COURAGE

The last time I wrote was early July.   It is two months later and my last blog was all about not missing the summer…remembering to take moments to pay attention, take a breath, be grateful.  I am practicing at this, and with this practice, I am getting better at it…but WOWIE!  Summer is gone, but we certainly took advantage when we could to participate in this lovely area we call home;  through bike rides, sailing, gardening, and being with family and friends.  (A few photos at the end of the blog to prove it and my favorite above on South Manitou looking back at Leland at Sunset…a bit of a different view!)

September is the month I was born, which seems to be the time I feel like I reset, reflect on the year, and focus on a rebirth of sorts.  I embrace the transition and switch from summer to fall.  Aaron and the kids start school, I begin coaching volleyball, summer guests and family leave, the sun winds down earlier as do free flowing schedules.  It seems to be the  time of reconnecting to goals and desires for myself, which usually begins with making better choices about what I eat, how much rest and sleep I get,  what kind of exercise I am choosing, what time I am making to read, write, and play music. What kind of talk am I filling my head with and  how are my intentions affecting my present and future?

I am settling into my Traverse City work routine.  Katie worked with us again for the summer and she is just such a joy.  She is greatly competent, assertive, precise and loves the music up as loud as I do and sings along too!  Craig and Jessica are wonderful people to connect with on a personal level and I feel extremely blessed to have such hard working and efficient people with whom to work.  We are a great team.  We are focused on sales (which, of course, we always are but have some serious goals to meet:) for the rest of this year, and are learning how to further develop our brand identity, increase our marketing skills, in addition to widening our distribution range- smartly.  We will also be launching a capital raise on a crowd funding platform (so exciting!) with in the next month that will allow us to rebrand/redesign some of our packaging, hire help to extend our marketing effectiveness, consolidate debt, buy ingredients at larger volume/better price, and move The Redheads to the next level.  We have the infrastructure.  We have the team.  We have the brand.  We have the recipes.  We have the experience.  We have the passion and the purpose.   We have the courage.

 

 

 

And that is where I am at today, liking everything about the word courage.  It is the choice and willingness to confront the unknown, or the confidence to act in accordance to your core beliefs.  And even more than acting on your belief, to me, it is about standing strong in your knowings.  Beliefs have other attachments pinned to them, like others peoples support as well as other peoples doubts.  Knowing is yours- deep inside and it holds only your truth, no doubt, expectations, nor judgements.  I am not defined by my successes and failures (what ever either of those may really be!)…nor am I defined by others or their ideas of what I should be.  I hold huge regard and value in being brave, showing up and being courageous.

 

I will allow the word courage to be reborn in me during my birth month. Glad to be here, glad to be alive!  And I am glad to have a connection to you.  Thanks for inspiring me.  Keep it up ’cause I ain’t done yet!

 

Always,

Sarah Felicity

 

 

 

Live Free or Die!

 

Ps…I suppose I should mention that we have been lots of fun marinading calamari with our NEW Creamy Tahini dressing as well as have soaked our cucumbers from the garden in it!  The NEW Red Wine Vinaigrette is superb on white fish, salmon or trout and my fav on pasta (gf for me of course), diced peppers, onion, and any other veggie in the fridge!  Marinate your chicken or tempeh in the RWV and you will have that flavorful taste of summer in your mouth!

Peasant Salad and Stir Fry using our dressings!  www.redheadsinc.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Garden goods, my kids and niece and nephew.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

West Coast Cousins on Heritage Trail!

Edwin and August on Lake Michigan.

Lizzie and I all dressed up for  beautiful friends wedding on beautiful property!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heather and I hangin’ loose at The Riverside Inn for a quick sister chat!

New Hampshire Ryder’s (and Colby!) enjoying the Fountain Point Summer Music Series!

 

 

 

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In the very thick of it…

Longest day of the year has come

and gone,

While sweet fresh picked strawberries stain small cheeks.

Hot nights, only a sheet tossed between, both windows open for soft, cross breeze.

Sun rise early, sleepy eyes open to the sound of cardinals singing, a peleated woodpecker pounding, drumming, steady.

Rooted. Grounded.

