Hot times, folks. It's summer in the city.
To welcome the warming weather (although most of us around the U.S. have gotten a reprieve this week), our July subscription batch from Nashville included five great items to help you enjoy summer in your city.
A set of iconic coasters from Anderson Design Group
Using the critically-acclaimed Spirit of Nashville Collection—a series of illustrated prints and gifts designed in the tradition of the "Golden Age of Poster Art"—Anderson Design Group has now created coasters. This series has won countless awards and has acheived international recognition.
A jar of Bathtub Gin spread
Bathtub Gin is an artisanal fruit spread business born from two sisters' passion for homemade jam, handcrafted cocktails and a love of all things related to the 1920s and 30s. Bathtub Gin uses organic ingredients, chooses locally grown produce whenever possible and firmly believes that using the highest quality fruits and liquors available creates the absolute best tasting fruit spreads.
Iced coffee blend from Bongo Java
Bongo Java has been brewing coffee in Nashville since 1993. They support communities by expanding the definition of quality to include how stuff is produced, purchased and served. They buy as much organically produced foods and coffee from regional producers as is practical and 100% of their coffee is organic, bought almost directly from small-scale producers.
Bag of peanut brittle from Brittle Brothers
Nashville’s own Brittle Brothers has taken Great Grandma Spalding’s old fashioned recipe from the 1840’s and perfected it into a most delicious peanut brittle, cashew brittle and pecan brittle. It is truly a Nashville treasure, but Brittle Brothers is spreading across the country.
Decorative paper straw set from Hester & Cook
When Angie Hester met Robbie Cook, neither knew their relationship would lead to marriage and a business partnership. Eight years into their business, Hester & Cook Design Group is a leader in the gift industry, and their brands Kitchen Papers and CAKE Vintage Table & Home can be found at fine retailers. A portion of all sales benefit the Wonderful Life Foundation.
Like what you see? Grab the whole Summer in the City batch here!
One of the cool things about finding so many great items around the South (for now) is the personal touch that many of our purveyors offer. Of course, a great many of our goods from each city are handmade or handcrafted, but it's also fun to see the additional detail that can happen on some items.
As we were looking around at inventory the other day here at global HQ, we noticed three awesome products that include the maker's handwriting.
For starters, here's Farmstead Milk Soap from Little Seed Farm. They write the production date on the label.
And then there's our friends at Reverb Coffee in Memphis who pen where the coffee comes from and when it was roasted.
And lastly - and maybe our personal favorite touch - check out Tiny Buffalo Baking Company out of Atlanta. Audrey (who's awesome) lets you know that she (or whomever helped) packed your granola goodness.
There are lots of other personal touches you can find, but when you see a maker's handiwork like this - well, that's hard to find at some big box places.
Summer is in full swing and along with some sweltering days where your shirt sticks to your ribs by the time you crank your car, you'll also find farmer's markets up and running, teeming with produce, flowers, baked goods, and an assortment of local products.
Markets were how we at Batch found our first purveyors nearly a year ago. Armed with simple info cards and a knack for friendly conversation, our team hopped around Nashville meeting passionate people making delicious goodies and crafts by the (literal) carload.
Last weekend, we scoured the same in Charleston in preparation for our launch there. We'd heard a lot about this hotbed of local flavor and skill and we weren't disappointed.
From Madison, Wisconsin to Madison, Tennessee markets are growing and well-trafficked. It's a pleasure to see so many hardworking entrepreneurs, happy to share their wares and stories with a customer base excited to try something new, something borrowed (like a family recipe) and something blue (like blueberries).
What markets do you frequent? What's the best one you've seen in your neck of the woods?
Earlier this year, we began officially helping brides and wedding planners (and some grooms, too) create memorable gifts and keepsakes to help celebrate their big day. And now we're excited for Batch Weddings to officially strut its stuff at NotWedding when it comes to Nashville on June 18!
If you're planning a wedding in Nashville, you won't want to miss the NotWedding! Some of the best wedding vendors in town are combining forces to throw a big, awesome, fake wedding next week. It's a great opportunity to see everybody in action.
Last week, Batch had the opportunity to participate in a styled shoot with some of the other NotWedding vendors. We might be biased, but if the styled shoot was any indication of what's to come, next week's NotWedding is going to be absolutely amazing! (Scroll down to see what we're talking about.) These florists, photographers, planners, and stationers (and caterers and bakers and everyone else) are pulling out all the stops to make it a great event. Come get inspired and meet the people who can make your wedding perfect.
As we grow our monthly subscription and gift offerings to the very awesome city of Charleston, we're looking for someone on the ground there to become part of our team.
This person will be the "face" of Batch in the city, working hand-in-hand with local purveyors to find the best stuff to send our customers. We're also looking for someone to can offer up customized curated gift batches for our corporate and wedding clients.
We don't have many qualifications or requirements outside of someone who's willing to work hard, has a deep passion for local food and goods, and is able to dream big.
In fact, our full job description is here. Take a look and if you think this is you, send us a note. Or, pass this along if you have the perfect person in mind.
Last week's Tour of the South stop in Charleston was a great way to confirm suspicions we've had almost since the beginnings of Batch last year. When looking for products to include in our May shipment, we noticed lots of great items being made by local purveyors. From sauces to rub, coasters to candles, cookies to coffee - Charleston certainly is a hotbed of handmade goods.
So, we decided to stay.
Our Tour of the South subscribers were the first to hear about our announcement last week. Come September, you can expect monthly shipments from Charleston to land on your doorstep.
Each month, we'll find at least four quality, locally-made items to send your way, all batched together around a common theme. You'll get the same great service and product selection from us, just like we currently offer in Nashville and Memphis.
