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April 01, 2014

Helping You Live Better

Since we began, we've tried hard to bring you the best products in the most convenient way possible (by bringing directly them to you). And now, we're very proud to announce that our offering is only getting bigger and better.

After months of back and forth and ideas and feedback, we're proud to announce a brand new, national partnership with Wal-Mart. We're excited as this makes Batch an immediate national brand, available as far and wide as our new retail partner.

Quite frankly, we'd be fools to not align our brand with Wal-Mart, which started with one store in a small Arkansas town over 50 years ago and now boasts over 11,000 stores. Their endless aisles are stocked with items that are perfect for future batches, beginning with next month's "Look What We Put in a Can" theme.

We hope to bring the experience of shopping at Wal-Mart to our subscribers (that's you!) through special gift batches featuring random assortments of items ranging from feather dusters to corn tortillas to car batteries to deodorant. And while we don't want to jump the gun, we are in talks with Sam's Club to send pallets of random goods to subscribers but we're still finalizing logistics of driving forklifts through residential streets.

March 19, 2014

And Then There’s Value

I recently spent time at the Charleston Wine and Food Festival. I’m by no means a food festival veteran or expert, but what I saw and tasted was simply magical. I might even be willing to give up baseball trips in order to park myself in Marion Square for that fateful weekend each March.

As I roamed the tasting tents, visited pop-up shops and meals, and watched cooking demonstrations, I was overcome by one misused word in our culinary vocabulary:

VALUE

McDonald’s and many other fast food restaurants laud their “value menu”, so named due to the fact that most items won’t run you much more than a buck. Of course, what you get for your dollar is a dollar’s worth of food: highly processed, usually unhealthy resemblances of hamburgers, biscuits, and desserts. 

Contrast that with the value I saw in Charleston. Sure, the tickets are a hefty fee, but worth every dollar. The same is true when you patronize your local eatery, helmed by creative chefs making names for themselves cooking up local ingredients, in season and raised sustainably. Your checkbook may be lighter than after a meal at Burger King; but there’s better value to be had at City House

Don’t let fast food multinationals fool you into thinking there’s a lot of value in a sawbuck’s worth of calories. Bypass the order-by-number convenience and sit awhile. Order the chef’s specialty, try something new, and bask in the value you get from $40 well spent.

Value menus only offer discounts, not value. And when it comes to food, you always get what you pay for.

At Batch, we’ve never claimed that we’re a way to get a discount on local goods. Sure, each Batch we ship is worth what you pay (usually more). For us, this is a way to discover local goods (including five new cities that are part of our Tour of the South). We stand behind each item we ship, knowing full well that you’re getting the value you pay for each bag of granola, every candle, and all the pancake mix you’d like. 

All of our purveyors work hard to put value into every grain, every jar, and every sip. Their story is intwined with the product you get in our batches. There is no story when someone hands you food in a greasy sack out of a window while your engine idles. 

I left Charleston with a renewed sense of Batch’s commitment to value, no matter which city we find ourselves in. And I hope you value a subscription with us. We promise to always deliver a fair or exceeding value for what you pay in both the quantity and quality of goods you receive. 

Who’s hungry?

 

March 04, 2014

Our Night at OZ

Here in Nashville, the first taste of spring delighted us a week or so ago (which has now given away to snow and ice). But, for a brief moment, we were reminded that this season is always so exciting, because it means newness is coming. New flowers, new life. This week I have found myself daydreaming of all things new: new beginnings, new adventures, new people doing new things. Brave new things. 

Last Thursday, our friends at OZ opened their doors for the first performance in their series of Brave New Art. OZ is Nashville’s new destination for innovative, contemporary art. We can’t wait for more.

From the moment the first guests arrived until the final few shut down the bar, the halls were buzzing with excitement and anticipation. Wayne McGregor | Random Dance gave a powerful, memorable performance for the sold-out crowd of over 500. The dancers were mesmerizing. Complete with a  three-dimensional, computerized light display backdrop, no detail was overlooked. FAR, the 60-minute piece, was stunning. 

To welcome the cast and crew to Nashville, Batch provided custom boxes of local goods that awaited them at the hotel. The boxes were filled with local treats meant to make being on the road feel more like home. We hope that our little gesture was as welcome a treat to these talented artists as their performance was to our city.

We also had a chance to welcome those attending the show and made available for purchase local marshmallows and chocolates. And this weekend, we'll have some delicious popcorn to share. Think of us like your super-local concession stand.

Of course, if you're interested in having Batch curate welcome gifts, audience treats, or anything else for your big event, drop us a line. We're happy to do what we can to make you and your event look (and taste) great!

February 25, 2014

Hello, Southern Living Readers!