After dinner boat rides, dinner on boat rides, tubing until moonrise

Third of July shenanigans, Five boats tied, One am scoot around cemetery point, two babies, Eleven & Eight, fall asleep to the hum of the motor.

Day Parading down main street, night Fireworks high in the sky, dancing, moving, reflecting.  Hundreds of little red lights port, little greens lights starboard, stern white light, glows.

Grateful for scents of BBQ’s and for the echo of generations’ laughter, grateful for traditions and freedoms, grateful dead streaming, still.

Sunsets, South Manitou trips, Heritage trail glides, Neddow’s bay fridays.

Pea pods picked for snacking, potato stems over a foot tall, beets bigger than golf balls

Summer.  Leelanau.

Always other things tossing around, real life things but

Lala Land is sacred.  She is special and she moves briskly

She doesn’t want you to miss it

In the very thick of it,

Wading graciously,

Mindfully

Presently

Through.

 

Sarah Felicity

 

 

 

Pat yourself on the back!

I have been thinking about this blog for awhile now…the one that wraps up all my thoughts and feelings about Kejara’s and The Redheads Cafe & Tasting Room as well as all that has unfolded over the last 20 years;  in that space and in my life.  I have thoughts of so many ways and angles to approach how to honor my feelings on these subjects and how to cleverly share them in a few paragraph blog.  But what I have landed on is that I am going to let Sunday be my memory lane… and  let you all help me go down that lane…and allow that lane to pop up when it seems fit and whenever it begs.  If you are able to make it to our celebration, please share with me some of your thoughts and feelings about your experiences at Kejara’s/TRCTR. I will have a guest book you can write in, or share with me face to face…and Christen will be there too~ or we will have a few folks with iphones to capture you live if you so wish.  I want to know and remember and share with you. It has been an impactful time.   If you are unable to attend, please send me a comment on this blog, or send me an email (sarah@redheadsinc.com) or post on our facebook event page or reply to the newsletter.  I read it all and I would cherish knowing how this epic space and place in time is reflected in your head and heart.  And I thank many of you who already have…it has been very moving for me to state it lightly.

What I would like to do in this blog is thank you.  Yes, you.   And I hope you are patting yourselves on the back because we all were the ones that pushed the slow food movement, the farm to table angle, the support local in Northern Michigan.  We all were the ones that bought from CSA farms, and paid more for eggs and potatoes and organic greens because it makes a difference in the economy, the land, and in our bodies and minds.  We were the ones that knew supporting local artists and traveling musicians were  and are what really allows compassion, music, art and joy to integrate and evolve.  We were the ones that believed.  We believed that we could make a difference.  We could come together as a community and create good school programs and knew that early childhood education mattered.  We were the ones that knew drum circles and spoken word performances were important avenues to connect and share and understand one another.  We were the ones that came together and moved back here after college, or travelled here and stayed, or summered here in our youth and made it our home, retired here or who have been here all along and wanted to make a difference.  We did it folks.  The odds were certainly incredibly against us, but we did it together…through all the years, and curves and turns and changes.  We did it.  We are all still doing it.  There is much more work to be done and I am ignited about this next phase.

The dream back in the winter and  spring of 1997 for us was never as “small” as just local food, supporting the fine arts and music, a place to connect,  a place to create, and a local economy to restructure.   The dream we had certainly  included all of  these unbelievably challenging and incredibly important ideas, however, the deep hearted dream glided above all of these components.  The true dream was to grow, learn, share, expand, understand, change, evolve:  in ourselves and together as a community.  We committed to facing our fears, and to be brave, to be vulnerable, to be true to the discovery, and to ask the journey of it all to be the goal.  And even though these words are perhaps a bit  less tangible than the words that  most business people tend to refer to as they plunge into their businesses, they are the words I still know to be the basis of The Redheads and my life.  To all of this, mission accomplished.  We did it…together….and I deeply thank you for being brave.  For being willing to grow, learn, share and expand.  I thank you for sharing, understanding and evolving with me.  Together, we accomplished the tangible, as well as intangible.

