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Thanks to everyone for coming!

Thanks Max Collins for the awesome photos!

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Thank you

Thanks so much for everyone who came out last night! It was so much fun to celebrate with you all!

Thanks hugely to Lisa for the incredible spot at Pot & Box, and EVERYONE who was involved!

more photos to come……

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Let’s Celebrate

April 19, 2011. 7PM-9PM. Pot&Box 220 Felch St.

A “Thank You” to everyone who supported and took part in my senior thesis.

And a celebration of local food, people, and ideas.

For more information, email me: alyssa.ackerman@gmail.com

To get a better understanding of the project, view the video on kickstarter, and if you like what you see, we could really use your support!

EAT will be serving food and Roos Roast and the Brinery will be making drinks (so please bring cash if this may interest you)!

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Stay cold, Michigan

Okay, this is a selfish request. As soon as it gets warm, working in my dark studio gets incredibly difficult.

Lots going on. Mind mapping, 16 feet of it, and finalizing bits and pieces.
T-shirts are in and we are printing them this Friday!
I will be spending Saturday and Pot & Box to figure things out spacially.
REALLY exciting news on food and beverages (depending on funds)
A bit upset by the rushed website deadline, so I will be stepping away form my massive inspiration board to put that together,
I am thinking of give aways and needing to order more seeded paper… which is expensive and I hope I don’t have to do!
Kickstarter is picking up, but the more I work to plan the event part, the more expensive I am realizing it will be.
My kickstarter

My sleeping is all messed up again. I swear. I stay up all night once- and I am back on the crazy lack-of-sleep schedule that I embraced sophomore year. I can not sleep a whole night, and feel great the next day… and the next day, and the next day. I can do it again the next day… and this just continues. As nice as this can be, it’s slightly concerning.

I am so much more productive during the night,though. I have a hard time getting work done in studio hours, these days, and have been spending night times in the studio. I will continue this.

The lack of new blog posts is a good sign- it means I am working!!
I think.

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Project Proposal

My goal: To bring light into a sometimes dark, dreary, over-flowingly full day at work for our working Ann Arborites. To bring healthy, hot, local, organic food to nurture and improve the health of our working class during the week. To help local food businesses to increase their customer base and sell more food while maintaining much of the money spent within our community. To provide information about the food, chefs, and preparation of the food which will be consumed. To create an account system via the website which will allow for easy ordering and social interactions in between members and the company. To create a rotating menu, allowing for increased diversity among highly delicious, locally sourced, and incredibly talented chefs in the Ann Arbor area.

This project is not about a final installation of beautiful artworks. It will not be a display of my technical skills of a declared medium, nor my interpretation of historic artworks, paintings, and techniques. This is a project for the community. The fact that the largest part of my research comes directly from people living and working in Ann Arbor validates this, and will allow me to create a much stronger, Ann Arbor-specific, system.  A system that that will last far beyond the walls of the gallery this spring, and continue much longer than this single exhibition.

My research has been intensive. I have spent many hours on the phone with a woman at the Institute for Social Research creating a survey which I have used to poll Ann Arbor offices. Offices have participated in lunch logs where they kept a log for an entire week of their attitudes and decisions around Lunch. I have met and spoken with a wide array of local business owners and office workers who are interested and excited about the idea, and I have researched other systems of lunch and delivery as well as other ways of thinking about food and eating. A few examples of who I have been studying: Dabawallas (lunch pail men in Mumbai), Takeout Taxi, Arbor cycle, Personal Chef To Go, Eat, Organics to Go, Eat, Pilars, Silvios, Amers, Le Dog, Cheese of the Month” programs, Marije Vogelzang, the Brinery, etc.

The scope of this project includes a highly developed business model, which I will work collaboratively on with at least two business school students. It will include the logo as well as the identity of the company. I will work with marketing professionals and students to gain a better understanding of the process and what makes a brand successful. I will be creating the promotional material and advertisements which will include a multi-channel approach of traditional and new media outlets. I will also work intensively on creating the system itself on a functional level, where I will be running pilots of the system on a small scale to understand the process and the hiccups which will allow and welcome expansion upon my graduation.

Due to the lack of tangibility in my project, I will present the process along with the service. I will use video to capture footage at each spot (farm, food cart/kitchen/delivery bike/offices). I will present the visuals that go along with my projects (graphics, branding, marketing, uniform, delivery bike, etc), and would like to exhibit outside of a gallery setting, although am still exploring alternatives.

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Specific to Ann Arbor

When it comes to local food, Ann Arbor is an incredible place to be. The Ann Arbor Farmers market which is held on Wednesdays and Saturdays is a great place to  support your loca farmers, feel optimistic about the crowds of people carrying fresh produce home in canvas bags, and watch the seasons change through the vegetables which appear and disappear through the isles.

Two weeks ago I volunteered at Hope’s Harvest, a fundraiser put on by Growing Hope. A culmination of local restaurants scattered throughout the massive vegetable gardens and around the hoop house, provide delicious, seasonal meals for those who attend. This was my second year volunteering, and I met and caught up with an incredible array of individuals interested in and working with local food.

This previous weekend, I attended a Kombucha fundraiser for Unity Vibrations, where I continued to meet a wide array of people from the area, with similar interests. There was an incredible amount of food donated from local restaurants, there was live music, and kombucha tasting. Rachel and Turek brew Kombucha in 50 gallon tanks, bottle it, and then sell the beverage. With current FDA restrictions, however, Kombucha has been removed from the shelves temporarily.

Ann Arbor is thriving with people thinking about and demanding local food. The Homegrown festival left me feeling overwhelmed by the crowds, yet ecstatic about the turn out. People are clearly interested in and passionate about food.

For a girl interested in the local food scene, Ann Arbor is a haven.

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Let’s do Lunch

Lunch.

In need of an idea for a project I might like to work on for the final year of my college career, I evaluated some of my interests. I knew I wanted to work with food, however “food” as a topic, is massive. What about food did I want to focus on? Agriculture, organic v. conventional, consumption, seasonal diets, subsidies, obesity, other diet related health issues, vegetarianism, veganism, raw food diets, preventative health, growing ones own food, urban agriculture in Detroit, “meatless Mondays”, all sorts of options arose, and attempting to narrow this down proved fruitless for the duration of my summer.

There was no way I wanted to design another “thing”, that much I knew. I enjoyed studying systems and trying to understand how and why they all function in a certain way. I found myself heavily influenced by my time spent in India and in the Upper Peninsula working on an organic farm, and decided to design a food preparation and distribution system. A lunch delivery business that would use environmentally friendly thinking on every level to provide working individuals with healthy lunches in a sustainable fashion.

“But what are you going to design”?

This is simply the framework for a business, and design will be needed on each level of execution. A business plan will define the scope of the project. This business will need an identity, branding, and marketing. The system around this idea will need to be designed in order to function fluidly. Research and problem solving with regards to distribution, production of meals, transportation, etc will need to be tackled and will include a great deal of design. Identifying exactly how customers will interact with the system, with the food, with the lunch pails, and the delivery people will be a part of the system helping to provide a newly designed lunch experience for the consumers.
Design:
-identity, branding, marketing, promotional material
-business plan
-lunch pail
-system-production, preparation, distribution, cleanup,
-experience-redefining the lunch experience, relationships with food and others via social media

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