Oscar and Trudie,
Winnie the Pooh once said that “Poetry and Hums aren’t things which you get, they’re things which get you. And all you can do is go where they can find you.”
This week, on 15 February 2012 something extraordinary happened – worthy of poetry!
I am thinking of a poem by a Scotsman who reminds me of you guys in many ways and who wrote about what happened to you guys on Wednesday.
The man is George MacDonald, born on 10 December 1824.
George’s universe was one where God would never turn his back on anyone. No matter what. It is said that when, as a child, the Calvinist concept of predestination was explained to him that he burst into tears.
George became a pastor, but following disputes with his congregation, he changed career from the ministry to literature.
His life was one of beauty and fairy tales. He wrote amazing stories and influenced some of the greatest authors of our time. W. H. Auden, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Elizabeth Yates and even Mark Twain.
One of his poems is “Where Did You Come From, Baby Dear?” Its the poem who finds you and Trudie tonight . . . and baby Tihane’.
Where did you come from, baby dear?
Out of the everywhere into here.
Where did you get your eyes so blue?
Out of the sky as I came through.
What makes the light in them sparkle and spin?
Some of the starry spikes left in.
Where did you get that little tear?
I found it waiting when I got here.
What makes your forehead so smooth and high?
A soft hand stroked it as I went by.
What makes your cheek like a warm white rose?
I saw something better than anyone knows.
Whence that three-cornered smile of bliss?
Three angels gave me at once a kiss.
Where did you get this pearly ear?
God spoke, and it came out to hear.
Where did you get those arms and hands?
Love made itself into hooks and bands.
Feet, whence did you come, you darling things?
From the same box as the cherubs’ wings.
How did they all just come to be you?
God thought about me, and so I grew.
But how did you come to us, you dear?
God thought about you, and so I am here.
Another apt quote from Winnie the Pooh for tonight: “Before beginning a Hunt, it is wise to ask someone what you are looking for before you begin looking for it.”
Tihane’ begins life. She could not have asked for better parents to show her what she must be looking for before she begins looking for it!
From Eben, the Woody’s Team and all your other friends!
** Oscar and Trudie are good friends and Oscar is the Managing Director of Woodys Brands.
19 March 2010
Between 2006 and 2008 Eben was living in Johannesburg, South Africa and worked as the Depot Manager for Goosebumps Food Logistic’s.
At the end of 2008 he resigned.
The company MD (CEO), Hans Kakebeeke did not accept my resignation and made him a generous offer. Between his partner, Cilliers Viljoen and him, they offered to continue to pay him a salary to develop the many ideas he had around the processed meats industry.
It allowed him to experimented with many different new products which he manufactured, packaged and test-marketed.
Testing products in deep rural Africa
Processed Meats Across Africa.
Every morning Hans and Eben met and shared thoughts around processed meats and the food industry in general. These were followed by testing, many trials and in-store tests across the country.
Testing with consumers
Testing in rural African supermarkets
a very tired eben
The picture above was taken one evening in Johannesburg after a particularly trying day of tests in the market.
Eben was exhausted but satisfied that they were creating something unique. A few products started to stand out as clear front runners in our search for the right products to build the business on!
packing the results and testing with consumers
Many of the tests were astoundingly successes. It gave him a lifetime of product ideas.
They had some spectacular failures as well. Most notably was their attempt to sell bacon in a frozen format.
Bacon started out as one of many products we sold under various brands.
Between August and December 2008 Eben developed a new bacon brand. Carina Lochner, a designer from Somerset West gave him a list of suggested brand names she came up with.
Hans and Eben liked Woodys and the brand was born.
Cilliers insisted that products be sold frozen to minimize the returns-factor. This lead to their attempt to sell frozen bacon in retail stores.
Woodys Frozen Bacon
The frozen bacon project was a magnificent failure.
It left them with a semi-viable product in Woody’s bacon.
It was at this point when Hans and Cilliers appointed a new sales director for their company. Hannes Hotarek, a master baker from Austria, did not like the diversion that the bacon caused in the business. The performance of the frozen bacon was also so dismal that he motivated his position to the owners to can the processed meats project.
Hans and Cilliers suggested that Eben buy the brand from them which he promptly did.
Almost a year after he originally resigned from Goosebumps, he was on his own with his own bacon brand and a world of possibilities.
Join our Facebook fan Page on www.woodysbacon.com