So, as The Redheads settles in to her new restructure, she is finding  her lane, cleaning up and sorting some loose ends…and thriving.  Our Balsamic Vinaigrette has been promoted from 113 Meijer stores, to ALL 230 stores! (Spread the word!)  Our two new dressings are now available at the Leland Mercantile, Hansens, NJ’s, and Tom’s (and many more stores as we continue the launch over the next few weeks!).  Our veggie burgers and black bean burgers keep popping up on restaurant menus around the state (The VI, Fischer’s Happy Hour, The Knot, and Figs,  to name a few locally) while our granola too is marching its way to be featured on breakfast and brunch menus alike.  We have three new distributors adding our products to help us expand our reach and spread our message, while spartan stores, Buschs, and several other stores are adding The Redheads to their shelves!  We are sharing the message~

And if in all this hustle and bustle you have forgotten what that message is…let me remind you. I believe our duty here in this time and place is to offer ourselves and one another our best selves.   I do not believe we are able to be our best selves with out clean, good thoughtful food.  I also believe that to feel full and joyful, we must invite growth, change, and courage into our lives.  Thank you for encouraging me to do so.  And pat your kick-ass self on the back for all you have committed to and encouraged over the past 20 years…with me at Kejara’s and The Redheads and beyond.  It does not go unnoticed.   Your work, your commitment in your way has rippled and affected us all.   And, we are certainly still in need of so much more courage in so many ways…so shine on, and know that we will continue to have each others backs on this crazy, lovely journey.

Seriously,  SO much love and light~

Sarah Felicity

End of an Era

As I draw a long, deep breath into my lungs and pause at the tippy top of the inhale and hold; with the sun beating down on the 45 degree day, and blasts of leaf blowers and chain saws buzzing in the distance…I can smell that Spring has Sprung!  What an exciting time of year, warm sunshine, brisk air, cool winds.  A scent of new beginnings, the smell of the earth thawing.  I adore living in Northern Michigan as she bellows through winter, spring, summer and fall, leaving me thrilled about being on the magic carpet ride through her seasons!

Our olfaction sense, or our smeller sense is our strongest sensory connected to our memory.   (I can smell the ginger and garlic in the bridge sauce on the photo of the bridge bagel above:)  I hugged a friend of mine awhile back who was wearing a brown leather jacket, and with in seconds , I was remembering my high school freshman year boyfriend from several (many, many 🙂 years earlier who always wore a brown leather jacket.   It was instantaneous.  It is just like now as I stand in my yard and close my eyes and remember stacking wood while I was two weeks over due with my Olive girl.  Needless to say, she was born only 12 hours later, eleven years ago on April 8th.  It is amazing just how quickly time flies by…and those older than me were right when they shared that it just keeps going faster and faster the older you get!

The scent in the air also has deeply reminded me of 20 years ago when we were moving the 8 foot ice cream cooler into the unpaved, dust covered parking lot at what we called then, “The Hot Spot”.  Christen and I had just bought the building on land contract and had my Dad roped in to help us transform this vacant  game room/pizzeria into a glistening room of ash wood floors, mosaic tile poles, and a clean (in every sense of the word) fresh looking kitchen.  It was the start of our dream and it began our careers. What a beautiful journey it has been.  With in the past 20 years, the Hot Spot was transformed into Kejara’s Bridge, which for years was shared with our production company, and then was molded into The Redheads Cafe and Tasting Room.  Even through the several years when we shut the restaurant down (2010-2012ish) due to Christen’s desire to fulfill other dreams and me with two younglings only able to focus on one business, choosing The Redheads.  I always desired to bring back “Kejara’s”…or the restaurant bit of the business.  I loved the relationships with people.  I loved the food.  I loved the pulse of the busy summer in Leelanau.  I loved the atmosphere.  I loved the connection.

