrup
1. Roast the pears in a 300 degree F oven just until they turn golden. Let cool.
2. Place arugula in a large salad bowl. Toss in the cooled pear slices
3. Heat up small skillet. When hot toss in walnuts and toast. Once toasted, drizzle about 1 Tbs. of maple syrup on the walnuts/pecans. Stir them around. Take off the heat and let them cool. I like to pop them on a plate and put it in the freezer for a few minutes.
4. Take skillet off heat and place maple walnuts on a plate and put in the refrigerator for a few minutes.
Creamy Cashew Berry Balsamic Vinaigrette
Inspired from Dr. Fuhrman’s The Perfect Salad pdf
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs Maple Syrup
¼-1/2 walnut milk (or other dairy free milk based on how thick you like your dressing)
1/3 cup cashews
1 cup mixed berries or a single type of berry-fresh or frozen
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 small clove garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Put all of the ingredients in your VitaMix or blender and puree. Thin to preferred consistency.
2. Salt and pepper to taste.
3. After use, put in a glass jar for keeping in the refrigerator.