A big "Thanks, Y'all" is due to Southern Living for featuring us in their most recent issue.

We were featured, along with our fantastic Rise & Shine purveyors. As many of you have noticed, we offer curated Batches of five Nashville-made goods each month. We do the same for Memphis, and this summer, we're launching our Tour of the South to showcase great items from five more Southern cities (in addition to Nashville): Charleston, Atlanta, New Orleans, Birmingham, and Austin.

So if you're new here, welcome! Poke around a bit and take a look at the gifts we offer, or sign up to come on tour with us soon.

February 24, 2014

Batch is Going to the Chapel (and the hotel, and the restaurant, and the bridal shower...)

Batch Weddings is officially here.

After testing and talking about the concept, we're happy to officially present Batch Weddings as a resource for local goods and a memorable experience for your big day (and the days leading up to the big day). It’s all the local goodness you already love from Batch, personalized and perfected. 

For family and friends who will be visiting from far and wide, our fully customizable welcome batches are a sweet surprise to find when they arrive. Choose as many items as you like from our menu for the perfect combination.

What about a meaningful and memorable gift for your bridesmaids and groomsmen? From candles and chocolates to barbecue sauce and bloody mary mix, Batch Weddings has options that will fit any personality and budget. Looking for an extra special way to say thank you to a party host or event planner? We can do that, too. 

Best of all, with any Batch Weddings order, delivery to local hotels and venues is free, and we will gladly include your custom wedding artwork or colors into the design. 

Drop us a line today to find out how Batch Weddings can add that extra dose of southern hospitality.

February 20, 2014

Let's Go on Tour

It's time to take this show on the road.

Beginning in April and carrying on until September, Batch will be hitting the road to send you the finest goods from six Southern cities. Each month, we'll find five hand-crafted items that are beautiful and delicious, box them up, and send them your way. You'll get a taste of the South without ever packing a bag.

Here's where we're going:

  • April - Nashville (gotta start at home)
  • May - Charleston (you keep telling us we need to go there)
  • June - Atlanta (the South's largest city makes some mighty fine delights)
  • July - New Orleans (we're bringing the party to you)
  • August - Birmingham (you're going to love the pride of this city)
  • September - Austin (we'll see how weird we can keep it)

You can sign up and get all six cities, or subscribe by the month to get what fancies you. And if you know local makers and crafters in these cities, send them our way

February 13, 2014

What We Make

From time to time here at Batch, in addition to making great subscription boxes, we also design, curate, and make products that we think you'll like. Here's a little Thursday roundup of some of the things that have begun here:

Thanks Y'all Towel

Back in November, these hand towels rolled off the screenprinting presses with an original design. They're perfect as a set in your kitchen or guest bathroom. They also work as - what else? - a thank you gift.

Good Morning Towel

To launch our new Memphis subscription service, we included a fresh take on our towels, this time with a peppy morning message. If you're a morning person (or you stay up until the morning), this may be a nice reminder when you're making pancakes.

Discover Journal

Our January Batch shipped with this locally made journal. Pocket-sized, it'll go with you anywhere this year as you set off on your great big adventure. Grab a set if you're planning on making a lot of memories this year.

Don't forget to check out more great single products and build your own Batch of sorts in our Market.

February 11, 2014

They Served Fried Chicken at the Last Supper

I wasn’t there at that final, fateful meal in Jerusalem many years ago, but one day I’m certain archaeologists will confirm that it was, in fact, fried chicken that was served.

It’s not just that the right combination of flour, spices, and poultry combines for one of the most heavenly tastes on earth. Anyone who’s bitten into a crispy, flakey skin knows that when done right, a fried chicken breast or leg is both entree and desert. Such a combination has taken root in the south generations ago and is now the go-to main dish of Sunday dinners and Thursday suppers alike. It’s meant for tailgates and Christmases, breakfasts and picnics. It’s versatility is rivaled only by its availability to make it the centerpiece on both dining room tables and coats of arms.

We ate fried chicken the last meal I had with Ann. My grandfather’s girlfriend twenty years his junior, I’m now convinced her vivacity at 74 was due to her regular consumption of fried chicken. She’s the type who said, “I’ll just take a little bite of a leg” and then eats two legs, a wing, and a breast before asking who was ready for desert. 

I didn’t know it was my last meal with her at the time. A freak fall at home put her into a coma and then a week later, she was gone. They had fried chicken after the wake and everyone said their goodbyes. 

We Southerners are also tolerant of the various makers of fried chicken - both the mother who has her recipe and the fast food chain that has far less originality. This tolerance isn’t based solely on ease. Anyone who’s dares to heat up oil, bread a bird and wait and watch for that perfect shade of golden brown knows frying a chicken is anything but simple. I think we flock to fried chicken, even when handed to us in our cars out of a window, not because it’s easy.