 

Never did I plan nor orchestrate the outcome of this past year, however, it has played itself out well to me, and I have not turned from its distinct demands to be heard.  As I reread in my blog from last May (https://sassyredheads.wordpress.com/2016/05/) that discussed all the exciting happenings of Production, the Cafe, the artshow and music concerts, the story of how all this food shananigans started, I am left with a big smile on my face.  What a wonderful year!  We have had a two year in a row record setting of sales, we had a great Chef (Fig) with a big personality and another amazing Chef (and human to say the least) John grace our kitchen  , an amazing staff…as always,  as well as built out and moved into a 1700 sq ft kitchen for production!  When the fall came Chef Fig felt he needed to pursue his dream of having his own restaurant.  We talked over it for hours until we both knew that his heart loved our customers, our mission resonated with him, and our food was fantastic, but he needed to step out and go after his own dream, create his own “Kejara’s”.  And as much as I hated to have him go…I understood…maybe better than most:)

With Chef leaving last fall and a few other unexpected shifts and changes, I was left running the kitchen and the line on my own.  (Thank god for Christen, Jessica, Craig, Kira, Katie,  Aaron, Heather, Michelle and so many others…)  This also left me away from running my production company in Traverse City.  While interviewing for our next Chef, ordering, baking, creating specials, cleaning & resetting my kitchen and line, opening and closing and cooking for our best fall numbers to date, coaching Volleyball, mothering two kiddos, traveling to Indianapolis to support hummus sales, maintaining shelves for our 200 wholesale accounts, attempting to manage my gluten issues, in addition to managing financials for two entirely different business,  I worked for both sides of the coin as I have been doing for years:  Production and Cafe.  In all of those years, I have never felt that my time running the cafe was near its end.  It’s my baby.   We did it.  We beat all the incredible odds against us and created a farm to table, sustainable, organic, local, vegan&vegetarian, award winning restaurant for 20 years!  Goal accomplished.    However, because of all of the things listed above, and because I am not 23 anymore, nor do I have the same goals and dreams as I once did, I felt I was ready to focus on just production.  As much as I was excited to have a chef and a staff run the cafe, I found that I was still spending immense amounts of time on it, while paying others to do so.  It was not leaving me the appropriate energy, capital, nor time to ignite the sales needed to make the production company thrive.

 

So with this, I officially announce that I will not be reopening my beloved Kejara’s Bridge/The Redheads Cafe and Tasting Room nor lil Leland Cafe.  (Diana at Leelanau Books is looking to perhaps sell her building and business and we thought this perfect timing to focus just on production).  Chef Fig is now leasing the building from me to develop and create his own menu, his own restaurant using local and organic ingredients for breakfast and lunch!  As I feel a ping here and there as I soak in the scents of these memories, I am really feeling happy and centered about this decision.  It is the perfect time in my life, for my business, and for my family.  And as I am so very sad to not see all of you on a semi regular basis, I know that we will stay connected through this blog, newsletter, fb, instagram and twitter, through Fig’s in my old space (I will be in there eating a lot!), and through my products being enjoyed at your table!  And I hope to see you at our END OF AN ERA bash at 202 W. Main

Street (the hot spot aka Kejara’s aka cafe and tasting room aka Fig’s:) on Sunday May 28th from 4pm-8pm.   Free food, face painting, live music from many fabulous musicians, hummus eating contest, artists booths, stories, community, goodbyes and hellos!  We want to introduce you to Chef Fig’s menu and his family who will be leasing the building from me to start their dream of opening their own digs.  It has been so very sweet to pass the torch on to someone who believes in good food that is good for the earth and for good folk.  Please stop in and see what he is cooking up, and come give me a hug  and share your stories about your time at Kejara’s and The Redheads at the party!

Open house for all!  (more details on this event in our May newsletter:)

As it is an End of an Era which has been defined as “a period of history in which something important happens. … When an important event happens, you can say that the event “marks the end of an era” or “marks the beginning of a new era“.  So, here marks the end of an era…as well as marks the beginning of yet another new era.

Stay tuned…..I just know there is much more to do in this next 20 years…and I am graciously honored to have been a part of this truly special endeavor with so many truly special people.  There has never been anything like it before nor again and I will be forever in awe of how such a beautiful dream has flourished.

Now I best be getting back to making hummus and veggie burgers.  We have much news to share in next months blog about new distributors, new stores, and new products!

