Category Archives: Announcements

Bringing it back

Exactly 4 years ago to this day I published my last article on the day I turned 30 to better focus more on my core business. I have been able to grow my business significantly since then and I’ve also learn a lot of mistakes along the way.

WHAT HAPPENED THE LAST 4 YEARS

  • Went from 2 SKUs to 30 SKUs
  • Went from selling 1,000 bottles per year to 60,000 per year
  • Went from 50 stores to >500 stores
  • Lost millions dollars!
  • Survived

I’m no expert, by all means, but I can share some crazy stories that has happen to me in life and business, and how I over came it.

For example, one night on my anniversary, I mis calculated how many labels we would need and completely ran out. We had orders that had to ship out the next day, so we spent or ‘date night’ hand-labeling 1000s of bottles of dressing on our kitchen table to ship out the next day. Ahh, another day in paradise. (Photo taken at 1am)

I like to write, read and take a lot of notes. I get lost in the stories I’m telling and like to leave some context for my kids. So as I’m writing about writing, I’m covered in dressing that went didn’t come out perfect and I had to dump 100 gallons down the drain and lost over $1,000 (more to come on this).

Today starts a new day in our company, a day where we make and develop something that has never been done in our industry (more to come on this 😉). Plus it just so happened to by my 34th birthday, exactly 1 year ago the Hollywood producers came to town to film for The Billion Dollar Buyer episode featuring Hanley’s. I invited them to join us in beer and nachos at The Rum House in Baton Rouge, in-which they did.

Cheers to many more stories to come.

Richard

Vote on the next salad dressing

You decide the next salad dressing: Hanley's Greek, Crack, Louisiana Strawberry
Click to enlarge

I’m back in the kitchen like a mad scientist perfecting the perfect batch, and my girls are the toughest food critics on the planet. If they like it, I know you will. But the style, and flavor profile is unique to everyone, so I wanted to have a vote.

I hand-craft and design each bottle from the ingredients, to the packaging/design, to bottling it. So this gives me the advantage of perfecting every aspect of the product from scratch to the store shelf. Now I can invite others to help me with that process — which I think is pretty cool.

My 4 year old randomly changed her favorite color from purple to blue and she wanted to know if I can make a blueberry salad dressing. So, as a bonus, imagine a Blueberry Vinaigrette similar to the Strawberry, but substituting the strawberries and pecans for blueberries and almonds.

It would mean a lot to me if you could take out 5 seconds and vote on the next salad dressing. The contest ends 1/27, two weeks from now and I’ll post back the results here.

Vote, share, ask questions in the comments — you guys are the ones that help decide on the next salad dressing. And I’ll let you know when I’m handing out free samples at the farmers market on 2/2/13 (in Baton Rouge) to try it.

[ UPDATE: The contest is over, the winner is Strawberry Vinaigrette and you can now get it online at www.hanleysfoods.com/strawberry]

A local favorite, undressed — Sensation Salad Dressing (plus goodies)

I’m extremely excited to say that Hanley’s Sensation Salad Dressing  is making its début 9/28/12, after two years perfecting a family recipe. Although, my family has been making the dressing for decades. It has become our “house” dressing at every occasion.

One day I was at the grocery store getting ingredients to make our dressing, when I walked past the salad dressing aisle and just stopped. A lightbulb went off. I asked myself, “why isn’t this in stores?” Sensation salad dressing is a classic in southern Louisiana — not only is it a delicious dressing, but the locals know it and love it. Then, I ran back home, made the dressing, and started planning.

Dressing in the making

I became obsessed with the dressing. Our family ate it at least three times a week, every week for over year. I tried different ingredients to make the perfect batch, and even had “salad parties” to taste test batches side-by-side. My daughter would sit on the counter and help taste test as we made the dressing. She liked it so much that she would walk around with a little cup and a spoon eating it like ice cream.

Every time I went to the grocery store, I would wander down the salad dressing aisle and question random people. I would ask “so, have you heard of Sensation salad dressing?”. The usual response was “yes, but can never find it!” At the same time I’m thinking, “not yet!”

Not only did I want to fill the void with the dressing in Louisiana, but I wanted to make an impact if possible. Using locally sourced ingredients and making it as natural as it could be.

Here are a few pictures of the process:

Testing batches Sensational mess Cheese testing First bottles New bottles Batch run Bottling Family support

It’s more than just dressing

  • It’s local. Bottled in Louisiana, Louisiana Certified, and made with hand-squeezed Louisiana lemons*.
  • It’s real. Made of authentic ingredients you’ve heard of — no gums, preservatives, or additives.
  • It’s good for business. 5% of proceeds go to Edible Enterprises, an incubator for food entrepreneurs.
  • It’s good for the planet. The recyclable glass bottle is better for the planet (and the flavor) than plastic. We also donate to 1% for the Planet to support environmental causes.
  • It’s low carb and gluten free.
  • It’s pretty damn good!
* = Working with farmer

The goodies

Free coupon ( Promotion over )
Who doesn’t like free, right? All you need to do is comment on this blog post. Within your comment let me know if you’ve heard of Sensation salad dressing.

Pre-orders
If you would like to pre-order a few bottles, or a case (retail only), click the link below. If you live in Baton Rouge, I’ll personally deliver it to your door.

Click here to pre-order.

Stay tuned
I’m having a launch party at the end of the month and I’ll post details later next week.

UPDATE: The launch party is in full swing, here’s the details:
sensation-launch-party.eventbrite.com

UPDATE: Hanley’s Foods website is now live

Also, be on the look out on 9/27/12 @ I10 around College during rush hour ( UPDATE )

I’m really excited about this, I hope you like it.

Free DO Band for New Subscribers!

Now, new subscribers to the blog will receive a DO band if they like. Simply check the box on the subscribe page and add your address.

For now, I am only shipping to the US, but if I receive a lot of comments for international shipping I will consider it as well. If interested, leave a comment below with your country.

Current subscribers can also get a free band by clicking on the “update subscription” link on the bottom of the email and add your mailing address.

Wallpapers are also now available.
On the subscribe page, one of the reasons to subscribe is to get a free wallpaper for your browser, computer, or iToy. I’m sending out an email shortly to those who subscribed and haven’t received it. Thank you to those who didn’t send hate mail by not receiving it.

Why am I doing this?
Just for fun, I’ve been wearing my DO band for a while now and it helps me keep life in check.

I will not send you anything else, just the band and a smile :)

DO What’s Worth Doing.


Side note: I apologize if you received a duplicate email last time. I’m testing the waters with my email sender and the Breathe article went out twice.