2017 has been a doozy of a year in so many ways. It's hard to separate the world around us from our experience working in this company. But today we took a deep breath and reflected on our first full year in business. The theme we kept finding was collaborative spirit.
We began selling Umi noodles in 2016 at farmers markets and hit groceries last October. 2017 was our first year, from beginning to end, living this noodle life. As we put ourselves through rapid, often intense bouts of learning, we felt a large and multidimensional community welcome us and become our allies — from farmers market customers who visit every week and share the story of their meals; grocery store staff who recommend us to their customers; like-minded businesses who share their hard-earned lessons; farmers who inspire us with their daily hustle; friends who make sure the noodles look good in the grocery aisle; chefs who tinker and share their feedback; old hands in the food trade who share their invaluable knowledge; and nonprofits who work in communities to effect positive change.
We feel buoyed by all of you. Please continue to invest in our future by cooking Umi noodles and sharing them with friends, challenging us to stretch, and offering us a hand when we take risks. We promise to keep writing recipes to keep you on your toes, and keep you in the loop as we move forward with future products and into new markets. And now, a recap of a few ways we plugged into the community in 2017.
Nonprofits We Supported
In-kind: We donated our time and food to events benefiting the following groups
The Wetland Conservancy
Culinary Breeding Network
We the Dreamers
Japan-America Society of Oregon
Favorite Events We Organized
Tampopo: Film screening and Umi noodle slurping
Earth Day Okonomiyaki Party: Cooking party to benefit Growing Gardens
Sharing Supper: Hot Pot with PICA to benefit APANO
Noodle Luge: Waterslide for noodles
We've even begun a project with Stone Barn Brandyworks to transform our expired noodles into liquid gold for our future. Yes, Umi noodles are transforming into alcoholic spirits in barrels in southeast Portland as we speak! We are investing in our future, and so grateful to everyone for joining us.
Yours in the noodz,
Lola, Amanda, Ayla, Gary, Theresa and all our farmers market crew