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May 16, 2014

What 10,000 Batches Looks Like

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!

 

 

May 11, 2014

The Great Resurgence

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.

May 06, 2014

Rob's Mom

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.

May 05, 2014

Stephen's Mom

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.

---

Read about Caroline Rossini's mom here.
Read about Sam Davidson's mom here.

May 02, 2014

Sam's Mom

In honor of Mother's Day coming up, each Batch team member will be writing about his or her mom. Next up: Sam Davidson, co-founder and CEO. Enjoy.

There is power in support. 

I don't believe in the tale of the successful person who tells me he got there on his own, climbing a ladder or laying a foundation by his wits and hard work alone. Behind every successful person is an army of supporters and encouragers, and my army is helmed by my mom

It's tough to say the very first thing she supported me in, mainly because my memory isn't that strong. Perhaps it was the time she sewed my donkey costume for the Christmas pageant, or used her eyeliner to make a mustache on me to be a garbage man for Halloween. Or when I needed driving to baseball practice or wanted a fish tank of my very own. Regardless of when it began, I know it hasn't stopped.

Eight years ago, when I started my first company, my mom was our first customer. Last fall, when Batch launched, she was first in line again (and has gotten in line again and again). Her role as Customer 1 will live as long as these companies do. Her role as Mom will live even longer. 

I hope to have some chances to support my Mom over the years, too. My mom now tackles many half-marathons a year, which began years ago when she finished her first marathon. I offered support for her race that day. But after seeing her chase down a big dream, she only inspired me to do the same. And she has - of course - in turn supported me as I've run, walked, climbed, flown, or driven to whatever thing I want to try next.

Now, with a daughter of my own, I'm learning what support requires. It sometimes doesn't come at the most convenient of times or in the easiest of ways. But by offering support, I'm getting a deeper understanding of what love means. 

So thanks, Mom. Not just for supporting me. But for loving me.

Read about Caroline Rossini's mom here.

May 01, 2014

Caroline's Mom

In honor of Mother's Day coming up, each Batch team member will be writing about his or her mom. First up: Caroline Rossini, who oversees our wedding and corporate programs (as well as like a thousand other things). Enjoy.

When I was four years old, I wanted a pair of purple jellies more than anything in the world. I pined for them with every ounce of my teeny tiny being - those fabulous, sparkly, plastic sandals in my favorite color. Although it seemed truly impossible that I would ever have some of my own, my mother surprised me one day with my very own pair.

That year for Mother's Day in our pre-school class, when we were asked to draw a picture answering the question "I love my mother because..." the obvious answer was "...she bought me purple jellies." While my appreciation for shoes certainly has not diminished over the years, my love and appreciation for my mother has increased exponentially.

I love my mother because of her smile, her laughter, her joyful spirit. I love my mother because she always has a song in her heart. Because she can make the best of anything. Because when I fall she picks me up; when I cry she dries my tears.

I love my mother because of the deep friendships she has built and because of her dedication to those she loves. I love my mother because of the hours-long phone calls she has with her college roommate. I love my mother because of the supper group she and Dad have been a part of nearly as long as I've been alive.

I love my mother because of all the times she's tucked me in and wished me goodnight. I love my mother because she packed up my car and drove with me across the country after college. I love my mother because of the silly road trip games she invents.

I love my mother because she marvels at flowers and trees and birds and notices the beauty of the world around her. I love my mother because she is curious and adventurous and full of wonder. I love my mother because she is gracious and kind. Because she is thoughtful and compassionate and generous and strong.

I love my mother because she is my mother. (And because she bought me purple jellies.)

April 22, 2014

Spring Arrivals

Springtime is here, and with it allergies. But also: new Batches!

With Mother's Day just around the corner, we're excited to offer a few uniquely curated Batches that make great gifts. Better yet, we also will gift wrap all Mother's Day orders so your mom (or the mother figure in your life) will get a lovely looking (and great tasting) treat on her big day.

Here's what we've got:

Day at the Races

This Batch is perfect for the host or hostess who wants to add some local flair to their race-watching party or tailgate. The Derby runs on May 3, followed by Steeplechase a week later. Grab this Batch and be ready for your guests (or enjoy it all yourself) whether they're looking for cocktails or snacks. To get you in the spirit, you'll really enjoy Eli Mason's new Mint Julep Mix.

How Sweet It Is

You don't have to get this for Mom, but we're sure she won't mind it. A Batch full of sweets, this one also features two exclusives: Chocuterie from Olive and Sinclair (currently only available at their shop) and Momma Nik's caramel sauce. To top that off, we're also serving up a tin of chocolates from our new in-house food line: Revelry.

Mother's Day Gift Batch

Every mother can use a little pampering and we're doing our part to keep that pampering local. This Batch - gift wrapped for the occasion - features four local bath and beauty items to help mom relax and enjoy her big day (truth be told, every day should be her big day).

Grab any of these or choose from our complete list of gift batches. If none of those work, grab Mom a subscription to products from NashvilleMemphis, or our Tour of the South. Gift note's on us.

April 03, 2014

Pack it Up, Ship it Out

This week's Nashville Scene features a story on Batch and gives you a bit of a behind-the-scenes look at our operation. Check it out here.

April 02, 2014

Big Vs. Small

Yesterday, we notified all your fine people about our new business deal with Wal-Mart. We broke this news on April 1, and most folks understood it was an attempt at an innocent prank that is befitting of the day. 

But a lot of people didn't, which was a little fun and a little troublesome.

Yesterday's "announcement" is here, and the short of it is that we emailed, blogged, and tweeted our new expansion nationwide by shipping Wal-Mart products in upcoming Batches.

A lot of people were excited for us. I got congratulatory emails and phone calls from friends admiring our prowess to land the retail giant. My Facebook page had comments and notes from those genuinely happy about Batch's success. Later in the day, as I ran into two friends, I had to lift the veil and tell them the deal was a farce.

We're proud that you believe in us enough to think we can pull off a deal of this magnitude. We have very big plans for Batch and what it can be and where it can go, but shipping goods you can buy at any Wal-Mart is not part of those plans. 

Some other people were angry with us, writing to tell us they won't be customers of ours any longer, that they can't believe we'd want to work with Wal-Mart, and that we're going against all we claim to stand for and champion. While we don't like angry emails, we do like that people are associating our brand with advocating for and helping out small businesses and makers around the US.

But overall, the joke was another attempt on our part to highlight the growing rift each of us feels as a consumer when it comes to big vs. small.

Small can be intimate, personal, and comforting. Meeting a baker or farmer at a local market reassures us that there are people out there dedicated to and passionate about their craft.

Big scales, ensuring that more people can have access to something. And if that something is a well-made, delicious, or satisfying product, then that means more people can enjoy something of value.

Big can also be anonymous, though. Buying something that's made and sold by the metric ton means we don't always know where it came from, what's in it, or how it was made. 

Big overwhelms, small walks alongside. Big is powerful, small is meek. Big gets corporate, small stays relatable. 

There are times when we want big, and times when our soul craves small. Some days are big days, some days are small days, and our choices determine what we opt for and when. 

Yes - at Batch we promote the small before the big, but a lot of our small purveyors have very big dreams. 

Big isn't always bad and small isn't always best. Our hope - for ourselves and our purveyors - is that we can grow together but that no matter how big we get, we still have those small beginnings at heart. We want our small values to form the bedrock upon which we dream and build big. 

So thanks for playing along yesterday. Back to your regularly-scheduled (small and big) Batches.

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.

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