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Author Archive | Kasy Allen

From an Empty Building to Design – Get Your Snow & Co Update

The design phase of any new thing is filled with bringing a bunch of ideas together to form a consensus between the parties involved. With restaurant design, it always starts with the restaurateur’s concept, but where it becomes truly developed is when the design experts come in and help rally that concept into a plan.

About a month ago, we went out and visited our Dreamstaurant winner, Snow and Co, and were able to see the hollowed out building that would soon be the next Snow and Co.

From an Empty Building to Design   Get Your Snow & Co Update

Our very own VP of Design, Jeff Katz was with us, as well as, Patrick Lenahan with Yaeger Architecture out of Overland Park, Kansas. Met with the 5,600 sq. ft. empty building (4,400 sq ft of the space is designated for Snow and Co), these designers already begun spinning their wheels towards how Snow and Co could fit the building. They discussed arrangements and opportunities, but it wasn’t until they were able to go back to the office that they were able to pull all those ideas into a new conceptual plan.

From an Empty Building to Design   Get Your Snow & Co Update

Of course, with any design phase, there’s always room for changes to ensure that the restauranteur is happy with what will become his/her dream restaurant, but it is the architect that turns over the initial drawings.

From an Empty Building to Design   Get Your Snow & Co Update

Then our design team is able to begin ensuring those drawings fit with the proper flow of a restaurant – from front of house to back of house, if the flow isn’t appropriate, it can cause issues when the restaurant is up and running.

With these initial sketches done, the team can now come together with a more formalized plan that can be presented to everyone involved in the creation of the new Snow and Co. We call this our development stage:

“When our designers complete their comprehensive design program – based on the operational plan – it can be used by all members of the design team. This helps to define the required spaces, relationships, design elements, seating and other essential components. It also features requirements for the successful design, construction and operation of the proposed restaurant.”

Once the comprehensive design program is complete, we’ll move on to delivery, which is when we get to start seeing the new Snow and Co come to fruition – building and construction.

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Top Concession Supplies to Prep for Summer

Top Concession Supplies to Prep for Summer

May is a great time of year, because we know that summer is upon us, which means warmer months, plenty of poolside visits, and outdoor events.  Of course, one of the best parts of the summer is all the new food that starts popping up on the menu, especially at concession stands!  To help you get started with your concession business, here are a few of our favorite products to help get you through the summer and keep those customers coming back for more.

1.    Utility Carts

The first in our product line up for concession supplies brings us back to the basics with utility carts. Often underestimated, but often overly used once in the concession toolkit, utility carts help deliver product and supplies in areas that are sometimes hard to conquer with just any type of serving cart.  Use these heavy-duty carts to give your business the extra helping hand it needs.

2.    Cotton Candy

Oh, what would a great concession stand be without a cotton candy setup?  The good news is that we have everything to help you get started today, including carts and stands, cotton candy machines, floss bubbles, floss sugar, and serving supplies.

3.    Popcorn Supplies

And of course, there has to be popcorn too! With carts and stands, bulk popcorn kernels, oils and salts, poppers, serving supplies and the cleaning supplies to help wrap things up, we help make stocking up on the good stuff easy.

4.    Hot Dog Supplies

Enough with the sweet stuff, let’s bring on the dogs!  Hot dogs are a classic concession menu item and with the right equipment and supplies, you can be cooking up hot, hot dogs for summers to come.

5.    Nacho Chip Warmers

We wouldn’t say that you’d be showing off by keeping your nacho chips warmer than the competition, but your customers will definitely notice the difference and be begging for more of those toasty nacho chips!

6.    Pretzel Merchandisers

With the right pretzel merchandisers, the only thing missing would be the cheese warmers, and that’s easy to do, right?  Pretzels are a yummy addition to any concession stand.

7.    Sno-Cone/Shaved Ice

And to finish off our concession supply list, let’s circle back to desserts – sno-cones to be exact!  We’ve got everything you need to cool down customers, including syrups, shaved ice machines, carts and accessories.  It may be warm in the coming months, but sno-cones will help you keep your cool.

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Food Allergy Awareness in the Restaurant

Food Allergy Awareness in the Restaurant

In honor of Food Allergy Awareness Week, May 11-17, 2014, I thought I’d pull together some food allergy facts and how you can better prepare your restaurant for food allergen customers.

First, I think I’ll start with my own story on food allergies.  My youngest son has a severe allergy to tree nuts, pistachios and cashews specifically, but we stay away from all nuts because we’ve experienced the unfortunate of him going into anaphylactic shock.