Always living it sassy~

Sarah Felicity:)

 

End of an Era

As I draw a long, deep breath into my lungs and pause at the tippy top of the inhale and hold; with the sun beating down on the 45 degree day, and blasts of leaf blowers and chain saws buzzing in the distance…I can smell that Spring has Sprung!  What an exciting time of year, warm sunshine, brisk air, cool winds.  A scent of new beginnings, the smell of the earth thawing.  I adore living in Northern Michigan as she bellows through winter, spring, summer and fall, leaving me thrilled about being on the magic carpet ride through her seasons!

Our olfaction sense, or our smeller sense is our strongest sensory connected to our memory.   (I can smell the ginger and garlic in the bridge sauce on the photo of the bridge bagel above:)  I hugged a friend of mine awhile back who was wearing a brown leather jacket, and with in seconds , I was remembering my high school freshman year boyfriend from several (many, many 🙂 years earlier who always wore a brown leather jacket.   It was instantaneous.  It is just like now as I stand in my yard and close my eyes and remember stacking wood while I was two weeks over due with my Olive girl.  Needless to say, she was born only 12 hours later, eleven years ago on April 8th.  It is amazing just how quickly time flies by…and those older than me were right when they shared that it just keeps going faster and faster the older you get!

The scent in the air also has deeply reminded me of 20 years ago when we were moving the 8 foot ice cream cooler into the unpaved, dust covered parking lot at what we called then, “The Hot Spot”.  Christen and I had just bought the building on land contract and had my Dad roped in to help us transform this vacant  game room/pizzeria into a glistening room of ash wood floors, mosaic tile poles, and a clean (in every sense of the word) fresh looking kitchen.  It was the start of our dream and it began our careers. What a beautiful journey it has been.  With in the past 20 years, the Hot Spot was transformed into Kejara’s Bridge, which for years was shared with our production company, and then was molded into The Redheads Cafe and Tasting Room.  Even through the several years when we shut the restaurant down (2010-2012ish) due to Christen’s desire to fulfill other dreams and me with two younglings only able to focus on one business, choosing The Redheads.  I always desired to bring back “Kejara’s”…or the restaurant bit of the business.  I loved the relationships with people.  I loved the food.  I loved the pulse of the busy summer in Leelanau.  I loved the atmosphere.  I loved the connection.

 

Never did I plan nor orchestrate the outcome of this past year, however, it has played itself out well to me, and I have not turned from its distinct demands to be heard.  As I reread in my blog from last May (https://sassyredheads.wordpress.com/2016/05/) that discussed all the exciting happenings of Production, the Cafe, the artshow and music concerts, the story of how all this food shananigans started, I am left with a big smile on my face.  What a wonderful year!  We have had a two year in a row record setting of sales, we had a great Chef (Fig) with a big personality and another amazing Chef (and human to say the least) John grace our kitchen  , an amazing staff…as always,  as well as built out and moved into a 1700 sq ft kitchen for production!  When the fall came Chef Fig felt he needed to pursue his dream of having his own restaurant.  We talked over it for hours until we both knew that his heart loved our customers, our mission resonated with him, and our food was fantastic, but he needed to step out and go after his own dream, create his own “Kejara’s”.  And as much as I hated to have him go…I understood…maybe better than most:)

With Chef leaving last fall and a few other unexpected shifts and changes, I was left running the kitchen and the line on my own.  (Thank god for Christen, Jessica, Craig, Kira, Katie,  Aaron, Heather, Michelle and so many others…)  This also left me away from running my production company in Traverse City.  While interviewing for our next Chef, ordering, baking, creating specials, cleaning & resetting my kitchen and line, opening and closing and cooking for our best fall numbers to date, coaching Volleyball, mothering two kiddos, traveling to Indianapolis to support hummus sales, maintaining shelves for our 200 wholesale accounts, attempting to manage my gluten issues, in addition to managing financials for two entirely different business,  I worked for both sides of the coin as I have been doing for years:  Production and Cafe.  In all of those years, I have never felt that my time running the cafe was near its end.  It’s my baby.   We did it.  We beat all the incredible odds against us and created a farm to table, sustainable, organic, local, vegan&vegetarian, award winning restaurant for 20 years!  Goal accomplished.    However, because of all of the things listed above, and because I am not 23 anymore, nor do I have the same goals and dreams as I once did, I felt I was ready to focus on just production.  As much as I was excited to have a chef and a staff run the cafe, I found that I was still spending immense amounts of time on it, while paying others to do so.  It was not leaving me the appropriate energy, capital, nor time to ignite the sales needed to make the production company thrive.

