It may have caused a few grey hairs last week, but the Founder of GORP says their trip to Los Angeles was a success.
Colleen Dyck is Owner/Founder of the Niverville company which makes energy bars. She says they took part in a Celebrity Luxury Gifting Suite at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown
But Dyck says the whole trip was nearly a complete embarrassment. About ten days before the event, she shipped down a pallet with all of their gift boxes intended for celebrities. But the pallet never made it to California, in fact, it never made it across the border. Dyck says it got held up in Vancouver and she has not seen it since.
That meant a second shipment needed to be put together and off it went with UPS. This time it made it to Louisiana before it was stalled by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Eventually, it was let go and before boarding their plane for California, the Dycks were told their bars should arrive at the hotel Saturday at 9 am, the exact time the event was scheduled to start.
Dyck says they flew into Fresno but unfortunately their bags missed the flight. Those bags had everything they needed for their booth, including
By the time Colleen and husband Grant awoke the next morning, their bars were still nowhere to be found and as nine o'clock drew closer it sounded less and less likely that they would get there in time. Dyck says celebrities were already starting to line up outside the doors when her husband decided to make one last effort. He managed to make his way into the hotel shipping area where he spoke with a former UPS employee. After a quick phone call to the truck driver delivering their parcel, the bars arrived at the event just as the doors opened to celebrities.
Dyck says the days leading up to Saturday were an adventure, but the event itself was better than expected.
"There was a really good buzz, there was about fifty vendors set up in two of the ballrooms," she says. "There was lots of press and kind of an excitement in the air as the celebrities were filing through."
GORP was there together with Peter Fehr of Gourmet Inspirations, another Manitoba company. Their booths were decked out with Canadian flags, which Dyck says was a real attraction to any Canadian celebrity. Dyck says the celebrities that were there could hit whichever booths they wanted. Just before they would visit, a handler would show a picture of which celebrity was coming, and provide a brief bio of any television shows they have starred in.
"It was super fun, everyone was really down to earth," says Dyck. "I didn't know what to expect and we had some great conversations and got to meet some really fun people."
Celebrities who came to their booth included Actor Kevin Sorbo of Hercules, Beverley Mitchell who acted in 7th Heaven, Actress Keiko
"We definitely met some really fun celebrities and it was kind of an affirmation too that there is definitely room for our product in the States," says Dyck. "They seem to be really excited about it and really appreciated the taste and the hard work we put into it and the packaging."
By the time the dust had settled, the owner of GORP had dozens of pictures of celebrities endorsing her product. She says at first she wasn't sure if it would be worth it but says she is happy with how it ended and notes she would definitely do this again.
And, Dyck says they are already seeing early dividends. She notes their website has seen way more traffic in recent days and online sales have spiked.
Written by Shannon Dueck of Steinbach Online - See article here