We were at our favorite summer place to grab a quick snack and take a scroll down the Grand Lake beach. At this time, we knew that my son had an allergen to tree nuts, but he was fine with peanuts, so when my mother ordered herself an ice cream sundae with peanuts, she double checked with the counter attendant that there was indeed no tree nuts in those peanuts.  The girl confirmed, and we set off for our stroll down the beach.  At one point my little one wanted to taste Grandma’s ice cream, and she obliged.  Within seconds of him swallowing down a spoonful of that ice cream, his throat started to close.  We were miles away from the hospital, but had our Epipen Junior on us.  We gave him a full dose and began our way to the hospital.  Before the shot, he was gasping for air, and it was quite frightening.  He was terrified, we were scared, and I just kept holding him on the way to the hospital.  The good news is that he’s fine now, but he won’t touch a single nut ever again – not even peanuts.

The reason I tell you this story is so that you get an understanding of the importance of checking food labels so that you know where it comes from.  Odds are those peanuts had listed on the back that it was made in the same factory as tree nuts, and that’s why my little one had an allergic reaction.  In some cases, people may choose to sue for incidences like this, we didn’t, but it could happen, which is why it’s important to know what is in each and every ingredient that you serve to your patrons.

A Background on Food Allergies

You may have a basic understanding of what allergies are, but to define how and why the body reacts the way it does is quite intense.  If a food is consumed that the person is allergic to, their immune system kicks in to protect them.  Think of the food as a germ or virus trying to attack the immune system.  Now, for most of us, our immune system knows that it’s just a food, but for those with allergies, their immune system has an abnormal response to the food protein and goes into full attack mode.  Odd, right?  When the bad food protein enters the body, histamine and other chemicals are released to help defend the body.

There is no cure for food allergies, but for most mild allergies, children can grow out of them.  However, for the top 8 food allergens (that contribute to 90% of the total allergies across the nation), those typically stay with the child for life.  The only way to prevent an attack is to strictly avoid the food, which also means being aware of cross-contamination, breathing the food in the air (mainly with dust in the air with nut allergies), and sometimes even touching the food.

Food Allergies by the Numbers

Speaking of those top 8 food allergens, the list is: milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish.  According to the NRA, nuts cause 4 out of 5 food allergy fatalities, and twice as many people are allergic to shellfish as nuts.

According to FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education), the organization that helps to promote food allergens in businesses such as institutions, restaurants, and the corporate world, and who puts on the annual Food Allergy Awareness week, 4% of the US population (or 12 million people: 1 in 25) have a food allergy.  Children are the largest group affected by allergies, with 1 in 13 kids being affected – that’s about 2 kids per classroom on average.

Food Allergies in the Food Service Industry

There are many organizations out there to help your food service business learn how to appropriately handle allergens and how to train your staff. It is your duty to know what ingredients are in each food item you serve, before there’s a bigger issue at hand.

A few resources to help with training, include:

There’s also this handy site to help people with food allergens find safe places to eat.  This is a great opportunity for you to list your restaurant if you think you’re a fit.  It’ll help drive business, get links back to your site, and you’ll be helping the allergen community learn more about your business.

In closing, I’d like to mention that most families that have an allergy sufferer joining them when dining out, do take precautions before picking just any restaurant or any dish.  They don’t want to go through the hell of feeling their throat close up and not knowing if they’ll recover.  Believe me, we take every step we can to ensure our little one stays out of harm’s way; in fact, using sites like I mentioned above to find an allergy free restaurant is what families would typically do; if not just call the restaurant ahead of time.  When your life revolves around having an attack because of something as tiny as a nut, you definitely do your research before taking a bite.  Here’s a great example of a dining out guide that most allergy sufferers follow before choosing a place to eat.

Let me know, how does your restaurant prep for food allergens?  Do you use the purple coded knives and cutting boards to help separate?

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Why Every Restaurant Needs a Website

Still trying to convince yourself that your business doesn’t need a website? Think that Facebook page is doing you just fine? Think again. Here are a few stats we pulled together to help you get a better understanding of just how valuable a website can be for your restaurant (including a mobile website).

Click on image to enlarge view.

Why Every Restaurant Needs a Website

Embed This Image On Your Site (copy code below):

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Blender Recipes

Blender Recipes

Image complements of Vitamix

When going through and asking our Tundrites what their favorite piece of kitchen equipment is, they have answers that range from knives to cast iron skillets to bottle openers (yes, someone actually said that a bottle opener was their favorite), but it rarely fails when asking them what the first item they bought was when they started here: a blender.

