We have had a lot of opportunities to grow and to learn this month. Fans of Jocko Willink will understand what I mean by that. Long story short, the idea is that you face the challenges ahead of you, standing up straight with your shoulders back, and look at the positive aspect of your "problems" and redefine them as opportunities. No matter how dark things get you find the light within them. So in that spirit we'd like to share with you a list of: Unanticipated opportunities for growth.
Shirts going out before the bars was confusing because the automated emails insinuated that all rewards would be delivered together.
Good. We had an opportunity to show our responsiveness and answer messages directly about that confusion, showing our supporters how important they are to us.
No USDA co-packer could handle the complexity of The Carnivore Bar process.
Good. That means we get to do it ourselves, and maintain greater quality control over the process.
The facility we need to do it ourselves has very specific requirements and is unlikely to be found in the midwest, unoccupied.
Good. By being willing to look, were able to find a facility with a 700 sq ft walk-in freezer in Columbia, MO right under our noses, despite the challenge.
The shipping time for equipment that we needed took longer than anticipated, and we had to wait to order it until we had found a space.
Good. That provided us more time to plan the layout and design a workflow.
The equipment needed a loading dock to be delivered, and could only be delivered in the facility that we had yet to acquire.
Good. We ordered it in advance, and sent it to the address we didn’t own, and hoped the lease went through. And it did. We saved two weeks by being bold.
The previous tenants were making cookies, so the freezer floor was caked in cookie dough and needed some repairs before it would be operational.
Good. This gave us an excuse to be more thorough in our cleaning processes and make sure the freezer was up to our standards.
There was no sink in the facility because the previous tenants had removed it.
Good. We were able to install a sink that directly fits our needs and get something smaller to conserve working space in the factory.
When the equipment came and was first installed we blew the fuses on our electrical box on the first round, because although each outlet was rated correctly the breaker box was not.
Good. We identified the problem early. Since we started with a test load and not a full load it helped us not waste resources on a larger run.
The electrical system, while it appeared to function with the loads first applied, it blew in the middle of the drying cycle making the end product of that test load not up to our standards.
Good. More undeliverable carnivore bars for us, so we are not drawing from our best version of the bars which we owe to the backers first. So now we have a batch of failed bars to call our own.
The whole breaker panel needed redone in order to run our machinery.
Good. Now that we’ve been forced to redo this, we can make sure it’s done correctly and safely. No part of our electrical plan will be unknown or un-inspected from now on, because we will have had it installed ourselves.
The wrappers with outdated nutrition facts failed, the black coating of ink rubs off when shipped in cardboard boxes.
Good. Another reason to get better wrappers with correct information on them.
The reorder of wrappers got delayed, which meant that instead of being there July 2nd and having a full month to produce the bar we are unable to get started until midway through the month. They still aren’t here.
Good. This allows us to redesign how we’re delivering the bars and make a custom-sized box so that the presentation of the bars is improved, and the shipping cost is lowered.
Because of the delays and learning opportunities we have to admit that even if we don't sleep there is no way to meet our original target deadline of the end of July.
Good. We avoid attempting a breakneck pace and the potential of making mistakes that degrade the quality of The Carnivore Bar and take away from your first experiences.
The insulation and cold packs that had we planned to put the bars in to keep them from getting soft in the summer heat... turned out to be ineffectual.
Good. This encourages us to abandon this half-measure, in favor of better presentation and honest messaging that comes in each package to reflect the reality of our situation. We are shipping a high fat bar in the hottest part of summer. It might get soft, but it is not diminished because of it. That is to be expected of a natural product, without fillers or stabilizers.
While designing the box it became clear that 10 bars at 4x2 didn’t make a presentable formation. No amount of manipulation was going to make a suitable box fit 10 bars.
Good. We decided to offer you at no additional cost, 12 bars in each half box of Carnivore Bars and 24 bars in every full box. In consolation and as a thanks for your patience and trust, you will get more product, and it will look better, and be of a higher quality.
We were recently publicly criticized for offering a grain-finished version of the bar in addition to our original 100% grass-fed & finished version.
Good. We have an opportunity to stand resolutely by our decision to put people first and ideology second. And we are proud to be associated with other prominent members of the community that also value human life and health, over ideological camps.
(P.S. oxidation occurs in normal atmospheric conditions, because the air you breathe contains oxygen…. that is if all is going well, at least. Also, don't be alarmed, there are no pink slime monsters in our bar--only beef.)
We are proud to be a part of this movement. We are proud of you as fans. Some of the biggest hearts in the carnivore world saw fit to back us and give us the chance we needed to make this product a reality and free us from our kitchens on pemmican-making day. We can not thank you enough. We are simply in awe of the response. Many of you also took to social media to show your carnivore pride and support. We are so grateful and blown away by your outpouring of encouragement. We couldn’t have done any of this without you!
Thank you so much for investing in us and being so generous with your patience. We now hope to deliver the bars to you by the end of September, and while that seems a long way away, we will strive to exceed that expectation in every way possible. In general, everything in a startup takes longer than you’d like it to. We have a responsibility to deliver a product that we’re proud of, and that you’ll value and appreciate. The carnivore community means the world to us. We simply cannot let you down. You’re our family. Thank you!
- Phillip Meece & Merry Ellen
This originally appeared on Kickstarter.