Coffee Fest Chicago 2013 was a blast! Two weeks ago from June 8-10, baristas, roasters, business owners, and coffee lovers alike flocked to Navy Pier to learn about the newest, up-and-coming trends in the specialty coffee industry at Coffee Fest Chicago. Coffee Fest has served the specialty coffee and gourmet tea industries since 1992 by joining relevant educational programs with an informative trade show floor. Through the years, Coffee Fest has created a successful show that now sports over 300 booths—and this year Big Train was one of them! We had the chance to see a lot of new products, coffee and tea-making techniques, and meet many wonderful, coffee-loving people!
Coffee Fest Trade Show
Big Train is happy to now be a party of the Kerry family and was thrilled to be a part of their booth at this year’s Coffee Fest. Kerry was the very first booth as customers entered the trade show, so we got a bunch of traffic! Big Train was a big hit at the Kerry booth; people had the chance to take home samples of the Blended Iced Coffee and Blended Iced Crème products. People visited our booth multiple times in order to get as many samples as possible! We blended up free samples of our Blended Ice Coffee Kona Mocha and Blended Ice Crème Caramel during set up and registration which brought a lot of attention to the booth both before and during the show. We also said hello to several of our current customers and welcomed new ones.
Big Train as part of the Kerry booth at Coffee Fest Chicago
Throughout the show, Big Train appeared as an industry leader in a lot of ways! One of our in-house baristas held a Blending Seminar where she taught people how to properly use Big Train products in the best, most efficient way possible. This seminar definitely made us look like a frontrunner in the industry and we had people come up to the booth afterwards and tell us how helpful it was.
We noticed many new and interesting trends while visiting other booths at the show. Many booths were advertising “organic” and “indulgent” oatmeal as a snack or meal to go along with coffee and tea. Oatmeal has low levels of fat and calories and high levels of protein and fiber, so it’s easy to see why it’s so popular! Though it was a bit unique to see oatmeal at a coffee trade show, the delicious, good-for-you breakfast food is becoming a staple in many coffee shops.
Overall, Big Train had a very productive and positive experience at Coffee Fest! We gained many new customers and continued to make Big Train a leading brand in the coffee industry! Special thanks to Brittany Crouch, Theresa Pope, Jennifer William, Lani Peterson, Paul Bulthuis, Andy Solheim, Louise Kruse, and Wyatt Edenfield for making this all possible.
For more information about Coffee Fest, go to www.coffeefest.com
For more information about Big Train, visit our website at www.bigtrain.com or call 800-BIG TRAIN (244-8724)
On Saturday, May 18, 2013 hundreds of participants in the A Mile for Maddie walk were present for the grand opening of the Seaside Learning Center located in Dana Point, California, just a few miles south of Big Train’s headquarters. The Center is built along the Dana Point waterfront, and boasts exciting new facilities that will introduce oceanography, environmental science and maritime history to locals and visitors alike, but especially K-12 students in honor of the beautiful Maddie James.
Thousands of walkers have participated in A Mile for Maddie over the past two years, raising a total of $160,000. This money has gone a long way towards helping The Maddie James Foundation to achieve its initial goal of raising $1 million, in order to secure the naming rights to the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center (at the Ocean Institute).
Big Train was honored to be a part of the grand opening of this amazing endeavor. We were onsite, serving up samples of our Fit Frappe™ protein drinks to the hundreds of participants. Our healthy and delicious beverage was a natural fit for the crowd in attendance, as it offers a low-calorie and high-protein drink that’s perfect before or after the 1.2-mile walk.
Check out the slideshow below for some images of our booth, the crowd as well as the children of one of our very own, meeting marine life artist and conservationist, Wyland. We’ve added in some videos of A Mile for Maddie and also the grand opening.
How will You Define the New You in the New Year? Tell us your 2013 Health & Fitness Goals and Win.
In order to help our customers keep their healthy New Year’s resolutions and reach their fitness goals, we are promoting Fit Frappé as a healthy way to stay on track in 2013. We are encouraging consumers to “Define the New You in 2013” by going to our landing page and telling us how they plan to achieve their goals in the new year.