Some favor the Vitamix, while others are loyal to Blendtec or Waring, but they will all vouch for the incredible-ness that is the commercial blender.  When a blender this powerful can promise to crush, blend, and obliterate almost anything you put in it, you’ve got more than just a household blender – you’ve got a machine capable of doing a lot of the heavy lifting in the cooking process.

Forget smoothies, we’re talking about full-fledged recipes that can be whipped up in a blender in no time.  Want proof?  Here are some of our favorite blender recipes.

Blender-tastic Salsa

Because salsa is so easy to make and the ingredients are easily found in almost every kitchen, there’s no reason not to blend up a quick batch when you’re craving salsa.


1 14 ½ ounce can of tomatoes with green chilies

1 14 ½ ounce can of whole canned tomatoes (with juice)

1 medium jalapeno (quartered)

¼ cup yellow onion (quartered)

2 cloves garlic

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cumin

¼ teaspoon sugar

Blend It!

  1. Place all of the ingredients into the blender.
  2. Depending on how smooth or chunky you want your salsa, either hit the puree buttons a couple of times to give the ingredients a nice chop or turn the blender on for about a minute to make the ingredients come out smoother.
  3. Pour the salsa in a covered container and refrigerate for 2 hours.  This allows the flavors to blend and gives the salsa its full flavor potential.  If you think you need to add more salt or a dash of spice, this is when you’d start adjusting ingredients.

Blended Gazpacho

A blender is perfect for pureeing hot soups– and immersion blenders make this task much easier – but to stick with the theme of making a meal in a blender, let’s stick with cold soups.  Gazpacho is famously known as a chunky soup, but this recipe purees the soup to creamy perfection – perfect for those of you that aren’t fans of chunks of tomatoes in your soup.


1 1/2 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes (peeled, deseeded, quartered)

1 cucumber (deseeded, chopped into chunks)

1 red bell pepper (seeded, quartered)

1 jalapeno (seeded, quartered)

3 garlic cloves (peeled)

½ red onion (quartered)

2 slices of wheat bread (broken up into smaller chunks)

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil

3 teaspoons of sherry

Salt and white pepper to taste

Blend It!

  1. Place all ingredients in the blender.
  2. Start blender on low as the larger chunks are slowly broken up, then continue to chop on a higher speed for roughly 3 minutes.
  3. When done, taste to see if more salt or pepper need to be added.
  4. Chill soup in fridge for a couple of hours.  Taste again before serving.  Top with croutons for an added crunch.

Blender-Style Basil & Walnut Pesto

Yes, you’ll have to make the noodles on the stove, but everything else gets thrown right in the blender!  For 2 cups of pesto, use the directions below.


½ cup extra virgin olive oil

4 cloves garlic (peeled)

½ cup walnuts

4 cups fresh basil leaves

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons lemon juice

½ teaspoon salt

Blend It!

  1. Place all of the ingredients into the blender.
  2. Start the blender on low so that the big chunks get chopped up, then slowly increase the speed.  Blend for about 1 minute or until the pesto is at the consistency you like.
  3. Serve on top of noodles.

Do you have any adventurous blender recipes?

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Catering & Buffet Specialty Shop Must-Have’s

Catering & Buffet Specialty Shop Must Haves

Although catering season seems to always be in high growth, we see that during the holidays and the warmer months, catering sales definitely hit an all-time high.  It’s the time of year that people would rather be catered too than spend hours in the kitchen, and when wedding bells are set to ring, there’s always a caterer needed.  Our Catering & Buffet Specialty Shop offers a variety of products to keep you in high production and we’ve broken them up into these top categories.

1. Beverage Station

From beautiful infusion jars to help display tasty drinks to economy water pitchers, we have hundreds of different beverage station options for you to choose from.

2. Buffet Supplies

This category is a catch all for everything you’d expect to see in a buffet line, including esthetically pleasing food holders and steam pans.

3. Catering Displays

Beauty on a catered wedding line is a must, and our catering displays help you show off your hard work in style.

4. Catering & Buffet Equipment

The work horse of the backline, catering and buffet equipment is what holds the food at the appropriate serving temperature and allows for serving up hot eats right in front of the customers.

5. Catering Serveware

A side partner to equipment, and often overlooked, serveware is what helps hold everything together in the catering line-up.  From chafing dishes to simple salad bowls, serveware will be one of the places you’ll likely spend the most time.

6. Serving Utensils

At a catering event, not just any utensils will do, they have to show the splendor the event deserves.  In our collection of serving utensils, you’ll find plenty of eye-pleasing products to help deliver your next event in style.  

7. Catering Storage & Transport

More often than not, a catered event doesn’t cook food up at the venue, which is where catering storage and transport equipment comes in handy.  These products help keep food at the adequate serving temperature as it’s transported from one place to the next.

