Friday, October 15, 2010

bloop hours

bloop will be closed on Friday, October 15 & Monday, October 18. See you on Tuesday!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Aboard Sign Making

I've been wanting to make an aboard sign for bloop pretty much ever since we first opened.  With a barrage of visitors over the summer, and limited time, it took awhile, but this project finally made it off of my idea list last weekend.

Originally, I was planning to commission,  Haley Ann Robinson, to make me one, but in order to save money, I decided to make one myself with help, of course, from the blond fox and his power tools.

I'm documenting the Aboard sign making process on this blog and hope you find it helpful. Feel free to pass this post along to anyone you know who wants to make one for their small business. 

1) If you live in Portland, determine whether you will purchase an aboard permit from the city. I did, but honestly I am not sure if this permit is enforced. My guess is probably not. The cost is $60 a year and you can find a link to the aboard permit form in the City of Portland here.

2) Purchase an Aboard sign (or make one). I happened to already have one, but you can get one at  Mr. Plywood if you live in Portland. Mr. Plywood is an inexpensive lumber store perfect for all sorts of projects whether you are interested in making an Aboard sign or not. If you are interested in recreating the cute letters that Matt and I designed, you can pick up a 4 ft by 4 ft sheet of 1/4 inch birch for around $12.00.

3) Decide on your design. This is where you can be as creative or not creative as you like. Most businesses paint their aboards, but chalkboard paint is another fun option. Once again, if you need an artist to help with your design. I know a good one! I was planning on using stencils for my wood letters, however the dude helping us at Mr. Plywood suggested I just use MS Word to create my own stencils. I recommend the following font: Tw Cen MT Condensed Extra Bold (Size 600).

After cutting out and tracing the letters onto the birch board I purchased, Matt cut out the letters with a jigsaw. For tight turn cuts he used a router, however a jigsaw would work for this too, it is just much easier with a router. While I was really good at cutting out the l's, my o's looked more like ovals, so I sanded the letters down and painted the Aboard sign while he finished cutting out the letters. If you ever need a handy man to help with your projects in Portland or beyond, the blond fox (Matt) is always available and his work is reasonably priced.

4) Determine what materials you will need to finish your aboard. I used an outdoor paint in greybeard gray with a matte finish from Miller Paint.  A great place to find inexpensive materials, if you don't mind buying them used, is the ReStore. Operated by Habitat for Humanity, the ReStore collects leftover paint, stains, and other building supplies and resells these items for super cheap. Matt and I have collected different shades of stain, one of which we used on the letters. We attached the letters using Gorilla Glue.

5) Set up your aboard street side, oh yea. I am so happy how this turned out and will be interested to see if business picks up, as the bloop/ Sonny Bowl cart is hidden behind an urban hedge of coniferous bush.

Monday, September 6, 2010

bloop in the news: part II

The September issue of Portland Monthly did a feature on the 40 top food carts in PDX. The feature included video of the carts (yea, bloop!), an interactive map feature, and an overview of some of the food cart pods located in and around Portland.

Food Cart Favorites: Bloop from Portland Monthly on Vimeo.

Also noteworthy: Portland Food Carts are ranked best in the world according to a survey conducted by Budget Travel's website!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

New Earth

I have been meaning to put this photo up for forever, but over the last two months my home has been full of visitors and I have neglected writing about bloop.

I have been composting most of bloop's food waste in my worm bin and am now harvesting some rich, dark nutrient rich compost for my house plants and veggie garden. Check out my new earth!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The story of Sy and Sel

Today I had the honor of serving Sy Berkovitz oatmeal. Sy is 87 going on 67 and eats oatmeal every morning. His daily vegan breakfast dish consists of oatmeal cooked with rice milk topped with a sliced, ripe banana. Before serving, he adds one tablespoon of flax meal and one tablespoon of cooked Quinoa to the bottom of the bowl. No sugar necessary- yum. I can't wait to try this.

Sy polished off a cup of bloop's simple oatmeal with apples, bananas and raisins. He said it was good, but he prefers his oatmeal with less "stuff" in it.

We got to talking while he ate his oatmeal. His story is truly beautiful so I thought I would share. Sy is visiting Portland, celebrating his 65th wedding anniversary with his wife Sel. They have celebrated their wedding anniversary in Portland every year for the last 11 years traveling from the Sonoma Valley.

Sy and Sel love jazz and you can find them at the best table in Jimmy Mack's every year during their anniversary week. Sy casually mentions that his wife enjoys visiting Powell's bookstore as she worked for a writer for many years. When asked who she worked for, he replied, without the slightest hint of pomp, "Oh, just this writer, Maya Angelou." Inbetween bites and other banter he discloses that Dr. Angelou's book, "Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin' merry Like Christmas, is dedicated to his wife Sel.

An hour later, after I left for my day job, Matt called me with Sel on the phone. Sy was back at bloop with his wife. With dignified grace, she sat and chatted with Matt giving him business tips for good portion of the morning.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

bloop in the news

A writer from Tasting Table national working on a story about the resurgence of oatmeal contacted me a few weeks ago. bloop garnered some national attention in an article posted May 3 titled, "Oat Couture."

