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I remember well my first pregnancy with the anticipation and excitement that led to the birth of my daughter. After an uncomplicated pregnancy, I developed preeclampsia two weeks before my due date. To cure the condition, labor was induced, and my sweet baby joined the world. Literally, like all first-time parents, my life changed overnight. Before the birth I would leave home at 7:00am and return at 7:00pm. After my little girl was born, it was quite an adjustment for me going from working woman to stay-at-home mom. At first, the change in lifestyle was challenging but being a mom turned out to be my most rewarding and fulfilling job. Ever!
Fast forward twenty years. In the fall of 2016, my youngest child left home for college. Once again and overnight, I was faced with another lifestyle change. What was I going to do now that the kids were no longer at home? Books, friends and family advised doing something you love. I started thinking about my passions. What did I really enjoy doing? The answer was a pretty obvious one. Cooking. I had always enjoyed making and sharing my family’s favorites recipes with others – especially my kids’ teachers. It was my small way to say “thank you” for the devotion they showed my children every day. And they appreciated the gesture and the gifts. Once my nut gift giving began, I would be asked, “when are you going to make some more nuts?” So, when it came time for me to reinvent myself “after kids” several questions kept circulating in my head. Could there be a market for small batch, made from scratch food products like mine? Would people like the convenience of giving a gift of flavored cashews to the significant people in their lives without having to go to the time and the trouble of making the gifts themselves? Could this really become a business? I took some classes, tested my products and after a year of research decided to step into the business arena. The lifestyle change was complete – going from stay-at-home mom back to a working woman. My third child - High Cotton Company was born.
Today’s lifestyle can be hectic with driving carpool, dropping and picking up kids from various sport practices, volunteering and working. If you need a little help giving a special gift for a teacher, coach, friend or co-worker, or neighbor keep High Cotton Cashews in mind. We have lovingly made each batch just as you would have if there had been 36 instead of 24 hours in your day!
The arrival of spring brings with it memories of my first farmers market. I was so nervous that first day. Anxiety and questions swirled around in my head: Would folks like my cashews? Were my products as tasty as I thought they were? Would people actually buy them?
I spoke with my small business advisor just days before the market. We came up with a realistic quantity of jars to sell for a successful day. The first day for my new adventure rolled around. It was a beautiful, crisp autumn day. The morning went by in a flash. We enjoyed meeting both other vendors and the patrons browsing the numerous booths.
When noon approached, signaling the end of the market day, we counted the quantity sold. We were delighted and amazed! We doubled the amount we hoped to sell the first day at market. Why don’t you make someone’s day delightful? Give a jar of our Sugar & Spice cashews to someone you know: a new neighbor, a hostess, a friend, a business associate, or a family member. It’s a beautifully packaged (and delicious) way to brighten someone’s day and make it extra special!
Ah, romance. Nothing gets the heart fluttering like candlelight, flowers, and the sound of sweet nothings. We love it so much that we have a day dedicated to celebrating all the loves in our lives – Valentine’s. So, on this Valentine’s Day, I would like to thank my love, my husband. He’s supported me along my cashew journey by listening, inspiring, and motivating. I could not have done this without his help and his love. As Dr. Seuss wisely said, “You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” Thank you for making our 26 years together a dream come true.
Why don’t you take this opportunity to truly connect with the real meaning of Valentine’s Day? It’s all about loving, sharing, and giving. Reach out to someone special and give a gift made with love - cashews straight from my kitchen to yours!
I’m giving my husband our delicious Chocolate cashews for Valentine’s Day. I feel some X’s and O’s coming my way!
Do you have trouble finding the perfect gift for your child’s teacher during the holidays? When my children were in school, I sure did. I wanted the gift to be a heartfelt token of appreciation for the time, dedication, and hard work they consistently provided to my children every day. I wanted the gift to be something just a little different from the numerous (but appreciated) gift cards and Christmas ornaments routinely received around holiday season. I came up with the idea of giving them roasted cashews - in particular, my Herb n’ Nut cashews. They were a huge hit! They were so popular they became my go-to gift during the holidays for teachers, coaches, carpool buddies, neighbors, business associates, relatives, and friends. So, if you’re looking for a unique, made-with-love, homemade gift for all those on your holiday list, look no further! Give these little savory treats, and just like the teachers, your friends will be asking you for more!
In Sandy Springs, Lisa Kirkpatrick of High Cotton Co. ® is busy stirring up batches of her seasoned cashews. At first, she was just making her flavored cashews for friends. Then, when the home nest emptied, she turned her love of cooking into a business, and she named it High Cotton for the Southern expression about living in good times. Now, her cashews are available for the rest of us. Kirkpatrick still makes each batch by hand, carefully seasoning roasted cashews, using her special process to make sure the seasonings stick to the nuts and not your fingers.We sampled Herb N’ Nuts, with its hint of rosemary, and Sugar & Spice, which carries just the tiniest bit of heat. There’s a chocolate version, too, flavored with Caribbean spices. Tuck the glass jar or plastic bag on your shelf and you’re ready for unexpected guests. They’ll keep for up to six months. But, we’re betting you’ll be dipping into the container long before then. $12.99 per 6-ounce jar, $18.50 per resealable 12-ounce bag. Available at the Brookhaven and Sandy Springs farmers markets, the St.Pius X Holiday Marketplace at St. Pius Catholic High School on Nov. 17, and at highcottoncashews.com.
Fall brings back memories of my inspiration to start the High Cotton Company. I was very active in my children’s schools. When my youngest child left for college, I found myself with a lot of time on my hands. I like to stay busy, so I pondered over what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I’d always enjoyed cooking, but I wasn’t sure how I could turn my passion into a business.
One day a friend mentioned that he really loved my cashews. A light bulb went off in my head. I began wondering if there could be a market for gourmet, handmade, small-batch cashews. I knew I loved my cashews, but I wondered if others would feel the same. It wasn’t long before I found a seminar sponsored by the University of Georgia entitled “Starting Your Own Food Business.” One of the things attendees were encouraged to do was to bring samples of their products.
The other participants would critique and vote on the top products. Much to my surprise, my Herb n’ Nut cashews were one of the top winners! Afterwards, I thought maybe there was a market for my passion after all. Thus, the High Cotton Company® was born. Why don’t you try a winner? Choose from one of my three flavors: Herb n’ Nut, Sugar & Spice, or Chocolate! They’re sure to delight you, your friends, and your family.