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Meeting the Dreamstaurant Winner: Snow & Co

A few weeks ago, our team packed up and flew out to meet our Dreamstaurant contest winners – Snow & Co.  Of course, the flight was a short one from Denver to Kansas City, but the anticipation of seeing what the new building looked like, what the existing building looked like, and being able to meet the winners face-to-face seemed to last much longer than the plane ride.

Meeting the Dreamstaurant Winner: Snow & Co

When we landed in Kansas City, our first stop was in Gladstone.  Gladstone is a beautiful city that is working to redevelop their entire downtown area.  As of now, there are a few outdated buildings, but in recent years they’ve added a new natatorium and community center, ice skating and hockey rink (that turns into an amphitheater in the summer), new doctor offices, prestigious grade schools, and new living spaces for future residents.  As we met with the people from the town hall, they were very excited to share more information about their quaint, yet fast growing town, and even more excited to see that Snow & Co was going to part of the towns future.  They spoke of Gladstone as the “environment to live, because it’s stable.”  A bedroom community that was almost maxed out on living space, but working hard to build new homes for future residents.  They were also working to bring the entire community a place to gather – the new downtown area.

Before we headed down to the new Snow & Co location, Andy Talbert and Jerry Nevins, the Snow & Co founders, talked with our VP of Design, Jeff Katz, about what they’re doing now and what direction they want to see the next Snow & Co take.  Talbert and Nevins both had a lot of passion and energy about their business, that we could tell that there was a lot they brought to the business that could ensure the success of the 2nd location.  We learned about their equipment needs – lots of frozen drink machines, of course – and that the new space would be much larger than the 1st location, which meant plenty of room for new opportunities.  The feel and aesthetics were to remain the same in the new location – lounge feel, encourage guests to have conversations, comfortable, and inviting (think coffee shop meets bar). There were possibilities to offer more food (lunch and dinner), but in keeping with the bar environment.  There was also possibility of offering meeting space or private areas for events such as work meetings and bachelorette parties.  The drinks were to remain a specialty item on the list – not just frozen drinks sloshed together, but higher-end, hand-crafted cocktails.  As I quickly scribbled down my notes, Katz and our VP of eCommerce, Jeff Day, were able to fully soak in the business behind the Snow & Co brand and what they foresee in the future.

However, to pull it all together and get a full picture of what we were going to be working with, we had to start with what the current building looked like.  Without a vision, it’s hard to see the potential here, but what we saw was a big open box that could be completely remodeled into something beautiful.  There was plenty of lawn area for outside seating and plenty of inside square footage (of the 5,600 sq ft, Snow & Co would be using 4,400 sq ft) to really build-out the new restaurant.  Of course, at first glance, it looks a little rough around the edges, but when you get Katz into the mix, there are always possibilities at hand.

Meeting the Dreamstaurant Winner: Snow & Co

Meeting the Dreamstaurant Winner: Snow & Co

Meeting the Dreamstaurant Winner: Snow & Co

Meeting the Dreamstaurant Winner: Snow & Co

Meeting the Dreamstaurant Winner: Snow & Co

Meeting the Dreamstaurant Winner: Snow & Co

Meeting the Dreamstaurant Winner: Snow & Co

After we concluded our meeting with the city of Gladstone, it was time to visit the current location in downtown Kansas City.

Set in the beautiful art district, the existing Snow & Co has an audience of young entrepreneurs and art connoisseurs that visit Snow & Co for a sip of a cocktail between intermission from the close by opera house and to sit and relax after work for happy hour.  When we walked in, you got the vibe that this place was a place for mixing and mingling.  There were minimal tables, and tons of chairs meant to be portable so guests could create their own personal circle if they’d like.  The colors were bright, but still aesthetically pleasing, and the natural lighting helped to bring out those beautiful colors, as soon as you walked in.  As Talbert served up yummy cocktail samplers of the frozen concoctions, Nevins walked us through the FOH and BOH operations of Snow & Co.  We learned that they mainly served local product, but wouldn’t sacrifice taste simply for staying local – if there was better vodka elsewhere, well, it’s best to make sure those cocktails keep that high-end flavor the guests expected.  Their menu was detailed enough to let you learn more about each of the cocktails, but splashed in with some creative writing to let guests know it was still laid back and fun.

I walked around and took numerous pictures, trying to take in the overall feel of the place.  I started noticing people coming in and sitting at the tables.  They would open their laptops, order a drink, laugh, mingle, and have a simple end of the day closing – much like you’d expect to see at a coffee shop.  It felt very comfortable, yet still keeping to the trendy style the local art district brought to the community.