It’s because fried chicken is about community.

Have you ever seen anyone fry a single piece of chicken? Or asked for just a solitary leg at a counter? Chicken comes in buckets and bags and bins, shoveled to you on a platter stacked a dozen or more pieces high. Some nine decades can separate those eating it in a sitting, as I saw recently when we gathered for lunch at my grandfather’s place again. 

Across the table from me was my daughter, all of four years old. To my right was Granddaddy, who will be 97 next month. Aunt Judy was there, too, and so was a plate of fried chicken, carefully prepared by the fine folks at Food Giant, a local chain of grocery stores. 

I like to imagine that our family wasn’t alone that day. I think other people gathered around tables, representing different generations, as they gnawed and talked, pulled and picked and caught up. Crunching and chewing, families and friends passed the platter and asked for seconds. Greasy fingertips wiped off, they then made their ways towards what I hope is becoming more of a tradition in all parts - the afternoon nap. 

Fried chicken can populate our first suppers with people and our last suppers with them. We usually don’t see either coming, but when it hits us that it’s happened, we’ll look back and savor those conversations and memories, as sweet as the bread on the bird we ate, remembering that we weren’t alone. 

February 06, 2014

How to Wake Up in Memphis

Just a few short weeks ago, we gathered up some great, local Memphis purveyors and included them in our first Batch Memphis shipment. And now, you can get in on what you missed out on (or order more if you're already in) with our Good Morning, Memphis Gift Batch.

Each Batch includes:

A Batch-designed "Good Morning" towel
This hand towel bears an in-house design to remind you of how good mornings can be. If you like what you see, grab a set of three.

Heart of Eden soap
Certified Soapmaker Teresa Gregory and her family run a small farm and make products in a way that is good for you and for the environment. Their line of soaps and skin care items are free of soy and GMO ingredients so you can feel good in more ways than one.

Nourishe pancake and waffle mix
Two couples—Nicole & Cameron and Della & Richard—combined their passions for food and fitness and the result was Nourishe. Not only have they come up with a line of food that is gluten, grain and dairy free, but they did it in a way that tastes great and is effortless to make.

Reverb Coffee beans
Jeremy Harris, founder and roaster at Reverb Coffee wants to do more than offer great tasting beans. He wants to create a better future for Memphis. Infusing his product with a positive attitude and a big vision, Jeremy and Reverb are creating great coffee for a greater good.

Yippie Hippie granola
What began as a hobby - making granola at home in search of a healthy snack - has now turned into a thriving business for Malcolm and Jennifer Ervin. Using a blend of raw and cooked nuts and seeds, this granola is full of flavor without unnecessary sugars added.

How delicious does all that sound?! Get your limited edition Good Morning, Memphis Gift Batch here.

 

February 03, 2014

How's That New Adventure Going?

We're not really resolution people, so when January began, we figured going on an adventure is a lot better than making a resolution. And so, last month, we rounded up five great local products that can help anyone chase down a great big adventure.

In case you missed out, here's what we included. And, if you want this handy kit to help you chase down your big adventure (it's okay to start an adventure in February), you can get one here.

New Adventures Gift Batch

"Discover" Journal from Batch

For the launch of our third in-house product, we created a handy 24-page journal that will keep you company during your personal and professional adventures this year. Just the right size with cover art that inspires, this may be your trusty sidekick all year long.

Drink mix from Everly

Kyle McCollom and Chris Cole set out to create the best drink mix on the planet—one full of great ingredients and great purpose. Just mix one packet of Everly with a bottle of water and shake. While you do that, Everly will be supporting rehydration efforts around the globe.

Peanut butter packets from GoodSpread

When Alex Cox and Mark Slagle wanted to make a difference, they set out to travel the country in a 1971 Winnebago. Then, it exploded (seriously) and they started making peanut butter. There’s more to it than that, but this pair cranks out high quality peanut butter mixed with organic honey. And, when they sell a packet, they donate a packet of MANA therapeutic peanut butter to kids in need.

Snackable granola from Nola Granola

Believing that snacking can (and must) move beyond dull flavors and boring ingredients, sisters-in-law Dawn and Liz Craig have set the standard for "artisan snackery.” Made deliberately with an eye toward the full culinary experience, Nola may become the only granola you ever want to eat.

Travel-size stain remover from Roux Maison

Getting things clean doesn’t have to happen at the expense of the environment or your conscience. Deena Drummond is proof of this as her line of natural and effective detergents and cleaners gets the job done without being harmful to your skin, your clothes, or your planet.

Get your New Adventures Gift Batch today for just $29!