Its been a whirlwind last week trying to make sure that all of our supplies get to the plant for bottling at the end of this week, the first of 3 bottling runs that will restock all of our flavors including our new, Baja Lemonade Tea! We found this drawing from 2012 when we first bottled in what was the “Snapple” bottle that was widely available at that time. Turns out, with the severe shortages in the pandemic, we have had to source out this same glass again as we pivoted to get into whatever was available to get product back on the shelves again asap! Our entire supply chain team worked and our still working tirelessly to get everything we need for these hard deadlines. I was just told last week that our labels will be traveling by van from Nevada to get to our co-packer on time for the 4 am bottling run on Friday, August 20th. We have a table full of orders from all of our distributors waiting to be filled! Beyond grateful we are so excited to bring you (finally) this new Baja Lemonade Tea early September!! Thank you again for allowing us to serve you the most delicious, organic and unique lemonades for you to sip and share.
It’s been a crazy time. Dealing with supply shortages, selling out of everything, navigating a time that we’ve never seen before. And in the midst, we lost my husband’s Dad, my father in law. Thank goodness I have lemonade land to escape to again. It’s been a tough time, losing my Dad just 8 months ago as well. Feeling that the Dad’s are now together, watching us, still with us in a way. I will miss now not being able to bounce ideas off them, talk about sailing, asking questions, getting reassurance from them in how we navigate the sea and life. It’s tough, really tough – feeling alone and realizing my mortality more than ever now. It’s a time to reassess everything, life is… unpredictable, painful, amazing and confusing. I am forever grateful to have my company, creating in it every day, the challenges, the wins and the even the losses as I have learned through the pain of them. The people I’ve met along the way, the beautiful souls that have lifted me up at my darkest time. Thank you to you all for being here every day with us along this journey – a journey that is much bigger than lemonade. Its about having a dream, dedicating your life to it, seeing the possibilities when no one else does, believing every day you can achieve what others think is impossible. Having people around you that believe in you and ‘it’ too. We are launching a 5th flavor and couldn’t be more proud of it. Look for it in September as it starts to come into the world – you will be able to sip it and share it with those you love as you create your own dreams, living your life in your own unique way – it is an honor to be a part of your life and your journey.
https://lorisoriginallemonade.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/loris-original-lemonade-logo-1.gif00Lori Volkhttps://lorisoriginallemonade.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/loris-original-lemonade-logo-1.gifLori Volk2021-08-10 18:09:442021-08-10 18:09:44Flurry of lemonade and life
I keep forgetting that we still have a place to blog here :)
Seriously, this has been one of the most difficult times in the history of our company. While we are so grateful to be here typing this to you, our team has been fighting every day to find the ingredients and packaging to get more lemonade on the shelves. We have nearly sold out of everything we have, and while again we are grateful, we know that the store shelves and our locals are going to be without a couple of our best sellers until we bottle again in a couple of weeks. If we are very lucky, we may just be back in stock before anyone really notices. We all thought that last year was the tough year, but truly, it is this year and the supply chain around the world that has been so seriously disrupted that it seems it will take quite awhile before things start to feel normal again.
Thank goodness we have been around for 10 years, with the great supplier relationships that we have, we have been able to find most of what we need for the next two bottling runs. But, we still aren’t out of the woods yet, with suppliers pulling out at the last minute, we have had to go back and source ingredients from other suppliers and they are doing everything they can to help us.
As so many businesses have closed their doors over the last 2 years, I am beyond grateful to continue to have this opportunity to serve you the most delicious, organic and unique lemonades to sip and share.
We hope that this email finds you and your family healthy and sorting your way through this pandemic. It is certainly a time of learning and understanding.
We are looking forward to the weather warming up! Lemonade sales are starting to pick up in the stores and online. We have made a few local deliveries to our wonderful customers and for that, we are very grateful. We have received enormous support from our supplier partners in loosening their credit terms for us as we financially navigate this.
Yesterday, we were so grateful for Whole Foods putting us back in the cooler we brought the entire grocery team our LOL Team T-shirts :) These grocery teams have been working around the clock trying to stock the shelves. Next time you are in the stores, don’t forget to thank the store personnel for their efforts.
This last month was spent on webinar after webinar to gather all of the information we could to help us move forward. We’ve gathered as many resources as possible now to help us and we feel that we are in a good place.
Take good care of yourself out there. We are here and look forward to continuing to bottle up the most delicious, organic, unique lemonades for you, your family, and those you care most about.
