Warehouse Addition – We Just Doubled the Closet Space on the Farm

We had a few friends over to the farm recently to build a new warehouse. Yes, Mahlon’s sneaker collection has gotten that large. The man does love his glow in the dark LeBron XII’s. Actually he’s more of a boot type of guy.

So why should you care that Lizzie Mae now has more closet space on the farm? You should care because we are filling it up with other products that we like from other people. Stuff like Squirrel Buster Feeders and bird seed storage containers that look a lot like galvanized trash cans. These are the products your customers will need and you should be the one to provide them. So when you order the products from us, we ship them to you free since our trucks are coming out your way anyhow. Easy peasy.

Lizzie Maels Bird seed Warehouse Construction
Lizzie Mae's Bird Seed Warehouse

Rob is Thinking About Sunflower Chips

Wow. Everybody is liking them Sunflower Chips. In upscale mixes or sold straight, lots of people are finding out how much birds are liking Sunflower Chips – mostly because of stores like yours. Here’s a short 411 on how the chips are made. (Like always, pretend you already knew this stuff when talking to customers. We’re down with it.)

The raw sunflower seeds are fed into dehuller machines. The shell is shattered off the seed by air that forces it against the inside of the bin. Screens then scalp off the shell while each sunflower chip goes through an electric eye. The shell-less seeds are graded into separate sizes. The primary use for the sunflower kernel is the human edible Bakery Kernel market. Kernels that don’t pass inspection for uses in baking get sent to Lizzie Mae.

One of the reasons there’s very little foreign material in the #1 Coarse Chips is the electric eye that the seed goes through. This video explains the process. You’ll love the soothing background music. I watch it each night before I fall asleep in my footy jammies.

The #1 Coarse and Medium Chips are the primary chips used in mixes. Fine Chips are used in Finch. Quality of the #1 Coarse Chips is very consistent. Mahlon and team get very vigilant watching our inbound fine chips further down the food trail because the chips can come through powdery. And who wants that?

#2 Chips have become more and more popular as the cost of straight Oil Seed appears to have settled in at a higher level than we saw a decade ago. #2 Chips are seconds from the bakery industry also. But while the other chips are completely shelled, #2 chips have about 70% sunflower kernels with 30% still in the shell.

So any store looking to compete with the “Um, my local big box is selling 50# Oil Seed for $10.00 a bag”, #2 Sunflower chips might be something for you to consider. One of our customers markets them as Nearly Naked Sunflower but he watches a lot of late night cable. Here’s a handy dandy downloadable photo spread of our Sunflower chips:

Lizzie Mae's Bird Seed - Sunflower Chips
Lizzie Mae's Bird Seed Sunflower Chips
Suitable for framing or you might use it when discussing with your customers. Need more cool images of ChiPs? Go here.

New Review of an Old Movie: The Big Year

How many customers walk into your store and ask you recommend a movie with birds? You sell bird seed, right? So the connection is obvious. Lizzie Mae’s extensive R&D department actually has a movie for you to recommend. It’s another way Lizzie Mae is looking out for you and it is definitely not an excuse for us to take the afternoon off and watch a movie. No. It is not that.

The movie is The Big Year starring Jack Black, Owen Wilson, and Steve Martin. Three of the funniest actors in moviedom. But the funniest part about the movie is that it is actually not a comedy. Ha! The movie poster shows three comedic actors in a funny pose and the movie is not a comedy. Wait – would messing with the audience’s expectations like that hurt this property at the box office? Umm… yes, apparently so.

So don’t go in expecting an LOL comedy. Instead, expect a warm, carefully crafted story about three men at different stages of life as they go for their Big Year. In the real world, a Big Year for a Birder is 365 days spent trying to see or hear as many different kinds of birds as possible. Birders actually do this and are very serious about it, travelling around the world to achieve their goal. The people who live with these Birders are also very serious and say things like, “Really? This is why you withdrew funds from the 401(k)?”

Now, technically speaking, the movie is about bird watchers and not bird feeders. But guess how many Hollywood movies starring three well-known actors there are about bird feeders? Exactly. (Okay, bonus points for anyone that said Brando kept pigeons on his roof in On The Waterfront. But was it really pertinent to the storyline? He coulda been keeping poodles up there for all it mattered.)

So The Big Year is a nice movie about birding that, seriously, a family could watch together. Maybe not a family with really young children because they want to see talking snowmen. But go find a copy, watch the movie, and be ready to build that connection with your customers.

Back to work for us. Pass the popcorn.

5 Questions With Mahlon Yoder

…with a few editorial comments thrown in

Question 1: What is “Amish Crafted”?
Amish Crafted is our pledge. The finest ingredients prepared with the finest detail. Each bag of seed is filled by skilled Amish workers. Our plant is in the heart of Holmes County, OH. It is Ohio’s largest Amish population. It is also one of the top tourist attractions in Ohio. We run the place without electricity power from the lines by creating our own power with a generator run by natural gas. (Editor’s note: Feel free to tell your customers that Lizzie Mae products are created by a bunch of like-minded radicals living off the grid.)

Question 2: How is Lizzie Mae seed different from the stuff in large stores that also sell snow tires?
Each bag of Wild Bird Food is individually packaged with the intention to fully satisfy the end user or customer. We take extra care in making sure that we are producing the highest quality product available on the market.

Question 3: What should store owners be telling their customers about Lizzie Mae Bird Seed?
Simply put, we do not bring in inferior product from our vendors so we are always sending out a high quality product. Birds love our clean, fresh food.

Question 4: What’s your favorite part of working on the farm?
Producing Lizzie Mae’s Birdseed is my favorite thing on the farm. After that would be the passion and love that I have for working with and being around horses. And totes chillaxing with my homes’ in Holmes County OH. (Editor’s Note: We made up that last part. No idea what it means. Thanks Google!)

Question 5: How is your commute?
What is this commute??? Remember, I am Amish and pack birdseed! 😉