The Tamara Dilemma May 14 2014, 5 Comments
If Tamara the granola were a movie star and she was invited to the Oscars, there’s a good chance she’d show up in ripped jeans and flip flops. Sure, people would talk about it. There would be the hushed whisper and the “Can you believe…” here and there, but it wouldn’t in the least affect her popularity. If anything, a brazen stunt like that would boost her career even more.
There’s nothing more appealing than a bad girl who doesn’t care.
Tamara the granola is my bad girl. I can’t tell you how many sheet pans I’ve thrown away because the moisture in the air of my kitchen has prevented her from setting properly. I’ve learned the hard way to run my air conditioner regardless of the temperature outside, because Tamara doesn’t like it when it’s humid.
“Don’t leave her in the car for long,” I yell after customers as they’re leaving my storefront.
“Make sure to pop her in the fridge as soon as you get home!”
If you want Tamara to behave, she needs to be handled.
The irony of it all is that the real life Tamara, the woman I named the granola blend for, could not be a nicer, more down to earth woman. She’s a loyal friend and a mega talented photographer, perhaps the most talented portrait photographer in the world even.
But she’d never allow her talent to facilitate any diva like behavior.
The real life Tamara wouldn’t dream of wearing flip flips and ripped jeans to the Oscars.
If anything, she would take gorgeous photos of celebrities and try not to get in anyone's way.
She would be worried about being dressed appropriately.
Tamara’s Blend is the VIP of my granola collection. I bake twice as much Tamara as I do any other flavor. I figured that by summer I would have to stop shipping her in two day Priority Mail because the chocolate would melt in just a few hours on a hot mail truck.
I should not have been surprised when I received reports starting last week that the chocolate in Tamara’s blend was beginning to melt in transit.
The good news is that a few hours in the fridge seems to revive her.
However, I still don’t like to think that anyone has been receiving their Tamara’s Blend in a less than perfect state.
A few weeks back, I began looking into ways to ship Tamara’s Blend through the summer that would keep the integrity of the product intact. Dry ice is not the answer. An overnight ship may be the answer, and so could special shipments in coolers. Both, however, would require additional material and handling fees.
This week, I’ve begun to add cold packs into the shipments that contain Tamara’s Blend. By day two of shipping, the cold packs will no longer be effective, but it will buy a little bit of time before heat sets in.
I am still trying to figure out a cost effective way to continue to ship Tamara’s Blend into summer. However as of today, Tamara is a “buy at your own risk” product via the web store. Here are a few suggestions for you and a few insights into how I will manage Tamara orders going forward:
What I‘m Doing:
1) I will only ship orders that include Tamara’s Blend on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays to ensure a two day ship. Why? I don’t want to take the risk of the product sitting in a hot US Post Office warehouse on Sundays.
2) I have begun taking the Tamara shipments directly to the post office versus waiting for the post office pick up here in the store. This way, the product can go directly into the air conditioned post office instead of having to ride in the back of a hot mail truck for those few hours.
What You Can Do:
1) Please have the product shipped to where you are during the day. Meaning, a work address may make sense for some of you. It seems as if the most melt damage to the product happens when it has to sit out on a front porch.
2) For my die hard Tamara devotees - maybe consider trying another blend? I know! This is a tough one! But I have to tell you that Bernice is just lovely and she will satisfy any sweet tooth guaranteed!
Let me know how Tamara is behaving once she arrives. If she’s agreeable, I’ll continue with the cold pack shipping and assume that it’s working. If she’s unruly, then it’s time to find a Plan B.
As always, thank you for the love and the feedback and for being such fabulously supportive customers. I hope to be shipping Tamara to you (un-melted of course!) and many other granola blends for a very long time to come.