FINDING SOLUTIONS

It's been an incredibly challenging two and a half years for us. We started small, smaller than "small business". Very little startup capital, & barely any cash flow to operate. In spite of the many hurdles, we've managed to create a special product with much demand, and get it into stores from NY to LA, and even Canada. The product is what we were most committed to. Developing, manufacturing, and presenting the best possible cookie we can remains at the forefront of what Black + Blanco stands for. 

We've received hundreds of amazing emails from our customers praising Black + Blanco's cookies. People from all around the country have found our Sandcastles and given them a try. To you we extend a most gracious and warm thank you. You have been the inspiration behind B+B...The good vibes encompassing us...The light during the many dark hours of the night. It has been a long road, but many of you have travelled it with us right from the launching pad. 

So we've reached a fork in the road. Burnt out, resources emptied, and a dimly lit inspiration meter, growing dimmer by the hour. There is only so much two people can do, and we've certainly done it all!

As we try to put the puzzle back together, we've been seeking out potential solutions through various contacts and good people we've met along the way. There are some options. There are those who see the value in what we've built. Choosing will be the challenge. 

I want to apologize for disappearing at times, but we fell into the production vortex. Cranking out hundreds of thousands of cookies on our own has been exhausting, to say the least. It's been one hell of an endurance test. A critical thinking test. An exercise in positive thought when everything you've ever had is riding on it. 

We might feel down and out, but we're not finished with this chapter yet...

-Steve & Heidi

 

Ashley Koff Approved

AKA_logo_purple.jpg

Our delicious cookies have been Ashley Koff RD approved. Ashley is an internationally renowned celebrity dietician, author, and "qualitarian". Visit the AKA website to check out her work. Black + Blanco is honored to have made the list.

Gift Basket Elegance

We're so glad to be included in this elegant gift basket from our friends at Winston Flowers.  As our Sandcastles find their place in this world, it makes us quite happy to see our work in good company. 

Many thanks to the team at Winston Flowers and their customers!

-Steve

Summer-Tea-Sampler-black.ashx.jpeg

Martha Stewart American Made

So we're a nominee (there are many) for the Martha Stewart American Made contest. In the age of social networking pseudo consciousness, Black + Blanco is there in cyber world to represent the physical world of creating & producing a product. I find it rather interesting that as we approach the Singularity (in which machine will merge with man) there are still folks working hard at the old fashioned small business model.

As technological proponents paint a bright future filled with glorious experiences, conveniences, and "collective" elevation, the individual just might be fading into the robotic commune. It is the individualistic spirit that has driven small businesses, innovation, and creative soul-searching through imagination. To erase the individual will be to erase the very spirit of man and the universal life force, with which so many amazing contributions have been illuminated.

I do like what the American Made contest represents - Hard working individuals, out there in the real world (and cyber world), problem solving, one incredible challenge at a time, utilizing themselves to their fullest potential. This is certainly something to strive for in this life, beyond those in control, and within the confines of what we have to work with. People do fantastic things, in spite of the odds!

A vote for us on August 26th, or any business you see value in, as a positive addition to our society, no matter how big or small, is definitely helping something almost gone in this nation. A country that produces is a country with value, richness, and cultural potential. A service oriented country will eventually become a baron, vacant land, with echoes of greatness that once was...

 -Steve

Great Food On A Small Bizz Owner's Budget

tahini2X3.jpg

So when you have all of your funds tied up in your growing small business how do you eat well?

You can start with this delicious tahini dressing made by Heidi K. just for me :-)  It's quite simple, you see? Either make your own or use some high quality organic raw tahini, add fresh squeezed organic lemon juice, some fresh organic garlic, organic parsley, sea salt & fresh cracked pepper. Stir it all up real good, then slowly add some fluoride-free distilled water until you get your desired consistency. Let it sit for awhile and enjoy.

I like mine very garlicky 'cuz I'm into gahlick. You know garlic must be good since garlic supplements are on the potential ban list from our friends at codex. And, since vampires are repelled by it there must be something special in there.

I don't need to explain to you all the nutritious goodness of sesame so go ahead and try it. The perfect part of a meal when you're on the small business enslavement shoestring allowance.

Have a most elegant night...
-SB

The Moroccan Vibe

So here we are, still trucking along with our organic rye cookies. Upon a recent trip down to sunny Florida to visit my mom we got to reconnect with some of the ancient wisdom of her homeland - Morocco! In addition to the energy floating around the house from the various tea sets, copper plates, and hamsa hands (one of my personal favorite symbols) we, of course, got to eat some amazing food. That is one of the perks of having a Moroccan mom.

