Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hopefully you are starting to find our Fall collection in stores. By mid-October, our goods will be in almost 20,000 retail outlets all over North America. And a few more in Australia, New Zealand and other countries. It is exciting. And hard to believe that this is only our second holiday season in stores. Quite a ride.

If you are having trouble finding our puzzles, take a look at our web site: On the right hand side of the home pages are links to various on-line stores where you can find LPF puzzles. Take a look.

In less than 2 weeks, I will be in Dallas, TX for the Toy Preview Show. It is a chance for retailers to get a sneak peak at our 2011 puzzle line. It is a great line and I can not wait to show it off.

But today, I want to write about a neat little restaurant I tried. It just opened and I read about it in the newspaper here in Lafayette. It is called Jarocho's. Its at 404 N. Earl. And it is a hidden gem.

The restaurant is run by a mom and son. The mom cooks all the food from scratch when you order. So do not go hungry or without some time to kill. But if you have the time for a delicious leisurely lunch, this is the place. Isabel is the chef. The menu is limited. I had Chicken Enchilladas with mole sauce. Isabel makes the mole from scratch. I am a mole expert and this mole was amazing. She also let us sample one of her famouse tamales. It too was unbelievable.

Service is slow. Isabels son is the waiter for the whole restaurant. The mom is the only cook. When you order, she makes your meal completely. It takes time. I suggest getting there early.

Why am I writing about a new restaurant? When I walked into the small dining room today, it reminded me of starting LPF. Here are two people who believe there is a hole in the market for a good mexican restaurant. To be honest, Lafayette has tons of mexican restaurants. It is hard to believe we need another one. But these two saw an opening. They would cook each meal individually. They know the ingrediants for mole and a couple of other sauces, so that is all they concentrate on. They do no have a burrito on the menu. Mexican food could be a commodity. A taco is a taco. Taco bell is cheaper. Little Mexico down the street is faster and has more selection. But the food is not as good as at Jerocho's. The attention to detail is not the same. And the prices at Jerocho's are the same or even cheaper than Little Mexico.

LPF was founded on the same principles. There are a lot of puzzle companies in the USA. A lot. Some people see puzzles as a commodity. A puzzle is a puzzle is a puzzle. Heck, I think some puzzle makers think puzzles are just a commodity. But retailers and puzzlers know differently. They know that a box full of pieces is not enough. There are lots of pretty pictures in the world. But most of them would make a terrible puzzle. At the Lafayette Puzzle Factory, we know what separates a great puzzle image from a good picture. We know the importance of using the right types of papers. The better the paper, the more enjoyable the puzzle will be. And the more times you can put it together. I love making jigsaw puzzles. I love hearing from puzzlers who put together our puzzles.

This was the same love that I felt at Jerocho's today. Isabel loves making good food. She loves watching the folks try her cooking. I saw her peaking out of the kitchen when we ate the tamales. She makes her food because she knows what it takes to make good food and she loves to watch others enjoy the food.

My team and I love to make a great puzzle. I love when I am in a store and I see someone buy a Lafayette Puzzle Factory puzzle instead of another puzzle (it happens and I am not kidding that it is the biggest thrill!!!!). I love when I get letters asking where to buy more puzzles. And I love when retailers recognize our expertise and find extra space for all our wonderful puzzles.

So go support Isabel if you are in Lafayette. And suppor the Lafayette Puzzle Factory by buying our puzzles and telling your friends all about us.


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