That article spurred some bloop buzz on Eater PDX, a site that obsessively covers restaurants, bars, chefs, etc in Portland. The site also covers edible worthy news in LA, San Fran and New York.

And today my heart sang with joy when I saw "Oatmeal on Wheels" printed on the cover of the Willamette Week (WW). I feel bad for anyone who was within 50 feet of me on the corner of 5th & Morrison this morning. I did a jig while screaming gleefully, wildly waving 5 copies of WW in my oatmeal-slinging hands. This was before my Stumptown coffee.

Yea, so if you live in Portland, get up and go to bloop.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Farmer's Market Special: Strawberry Oatmeal

bloop special Monday, April 12: Strawberry oatmeal with bananas & walnuts. Featuring fresh strawberries from PSU's Famer's Market. Get it while it lasts!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Portland Food Cart Days

While it feels like the rest of the country has been enjoying warm weather, Portland has been cold and rainy. Business was kinda slow last week. Luckily, some regulars continued to visit bloop and keep their bellies warm and happy! A group of girls stopped by the cart, only one initially bought a bowl of oatmeal, the rest were heading to Voodoo Doughnut- a Portland icon. Within minutes they were all back for individual bowls of healthy bloop, claiming their friend wouldn't share. Yea!

On Tuesday Food Carts Portland made bloop their first stop on an epic food cart tasting adventure with a writer from Men's Health Magazine. The writer is touring seven U.S. cities to check out the street food scene in America. The pics posted on twitter of all the food cart delights these guys enjoyed while visiting Portland tantalized my taste buds. It made me full reading about everything they ate! Check out the article here.

I'll be posting some bloop specials in the next few weeks via twitter @bloopoatmeal. Check it out.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Amazing Craftsman

The blond fox built and designed the most perfect pastry case for our Black Sheep Bakery products. Pastry cases are super expensive to buy and super cheap to make. If anyone ever finds themselves needing a pastry case, commission the blond fox to make yours. As usual, his designs are functional and cute.

bloop's first furry friends!

Mandoo, the pup, visited bloop yesterday. Unfortunately, he already ate so no oatmeal for Mandoo. Next time he visits I'm gonna give him a big scoop of peanut butter!

I leave it to the reader to determine who is more furry, the dude with the Portland beard, or Mandoo the CiloGear Wonder Dog. Thanks for the comment Graham. I stole your line.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sitting in the cart this morning I googled bloop oatmeal to find an article posted on the Portland Food Cart website. Literally 3 seconds later three girls show up asking for oatmeal after they read about us on the site. Sweet. Read the story here.

The write up coupled with our new sign (finally- yay!) increased bloop traffic, making today our second busiest day. Once again haley created an artistic masterpiece of a sign for the cart. You can find more of her beautiful creations on etsy.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A huge thank you to D.C. Vegetarian for tweeting about us and sending us our first customers! A truly unexpected and kind gesture that really made our first week successful!

Thanks to Brett, Gerald, Heather and Pax for stopping by and everyone else, especially Corrine, our very first customer!!

But most of all my love and gratitute goes out to the blond fox, becuase without his love, support, amazing skills in..ah...yea everything, I am not sure bloop would have come to life! I am the luckiest girl on this orb known as earth.

In the works for next week:

- Black Sheep Vegan Bakery.Yum! Starting Monday bloop will have delicious trail mix bars and muffins available for sale. Black Sheep also sells bakery to Peet's Coffee among other Portland businesses. Check out their website.

- Composting...I am happy to announce that about 75% of bloop waste is organic matter which I will feed to my worm bin.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Day 2 & 3

We need customers!! I am ready to feed people oatmeal!

I stood outside the cart and sampled today. Even though everyone is super friendly in Portland, when a free sample gets rejected, it is hard not to feel defeated. The blond fox says I look like Girl Scout trying to sell cookies; one who stamps her feet and makes a sad face when someone doesn't take a sample.

Anyway, I don't think sampling cold oatmeal is the best strategy. I really have a hard time giving someone a free sample of cold oatmeal, when it is supposed to be hot. One of the best things about oatmeal is that it is warm and yummy when it hits the tummy. Later on I may sample my yummy cold version of soy yogurt, raw oats, cherries and walnuts.

Monday, March 15, 2010

First Day

Waking up before dawn- not so bad.
Getting set up- easy.
Sampling the oatmeal before it gets cold-
haarrrrddddd and frustrating!

Today was a lesson in mostly what not to do.

With a new, fattie "to do" list, it is gonna be a long night.

On the positive side, the cart looks really cute!!!
My friend Haley made the most adorable menu
and postcard! She is an amazing artist. Check her out!

Monday, March 8, 2010

The countdown begins....

One week until bloop officially opens! My mind is spinning with checklists and last minute details. I'm excited yet nervous......