Months ago I read an interesting tweet. It was from @CampBlogaway about a camp being held in the SanBernardino mountains just for food bloggers. I knew immediately I wanted to go. The price was right, the location divine, and the list of presenters was impressive. So I put myself on the list of interested parties and waited for additional information. Finally the email came noting that I had indeed signed up and would be receiving information about payment and all the other information I needed to attend. Whoopee!
Only one slight glitch with all of this though. It was being held on the weekend of May 14-16. Uh-oh. You see that’s an important weekend for me and my beloved. May 15th just happens to be the 35th anniversary of our wedding. Yes, there are still people out there who actually stay married and in love all those years! As I told the husband that I wanted to go to this camp, yet it was on our weekend, he sighed a little and said “you have to go”. Gotta love that man of mine. So I sent in my paperwork and began dreaming of two and a half days in the mountains above the smog of SoCal.
As I began dreaming about meeting everyone and getting to know a few bloggers I’ve only read on the internet. How fun! And, how exciting is it to get some firsthand knowledge about making a better blog experience for me and my readers. Suddenly it hit me. I know just the right thing I could bring to camp! A date! A sponsor! Two things in one! I called my favorite date grower and pitched him on the idea. Albert Keck. Albert is one of my favorite people. I had the pleasure of working with him and his family for a few years and the thought of me networking using their product was the perfect idea. You see, Albert Keck is the president of Hadley’s Inc. Hadley’s is the largest date grower in the United States.
Hadley’s Inc. is synonymous with Southern California. They are a family owned and operated company of four generations. They’ve been in business since 1931, and can be found in the Coachella Valley. Their specialty date is the Deglet Noor. It is the date most found in stores when shopping for dates. However they grow a variety of dates including the Medjool.
The company motto is “Sweetness is Our Nature”. I love that. Dates are truly one of the smallest fresh fruits available, and yet pack more nutrition in that tiny piece of fruit than a whole banana! But back to why I’m glad I chose to talk to Albert Keck. I’m glad because the Keck’s are a date growing family, but more importantly, they are a family. They put that responsibility first. When working with them in the past I saw their compassion reach out to several employees, and charities. They walk their talk. On the Hadley’s Inc website the front page has a family portrait. Under the portrait it reads: “Other things may change us, but we start and end with family.” It’s a quote from Anthony Brandt and it describes the Keck family for certain. I’m an extended “member” of that family, as are many of their employees.
I no longer work for them. I am glad I’ve teamed up with them again for CampBlogaway. Dates are great, and so is Hadley’s Inc. See you there!