Heidi & I made the original cookies with mom and realized how far we've come since the inception of Black + Blanco. It's been a tough road and nothing short of an adventure, but the Sandcastles continue to connect us with like-minded souls. We receive positive emails from people all around the country who are trying our cookies. This is what keeps us going! Building a small business today is no easy task. Building one based on a product of integrity can be even more challenging. Our goal is to maintain our vision and NEVER compromise on ingredients. A balance of transparency is how I see it. NO DECEPTION! Unfortunately, deception is all too prevalent in the current food supply (and every other aspect of our society). Whether you're into the purity of healthy living or just don't want to be lied to, the objective remains the same.

While in Florida I always reminisce about my departed dad. 11 years since he passed, but his energy lives on in so many ways. His powerful presence in my life had a profound influence as a kid. I was fortunate enough to be exposed to so much great music and art, which has continued to open my mind throughout this journey in which the consciousness directs me. All things elegant, lofty, abstract, creative, and communicative have been nothing short of a light in my existence. As I continue to awaken in mind, body, and spirit, it are these moments of communication and truth-seeking that are cherished. I've never asked more questions about what is going on, or  known less than I do now.

Screen Shot 2013-02-27 at 12.18.46 AM.png

RIP Joe - I'm curious what he would have thought of our beloved cookies...

-SB

New York City-based Black + Blanco announces new cookie and new packaging

Black and Blanco, Inc. makers of Sandcastles, Unique Rye Cookies Baked In NYC, announces the recent addition to their growing cookie line, Deep Chocolate Infrared, a dark chocolate version of the intriguingly original sandie shortbread biscuit the company has been selling since 2011. Made with extra dark cocoa and a hint of paprika spice, “We wanted something bold and dark like a fine chocolate bar”, said vice president and co-owner Heidi Karlsen. “This cookie is for the serious chocolate devotee.”

The new Deep Chocolate Infrared compliments Black and Blancoʼs series of unique rye cookies, including their Vanilla Black Sesame and signature cookie, which is striking & elegant, mildly sweet, with a slight sea salt finish and a delicate toasted crunch, their Marzipan, a fragrant, addictive, crispy & cultured almond cookie, and Maple Dusted Cardamom, in which East meets North America - Luxurious & exotic, dark syrupy notes with smashed pumpkin seeds. President and co-owner Steve Blanco said “Sandcastles are our original take on an old Moroccan cookie recipe, brought over by my mom from her native Casablanca . All of our stellar sandies are made with organic whole grain rye and organic virgin coconut oil. ”

Deep Chocolate Infrared comes to the marketplace with the launch of Black and Blanco’s new packaging, a sophisticated little 6 sided box that will hold 8 SandcastlesTM. All four varieties will be available in this new box, each with its own Moroccan inspired color band. “We had the pleasure of working with Brent Leland of Leland Creative in Salem, MA to get just the right balance of ultra modern sleekness and old world sensibilities while protecting our special little creations.” said Steve Blanco.

Jazz piano player Steve Blanco and actor Heidi Karlsen founded the company in January of 2011 when they came together during low points in their lives. They use only the highest quality ingredients, mostly organic, and nothing artificial. Sandcastles contain no GMO’s, refined sugars, wheat, dairy, eggs, cholesterol, trans fat, or preservatives. Black and Blanco Sandcastles come in 4.4 oz packages, with a suggested retail price of $5.75 - $6.50.
All of Black and Blancoʼs cookies are vegan, have a low gluten content, and baked in small batches, in New York City, U.S.A.

CONTACT: Steve Blanco, steve@blackblanco.com or visit them on the web at BLACKBLANCO.COM.

## #

Accion USA Vid

Thanks to our friends at Accion for featuring us in their "tip of the month" video. They're dedicated to helping small businesses and are fantastic to work with!

DEEP CHOCOLATE INFRARED IS HERE

After much R & D our chocolate cookie is here. Already available at the Soho Dean & DeLuca cookie bar, it will soon be available in stores.  It is a dark, rich, chocolatey version of our tasty Sandcastle. With a hidden hint of paprika - we hope you'll enjoy!

We're very excited about the new flavor, but we're also psyched about our new retail packaging - courtesy of Leland Creative up in Salem, MA.  Working with Brent Leland has been an absolute pleasure.  The box mock-ups are our daily inspiration :)

b + b