We'll be hiring someone to oversee our operations in Charleston and begin looking for great things to batch up and send your way this summer.
And until the end of May (that's next week), you can be one of our early Charleston tastemakers. We're offering a great deal for those of you who want to reserve our first monthly Charleston shipments. For just $99, you can get four months' worth (September, October, November, December) of Charleston goodness sent to you (or a friend). Of course, if you'd rather pay month-to-month, you can do that, too.
Our first shipment in September will be Rise and Shine, followed up with Tailgate (October), and Gather 'Round the Table (November). And, as we've mentioned, if you order now, you'll get December's batch, too.
We can't wait to bring you all the great stuff we're finding in Charleston. It's a great time to experience this wonderful Southern city. Won't you come along with us?
This week, when we shipped our Tour of the South installment from Charleston, it marked our 10,000th batch shipped since we began last fall.
That's a lot of boxes.
We are extremely grateful for the support of each one of you, who have bought batches for yourself or given them to others. Your support and commitment to locally-made, high-quality products makes us excited to pack boxes and ship them out to you.
We're also thankful for the fine purveyors out there, who are willing to work with us to discover new customers and get their awesome goods into the hands of people around the country.
Here's to 10,000 more!
Here's a rare interview with Jony Ive, the man behind the way a lot of Apple's products look and function. If you're a fan of Apple or just really like your iPhone, it's worth your time to learn more about how those products come to be and why the detail that goes into them shapes the way they work, sell, and become things we can't live without.
We see similar passion with the purveyors we find, whether they're in Nashville, Memphis, or soon, a third city (we'll tell you later this week). Folks all over this country are honing their craft, perfecting their passion, and chasing down their dreams.
We're asked a lot why there seems to be a renewed focus on entrepreneurship or the making of things. Without waxing too eloquently or wading into deep theoretical waters, we actually think Ive nails it in his interview when he remarks: "There is a resurgence in the idea of craft."
Indeed there is.
We've seen it in how Bruce and Cathy make caramels at Walker Creek. How Robbie chooses beans for Cup Fine. Or the way in which Luke Duncan perfect recipes for his Eli Mason mixers. And we think we're experiencing not just a resurgence, but a new normal.
This normal is a world in which people make things with a deep passion for people with a deep passion to enjoy them. It's this connection point - passionate makers to passionate users - that Batch helps facilitate in but a small way.
Enjoy the resurgence. We are. Makers are. And welcome in a new way - the way - of doing business, choosing your food, and living life.
In honor of Mother's Day coming up, each Batch team member will be writing about his or her mom. Finally: Rob Williams, co-founder and CBO. Enjoy.
Moms are people, too.
In this year that my mother retired from her job of 20 years, it has become more and more obvious that while she did a great job raising me, she also made herself into an amazing person. When I was young I knew (and possibly took for granted) that she would always be there for me because, well, she was. While I was busy testing boundaries from 12 to 21 (much like my 3-year-old is now), she earned a master’s degree and worked hard at agencies that have a positive impact on society while keeping me headed in the right direction as I wandered around. While I was churning through my twenties she encouraged all my efforts and gave advice that, while not always solicited, was helpful and often heeded.
Growing up, I didn’t make life easy for her because I was mainly all about me. When she got the call one night when I was in high school that a friend and I were in the back of two separate police cars after vandalizing a rival school’s football field, both of my parents showed up and took their time deciding to take me back home. The short distance home was a long ride down Disappointment Road. The calm reaction to my petty nonsense was much harder to handle for me than a freak out. I realize she knew what she was doing as I try to be steady while my daughter dismantles my house during a tantrum.
During her retirement party, friends and coworkers repeatedly wished her well while wishing she would reconsider leaving. It is clear that she makes those around her better (which I hope rubs off on my aforementioned daughter). Fortunately she can’t retire from being my mom (and if she tried I wouldn’t accept it) and now that she has three grandkids she’s even more in demand than ever.
Thanks Mom for showing me how to be a great parent and an amazing person.
In honor of Mother's Day coming up, each Batch team member will be writing about his or her mom. Next up: Stephen Moseley, co-founder and COO. Enjoy.
The older I get, the harder it is to remember where it is I learned something. Seems like the human brain determines that knowing it is more important than recalling where you learned it.
But sometimes, when I stop and think about the very core and elemental attributes of who I am, I realize that regardless of where I was when I heard it or from what source it came, what I know about being human I owe to my mother.
Whether or not she told it to me, showed it to me, wrote it for me, sang it to me or used her powerful ESP to burn it into my cerebral cortex, mom as much showed me how to live as she did give me life.
She was a kind and gentle figure. She had utmost respect for others and treated everyone with broad strokes of compassion. Her smile was light and gentle, but she could just as easily convey seriousness and concern with those very same facial muscles to ensure you knew she meant what she meant.
And moments I think about who I am as a child-having adult, lost in amazement and fear that such a state exists, I reach deep into my past to recall what she taught me about being a loving parent, years before I ever imagined what a parent I could be.
I reach deep because, the older I get, the older my kids get, and the more vital it is that I pay attention to what I’m teaching, what I’m modeling, who I’m being. And that understanding, the simple recognition of responsibility, wells up within me as a result of what my mom taught me, modeled for me, and was to me.
She wasn’t a businessperson but she taught me ethics. She wasn’t a doctor but she showed good bedside manner. She wasn’t a reverend but she emphasized the spirit. She wasn’t a judge but taught that character counts.
She was a teacher, but more so a lover of learning.
She was a sister, but more so a best friend.
She was a wife, but more so a companion.
She was a mom, but more so, she was everything.