A Loving Spoon nut butters has been my baby, a relationship I have nurtured, loved and poured every last ounce of myself into. But today, Goodbye, A Loving Spoon nut butters.
Updated in March of 2017: You can now have the company recipes for your personal use, 24/7! Grab them HERE.
This decision has been eating at me for months now, but the time finally came for a final decision to be made.
It is time for me to say goodbye to A Loving Spoon nut butters, the company and product and (more importantly) to say thank you to those who have supported me along the way.
A Business is Born
In early 2013, I had this wild idea for a snack and dessert nut butter line that would be produced in portable 4oz sizes and that would be free of all dairy, gluten, soy, corn, additives, and chemicals.
I truthfully never thought a business would be born from it or that I’d achieve all that I have achieved by having it.
The idea took off, people loved it and before I knew it, I had formed an LLC, rented a commercial kitchen and began shipping all over the United States. I was worried the timing might not be right (that summer of 2014) because we were just waiting for our first adoption call to come, but I knew that if I didn’t at least give it a shot, I might live with regret for the rest of my life.
I choose not to ever live with regret, but instead experiences.
She came, and then I dedicated the business mission to a greater purpose – giving back 10c of each jar purchased to orphans and foster children. I couldn’t be prouder of making that decision early on, having a business in infancy that stood for something and gave it (and me) purpose.
And yet still, the business weighed heavily on me daily, and over the course of the next year+, saw me grow more and more weary.
If there is one thing I’ve gotten really, really, really good at it is listening to my gut and listening to all the subtleties in life that, had I not, would cause unnecessary friction, sickness and stress.
In the end, my gut told me that now was not the time or place for growing A Loving Spoon nut butters.
Growth of a Business
I have learned probably a million and five things these past few years from contemplating the launch of a business to starting a business (food business in particular) and what it takes to have that business grow. For me and for A Loving Spoon nut butters, I needed two very key things to see growth:
- Capital. This was my main prerogative for getting on Shark Tank. (And so yes, if they reach out now, I will have to decline.) In order to grow this business, I would have needed a clear distribution strategy, a co-packer and other means for creating sales volume. Where there is a will, there is a way, so I would have figured out the way to the capital, except for the second key thing….
- Time. It made no sense for me to put up the capital myself or ask for an investor’s help if I was not willing to put in the time, aka. the hustle. Several years ago I had all the time in the world. But in this season of my life, I simply have chosen that the business is not the best use of my time. I alluded to this via the LinkedIn article I published.
Right now, right here, today, the sacrifices by way of capital and time are not appropriate for me or for our family.
Goodbye, A Loving Spoon nut butters
I have various mentors who have helped me in the best ways possible. Prior to making this (huge) decision, I was extremely fortunate to have a call with a man who had guided a fortune 100 company for over 15 years for acquisitions of small, natural food brands like myself. I sent him all three A Loving Spoon nut butter flavors, and we had a lengthy conversation.
From that conversation, I took away two primary things:
- He stated, “I’ve seen thousands of logos – you have one of the best.” He commented over-and-over again that I did a phenomenal job setting up the brand, and that if I chose not to move forward with the nut butter portion of it, the brand would lend itself in many different directions, depending on my strengths and passions.
- “Don’t stress,” are two words he also emphasized. There is always something else, and if you don’t have the passion or drive to hone in on the nut butter portion, take a step back. Life is too short.”
He had me complete an activity. On one side of the paper, I listed out all the things I have with A Loving Spoon as a brand. On the other side, the pros and cons to the nut butter portion.
Just days before the final decision was made, I received an email from someone I consider a lifelong mentor, someone who has achieved optimal success, and whose thoughts I value immensely. I prayed (as he suggested) over this,
One day you will wake up and Samarah will be graduating from college, and you will look in the mirror and say, “what the hell happened here?” Time goes so fast. At times, being an entrepreneur can give you amazing freedom to “have it all”. At other times, it will suck every erg of energy and attention you have and then some. Only you can judge whether you can (or want) to manage the tension. But 15 years from now as your little Sam is flying the coop, you want no regrets. Being intentional about that decision NOW is kind of a big deal.
I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that I am a bit heartbroken today, but because my gut feeling was so strong, I don’t think it’s going to last, thankfully.
The last day for shipping is Wednesday, June 1, 2016. BUT this is also only as long as supplies last…..the jars are few (compared to the past), so if you’ll need that last shipment, please see below and order ASAP.
I have already been asked if I’ll release my recipes. The answer is that I am not sure, but what I am confident about is that even if I gave the recipe for my Honey Vanilla Bourbon Peanut Butter, one could not recreate it without my vanilla source. I searched high and low for the best, and then I found it, and it changed the product.
When it comes to the 3 flavors, I plan to keep them tight to the vest until I understand more about the best interest for them.
But my #1 priority for right now is to take a step back, take in daily experiences with my family, friends and the Lord, breathe and let my body, soul and mind lead me to that next step.
I still want to write a book, and I want to understand how A Loving Spoon might re-emerge in a new way when the time is right.
I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to thank you, again, for all the love and support. I chose to put this post on my personal website and blog so that you always know how to find me, connect with me and learn more about what the future might hold.
Fans all over the United States write to me, telling me how much they have loved not only the product, but what the company stood for. It stopped me in my tracks with each letter from a complete stranger I’d receive.
Without your love and support (and thousands of A Loving Spoon nut butter spoonfuls), I would not have made it this long, received a Shark Tank call back, landed the front cover of HERLIFE Magazine, been able to give back to orphans and foster children and more.
I do thank you from the bottom of my heart, and if you are inclined to do so, hope you will stay in touch.
Transition is hard, change is inevitable.
The only way to move forward is to leave something behind.
But today I don’t leave behind what was once a beloved child. Instead I move forward to nurturing, loving and pouring every last ounce of my being into more space and new adventures.
You will heal. I will help.