The announcement has been made: Rex’s Outrageous is hitting the Road!

Annette has always said “We should take Road Crew Crunch on the Road!”  Well, for the past 10 months, we have been planning to take Rex’s Outrageous Road Crew Crunch national by hitting trade shows all over America.  We have fully committed to a three year plan!  We sold our house (closed on May 1),  sold most of our personal belongings and we will be heading out to travel across America to spread the news about Road Crew Crunch like a steamroller spreads asphalt.  So far, we are off to a good start!  We were recently featured on the “Made in Vermont” segment of WCAX Channel 3 news.  What a fantastic way to announce our national tour!

Artistic rendition of the wrapped RV and Rig

Although not the real images, this is just an idea of what the rig might look like after it is all wrapped up!What a fantastic way to announce our plans for Rex’s Outrageous!

Click here to see the video: WCAX “Rex’s Outrageous: Made In Vermont”

As the story suggests, we will be wrapping the RV images of Road Crew Crunch – Annette just had the photo shoot the other day for the hi-res shots that will be used on the RV as well as our new packaging.

The new Rex’s Outrageous Corporate Identity

Did I say new packaging?  You bet – we are currently working with Michael Jordan of Ion Designs in Charlotte, VT to enhance the Rex’s Outrageous brand and redesign our packaging.  The results are nothing short of astounding!  But the coolest part has to be the logo . . . we now have a Corporate Identity:

Are we nuts?  Yeah, but that is just how we roll . . . Rex, Annette and the boys in 390 sq ft.

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Are we doing this right?

Every so often, I find it a good exercise to do a Google search on Rex’s Outrageous to see what is out there -

Sometimes what I find is quite funny – like folks trying to recreate Road Crew Crunch.  I feel honored that they would even take the time to try.

Sometimes it is frightening – like coming across a complaint report from the BBB (of which Rex’s Outrageous has an A rating)

Sometimes it is a blast from the past – like the product listing on the Green Mountain Coffee Roaster’s mail order catalog website (where we hold a eight 5 star ratings) or the listing for the episode we were featured on the Food Network’s “Road Tasted with the Neelys”.

And sometimes it is reassuring – just when you need it – like the post on Chris Brogan’s blog called Chocolate Lovers Take Note.

We have been working hard to update our business plan to include our upcoming national tour where we take Road Crew Crunch on the road in the next few months.  In the process of re-evaluating our marketing and branding, I found myself in a funk wondering if we are doing the right thing.  Mr. Brogan seems to think so and I’m going to take his word for it.  Brogan’s blog is ranked #3 of Advertising Age‘s Power 150 blog list, writes a monthly column in Entrepreneur Magazine and has written for Success Magazine as well.  As for his social networks, he has over 197,000 followers on twitter and is in over 75,000 circles on Google+.  People listen to what he has to say.

Here is part of the post on Asphalt and Road Crew Crunch:

“Look at the back of the bag:

Personal Service

There’s a story there. In fact, the whole EXPERIENCE is a story. If you didn’t already click through to Rex’s site, do so, and get the larger story. It’s brilliant.”

I guess I can confidently say that we just might be doing it right.  Thanks for your help Chris!

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Chocolate and beer are good for you?!? I should live forever . . .

. . .  based upon an article posted in the Huffington Post recently.

The article focuses on things that seem bad but research is showing that they may actually be good for you.  The most important slide in this show was on chocolate.

“A review of studies in the British Medical Journal shows that eating chocolate regularly could lower your stroke risk by as much as a third.”

The research does say that one type of chocolate is better than another (dark vs. milk for example).  That is good, because I tend to sample Road Crew Crunch quite often – more often than my dietician may like . . . I call it “quality assurance”!  I’ll have to get her a copy of the research, maybe she’ll get off my back!!

The article finds several things once thought to be hazardous to be somewhat healthy.  Out of 11 items, I find that I utilize 8 on a regular basis.  Some I actively utilize daily – red wine, beer (other than chocolate, certainly my personal favorite), swearing, etc. and I cannot multi-task at all.

Seems like I need to bone up on my fidgeting, funny movies and fevers . . . then I will certainly live forever!

My new life motto:  Damnit, I’m gonna drink beer and eat chocolate slowly while watching funny movies . . . naked.

A chocolate bar and melted chocolate. Chocolat...

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Limited Edition Holiday Flavors Now Available!

I was afraid to do it to early (but according to other store displays, even last month was not too early . . . ), but our limited edition holiday flavors are now available!

