September 18, 2018 NEWSLETTER

Blue Apron is Very Blue

Earlier this year, I wrote about Costco venturing into the chicken growing business and how I believe it's a mistake.  It's hard to do two different business models successfully-even if you are a giant like Costco.  Well, they are still in the process and I haven't heard any news one way or the other... only time will tell.  But another company along the way has tried to do this and just reported that they have failed miserably.  

Blue Apron is a home meal kit company that delivers to your door.  It is just the ingredients and the recipe.  The labor of cooking and prepping is still left to the homeowner who is doing the cooking.  I know about this because my family tried it for about six months.  Now, I must say it was most of the time very tasty------but it was a lot of work for my wife -and it was very expensive.  We finally tired of it and quit ordering.  But a lot of people still enjoyed it and BA got very big in a hurry.  So big in fact that they...

Customer Spotlight

Passion, Perseverance and Soul - common threads found amongst virtually all truly great restaurants. Felix's BBQ with Soul whole heartedly embodies all three. Felix's incredibly soulful southern style menu elevates and refines BBQ in a way that exceeds all expectations. The obvious amount of care put into everything they do gives a sort of southern swing and soul to every dish they serve. Founder, Felix Berry, says it best - "BBQ is what we do. Soul Food is who we are."
In 2008, amidst the recession, Felix's BBQ in Oceanside California was born. Inspired by his dear friend Ruth, who reminded him of his mother and owned a restaurant called "Ruth's Place" in Santa Ana, Felix Berry took a risk and opened his very first restaurant - Felix's BBQ with Soul. Ten years later (with no shortage of passion, perseverance and soul), Felix's has beat the odds and is thriving! The menu is a bit smaller than when they first opened, to maintain the highest levels of quality and consistency, but they continually mix it up to take advantage of seasonal ingredients and keep things interesting. From their warm family-style vibe to their wildly popular Catfish, Mac and Cheese and Fried Chicken dishes (to name just a few), it's no surprise that what started amidst a recession 10 years ago has expanded to two locations (Oceanside and Lake Elsinore) and an ever-growing catering business. 
Getting to know the man behind the restaurant, Felix Berry, helps explain how this little BBQ restaurant survived when so many didn't. Felix, like many natural born restauranteurs, got his start... 
Robots: The New Frontier in Poultry Production

They might not be in line with our movie-informed ideas of what a robot should be like - such as Data in Star Trek or R2-D2 in Star Wars - but robots are playing an increasingly important role on poultry farms. By improving production efficiencies, they are boosting food security, improving animal health and welfare as well as contributing to better labor conditions and farm profits.

The French company Octopus Robots, last year launched two entirely autonomous robots. These bots very much resemble Hollywood's animated rubbish-collecting bot Wall-E, as their primary functions, depending on the model, are either to clean and disinfect poultry houses or turn and aerate poultry bedding. But the bots are also modular - perhaps making them more like a Transformer - allowing users to turn them into several versions with the ability to perform different tasks.

Besides their primary functions, the robots are equipped to collect, analyze and store data - with sensors, cameras and other systems - through which they may help to improve record keeping and traceability on farms. The bots continuously measure...

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