As part of this promotion Big Train is holding a contest for consumers. Go to BigTrain.com/DefineTheNewYou to view the video (or see the YouTube video below) then head over to the Define the New You Contest page and enter to win! Consumers can fill out their name, email and phone number to be entered into a drawing to win one of over 200 prizes:
100 Fit Frappe Tumblers
100 Fit Frappe protein drink shakers
Grand Prize: 10 Asics Fitness Packages
Promotion begins January 7th and ends January 31, 2013. Winners will be selected at random and will be notified after the promotional period ends. For giveaway details and terms and conditions go here.
About this Project.
The idea behind the “Define the New You in 2013” video was to showcase friends, customers and some of southern California’s brightest in the social media and health/fitness communities, asking them how they will be reaching their goals in 2013. In total, there were about 30 participants and their responses primarily focused on health/fitness and life improvement. The photo shoot itself was a blast, taking place near the train station in San Juan Capistrano, with a fantastic brunch at nearby restaurant, Sarducci’s.
Recently Big Train discovered Compete 4 Causes, a non profit organization dedicated to raising support and public awareness for charitable causes while promoting Fitness & Wellness. Since Launching Fit Frappé (outrageously delicious café style protein drink mixes) in the health and fitness industry, the Bariatric community has really embraced this protein drink mix line. Sandi Henderson from Banded Living was kind enough to invite Big Train to support the Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America (WLFSA) booth at the event. It was great to meet WLSFA YouTube sensation Wendy Campbell aka Banded Wendy. Antonia Namnath, CEO and Founder of WLSFA was there too!
Banded Wendy, Jim from Big Train 'n Sandi Henderson
It was a gorgeous southern California day, perfect for a run. Fun fact: Banded Wendy runs to techno music. The event was held on the Cal State Northridge University campus. There were no earthquakes! (Knocking on wood.) Big Train handed out samples of our Fit Frappé line to race participants. The response was very enthusiastic.
We met some great people including the lovely Lea Crosetti, Founder of BariAthletes.
In September Big Train attended Coffee Fest Seattle, where we held a contest to give away a blender prize package. Anyone who signed up for our OnTrack™ Rewards program during the show had a chance to win a Vitamix Drink Machine Advanced blender, two pitchers and 3 free cases of product mixes. When the dust settled, the winner was a coffee shop called Hillbilly Beans, located near Olympia, WA. The owners were kind of enough to contribute to a little FAQ, so without further ado we present to you…
Hillbilly Beans In Olympia, Washington
Where are you located?
We are located in Littlerock, Washington which is between Olympia and Grand-mound at the foothills of Capitol Forest.
What types of drinks do you offer?
We offer iced, blended, and hot coffee drinks, teas, smoothies and protein shakes.
Are you known for any type of particular drink?
All of our drinks have funny “hillbilly” names. A white chocolate mocha is called a Ma’s Favorite, a mocha is called a Moonshine, Blended coffees are called Mashed, whipped cream is considered opossum pie topping and so on. Skunks seem to be one of our most popular drink; it is white chocolate and chocolate combined. Some customers enjoy a little raspberry flavor with the chocolate and white chocolate, which is called Road Kill.
About 1 in 8 U.S. women (just under 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. (BreastCancer.org)
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Take care of yourself every year and get a mammogram!
4 Things you can do to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month:
1-Think Pink – Wear pink all month long!
2- Get a mammogram – Now is the perfect time to get a mammogram. That way you can’t forget to get one every year. You’ll be reminded every October that it’s time to take care of yourself.
3- Donate – There are several organizations out there that raise funds for breast cancer research. HerHighway proudly supports 10 groups, including Susan G. Komen, American Cancer Society and Avon. Click here and pick your favorite charity! Your donation is greatly appreciated.
4- Spread the word! Share as much information as you can with your family and friends. Make sure every woman you know is taking care of herself, too.
When Big Train recently launched all new blender-ready pour over real fruit smoothie mixes, we wanted to share our latest line of drink mix products with some local consumers. We reached out to Marcie Taylor aka @suburbanmama on twitter, a social media strategist based in Irvine. Marcie connected us with Beth, the owner at Irvine Coffeehouse Paradise Perks. What a great idea!
Jim from Big Train & Beth at Paradise Perks
After meeting Beth at Paradise Perks in Irvine, we were excited to learn they had been serving Big Train products for years including Big Train Spiced Chai and Dragonly frappes, an Asian themed line of ice blended creme mixes like Taro, Green Tea, Thai tea etc. Paradise Perks was the perfect venue to showcase new real fruit smoothie mixes. And so we set our Luau plans in motion.
