DALLAS MARKET RECAP

Hey folks, Joe here.

Earlier this month, Amy and I took a road trip from Colorado to Texas so that we could exhibit at the Dallas Market. If you’re like us, road trips mean sitting in a hotel bed and watching Food Network until you’ve unwound from the drive, or the day’s activities, and are ready to finally fall asleep. And if you’re like us, you’re hoping Food Network is in the throes of one of their Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives marathons (when you finally find out which channel it is). On his show, Guy Fieri travels the country, watches chefs and restaurateurs cook, eats their food, and gives comments on what he’s eating. When he loves the food, you know from his vibrant vocabulary, emphatic grunts, and kitschy catchphrases. When he doesn’t love it, though, you also know — with a weak, tired listing of ingredients, cooking methods, and serving styles that he sees. Without further explanation of the Elder Statesmen of Flavortown — and with absolutely no correlation between what I just wrote about and our trip — here is my recap of our trip to Dallas!

Our drive included: snow, rain, fog, slush, ice, and wind.

The food we ate on our drive included: veggie chips, protein bars, popcorn, (not IHOP), Chipotle, complimentary hotel breakfast.

Activities along the way, towards Dallas, included: buying windshield wiper fluid off of a cardboard box next to the bathrooms at a rest stop from a delightful man named Merrill, and putting air in our tires.

But, Joe, you might be saying, those sure seem to be weak, tired listings of things you did. Surely, you’ll be asking, Dallas had to be better?

Interior of Read Between The Lines in Plano, Texas

Well, reader, in Plano, right outside of Dallas (so, not Dallas), we went to hand deliver some of our products to one of our dynamite stores, Read Between The Lines. Having only witnessed this business from the periphery before joining, getting to see the joy buyers have when they meet Amy, and the joy Amy gets from seeing her products out in the wild, was out of bounds. The way she lights up when she discovers a “You're The Tits” amongst a wall of other cards is righteous

But Dallas? Well, Dallas had: highways, exits, more highways, exits to other highways, our hotel, a World Trade Center. And inside that World Trade Center was a market, and that market was held on fifteen floors, and there was no real map for what was on any of the floors, and the only map that existed looked like a printed sheet from an Excel spreadsheet, and on each floor were booths and one of those booths was ours.

Photos of the Amy Zhang booth at the Dallas Market tradeshow

If you follow us on Instagram, then you know what kind of process that was like.

One of the brighter spots was our meal at Mi Cocina. We ordered bacon wrapped shrimp that came served with a smoky queso that you could serve on a trash can lid and it’d still be good. Amy figured out their queso secret, too: it's nut milk. It turned our appetizer plate into a hot frisbee of fun

Photos of Amy and Joe, and of the Amy Zhang booth at the Dallas Market tradeshow

Overall, this trip was the real deal, and a great introduction for me into this business. Amy and I had a blast being able to spend the day interacting with buyers, conversing with other sellers, writing orders, and just getting to spend the days talking and joking and laughing with each other. I also managed to befriend the cantina workers on our floor of the WTC and get overflowing bowls of carne asada and refried beans, and don’t forget the funkalicious pickled jalapenos. And on top of all of that, we met another Joe! He does printing, and Amy’s excited about what that means for wrapping up our catalog for the holiday season.

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