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LETTER JANUARY 2018 Meet the Men Behind Your Meals B efore October Kitchen, I spent 10 years as a personal chef. Cooking in clients’ homes demanded I go to the grocery store every
www.OctoberKitchen.com | 860-533-0588 | 309 Green Rd, Manchester, CT 06042
Remembering the Potluck Supper Club HUMBLING BEGINNINGS
in to help us, but for the first several months, he and I did everything ourselves.
We fleshed out the concept of October Kitchen completely from scratch. It was daunting, and sometimes we thought there was no way we could make it work. But we never failed to cook great food and make our deliveries. For a year and a half we worked through blizzards, power outages, and everything that could possibly go wrong in that tiny church kitchen. Our client list grew and we pushed that four-burner stove to the limit. Then, the other chef renting the church kitchen gave me a call. She’d been offered the opportunity to buy a beautiful catering kitchen nearby. It wasn’t something she was interested in at the time, but she knew I wanted to set up shop in a bigger space. I went out to take a look and discovered the perfect kitchen did exist after all. The kitchen offered plenty of space and was near a dozen of my current clients. I’d driven by that place for months and never realized it was there. When we moved into the new kitchen, we served around 40 clients. Seven years and two remodels later, we prepare meals for 3,500 active clients. Instead of two guys with a pickup and a Cadillac, we have a fleet of three delivery vehicles, four drivers, and 13 employees. We’ve come a long way and it’s been a real mission of faith. The work we do, helping people stay fed and nourished, is important. I’m proud of what October Kitchen has become and I look forward to what will come next.
day and lug all my equipment around. When I was done, I had to leave the kitchen cleaner than I found it. It wasn’t a routine I loved, and for the longest time I wanted to set up home base in a commercial kitchen. I searched for a decade but never found a location that was a good fit. Eventually, I realized the perfect kitchen didn’t exist. If I wanted to see if this idea was feasible, it was time to fish or cut bait. At the time, I had access to a little commercial kitchen located in my church hall — the same church kitchen where I grew up having pancake breakfasts and potluck dinners. Another professional chef was renting out the space, but she didn’t use it on Mondays. I carved time out of my schedule and convinced the church leadership to rent the kitchen to me on Mondays. To test my concept, I reached out to a few families and asked them to let me provide meals for them, free of charge, so I could get some feedback. These early testers included my own grandma, who had just moved in with my parents while she recovered from a bad fall. A buddy of mine agreed to help me out and we called ourselves the Potluck Supper Club. It wasn’t just the meals I needed to figure out. How were we going to package all the food? What would we do about reheating instructions? What was the best delivery method? I remember many a late Monday night using Yahoo maps to print a route with 20-30 addresses on it. After cooking all day Monday, my buddy and I came in on Tuesday, packed up my truck and his Cadillac and hit the road to make deliveries. My wife would eventually step
“Eventually, I realized the perfect kitchen didn’t exist. If I wanted to see if this idea was feasible, it was time to fish or cut bait.”
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Is Your Lifestyle Retirement
sure you’re not acting as a storage unit for friends or family members. If they don’t have the space for something, it shouldn’t be your job to hang on to it. Eliminating clutter will free up your space and allow you to treasure what you have. Move Into a House You Can Fill Once all of your children have left the nest, you’ll often find that you don’t need as many rooms. Selling your home and moving into one that isn’t half-empty will generate some extra cash and help you to live more efficiently. As an added bonus, you’ll often find that a cozier home increases happiness. The less time you have to spend on home maintenance, the more you can devote to the activities you love. Change Your Mindset Too often, we suffer from the urge to “keep up with the Joneses.” If our neighbor buys something, we want it too. But to really rightsize, you should resist the urge to meet other people’s standards. Retirement should help you make the most of your life, not anyone else’s. Before you make a purchase, especially a large one, ask yourself what’s motivating your decision. If it’s not going to make your life better, leave it on the shelf.
As you approach retirement, it’s important to make sure your lifestyle is tailored to fit the end of your working life. This concept, known as “rightsizing,” can make your savings last longer, which provides you with the freedom to enjoy your later years. Kathy Gottberg, author of “Rightsizing: A Smart Living 365 Guide to Reinventing Retirement,” defines the concept as “conscious choices for a better lifestyle that more closely fits your new needs in retirement.” The earlier you can begin rightsizing, the more prepared you’ll be for the days when you no longer have an income from work. For most of us, what really matters when we retire is spending time with loved ones and having memorable experiences. Nobody’s greatest regret is not having enough stuff. With that in mind, here are a few tips that will prepare you for a fruitful and fulfilling retirement. Clear Out Unneeded Goods If you’ve been in the same home for years or decades, you probably have more stuff than you need. Start by discarding anything that’s broken, damaged, or simply not getting any use. You should also make
Ready? Why Rightsizing Makes for Better Life After Work
READY TO BOOK YOUR DREAM VACATION? Adventure Is Waiting
Are you ready to set out on a grand adventure? Many people spend their entire lives thinking about the exotic locations they want to explore, only to let the opportunity slip through their fingers. Stop dreaming about adventure and make it a reality with these top-
itself to creating memorable and educational global travel experiences. Road Scholar crafts vacations that match your interests, group size, and desired activity level. Go on a maritime expedition with your grandchild in Hawaii or enjoy a solo adventure to the ancient ruins of Egypt or Greece. It’s like taking a semester abroad in college, but with fewer essays to write. Start planning your dream vacation at roadscholar.org. Globe Aware Have you ever wanted to travel the world and help make the planet a better place? Then it’s time to consider “voluntourism.” Take the international trip you’ve always wanted by donating your time in a meaningful way. The experts in “aging with attitude” at Senior
of-the-line travel companies. Grand Circle Travel
Established by AARP founder Ethel Andrus, Grand Circle Travel specializes in affordable tour packages that let travelers focus on a true local experience. Your tour can include language lessons, visits to neighborhood schools, and home-hosted meals with local families, all of which allow you to immerse yourself in the local culture. If you’ve been
dreaming of a nautical adventure, Grand Circle Travel also boasts an impressive fleet of small ships for ocean sailing and river cruises. Satisfy your wanderlust by visiting gct.com. Road Scholar Looking for an adventure that will also quench your thirst for knowledge? For over 40 years, Road Scholar has dedicated
Planet celebrate Globe Aware for its success in catering to the adventurous and the generous. Learn how you can volunteer with orphans or help clean up coral reefs at globeaware.org. There will never be a better time to take the trip you’ve dreamed of for years. Adventure is out there; don’t keep it waiting any longer.
