Here I am! Santa Rosa California!

WOW!! I’m back!!! And I’m starting off with, not what I’ve been up to the last few months but with a funny story.

Okay, I’ll back up a little bit. We spent a wild month selling our possessions, packing the enormous amount we still had left, loading four moving cubes (like pods, but nicer people and cheaper), then driving cross-country with two dogs, visiting friends and family along the way. Ended up finding the perfect house for us to rent our second day in Santa Rosa, and moving in a week later. The rest is a blur of unpacking, hooking up essential services, finding our way around a new city four times as big as Keene, and trying to learn the garbage/recycling drill in California.

Okay, now back to the story. One of the perks of our neighborhood is a new farmer’s market two blocks away. The variety and quality of the food is amazing. And of course, the business side of my brain quickly noticed that the range of selling expertise ranges from the sublime to the ridiculous…..

We were almost done shopping there yesterday when I noticed a new vendor sitting glumly behind his table under his pop-up tent. There was a tray of assorted “dips” arranged on his table, and two poster board signs handwritten with a pen. One said, “1 for $5, 2 for $9.” The other was filled with about a dozen bubbles of text, like “finest ingredients!” “like no other!” and my favorite, “arrogant food!!”

Curious, I approached him, and he leaped to his feet. “What are these?” I asked.

Now, when I relate this, I do NOT mean to suggest that his broken English means he’s ignorant. After all, he speaks at least two languages, and I speak only one. I mean to comment only that what he felt was important about his product is not exactly what I think was important. And his products are so amazing, I’m sure he’ll get much, much better at selling soon.

With that in mind….
He responded to my question with an array of statements that were repeated every time I asked a question. So the conversation went something like this:

Me: What are these?
Him: The finest ingredients. Made by Turkish kitchen. Never the same twice.
Me: Is this one hummus?
Him: You don’t understand. These are secret recipe. Only made in Turkey. You try.
Me (sampling): Wow! This is great! Is this one hummus, too? (because it was hummus.)
Him: This different. Made for the wealthy people. Always the best food. Only the best ingredients. Never the same twice. Made by Turkish kitchen.
Me: What is this one?
Him: (more of the same.)
Me: This is WONDERFUL! It kinda tastes like…babaganoush?
Him: (more of the same.)

Fortunately, I don’t have any food allergies, so not knowing what I was eating wasn’t too much of a problem. Mostly I wanted to know so I could ASK FOR IT AGAIN next week when he comes back.

We bought three containers, and he seemed happier. On my out, I said, “By the way, what do you mean by ‘arrogant food’?”

Him: Only for the wealthiest people. The best food.
Me: But…arrogant?
Him: The finest ingredients. Never the same twice. From Turkish kitchen. (I still don’t know if this means ‘his Turkish recipes’ or if “Turkish Kitchen” is the name of his business…?)
Me: Do you mean ‘elegant food’?”
Him: ???
Me: ‘Arrogant is mean’, like this. (I make a snooty mean face. ‘Elegant’ means very fancy, very nice. (I make a smiling face, with elegant hand gestures.) (I hope they look elegant.)
Him: Thank you! Yes, elegant!!

Fortunately, the dips were delicious. Setting aside the assumptions that only rich-people food is desirable and that not knowing what you’re eating is a great sales pitch, I kind of like the idea of eating “arrogant food”.

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12 thoughts on “Here I am! Santa Rosa California!

  1. Welcome to Northern California, Luann! When you drive North to see the redwoods stop by our little town of Willits!!! And thanks for the great inspirations on marketing!!! I love your blog!

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  2. Hi Luann,
    Welcome to northern California. I live close by in Petaluma. Great little town I’m sure you will enjoy visiting. We have farmers markets all over, but unfortunately the drought is causing problems big time. I know you will love it here.

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  3. Too funny – I was just thinking about your blog this morning and wondering how you’re doing. We were in Northern California last week for vacation – I totally get why you moved there. I’m back in NH now where it was 34 degrees this morning…have fun exploring your new home.

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  4. Welcome to Calif. We live near Yosemite, let me know it you ever come up this way. I am in Timberline Gallery in Oakhurst, and maybe we can meet there one day. PS, most of our fresh food, gets shipped out, but we do have some Farmers Markets, but the locals are all done for the year because of the heat..

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  5. You made it! Welcome to CA. I’ve followed your blog for years, dreams come true! I live south of San Francisco and we have a wealth of Farmer’s Markets all over Ca. Unfortunately, that story was not funny to me. I have terrible food allergies & his booth would have been a nightmare. In addition, health inspectors are cracking down on vendors that mislabel their food & are not preparing to health codes. Passion is one thing, but you have no idea if the nice Turkish family know anything about cleanliness. Perhaps it was arrogant to think the “rich” would buy something not made the same way twice….. Just saying…..

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  6. Hi, Luann! I had a good laugh when I read your story! But it is so true that it is better to know what we are talking about when we are selling anything…. Well, more Turkish delights for you next week end then!

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