By Vitina Feo
I can still see the container with 10,000 bottles
as we unloaded it from the truck into our warehouse in the USA.
It felt like getting ready to climb the Everest.
No only I had never climbed a mountain that high in my life,
I knew nothing about the geography around the area.
I was full of questions and fears.
Yet, my spirit was in complete peace –
the peace of knowing that I was following my DESTINY.
Did I have a grandiose strategy?
I just had a simple knowing that I needed to start demoing,
I decided visiting all my local supermarkets.
Quickly, I discovered that not all supermarkets are the same.
(1) Corporate supermarkets are designed around
the concept of distributors, hired buyers and long impersonal applications
which simply get ignored.
(2) On the other hand, Family owned markets, are run by entrepreneurs,
owners who understand the American dream.
They were the ones who readily opened their doors to me.
I will be forever indebted to Joe Pattis Seafood and Apple Market
who were the very first stores to feature Papa Vince EVOO in Pensacola, FL.
Not only they opened their door, they encouraged me and gave me
plenty of space to make plenty of mistakes while demoing.
Thanks Frank. Thanks David.
Demoing was not easy.
It was not unusual to work over 4 hours to sell only 2 or 3 bottles.
During those first 6 months,
I learned to be positive regardless the number of bottles I sold.
I learned the power of keeping my eyes
on the dream.
I learned how to tap
in the strength that comes from knowing
that with DESTINY comes PROVISION.
I spent time reminding myself that God
was with me;
that HE HAD already giving me contacts, favor, skills, resources, etc.
I knew the provision was on its way.
I just needed to persevere.
Therefore I kept demoing.
And then it happened.
Yes, the first miracle.
I met Jordan at Apple Market.
At first, he was not that enthusiastic about tasting Papa Vince EVOO.
Yet he felt compelled to sample it
just because I told him that my family made it in Sicily.
Oh boy was he surprised!
It was LOVE at first taste.
He immediately put me in contact with his Mom, Jan Walsh.
Jan Walsh too felt in LOVE with Papa Vince's Extra Virgin Olive Oil
and wasted not time to use her contacts and influence
to help place Papa Vince in several supermarkets in the Birmingham, AL, area.
I am in great debt with this woman.
May God bless her with a lot of health and the ability to keep blessing others.
And then, it happened again!
Yes, another miracle!
We had sent a bottle of Papa Vince EVOO to FoodBabe and
she too fell in LOVE with it!
For the next 6 month she promoted
Papa Vince’s EVOO on her Facebook page and
what an incredible fan she built for us!
It was during this time that it became clear to me
that it was time to move away from demoing to something bigger:
Did I make any mistakes during this time?
Did I face trials?
Yes, I did.
(1) Because of my inexperience and trusting nature,
I was soaked into hiring a PR and a Facebook consultant.
Not only they took my money, they caused my Facebook account to be closed.
(2) To save money,
I chose to complete the trademark application myself.
What a mistake!
Since we started we had to change the name twice
and pay over 12,000 in lawyer fees.
(3) Because hiring Social Media professionals is not cheap,
I have spent countless nights, late into the morning, learning how to use
Google+, etc., etc., etc.
(4) In 2014, My family faced the smallest harvest in years.
We ran out of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in NOVEMBER. We missed all December good sales.
Has it been worth it? Every second of it!
Specially rewarding your emails and comments
which constantly fuel me with strength and greater vision.
What am I sharing all this with you?
Because I am not the smartest person in the world.
I don't have all the education and the whistles I need to do what I am doing.
I am a simple Homeschool Mom that chose to follow her calling and dreams.
May my God the father of Jesus Christ fill you with courage and vision, with direction and clarity. Let this year be the year you discover and follow your destiny and true happiness.
I can't wait to be blessed by you!
Don't be pulled by your problem; Be led by your dreams