Keep an Eye on Calories. Vegans and vegetarians tend to consume less calories than individuals who eat both meat and plants. If you have weight loss goals, this might sound like a good thing, but it’s
Don’t Make These “Healthy” Diet Mistakes
Going vegan or vegetarian can have great health benefits as these diets are associated with weight loss, better blood sugar control, decreased risk of heart disease, and a lower risk of certain cancers. However, vegan and vegetarian diets are also big commitments, and in your quest to gain the nutrients you need, it’s easy to make mistakes. If you’re considering the leap to vegan or vegetarian eating, here are a few tips to remember. Vegan and Vegetarian Products Are Not Necessarily Healthier. Food companies will happily use labels to boast that their products are vegan or vegetarian, but this doesn’t mean the products are healthier than the standard option. Many meat alternatives, like soy-based veggie burgers and nuggets, are highly processed and full of artificial flavors. They also lack the fiber, protein, and nutrients of the non-vegan, non-processed meals. Pay attention to what’s on the label and try to stick with nutritious whole foods.
TESTIMONIALS At October Kitchen, our mission is to provide delicious, nourishing meals. In doing so, we hope to help our clients lead healthy and independent lives. Nothing fills our hearts more than to know we’ve succeeded in our goal when we hear such kind words from our clients. “We have consistently purchased soups, salads, dinners, and desserts from October Kitchen. It has always been good. Lately, it has been very, very good. We are so pleased to have this service available. This business is generous to the community and to its customers. The owners and staff treat us like old friends, and we love having that connection. Thank you!” –Sandra O. “I love this place! It’s so delicious every time, and it’s so convenient. The staff never thinks twice about going the extra mile for their customers. I’m lucky to have them right around important to meet your caloric needs. Calories are a source of energy for your body, and denying yourself this energy can lead to a slower metabolism, fatigue, and nutrient deficiencies. Don’t Forget Vitamins and Minerals. Many vital vitamins and minerals, including B12, iron, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids, are mainly found in meats or animal products. This means vegans and vegetarians have to work harder to get needed nutrients in their own diet. Supplements can help, but you should talk to your physician about what you should eat to get the right amount of nutrients through your food. Whatever eating style you choose, the key word is “balance.” With research and thoughtful planning, you can make sure your vegan or vegetarian diet doesn’t accidentally lead to nutrient deficiencies and health problems.
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What Was the Potluck Supper Club?
Are You Ready for Retirement?
Adventure Is Waiting
3 Mistakes That Ruin a Healthy Diet
The Time Is Right for Nicaragua
A fter the hectic holiday season, many of us feel like we need another vacation just to unwind. Luckily, January and February are two of the best months to travel. Flight prices plummet and crowds thin out after the Christmas rush.
Escape to Nicaragua
speeds as they teeter and try not to fall. In fact, it’s almost impossible to travel anywhere in the country without seeing an “I boarded a volcano” T-shirt. If relaxing on a pearlescent beach is more your speed, take a short boat trip out to the Corn Islands. There, you can amble around the small towns bordering the shockingly blue Pacific, visit a number of laid-back seafood restaurants, get scuba certified for a fraction of the price anywhere else in the world, or just read your book as you swing in a hammock by the waves. You can also visit the gorgeous, alabaster Our Lady of Grace Cathedral in “new” Léon. The biggest church in all of Central America, this unique Baroque and neoclassicist structure was built in 1814. Visitors can climb onto its roof (as long as they don’t wear shoes) and bask in the view of surrounding volcanoes (including Cerro Negro). If you’re planning on heading to Nicaragua, it’s best to do it soon. Neighbor Costa Rica often overflows with tourists, and instead of wading through the crowds there, many travelers are catching on to what Nicaragua has to offer.
If you’re looking to escape the dreary winter weather, there’s no better place to visit this
season than Nicaragua, the “Central American country that has it all,” as Condé Nast Traveler puts it. Whether you’re looking to explore the rainforests surrounding the Río San Juan or get lost in the quirky-yet- beautiful architecture of Granada, there’s something for everyone in this tropical wonderland. One must-see destination is the Cerro Negro volcano. Just a baby at 150 years old, it’s one of the most active volcanoes in the region. It only takes about an hour to scale its smoking, black gravel surface, and the verdant forests surrounding the peak are a sight to behold. Adventurous travelers can board down the side, reaching ludicrous
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