Cheers, and be well!
Lori Volk, Chief Believer/Founder
Lori’s Original Lemonade
It is just a minute before noon. The sun is unusually warm with a cool wind blowing off the ocean as I sit in the cockpit of our home aboard the ocean. My new noise-canceling headphones have literally changed my life. tuning out the unwanted chatter and noise when I want to focus. So, with beautifully piped in music from the calm app I feel relaxed as I type this note. We’ve already had a nice long walk on the beach and a long yoga session also on the beach. My calm harbor turns into a parade of weekender boaters motoring up and down the channel. Some solo, some with dogs in life jackets, some with lots of people and noisemakers, some going too fast making a huge wake and some just cruising along.
This week was difficult to get back on track with all of the sad news coming out of our County about the helicopter crash. We’ve had too many tragedies to close to home here. But the lemonade company demanded that I stay on track as it turns out sales were way up over my projections and we are almost out of lemonade yet again! With that, comes the endless calculations on which flavors we need to run and how much lemon, sugar, bottles, strawberries, labels and everything to order to fill 63000 bottles-while I have refined my process over the last 8 years, I still prefer to do it mostly by hand in addition to using my formulation sheets. I run the supply numbers over and over until I am sure it’s right and we have the right mix of each flavor and then I get into QuickBooks and create the po’s. I’ve learned that it’s all about follow up with the suppliers, so google calendar is my life connection to keeping everything and everybody on task where I log in my reminders for the upcoming days prior to bottling day to make sure all of our supplies arrive on time.
The last thing I want is to have 90 workers at the plant and I don’t have enough of something!
The rest of the week was spent following up on customers payments, sourcing new places to carry our lemonades, endless emails and sorting out what needs attention and what doesn’t, staying on my fitness plan, wasting a bit of time daydreaming and a bit of time posting on social media.
I’m beyond excited to watch my company grow profitably and sustainably as we are already four months into our new fiscal year. Right now, not much is keeping me up at night worrying about the lemonade company like I used to. That’s a good feeling…
Thank you for supporting us, drinking our lemonades and sharing them with your tribe.
Lori Volk, Chief Believer/Ironman
Lori’s Original Lemonade
Life aboard the boat on a cold winter Sunday night usually ends with the little space heater going full blast in the salon and watching the latest show on the small Direct TV that is mounted on the bulkhead. Tonight its one of my favorite classics, The Sound of Music while sipping a homemade hot buttered rum to warm up after talking to our dock mates well after the sun went down. Our sailboat is rocking again at the dock with the winds just starting up again with the 5ft WNW swell just outside the harbor rolling in only a few hundred yards away.
This week was productive, checking in with my business Coach/Mentor – this time is invaluable to me and we have made amazing progress this year because of it, a few deliveries, catching up on emails and working through the financials. We’ve surpassed our goals for this month more than I could have ever imagined this week. And if that wasn’t good enough, we got word that I will get to have a tv interview to talk about our story with an unbelievably amazing person and can’t wait to share the details with you as soon as I can!
So, it reminds me of how each day, for the last 8 years I keep showing up to LOL, at first to my desk in the corner of our living room in Ojai when I started, and now to the same desk now located in my Ventura office. And as I show up, I am most certainly amazed at the adventures I have had because of it. When I created LOL, I just wanted to sell lemonade to pay for the parent plus loans we took out for our kids and I couldn’t have possibly imagined what would happen next. As we have gratefully accepted awards over the years and all of the amazing opportunities that have come our way, I think about how I could have missed these if I had given up. I think about the most special moments and occasions that families have shared our lemonadesand how they wouldn’t have had it if I had given up.
I’ve met Oprah, Steve Demos, William Bolthouse, Seth Goldman, John Mackey, Malcom Gladwell and so many more amazing people along the way. My lemonade has taken me from Reno to New York keeping me out of my comfort zone every single step of the way.