Beth promoted the event, had her staff dress in Hawaiian attire and offered up a great menu:
wings of fire
bacon wrapped pineapple
Have your next Luau at Paradise Perks
Local ten year old blogger @TinyTechie offered to provide her interpretation of tropical desserts: Pineapple Beach Cupcakes.
Big Train brought a Vitamix Quiet One Blender, new Real Fruit Smoothie pour-over-ice smoothie mixes, a treasure box full of Big Train drink mix samples, and a huge box of leis.
While Hawaiian music played, our Luau guests enjoyed great food, samples all the new Real Fruit Smoothie Mixes(Strawberry, Mango, Superfruit, Strawberry Banana, Peach and Wildberry). Beth and her staff were very accommodating and were great to work with.
Paradise Perks Staff is great!
Foodie Mavens Suki and @MadHungryWoman
Christiny rockin' the blender
@TheBigDebowski & friends
Suki, Angie Weeks, Kathy Klingaman, Cheryl Hawley
The event was a success! Many thanks to Marcie Taylor, Beth from Paradise Perks, Lady Lux Swimwear, @TinyTechie for the amazing cupcakes, and of course our friends and guests. Special thanks to Jenn and Christiny from Big Train’s marketing team that worked tirelessly to make it all happen.
HSN Frappe drink mixes! For the first time ever, Big Train products were made available via national television on the Home Shopping Network on Monday, July 2nd.
It all started when HSN came looking for some delicious drink mixes to sell as part of HSN’s 35th Anniversary celebration. What better way to celebrate than to offer up amazing coffeehouse style drinks that can be enjoyed at home, right? Mixing up several Big Train frappe mix flavors on live television created a lot of excitement here at Big Train’s headquarters in Lake Forest California. We could practically taste the drinks from here.
A lot of preparation and planning went into getting ready for the HSN airing. After presenting a variety of options, and lots of taste testing, and tremendous effort behind the scenes to prepare for the live show, Big Train and HSN worked together to offer 8 Big Train yummy drink flavors in two exclusive fun packages:
11.3 oz. Frozen Frappe Drink Mix - Cookies n’ Creme
11.3 oz. Frozen Frappe Drink Mix - Southern Velvet
11.3 oz. Frozen Frappe Drink Mix - Root Beer Float
11.3 oz. Frozen Frappe Drink Mix – New York Cheesecake
Big Train and HSN selected Keri Maletto to be the lead on-air host. In addition to her experience as a fun and vivacious host for the Home Shopping Network, Keri has appeared in feature films like Dolphin Tale and television shows like Burn Notice and The Glades. Keri did a fantastic job presenting HSN’s exclusive Big Train drink mix products on HSN highlighting Big Train’s value to consumers that are looking for great tasting cafe style products that are easy to make. She even suggested some great ideas like adding strawberry liqueur to flavors like our New York Cheesecake frappe mix to create a yummy Strawberry Cheesecake Frappe cocktail for example. She also mixed up Cookies ‘n Cream, Bubble Gum and Orange Crème blended ice drink flavors. Great job Keri!
HSN created a Big Train brand page on their website where these exclusive products are available for sale in case you missed the program today. Hurry though, there is a limited supply and these products will likely sell out soon.
Did you miss the live show? No worries the show will run again at around 12:00 noon and again at 5:45 pm EDT.To view HSN’s Program Guide go here. Watch HSN live on your computer by clicking here:
For more information on these exclusive HSN Drink Products go here. For more information about Big Train go to Big Train.com.
Billed as the “Mother of all Meet and Greets”, the Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America hosted its best annual conference yet recently in Las Vegas. We were introduced to the WLSFA by several of our consumer customers who discovered our Fit Frappe® low sugar high protein drink mixes in 2011.
The WLSFA mission has three components:
Ending Obesity by empowering people to move from surviving to thriving through weight loss surgery, education and support.
Performing charitable services and supporting research to find solutions to enhance the quality of life of the morbidly obese community.
Raising awareness and funds for surgery.
