From Freezer to Field is written by The Tiniest Tiger’s pet parent.
I am an optimist, but the frozen food business drove me right on over to the water glass is half empty side. Maybe it is true of all industries, but I only have experience in the one I have been in from the time I reluctantly left college to avoid a “real job”.
After too many years in this industry, I came to the unfortunate conclusion that if the trustworthy folks were to be classified by the global conservation status definitions known as G-ranks, the good folks might have been listed as Vulnerable: At moderate risk of extinction, relatively few populations often 80 or fewer due to recent and widespread declines or other factors, 5-7 years ago. But now, I am almost certain that the good folks might be Critically Imperiled: At very high risk of extinction due to extreme rarity- often 5 or fewer due to very steep declines, or other factors. Perhaps even Possibly Extinct: Missing, known only from historical occurrences but still some hope of rediscovery!
The stories you will read here are based on mostly true experiences that I had as the founder of start-ups and ongoing small frozen food companies. I concede that I might be alone in my interpretation of the industry. And I am ok with that! No need to get angry or defensive, call me names and tell me that I am off base. I get it. This blog is only my opinion based on my distinct and unique experiences. The names of people, places and companies have been changed to protect the guilty. If you recognize yourself or think that any of these characters are based on you or deeds you have done, I suggest you seek help immediately from a licensed mental health professional. Remember your Possibly Extinct classification gives you some hope of rediscovery!
The original title for this blog, Tumblers, Conjurors & Other Human Oddities, came to me through the help of my good friend Roger (real name, not guilty). We were in attendance at a theatrical performance of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s The Phantom of the Opera. The character Madame Giry is explaining the Phantom’s past, that there was a traveling fair in the city, tumblers, conjurors and other human oddities. Roger leaned over and said to me “My Lord, it sounds like the folks we meet at the food trade shows!” Well of course, we snickered and hissed and our seats were shaking and it was not until we were warned with the beam of an usher’s flashlight we were able to gain composure. Somehow that title seemed appropriate because we were surrounded by a roving band of conjurors and human oddities, not certain about the tumblers. I have tried as best I can to capture them. Some are likable, some are hateful and some are just well…crazy.
As time went on and the saga unfolded I saw there had been a series of unfortunate events that would make Lemony Snicket proud. We tried hard and had some good ideas; we tried hard and had some bad ideas. We worked hard and got ahead; we worked hard and got smacked down. And as we all know when the temperature sinks to 0 degrees Celsius and you hang out exposed for prolonged periods of time… you will get the second title for this blog…Freezer Burn.
My goal is to help insulate anyone considering a frozen food start up from frost bite. If this blog gives pause to just one poor soul about to throw their life’s savings into the food business with the recipe from their Aunt Millie’s Meatball Meals, I will consider my writing time well spent.
After being frost bitten one too many times, I yearned for a life at an ambient temperature. This meant I needed to make a career transition. Not just a small change but a whopping 180 degrees, from frozen food to wildlife conservation. I enrolled in a Global Field Master of Zoology program and am getting ready to embark on my first Earth Expedition to the desert! This is the story of how I transitioned my career from cold to hot.
Welcome to From Freezer to Field !
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