Lessons learned this week; Just show up. You may not know what’s next, and surely the path may be unclear, but if you show up, you will find your way. And the rewards in showing up will be far greater than you could ever have dreamed possible.
https://lorisoriginallemonade.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/loris-original-lemonade-logo-1.gif00Lori Volkhttps://lorisoriginallemonade.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/loris-original-lemonade-logo-1.gifLori Volk2019-12-16 07:03:172019-12-16 07:11:57Weekly Note; Just Show Up
It’s dark with a chill in the air now as the night settles in on our home aboard our sailboat. I’ve been sipping a hot coffee with a little bit of Irish Creme as I reflect on the last few days as I sit writing this at our chart table. With a whirlwind of a week, just when I thought LOL and I were going into our hibernation month, the emails picked up and we actually just made our sales goal inside of the first week. While that is extremely encouraging, I had many things that moved the needle forward for my company as well. After 2 months of disputing yet another deduction with a distributor, I almost gave up trying to recoup it but I decided to persevere and get to the bottom of it. Fortunately, heading straight for the top of the chain in command (thanks to an exceptional receptionist) I was able to resolve the problem for me and possibly others as there was a breakdown in the system that they didn’t realize. It reminds me yet again, that everyone out there is just trying to do their best work. Mistakes are not intentional, but accidental (mostly) and I was treated so well during the this final interaction that it completely changed my perspective of this distributor. When one moment I wanted to quit out of frustration, the next moment I was apologizing for being so demanding. Lessons learned; don’t quit, persevere and assume the best of people.
Next, I had a couple of super cool calls by press/media that may turn into something pretty amazing – will keep you posted.
After that, we had our end of fiscal year meeting with the CPA and really reflected on what a great learning year this was and how much of a difference we were making now for LOL based on those lessons. I feel that I owe it to LOL to be a good steward as I truly believe this company has been a gift to me when I thought nothing else was possible and I could never be excited in business again.
One of my goals was to attend a workshop or webinar every month to help me in my business – had a great one this last week by SCORE.org. I highly recommend you check out their website for resources to help grow your business.
And of course on the personal front, I made my fitness goals, meeting with trainer, ordered a new pair of running shoes and getting back to thinking of triathlons and running events again…
And, we welcome back the Ranch House in Ojai to our lemonade family who will now be carrying our lemonades again!
So as the night gets colder on the ocean, we close up the hatches, turn up the little space heater and I remember the things that I used to take for granted while living on land, the large kitchen, bathroom, a regular bed, a washer and dryer, a dishwasher, wi-fi, tv bigger than 20”. I remember, we are on the downhill slide of our goal now, only 10 months left on the Dave Ramsey Baby Steps plan now – staying focused we will have paid off all of the debt we started with just 6 years ago. I am humbled at where we are now, what we are achieving and look forward to the moment we can celebrate the last payment with you.
I remember the moment I created Lori’s Original Lemonade. What would happen over the next 4 months to actual physical manifestation of the lemonade would be nothing short of a miracle. Still, I am in awe of the enormous amount of work and everything that had to come together to make the first bottles off the assembly line possible.
But it was during those first few months of creating LOL that I knew one thing for sure, that this would be the most difficult adventure I had ever taken on and for that I must have the most purposeful mission that would be to serve a bigger purpose than just paying off my kids college expenses so that when times got tough (and they did) that we would have a bigger purpose to push through the hard times. I searched for ways I could give and donate and set up an infrastructure for the “passion project”. I soon realized that margins were thin and costs to start were beyond what I could have ever imagined. So under funded, naive but full of hope I had only one thing that I could latch on to and that was I believed I could make it work so that some day I could help others in a bigger way.
I have been guilty of taking styrofoam cups for my coffee and now I notice the words “DART” on them. I have started to bring in my own cup to fill. As I live on a boat, we see all of the trash that comes floating from the land into the ocean, whenever we can we are picking up plastic out of the ocean. We’ve even stopped on our way to the islands to pick up Mylar balloons. The micro particles of styrofoam are being found in fish, being washed up on beaches, stuck in landfills, along our beaches and its not going away.
(This photo taken this morning of the plastic and foam on my way up the dock from our boat)
I realized that every time someone chooses our lemonade over another brand that is in plastic they are helping the environment by choosing us. We are in glass, we are organic, we now have our glass made in the USA not overseas. I am proud of what we represent. I couldn’t imagine us being any other way. Yes, it is expensive. Being organic, I pay as much as 4 x more for my ingredients than non organic ingredients, but it is the only way. Glass is a 100 percent renewable and recyclable resource.
So, today, I am proud of our bigger mission – to help in a small way to support the health and sustainability of our planet by committing to organic and glass. Thank you for your continued support of our mission.