 

So with this, I officially announce that I will not be reopening my beloved Kejara’s Bridge/The Redheads Cafe and Tasting Room nor lil Leland Cafe.  (Diana at Leelanau Books is looking to perhaps sell her building and business and we thought this perfect timing to focus just on production).  Chef Fig is now leasing the building from me to develop and create his own menu, his own restaurant using local and organic ingredients for breakfast and lunch!  As I feel a ping here and there as I soak in the scents of these memories, I am really feeling happy and centered about this decision.  It is the perfect time in my life, for my business, and for my family.  And as I am so very sad to not see all of you on a semi regular basis, I know that we will stay connected through this blog, newsletter, fb, instagram and twitter, through Fig’s in my old space (I will be in there eating a lot!), and through my products being enjoyed at your table!  And I hope to see you at our END OF AN ERA bash at 202 W. Main

Street (the hot spot aka Kejara’s aka cafe and tasting room aka Fig’s:) on Sunday May 28th from 4pm-8pm.   Free food, face painting, live music from many fabulous musicians, hummus eating contest, artists booths, stories, community, goodbyes and hellos!  We want to introduce you to Chef Fig’s menu and his family who will be leasing the building from me to start their dream of opening their own digs.  It has been so very sweet to pass the torch on to someone who believes in good food that is good for the earth and for good folk.  Please stop in and see what he is cooking up, and come give me a hug  and share your stories about your time at Kejara’s and The Redheads at the party!
Open house for all!  (more details on this event in our May newsletter:)

As it is an End of an Era which has been defined as “a period of history in which something important happens. … When an important event happens, you can say that the event “marks the end of an era” or “marks the beginning of a new era“.  So, here marks the end of an era…as well as marks the beginning of yet another new era.

Stay tuned…..I just know there is much more to do in this next 20 years…and I am graciously honored to have been a part of this truly special endeavor with so many truly special people.  There has never been anything like it before nor again and I will be forever in awe of how such a beautiful dream has flourished.

Now I best be getting back to making hummus and veggie burgers.  We have much news to share in next months blog about new distributors, new stores, and new products!

Always living it sassy~

Sarah Felicity:)

 

Pain in my…

I almost missed this Halloween with my 3 1/2 and 1 1/2 year old.  I was so sick in bed, crying because all I wanted to do was help Olive with her elephant costume and walk from door to door with Wyn holding his hand, while laughing with Aaron about our son’s LL COOL J halloween costume.  They drove down the drive way while I was curled in a ball, sick as a dog.  But I couldn’t stand it.  I jumped out of bed, (as you may be able to tell from my outfit shown above:) threw on shoes and my good ole Art’s hat and drove to Leland to find them and join them.  I refused to let what ever was wrong with me take my memories away from me, take my time from me, take my life from me.

It is really hard to play four square with my kids when I feel like a turkey bone is stuck in the base of my throat.  It is a challenge to smile with customers when I am so dizzy I almost fall down.  It is not easy to explain a basketball offense to my middle schoolers when I am experiencing shortness of breath, nausea, and pain and numbing in half my body.  It is almost impossible for me to muster up positivity and vigor in facing my day packed with meetings when I haven’t eaten due to no appetite and feeling shooting pulses to my head, chills to my body, and feeling like I may need to go to the emergency room because I just know I am not right…I know that something is seriously wrong.

