Since A Love Letter to Food’s inception a couple of years ago, my main goal in maintaining a blog has been to keep a record of favorite recipes and share some of what I’ve learned in my nutrition program. I’ve never made a major effort to get a following and mostly just ogle those people who do. “Blogging in the background,” if you will. But last week ago I had an experience that made me feel like a legit food blogger.
A former co-worker of my husband’s, who now works for the cafe/bakery Kneaders, reached out to me to see if I would be interested in attending a meetup for bloggers at their new Scottsdale location. Umm, like a real food blogger? HECK YES! As it turns out, the meetup was of the Arizona Blogger Meetup Group, incidentally helmed by another of my husband’s co-workers, Camille of the awesome date-night blog Friday We’re in Love.
I had never been to a blogger meetup or a Kneaders (though they seem to be popping up like Wildflowers–er, wildflowers, in my area) so I knew I was in for some new territory on both counts. The evening started off with some mingling of the several dozen lady bloggers present. I met a couple of DIY bloggers, some “lifestyle” bloggers (this is code for “I just blog about my life”), a mental health blogger, and a photographer who blogs about taking better photos of your kids. Small talk was made. Pinterest optimization was discussed. Business cards were passed. (Really? Bloggers have business cards?? Maybe I should order some instead of hastily scrawling my blog name on napkins…)
After the initial mixing and mingling, we all sat down to a tasty complementary dinner provided by Kneaders. The spread included their chicken salad sandwich, club sandwich,
pesto tortellini with pine nuts, fresh fruit,
and a variety of their delicious desserts, including a citrus-chocolate cannoli, frosted brownie, and mini German chocolate cake.
Following dinner, we heard a speaker (Stephanie of the photography blog LifeCreated.com) give some pointers on styling food photography shoots. Then it was time for a little tour of the Kneaders kitchen and bakery.
(I’ll take one of everything, thanks.)
One cool thing I learned on our tour is that Kneaders makes all their bakery goods on-site. (I’m certainly glad to know that, with a name like “Kneaders,” right?) The giant tubs in the picture above are filled with flour.
Here’s a Kneaders employee using their three-tiered mega-oven to bake a dozen loaves at a time. I wish you could smell this photo. The scent of yeasty, bready goodness was enough to make me say a little prayer of thanksgiving that I’m not gluten-free.
Another thing I didn’t realize about Kneaders is that they have several displays of retail/decor/gift items for purchase.
Lots of cuteness to choose from. But if cuteness is not your thing, stick to the food and you’ll be in good shape, too! I’m sure I’ll be visiting again to try more of their sandwiches, salads, and pastries.
All in all, I was very impressed with Kneaders’ ambience, food quality, and generosity to the blogger meetup. As a parting gift, they gave each of us a $10 gift card to the restaurant–which I would enjoy keeping for myself, but would rather pass on to one of you as a giveaway as part of a first-week-after-my-blog-redesign celebration!
For a chance at a $10 Kneaders gift card, in the comments, please tell me your favorite thing to order at a bakery–Kneaders or elsewhere. All entries must be received by 12:00 A.M MST Sunday, August 9th. U.S. residents only. No purchase necessary. I will choose one commenter at random and announce him/her by first name/screen name on this page by 12:00 P.M. MST August 9th, 2015. The winner can then email me at email@example.com to redeem the gift card. So be sure to check back after 12:00 P.M MST Sunday, August 9th, 2015!
WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT, August 9th:
Well, folks, this one is pretty easy! Since only person commented on this post (haha), the winner is….Cindy Nicholas. Cindy, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your street address so I can send you the $10 Kneaders gift card. Thanks for your participation!