- Posted January 5, 2011 by
Whidbey Island, Washington
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Sudden or drastic career change?
Whidbey Islanders Take Life by the Thorns & Bottle it!
Living on an island in the Pacific Northwest may sound dreamy and idyllic, however, in this economy, it feels more like an episode of Survivor. As the recession continues to linger, millions of Americans, like us, are thinking outside the box to make ends meet. Faced with a layoff and relying on a single income, we decided to take life by the ‘thorns’ and bottle it. The result? A tasty teriyaki with a northwest twist of blackberries and tangy citrus.
With no formal cooking experience, we took a leap of faith by creating a gluten-free teriyaki sauce inspired by my husband’s grandfather. My pantsuits and high heels were quickly replaced by sweatpants and a hair net! We look like Lucy & Ethel fumbling with chocolates as our bottles come down the assembly line but a sense of accomplishment and pride has been the end result.
It certainly wasn’t smooth sailing from the start. We found out quickly that ‘a sprinkle of this or a pinch of that’ doesn’t cut it in the culinary world. Every ingredient needs to be precisely measured and weighed in order to duplicate it in a larger manufacturing setting. And don’t even get us started about dealing with distributors and finding reliable produce suppliers!
We have zero regrets. The layoff has been a blessing in disguise really, as it has forced us to focus on our own creativity and marketing skills to make money rather than rely on Corporate America. With a lot of prayer, patience and determination we are making our dream come true. If we can do it, so can you!
Currently, we are sold online and in 10 stores, including Hawaii. We hope that WildeBerryaki soon will be on a store shelf near you!
Check out WildeBerryaki recipes and preparation tips at www.whidbeyfresh.com and tell Missy and John “How do you yaki?”