Black Ice 10 oz Bag

Black Ice -

Black Ice

In an effort to make the Girl Scouts blush with envy, we have created Black Ice – the rival to the chemically enhanced Thin Mint  Our all natural concoction includes peanuts, pretzels and all natural rice cereal drenched in an organic spearmint / peppermint oil.  Get your breath of fresh air without even stepping outside!

Mistle-Tow

Mistle-Tow

Mistle-Tow

In 2007, we were asked to produce a product for a movie set. The movie was called Moonlight & Mistletoe and stared Tom Arnold and Candace Cameron Bure and was produced for the Hallmark Channel.  The filmmakers were looking for as many mistletoe related products as they could find.  Mind you, this was a Christmas holiday film and it was being filmed in Chester, VT in the middle of August!  Needless to say, after a little thinking, it crossed 0ur minds that we needed the product to have red, green and white to match the holiday season and mistletoe theme and yet still retain the Road Crew touch.

So we took pistachios (green), dried cranberries (red) and an all natural rice cereal (white) and drenched it in white chocolate (more white!).  Add a tow truck with a wreath hanging off the rear and you get Mistle-Tow!

The flavor?  Ho, Ho, MY!  This stuff is GOOD!  The long nut flavor life of pistachio hangs with the sweetness of the white chocolate until you hit a cranberry – boom – a blast of tart citrus flavor!  It makes your tongue yell to do it all again!  It’s so good we had to put a caution label on it!

Dig in while you can because after Christmas is over, so is Mistle-Tow  – until next year!

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Dig In so VT can Dig Out!

We’ve been lucky here in Jericho, VT as hurricane Irene did not lay her hands on our town, but just cried a little rain.  But she cried quite a bit in other towns, and rivers overflowed with tears and tore our state apart.  The stories are the same and the pictures are heartbreaking.

We have a booth at the Champlain Valley Fair in Essex, VT (another VT town spared the destruction) and have spoken hundreds of Vermonters.  All are shocked and saddened by the aftermath of Irene.  I was unable to reach our facility in Richmond Vermont until yesterday.  Again, we were spared, but others in low-laying areas were not.  Richmond Village was a scene of neighbors helping neighbors remove sopping wet belongings and furniture from homes, while farmers pump lakes of water from their fields.

In an effort to help those whose losses are extreme, Rex’s Outrageous will donate 10% of all sales of Road Crew Crunch from the Champlain Valley Fair (as well as orders placed on www.rexsoutrageous.com by 9/5) to the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund (www.vermont211.org).  100% of all funds will be utilized to support survivors with unmet long-term needs post-Irene.  Visit us in the center of the Miller South building at the Fair or place an order on our website.  Get Diggin’ In so VT can Dig Out!

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As if our plate was’t full enough . . .

Fletcher Granite Co. in c. 1907

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I can actually say that I am glad we do not have cable TV . . . there is just no time to watch it . . .

We run a somewhat successful food manufacturing business without any help from employees.  We process 500 to 1,000 lbs. of chocolate per month yielding anywhere between 2,000 to 4,000 bags of Crunch per month (that includes label printing, putting labels on bags, producing the Crunch, and filling bags).  In addition, I have been doing two arts & crafts shows per month traveling throughout the New England and Mid-Atlantic states.

At night, after the boys hit the sack, our evenings are generally spent show planning, production planning, answering emails, and talking about growth plans for the business.  I’m usually in bed no earlier than 2 am.

Oh, yea – speaking of boys, we home school the lot of them.  Yes, you might think we are crazy, but we have the opportunity and flexibility to do so.  It is no picnic, mind you.  We continually tell folks that are contemplating homeschooling that you really have to love being around your kids – because they are around All Day and All Night.  Personally, I love my kids and wouldn’t have it any other way.

So when the topic of building our own production facility for Road Crew Crunch came up, I was wary.  But after a few evenings spent scouring the real estate guides and websites for commercial grade kitchen space, building our own seems to be the only way we can grow as kitchen space in Vermont is virtually non-existent. Continue reading

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Rex’s Outrageous on the Thrillist!!!

Got an email today from David  Baldwin of Thrillist mentioning that we were given a short feature over the weekend!

See it here:  Rex’s Outrageous on Thrillist!

Oh – and if you happen to live in Tulsa, OK – watch out!  We’re negotiating with our first store in OK to carry Road Crew Crunch!

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