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Ugly Fruit Has Feelings Too!

My daughter Buck Wheat, the one and only, wants to change the world. I think she might! Of-course, world changes are only considered after 12PM because anything which the world does before noon is of little concern to THE Buck!

One of her recent crusades is for ugly fruit and vegetables. It turns out, that millions of pounds of food gets disposed of each year in this country exclusively because it does not to conform to the standards for that item.

It’s ugly!

We are all so fortunate here in the United States. We can go into any local Stop ‘n Shop and all you see is beautiful fruits and vegetables. But every fruit and vegetable has a standard and woe is the farmer who’s foods don’t meet that standard. Americans expect their oranges orange, their pears pear-shaped and their peaches feeling like the cheek of a baby’s butt and not a truck driver after a four-day cross country haul. In-fact, if they don’t meet the visual standard consumers shy away and so farmers pull the ugly ones out as they sort.

And often dispose of them, which Buck finds woeful.

There are always exceptions. While I’m sure that the guy who found a tomato which looked like basketball great Larry Bird strutted out of the Piggly Wiggly happy with their fruit selection, generally there is not much of a market for ugly fruits and vegetables.

But Buck will buy it! And does, online from a purveyor of ugly fruits an veggies.

Buck loves an underdog.

We discovered recently that our home address in Stamford has a twin! Another house with the same number and street name as we have, only it's in Columbus, Ohio. How did we find out and why is that relevant? Because for three consecutive weeks, Buck has sent an order of ugly fruit and veggies to our address, but in Columbus, OH.

Then she waits for them to be delivered in Stamford.

YES! She SHOULD have discovered this before this family got their third order of carrots in the shape of hands, but that’s life with Buck!

This weekend with Chris and Buck each gone for the day, Guy and I had our first private moments in several weeks. We went to reload the freezer with a run to our favorite butcher shop and our favorite bagel store.

We held hands while shopping so it was the closest thing we’ve had to a date since the pandemic began. While theaters in New York are still dark, we did get to watch the butcher trim my actual pork chops from the full side of ribs. First on the bad saw and then with a blade which I suspect was a bit sharper than the ones I use at home. If I saw a butcher do that on Tik Tok I would definitely have hit the “like” button.

I know the owners of both the butcher and the bagel stores. I shop independent!


Due to a trademark conflict, I need to change the name of my e-commerce package for independent paint retailers.

File the trademark first, announce the name second.

Got it!

While I create the new marketing over the next few days, I also expect to start building the first sites for customers this week. Unless I leave Buck in charge of logistics I plan to deliver them in eight weeks, though I expect to get that number down to six-weeks as I ramp-up in the coming weeks and months.

Maybe down to four if I get really good at this!

Work building data bases will take much of my time, at least initially. The rest of my time will be spent pushing a team of developers to build a web site that looks and feels like YOUR paint store! And then integrate a slick e-commerce!

My heart jumps when I think about the systems I will be delivering in six weeks. But it races when I think about what these sites will look like two-months after that!

I am already working on the upgrades!

All while working a few consulting jobs and an inspection gig. This year, the painting budget at the HOA where I’ve been managing their paint program for five-years is $115k. About 15% of that is expected to be materials; about 400 gallons of Arbor Coat solid stain

and 094 primer!

If I had any hair, that order would keep Dan Calkins out of it for a little while!

On Thursday, I’m dropping a new episode of the “Mark, My Words!” podcast. My guest this episode is Scott Lollar. Scott is a coach and consultant to painting contractors and has unique insights into their needs. This episode is the first of a two-part series focused on helping dealers understand the painting contractor. Coming up in a few weeks I will have an episode with Nick May of the Pro Painter’s Network.

On average, over 60% of an independent paint retailer’s volume gets sold to professional painters. The more you understand their needs, the more you can fulfill them!


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