I have been dealing with these scenarios and symptoms for at least 10 years.  They most likely started even back in college, when I lived in Ireland and lived on bread, butter and Guinness.  The heartburn.  The fogginess (beyond the day-after-effects-of-several-pints).  But after I had Olive, I started experiencing these episodes…heart racing, dizziness, sick to my stomach, shortness of breath, shakes and chills.  It really freaked my out.  So much so that one time I called Aaron home from work to take me to the Emergency Room. $3500 later, no diagnosis.  Well, actually that is not true. The doctor asked Aaron if I was under a lot of stress.  Many of you may know that I choose to be busy…and I have a lot of passions, between my family, my businesses, my love for outdoors, my volleyball and basketball teams, my music…so after Aaron semi-explained that to the doctor, he diagnosed me with stress and anxiety.  Ugh.  Really?  I don’t feel stressed.  I don’t feel anxiety.  So down this road we went…trying to sort out why I was feeling this way.

1 in 133 people in the US have celiacs disease.  82% of that estimated 3 million people are not diagnosed.  Now, I am not blaming the doctors.  It is a difficult diagnosis to make and not until the last 5 years or so has it even been on any doctors radars.  But it is real and it is extremely difficult to manage and sort.  It has been a long road of this diagnosis from this doctor and that doctor, as well as my own self diagnosis… but it has landed on that I had severe vitamin D deficiency and celiac disease, which the two commonly go hand in hand, along with thyroid issues and other auto immune disorders.

What is celiacs disease?  According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, “When people with celiac disease eat gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye and barley), their body mounts an immune response that attacks the small intestine. These attacks lead to damage on the villi, small fingerlike projections that line the small intestine, that promote nutrient absorption. When the villi get damaged, nutrients cannot be absorbed properly into the body. The only treatment currently for celiac disease is a strict, gluten-free diet. Most patients report symptom improvement within a few weeks, although intestinal healing may take several years.”  If left untreated or undiagnosed, this auto immune disorder can lead to all sorts of health issues and even death.  There is plenty of information on the web about how this can be hereditary, can involve deficiencies in vitamin D & B, as well as Iron.  People can have a LONG list of different kinds of symptoms or no symptoms at all.  The more I research about Celiac the more I am amazed at this disease.

This has changed my life, and Aaron, Olive and Wyn’s life.  I have been eating gluten free for a year now, but am still learning at what works and doesn’t for me.  In the beginning I thought I could touch it, be around it, and just wash hands and I was ok.  This I have learned is not the case, and I have learned the hard way.  And for now, as I heal and get good at being a healthy celiac, I don’t eat out (my favorite thing to do!), I am not eating dairy and staying clear of corn, and not drinking alcohol, using specific pans and cutting boards in my home, planning way ahead for my daily meals…along with many other lifestyle and eating changes.  I will say though that I am still learning how to do this.  How to be my best self as a celiac…how to feel like myself again.

I want to shout out to all those before me who have had to figure this out on their own.  It is scary and debilitating.  I am grateful to finally know what is wrong with me.  I am grateful to be able to discover how to manage my own health with out having to medicate.  I am grateful for everyday that I feel somewhat close to being healthy as I continue to figure out what foods work and don’t work for me.  I have a deep compassion for those who have this disease, or any disease really and spend endless hours working to feel the very best they possibly can.  One must choose themselves…and be diligent.  I am practicing…I am learning, as I hope to do for the rest of my life.  I have only touched on the journey that I have endured with this auto immune disorder and have only shared a glimpse of what gluten can do to people.

So…the great news for me is I can cook.  I can cook vegan.  I can cook gluten free.  I know food…and I know that choosing healthy, local, organic, clean, unprocessed food is the best for my body, the earth, and all people.  As we offer many gluten free options at the restaurant, it is impossible to grant celiacs a complete worry free meal at The Cafe because we do have gluten breads and other flours in house.  However, our production facility is GLUTEN FREE!!!!  All our products are gluten free (All hummus, sauces, veggie&black bean burgers, granola, salt your sweet, coffee cake mix&pancake mix, balsamic, redwine, and creamy tahini vinaigrettes!) I am proud to be involved with a company that cares about best selves in so very many different ways!

Cheers to your best self, feeling great, and learning what makes you thrive!

Sarah Felicity

Purpose in 2017

The New Year has begun!  I appreciate the seasons and cycles of life in this little county of Leelanau, allowing a distinction in time that seems to be moving more quickly every year!  The holidays have been celebrated, the days are staying lighter longer, and a new year has begun.  A fantastic time to write goals, evaluate what has been completed and experienced and what may need to be carried over or added to the new list.  I try to make two lists;  one for The Redheads and one for my home/family.