Antonia Namnath, CEO WLSFA
Antonia Namnath, CEO of WLSFA encouraged Big Train to help sponsor their annual conference. We are so glad we did! Attending from Big Train were Jim Wendt and Christiny Bouback from Big Train’s marketing department. According to Wendt, “The response from the WLS community for Big Train has been great. We were blown away by the positive response at the recent show in Vegas.”
At the conference Big Train sampled Fit Frappe gourmet Protein Drink mixes: Espresso, Vanilla Latte, and Vanilla (coffee-free) blended with water and ice, and Fit Frappe Mocha served hot (by mixing the powder mix with hot water). We also handed out several of our low carb products (including low carb chai, low carb cookies, low carb brownies) and no sugar added mocha and chai. Customers seem to like the diversity of both our Protein drink mixes as well as the other non protein options.
One attendee at the show had an amazing protein mix recipe: Fit Frappe Sorbet. They take the mix add more ice less water and store in the freezer then eat it like ice cream. So it’s like a high protein no sugar frozen treat that’s good for you!
One of the charters for the WLSFA organization is to raise funds for weight loss surgeries. Connie Bailey, their first grant recipient, attended the Las Vegas event and posted this video on You Tube after trying our protein drink mixes (one of our best testimonials ever). Thanks Connie!
We didn’t ask for this video and so it means a lot to us that Connie would take the time out of her day to produce and share this video with her You Tube followers. Thanks again Connie! WLSFA profiled an inspiring documentary produced by our friends at BariatricTV about Connie and her sister that has received over 100,000 views check it out: http://wlsfa.org/media-kit/view-surviving-to-thriving/the-film/
Some Fun before the Conference
Wendt and Bouback wanted to do something fun for WLSFA attendees prior to the show and invited some of the early bird attendees on a private tour of Zappos.com‘s corporate HQ that is close to the Las Vegas strip. The company was recently ranked #11 Best Company to Work for by Forbes Magazine in 2012. Zappos is legendary for its unique and sometimes wacky culture. The BookDelivering Happiness. A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose, by the company’s CEO Tony Hsieh is a MUST read for anyone looking to overcome adversity and make great things happen by among other things building win-win relationships with people. Wendt figured the WLSFA community, a passionate and brand-loyal group, would appreciate the Zappos tour. In typical Zappos exceed-customer-expectation fashion, the Zappos Insights team made an exception for us (Natalie rules) and graciously hosted their first ever Friday tour (as that was the only day that worked for us). Here are a few pics:
Melting Mama photo bombing Wendt's Zappos Tour sign pic.
Thx Celebrity Coaches for the Big Train ride!
No managers get offices, not even the CEO.
Beware vendors: Do not wear a tie at Zappos.
Everyone is a VIP at Zappos.
Thanks everyone at the WLSFA “Meet and Greet”! And just how did folks respond to Big Train at the event. According to Namnath, “I knew your Fit Frappe was going rock it in Vegas it IS the talk of the show!!!!”
It truly was a humbling experience meeting so many people that have made huge differences in their lives. So inspirational! Thanks for the great feedback on our products. Thanks Zappos for the amazing tour and service for our group. I don’t know what impressed us more the $16 Million record braking sales day poster or the size 40 boot you shared with us. For more information about WLSFA go to http://www.wlsfa.org. For more information about Zappos, go to http://www.zappos.com. And to find out more about Big Train go to http://www.BigTrain.com. To get more information about Fit Frappe gourmet protein mixes go here.
Big Train is pleased to help sponsor the Mile for Maddie event on May 19th in Dana Point, California. The Maddie James Foundation was founded by the parents of a five year-old California girl who passed away due to an inoperable brain tumor, but whose love of the ocean and its many creatures will live forever. The individual who raises the most money for this year’s walk will earn an original, signed Chinese brush art painting created by Wyland. Wyland will personally award the prize at the Club Honu dinner.
The Foundation is committed to supporting the construction and ongoing operation of The Maddie James Seaside Learning Center (scheduled to break ground in 2012) at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, California, one of Maddie’s favorite places.
The Foundation is also proud to partner with other ocean-minded charities and groups committed to bringing the ocean to children around the country, regardless of circumstance, to show them its many wonders and the importance of its preservation through dynamic educational programs.
Come join Big Train and a great group of amazing people and be a part of Maddie’s dream. If you are interested in volunteering at “a Mile for Maddie”, please contact the Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org