Yesterday, Kathy Pyorala, owner of All Seasons Homestead Helpers, owner of the Squeezo Strainer and Granny’s boss, took a flight for Chicago to participate in the International Home & Housewares Show where the Squeezo Strainer will be featured in the New Products showcase. This, I thought, is a good time to reveal a bit more about Granny and what it means to write for All Seasons.
The image of the Granny in the kitchen has been associated with the Squeezo Strainer for many years and it is a most appropriate image. Some might argue that it is not politically correct since it depicts a woman in the kitchen. I beg to differ. It depicts a mature person with experience, sharing this experience with the younger generations. Notice that she is sharing her knowledge with a little boy, not a little girl. Gotcha! Giggle… In addition to this, it depicts tradition.
So much of our history is found in tradition and so much of our culture is found in the foods we eat and how we prepare them. I think the debate about food preparation is as heated and rich a debate as the debate about language. Food, history and identity go hand in hand. The Granny in the kitchen with the little boy stands for this identity and maternal instinct seems intricately linked to this identity, and to our roots really.
This Granny, the one who writes this Blog and chats with you on Facebook, worked for All Seasons over ten years ago, in their office. I processed your orders. By this I mean that I received the orders via the website, answered customer inquiries and actually packaged the items to ship, one after another, in the stock room.
Business ethics are very important to me (I am also a records auditor and manager). So while my dear boss Kathy is away, let me tell you that All Seasons takes ethics to heart. Take the Squeezo for example. All Seasons acquired it in 2006 (under the banner Best Products, a Division of All Seasons Homestead Helpers) because they had long recognized the quality and value of this product and to ensure continued high manufacturing standard.
When we hear the word “manufacturing,” we think of mass production. This is true. After all, the assembly line plays an important role in consistency of fabrication and timeliness. To this day, even though she now owns the Squeezo, Kathy Pyorala tests the proper function of each strainer before considering it ready to ship to its new owner.
Quality demands attention and the willingness to be fully present and invested in the products one represents. It is also an important component of product research. Here is a good example: I came upon the Garden Rocker Seat while working in the office. It was a new product at that time. Research revealed the manufacturer was a start-up with a down-to-earth mission to produce ergonomic garden-related equipment. They had already established an impressive reputation. We ordered one and scrutinized it inside-out. Thus, while the Squeezo is Kathy’s shining star, as it should be, the Garden Rocker Seat is mine. A star for the kitchen and one for the garden! These represent and set the standards by which every item All Seasons carries must be evaluated.
It is pointless to sell something of which you are not proud and I am not able to write about something in which I do not believe. I think the Squeezo embodies two critical questions that are the deciding criteria for every item Kathy Pyorala brings on board: “Would I want to own this and could I affirm its quality without a single doubt?”
I left All Seasons after about three years to embark on a year-long journey around the United States in an old RV with my beloved husband. Today I laugh when I remember that a hand-operated meat grinder was a permanent fixture attached to the small kitchen counter. This was what I used, even on the road, to prepare food for the two cats who traveled with us. I always thought it looked like some sort of periscope device.
Last summer, Kathy approached me to write for All Seasons. “Let me think about it,” did not even cross my mind. It is easy to write for a woman and a company that, like a nurturing granny, seeks to share the best that she has. So now I find myself back here, but as a writer this time. I know the company well and I know how it operates. In my new role as the Social Media Granny, I travel via this Blog and our Facebook page and meet new people who share their own passion for frugal living, for integrity and for quality of life. What a great journey this is!