Some of the things that I have added (and carried over) for The Redheads list is growing our production sales to support our big move to Traverse City.  It has always been our goal to offer CLEAN, SUSTAINABLE, VEGAN, GLUTEN FREE, ORGANIC/LOCAL, foods that can be a quick, healthy option that oh yeah, TASTES great!

This is the purpose for The Redheads.  We can not be our best selves with out feeling well.  We can not feel well with out clean food.  Hence, we are continuing to spread our message.  Please share our story and our purpose and help us grow!  We are also thrilled about launching two new dressings and adding several new distributors to help us spread the word…and get our products in more stores around the state!  Stay tuned for launches of the new products and stores..and remember, I do depend on you to help me spread the word…to help share with one another why eating well (and choosing a company that demands to be a part of the sustainable cycle) is so very important!  We will continue to focus on the growth and many of the other items on The Redheads list…and over the next few months we will reveal more!

On my home/family list, I have many items as well.  As you may already know, Aaron and I love to travel.  For seven plus years, we had our 5 week cross country trip to The Redwoods on our list…and it has almost been two years since we made that come to fruition!  What a thrilling experience!  As a family, we talk about those 9,000 cross country miles we travelled all the time…as I am sure we will do forever.

But alas, two other trips sat on the list below our Redwoods trip:  Disney and then Ireland.  We are saving for both and hope to accomplish Disney (with some of  the cousins:) this fall, while needing a bit more time  and savings to travel to Ireland.  It is on the list, so we will make it happen!  We also live in a 1300 square foot home (plus a basement and garage…) that has two bedrooms.  We are hoping to spend some time this summer, or perhaps next, moving a few walls to create another bedroom.  The kids are getting to that age where one small shared room just ain’t gonna cut it.  It has been exciting for Aaron and I (and some great help from my amazingly spacial mastermind sister Heather) to design the changes to our home…with out going bigger, just being more effective with the design of the space we have.  A purpose to be mindful of space and resources, as well as of the needs of our kids whom are growing up.  Being a creative heart, I surely enjoy the challenge of this one on my list.  Of course, I also have other personal goals …to encourage more time for myself, staying committed to my spiritual journey, to being present and more aware, and get lots of outside time.  2017 is also about dialing in on the auto immune disease that I have discovered I have…and sharing as much with the world about my discoveries.  More on next months blog about this!

This leaves me an item on my purpose list for 2017 that is on both my personal list and The Redheads list.  I am making it my purpose to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.  As of today, January 23rd 2017, my daughter, sisters, mothers, nieces, aunts, cousins, woman friends DO NOT have equal rights to men in the constitution of the United States of America.  It is shocking to me that this is true…after all the work done in the past century, we still do not have protected equal rights for women.  This is disturbing for so many reasons and negatively affects ALL women and girls, as well as men.  I am a feminist.  I am proud to be a feminist.  Now, now, remember the true definition of feminism is “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes;  :  organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests”.  This is a purpose for all of us…women and men no matter our race, religion nor political views.   I am proud to say that my husband is a feminist, my son is a feminist.  Many of my brothers, male friends and family members are feminist as they know that all of our lives are better when we are treated equal.

My dear friend Diane introduced the movie Equal means Equal to me.  Watch it.  It explains the journey of the ERA and what we can do to finally get our constitution to protect women.  Email me if you want to get involved as I am going to be committed to this purpose until this amendment is passed.  I am proud to have joined hundreds of thousands of women in marching FOR equal rights and to have been holding my Edwin and Olive’s hands in downtown Traverse City on Saturday.  It was thrilling and positive and beautiful.   I am a firm believer in being FOR something, rather than against something.  The energy is different.  The intention more effective.  The voice truer.  So hear my roar.  Ratify the ERA.

2017.  What is your purpose?  What is on your list?  I bid you incredible energy towards all that you hold sacred…and know that it is a special time right now in history and your voice is important, your purpose matters.  Thank you for listening to mine.

Sending nothing but love and light~

Sarah Felicity

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