Overwhelming is somewhat of an understatement when explaining my initial thoughts & feelings upon entering the first full day of the EXPO WEST trade show yesterday (Friday, March 11, 2011). There were hundreds upon hundreds upon hundreds of booths and literally tens of thousands of people milling about them. The Clif Bar booth, depicted above, is much larger than my first apartment. It has a kitchen, a seating area, and an area devoted to its Clif Kid product line:
Given the size of the Clif display, I wonder what size/type of vehicle is used to haul it around and on what fuel that vehicle runs (I’m guessing veggie oil). Of course, the folks at Clif are all super nice and incredibly eager to feed you lots of Clif Bars (who can argue with that?!).
Once I got over the enormity of the trade show, the first thing I did was to look for my client, H2OM Water’s booth. I finally found it on my fourth try. Although I have worked with H2OM’s proprietors, Lex Lang & Sandy Fox, for years, yesterday was the first time we met in person, which was really cool. H2OM offers the world’s first interactive water (Water with Intention®) and has attracted significant fanfare for its pioneering efforts in its category.
After leaving H2OM’s booth, I went downstairs to visit my friends at B Lab, proponents of the B Impact Assessment Rating Survey and the B Corp certification. B Lab’s Impact Assessment Survey is available to anyone who wants to measure their company’s environmental and social consciousness. Over 6,000 companies have used the survey as a means of establishing their baseline environmental and social impact. Companies who achieve a score of at least 80 (out of 200) are eligible to become Certified B Corporations upon payment of dues to B Lab. Becoming a Certifiied B Corp demonstrates leadership in the corporate social responsibility space and helps grow one’s business amongst the B community and others with similar values. My former law firm (the Law Office of Me) was the 2nd U.S. law firm to become a B Corp and my current firm (Rimon Law Group) is the 3rd. I am a proud B-vangelist and encourage all companies to use the Impact Assessment Survey and become a B!
After visiting with the B Lab folks, I stopped by Full of Life Flatbread Pizza, simply because I liked their name. Their pizza was yummy as well, which was an added bonus.
Apparently, there’s a Full of Life Flatbread Restaurant in Los Alamos. If I ever find myself there I will have to check it out. Having gobbled down some pizza, I soon needed a beverage, so I wandered over to Marley’s Mellow Mood —
This line of beverages is supposed to calm your soul and ease your mind, a welcome change from the frenetic conditions of EXPO WEST. I don’t know if the small serving I had achieved its intended effect on me, but given the energy level of the event, I probably would have needed to consume a vat of it to give it a fair chance of success. Feeling the need for something sweet, next I stopped by the Stonyfield Farm booth, home to the largest container of yogurt on Earth . . .
Mmmmmmm mmmmmm mmmmmmm! After indulging in numerous Stonyfield delights, I can’t wait to go to Falmouth, Maine to sample some of the delicious food at Stonyfield Cafe.
As I was on my way out of the EXPO, I encountered the cleverly named Flamous Brands booth.
I was attracted to this booth because I liked the brand’s play on the word “famous.” When I shared that with the delightful CEO, Sam Shehayeb, he explained to me that the brand is a combination of its product’s ingredients — flafel and hummus — making me like it even more. Not only clever, the Flamous chips and dips are yummylicious as well.
If you are in the natural or organic products space, EXPO WEST (and its sister event, EXPO EAST) are the place to be to find retailers, distributors, service providers and other partners. If you like organic and natural foods and want to be inspired by awesome people doing amazing things in the food industry, this also is the place to be!