”Lori Volk, You are an Ironman!” These were the words that I heard almost 20 minutes to midnight on 11/18/2012 in Tempe Arizona. I had trained for a solid 3 years with focused training for one year prior to the event. I am compelled to write about this on the anniversary that I accomplished a goal that I never thought I could achieve. While I finished with just 20 minutes to spare, crossing the finish line was more rewarding than I could ever have imagined. Everyone there, from the spectators, my coach, my team, was a part of the energy that goes into the Ironman event. I remember a woman passing me near the finish line – she had one leg and one prosthetic leg, I was in complete awe and admiration for being part of such a revered event. My mind had brought me to the finish line many times during training. During the most difficult training days, I would repeat the mantra and vision me running through the finish line as I heard my name and You are an Ironman in my head. Each time I envisioned it, it became more real and detailed. As far as my mind was concerned it happened. I learned to visualize my goals early in my 20’s when I worked for a very dynamic cellular telecommunications company in the early 80’s. They taught me how to visualize in detail achieving goals. This practice came in especially strong during my training. It would become the biggest physical achievement of my life so far. Before I started I had been literally afraid to put my face in the water without a mask. I had to learn how to swim and had the most amazing Coach Rick in Ojai to teach me. It was the perseverance and carefully orchestrated training plans that Coach Julianna put together so mindfully that we were so connected by the end that we were a well orchestrated team making the mission impossible possible. It was this very important time in my life that gave me just the right amount of confidence that I needed to start Lori’s Lemonade. As I was getting stronger physically, my company was building a solid foundation and most of my ideas would come during my long training days in Ojai as I looped the valley for hours on end, either on foot or bike, after I swam at the pool or ocean. It was clearing and freeing being outside all of those hours and it was the only time I could be free to create and dream of what I could do with LOL. I remember distinctly another Ironman friend said, once you are an Ironman, you are always an Ironman and no one can ever take that away from you.
So, break from the pack, dream big dreams and remember Anything is Possible…
https://lorisoriginallemonade.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/loris-original-lemonade-logo-1.gif00Lori Volkhttps://lorisoriginallemonade.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/loris-original-lemonade-logo-1.gifLori Volk2019-11-19 06:03:162019-11-19 06:14:2116:41:45 You are an Ironman!
It’s a bright sunny Sunday morning as I sit sipping hot coffee in the salon of our 41’ cruising sailboat that I live aboard with my husband writing this.It’s been 6 years since we’ve been aboard full time. After living aboard when I was in my teens, I vowed that I would come back again, and here we are. The temperature is changing as I feel the chill on board. It is here that I have celebrated, laughed and cried over LOL for the last 6 years.
It’s hard to believe that it was 8 years ago that the little idea of bottling my lavender lemonade recipe became a reality. That one fateful day that I was let go from my job with the local school district due to budget cuts after 12 years of working turned out to be the best day of my life. I was stuck in a job that wasn’t a representation of who I was nor what I could do and it was like I was on a hamster wheel running and running, without a way to get off. And literally, the day I was running on the Ojai trail, training for an Ironman Triathlon, I got the call that would change my life – they didn’t need me anymore. And after a few weeks, I realized I didn’t need them either. I got forced off the hamster wheel and couldn’t have been happier. As soon as I let go of the anger and frustrations, everything started to change – my entrepreneurial self came back, I was flooded with ideas and possibilities, and then LOL jumped into my life and I embraced it with every ounce of my being. An idea I had thought about for a few years came back with a vengeance and this time I was ready. October 17, 2011 was the day I stopped feeling sorry for myself and became the Chief Believer of Lori’s Original Lemonade.
LOL and I have had some amazing times together, but we’ve had our share of heartaches. Life as a new entrepreneur is frustrating, exhilarating and terrifying every day 24/7. But, I feel the need to be here, pushing my limits to see where we can go next. We have learned so much this year and I have adjusted the sails of my ship for a new course. And like the new sail we have on our trusty sailboat, I have put new sails on LOL and we are headed for a brighter horizon going into our 9th year.
I appreciate the hard lessons I have learned this year and I thank each and everyone of you who continued to believe in us even when I was questioning everything. Thank you for those who have pushed me to be better at what we do- I started LOL to reconnect with people after becoming an empty nester – connect is what I have done- to the most amazing people. My reality in LOL is beyond anything that I could have imagined when I was creating it.
Thank you to all of you – every day for supporting us. I am dedicated to bringing you the most delicious, organic and unique lemonades.
https://lorisoriginallemonade.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/loris-original-lemonade-logo-1.gif00Lori Volkhttps://lorisoriginallemonade.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/loris-original-lemonade-logo-1.gifLori Volk2019-11-05 18:31:112019-11-05 18:31:11Eight Years In