One of the most interesting things about shows like Expo West is, it’s virtually impossible to get bored. Tired, thirsty, or full – absolutely. But bored? You’d really need to work at it.

On my second day, I spent a little more time wandering than I had the day before. I worked the show that first day, and though I still had plenty of business To Do’s waiting to be checked off my mental list, I knew there were a few things I wanted to check out that weren’t 100% work-related. In no particular order, here’s what caught my eye and my fancy:

For The Greater Good…

  • Clif Bar married the debut of their new four-SKU sports drink line with charitable giving by creating a Plinko game featuring empty drink bottles. If the tennis ball you dropped landed in the right slot, they would donate to a plant-a-tree organization in your name. And you got to write your name on a little tag and hang it on a sample tree in their pavilion. Wish I’d gotten a picture of that!
  • For every badge scanned at the Castor & Pollux Pet Works pavilion, the pet food company donated one kibble meal to, which raises food for animal shelters across the country. Mimi Ausland, the twelve-year-old founder of freekibble, was on hand Friday to help kick things off and celebrate the launch of GOOD BUDDY Mimi’s Favorite Mac & Cheese dog cookies.
  • On the heels of announcing their partnership with the Surfrider Foundation in an ongoing effort to clean and protect the world’s oceans, waterways, and drinking water, Emergen-C’s pavilion was surf and beach themed, complete with a wooden lifeguard stand and surfboards. They were also giving away free packets of their new drink mix BLUE, set to hit stores in April, and a portion of its sales proceeds will go directly to the Surfrider Foundation.

For The Fun Of It…
  • The crowd was two- and three-deep at the Burt’s Bees booth from show open to close on Friday, and finally on my second day, I learned why. Anyone who wanted to could stop by and make their own lip balm, using Burt’s unflavored lip balm base mixed with drops of whatever natural flavorings on hand suited their tastes. I missed my chance at this, but the idea of it alone was pretty cool.
  • At the Auric Blends booth on Saturday, a local Henna artist was in residence for free Henna tattoos. Watching the artist create amazing designs freehand was absolutely impressive, and I’m pleased to say my henna bracelet has faded a bit but still looks beautiful.
  • Los Angeles-based Dogswell not only helped to get an adoptable shelter dog a new home on Saturday, they welcomed friends, colleagues, and strangers alike to their booth at 4:00 PM for happy hour. A big thanks to the Dogswell folks for introducing me to Pyramid Hefeweizen, a new favorite beer!
  • Just as I was leaving the show, I happened by the booth for Frontier Natural Products Co-op and was surprised and delighted to see employees getting their salsa groove on to flamenco guitar being played right in their booth. I later learned the music was provided by Roger Espinoza, a guitarist based in Los Angeles. Too bad I had a plane to catch because this man was good!
So what did I enjoy the most? Seeing the Whole Grain Stamp everywhere, of course! Honestly, I get such a kick seeing the Stamp on products or promotional materials at these shows, and every one of our Members who exhibited at Expo West displayed the Stamp in their own fashion. The picture I’m using with this blog post was taken at Cunchmaster/Mr. Krisper’s booth, just one of the almost 70 WGC Members exhibiting at this year’s show. It’s not the only picture I took, but it’s the only one that ended up being in focus. What can I say? With so much to see and do, I couldn’t hold still very long!  (Kara)

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