Meeting the Dreamstaurant Winner: Snow & Co

Meeting the Dreamstaurant Winner: Snow & Co

Meeting the Dreamstaurant Winner: Snow & Co

Meeting the Dreamstaurant Winner: Snow & Co

Meeting the Dreamstaurant Winner: Snow & Co

Meeting the Dreamstaurant Winner: Snow & Co

Meeting the Dreamstaurant Winner: Snow & Co

As we closed our day with Snow & Co, we had to say our goodbyes and return back to Colorado, but rest assured, there will be more updates as Snow & Co continues to move forward.  The architect they are working with, Yaeger Architecture, has already sent over initial sketches on layout, and is beginning to work with our team to ensure the flow is spot on for the guests and staff.

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Eco-Friendly Must-Have’s

Eco Friendly Must Haves

Yes, we’re in Boulder and happy to say that the majority of our summer events are waste free, because of things like compostable dinnerware and compost bins that helps create a waste stream that encourages people to go green, but we know that there are many more of your out there that also believe in going green and putting forth efforts to help save our planet.  We created our Eco-Friendly Specialty Shop so you can learn more about our go green products, but wanted to highlight some of our favorite categories below.

1. Compostable Dinnerware

For those looking to host waste free events, compostable dinnerware is a must.  Consumers aren’t expecting to carry around glass or melamine dinnerware, but do expect to have their event eats served up on a durable plate or bowl that can easily be thrown out.  Forget the styrofoam and stick with compostable friendly dinnerware.

2. Automatic Hand Dryers

Automatic hand dryers are a great way to go green while saving money.  With automatic hand dryers there’s no need for paper towels (that constantly need to be restocked) and they use far less energy than similar hand dryers that continuously run.

3. Eco-Friendly Cleaners

The thing with cleaning solutions and agents is that you’re stuck breathing in chemicals that are potentially harmful.  Eco-friendly cleaners are safer for you and they work to save the planet by encouraging you to use the same smaller plastic bottle over and over – less plastic in the landfills. And to add to the benefits of eco-friendly cleaners, you don’t have to worry about losing cleaning power; in fact, many commercial and residential users boast about getting a better clean than traditional cleaners.

4. Recycle and Compost Bins

Speaking of green events, recycle and compost bins are perfect for helping the crowds know where to stash their waste.  They’re also great in the kitchen for helping to remember where waste items should go.  And it also helps guide waste streams correctly to the recycling facility.

5. Efficient Faucets

Much like the automatic hand dryers, efficient faucets work to save you money while lending to making your establishment greener.  You’ve seen these faucets in hundreds of places – a simple wave of your hand activates them – but if you don’t have them in your own restaurant you should definitely look into getting your hands on some.

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Tundra’s Web Loyalty Program

Tundra’s Web Loyalty Program

Being able to reward our customers for shopping at is kind of exciting. Starting April 1st, you will earn up to 5% credit back on every dollar you spend while shopping online. Continue earning credits all quarter long (through June 30th) and then apply those credits towards purchases in the first month of the following quarter. Wash, rinse, repeat!

Tundra’s Loyalty Program makes it easy to earn credits, see those credits online in “My Account”, and apply those credits to future purchases.

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Enhanced Web Tools Make Shopping Even Easier

Enhanced Web Tools Make Shopping Even Easier

What would a new website be without enhanced tools to help make your shopping experience even easier? Since the launch of our website last year, we’ve been working hard to bring you the simplest way to get what you and your business needs. Here are just a few of those tools.

Companion Items. What if you didn’t know when shopping for an ice machine, that you should also keep an eye out for a water filter and installation kit? With our new Companion Items feature, you’ll see these crucial items on the product page as a friendly reminder of the odds and ends you may also need to finish the set-up of your new investment.

Save 4 Later. Not quite sure you’re ready to buy everything in your cart? That’s okay, because now you can save it for later. We thought this would be helpful for items that you know you need, but aren’t quite ready to commit to.

PayPal. What if you could pay using one of the world’s most trusted payment companies? Now you can, because we offer the option for PayPal at check out, a company that safely holds your credit card information so you don’t have to fish for that information every time you return. We all know that saving time is just as important as being secure when shopping online. Plus we can’t forget to mention the greatness of Paypal is two-fold, because now our customers can take advantage of the Bill Me Later® program. We are thrilled to offer our customers one of the most competitive leasing options out there.

International Shipping. What if you lived outside of the USA and needed an order? Well, we now ship internationally too! Just look for the international shipping button on the shopping cart page.

Take advantage of our improved website!

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