Sunday, August 29, 2010

Summertime And The Living Is Easy....

Living is easy here in Altadena.....unless it's 105 degrees outside! This last week was certainly a test of our stamina, wasn't it? Of course, we've been there before, but every year we forget. We've been coddled by the deceptively low temperatures preceding our little heat wave, so when the mercury passed 102 degrees it seemed to knock the stuffing out of us. We're recuperating from it now but I'm sure those high temps will return before too long, maybe in time for the lovely long Labor Day weekend coming up.

We'll be taking a blogging break for the holiday, but will be back the week following. We'll have lots to talk about, like our upcoming Social Media Meet & Greet. This evening event will be scheduled for either Friday, 9/17 or Saturday, 9/18. This will be the one event you won't want to miss, with our community's most prolific bloggers in attendance! In conjunction,'s Anne Bannon and Michael Holland will be leading us in another wine and food pairing just in time for autumnal tail-gating and football parties. It just couldn't get any better than this! Watch for our updates here on the blog and on Facebook!

I do want to mention the incredibly informative talk on MILK: History, Politics & Nutrition I attended yesterday at the Altadena Community Center. Put together by Altadena Heritage, the Arroyo Time Bank and Gloria Putnam, this discussion about the benefits of raw milk and sustainable dairy farming was certainly an eye-opener and I'm so glad I went. I'm recommending that you find out all you can about this subject, which is controversial to say the least. Listen to the owner and CEO of Organic Farms, Mark McAffee, discuss it in relation to the recent recall of tainted eggs on Fox 11 news at this link: I think you'll find this information as compelling as I did.

Have a great week and a happy Labor Day weekend, my friends!

Lori & Scott

Sunday, August 22, 2010

So Long, Farewell.......

As much as I love retail and being a shop owner, there are some things I could easily do without. One of those things is saying goodbye to really wonderful employees. Our industry is rife with turnover, naturally, because retail positions are on the lower end of the pay scale. You start in retail and work your way up from there, right? I should get used to it, but each time it's like the very first. Intellectually, I know moving to a job that gives more hours or higher pay is good. Emotionally, I know that I'll really miss that person and their contribution to our team.

Tomorrow, we'll be saying goodbye to Devon. Her bright personality and creativity will be lighting up someone else's workplace and we'll miss her terribly. I'd like to publicly thank her for her work at WFS and wish her the best of luck in the future, wherever it takes her. I have no doubt that Devon will succeed in whatever she does.

Taking Devon's place is Meagan, another local Altadenaean. Meagan came in last February to apply for a job but unfortunately, we didn't have an opening then. Luckily for us, she was willing to come work for us - so welcome aboard, Meagan!

Have a wonderful week, my friends....

Lori & Scott

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Are You Ready For The Information Age?

A retailer friend of mine in Redding, California, sent this video around today called "The Currency Of The Future III". The link to it is and it's just chock full of useful information.

Information....there's that word again. It keeps popping up in almost everything business-related I read anymore. According to the makers of this video, "it is estimated that 40 exabytes (4.0 X 10 19) of unique new information will be generated worldwide this year. That is more than in the previous 5,000 years".

They also predict that "in the next 24 months, it's estimated that U.S. online transactions will surpass store transactions at shopping malls". While that doesn't bode well for brick and mortar businesses, especially independent ones, they do go on to note that "in the information age, one of the most powerful forms of genius will be entrepreneurial genius".

This is exactly why I've been pushing so hard at getting WFS online in all forms - this blog, our website at, on Facebook, MySpace, and any other place I can put us. I'm planning like mad to get this store's ecommerce site up and's just a bit difficult in these hard economic times. It needs to be done, though. I don't want to be a dinosaur lumbering about trying to find shelter from the planetary storm, I want us to be comfortably ensconced in the promised land.

You won't find another store in the area as active in social media as we are. You can follow us and our retail life in real time. You can be assured that there are real people here, all of us working as a team to bring you the best service and product we can. But it doesn't stop there. We are forward-thinking young adults with a plan....a plan to be the agents of positive change in our community. We invite you to follow along with us - celebrate with us, think with us, learn with us and play with us. Join in the contests we have for fun merchandise give-aways and enjoy our motivational quotes.

WFS will be hosting a Social Media Networking Event in the very near future. More information about that will be forthcoming soon....make sure to check our Facebook page!

Have a great week, my friends!

Lori & Scott

Monday, August 9, 2010

Home Sweet Home

There are several people in my group of friends on Facebook sharing articles about the economy and how it's affecting middle America. There's a common theme to all, and that is how people are saving more and spending less than they have in decades. That folks are staying close to home and are enjoying more time with their families.

In that vein, I took this evening to be close to my family. All day at the store, I felt this almost overwhelming homesickness. I started posting pictures on my personal Facebook page....a pretty sunset from the backyard taken over three years ago, a section of my garden that I was very fond of, some flowers in our kitchen and a shot of the living room. If I hadn't made myself stop, I probably would've posted my entire Photobucket album and everyone would've thought I'd lost it!

So I called my daughter and told her to bring the roommate and come over for dinner. Scott and I stopped at Heidar Baba, a Persian place across from PCC, and brought home steaming heaps of Basmati rice topped with luscious chelo kabab - koobideh and bagh (ground meat & filet). Accompanying the kabob were roasted tomatoes & peppers, crunchy tadig with a fenugreek and kidney bean stew, yogurt with cucumbers and mint and pita bread. It was delicious! We sat around the table, ate, talked and laughed. We bathed our dog, Pepe, and washed the car. We did the familiar, every Sunday family thing and it was good.

Wish comforting times like tonight were more common, but I'll take what I can get when I can get it. Hope your Sunday was just as warm and fuzzy as ours was....

Have a wonderful week ahead, my friends!

Lori & Scott

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Great Expectations

"If people believe in themselves, it's amazing what they can accomplish. High expectations are the key to everything." -Sam Walton

I'm using a quote from a guy who built the ultimate big-box chain even though I'm an independent retailer. There's irony there, but Sam Walton started out as an independent way back when. And in this quote is the kernel of any successful venture, whether in business or in life....the ability to set high goals, standards - whatever you want to call 'em - it's what becomes our inner compass and guides us.

Imagine what happens when that compass is broken. When that surety you felt becomes doubt and mistrust. Low self esteem can do that to a person, you only have to look around to see those that have been affected by it. That's why believing in yourself is so important. Knowing that deep down, you are special, that you have meaning and the work you're doing is worthwhile.

I'm sure that another chain retailer, German billionaire Theo Albrecht, had a mantra similar to Walton's. Theo Albrecht and his brother, Karl, built Europe's Aldi markets, which have 4,000 stores in number worldwide and an estimated $66 billion in sales. Theo bought Trader Joe's from its original owner in 1979. Trader Joe's now has approximately $5.5 billion in sales from 340 stores throughout the U.S. Karl Albrecht is 90 years old. Theo passed away on Saturday. I admired Albrect's corporate vision, which was progressive throughout the time he owned Trader Joe's. Not only is their starting pay higher than the norm in the industry, they have a very good company-matched retirement plan and insurace for their employees. He was a man ahead of his time. Rest in peace, Mr. Albrecht.

We also have high expections at WFS. Unlike many contemporary retail stores these days who are searching for direction, we know where we are going. We're excited about it and Scott and I and our entire crew are invested in getting there. Come in soon and see why we're so excited, or if you can't come in, be sure to stop by our Facebook page to catch up on what's new!

Wishing you all a fabulous week!

Scott and Lori