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So Why a Truffière?

29 Jan 2015, by Susan Alexander Truffles in Truffle Faves

I get asked that a lot, so I figured I’d share a slice of my life—and I’ll spare you the boring details, I promise!—and focus on how living in the now and embracing present opportunities have helped me design the future I want to share. It’s not always all rainbows and unicorns here, but here is my happy place.

Digging for truffles

Digging, digging, digging!

 

Living in the Now

It all started when I bought a piece of land locally, and it was around the same time I had 3 deaths in the family. I lost my mother, my bulldog died, and one of my friends was fatally injured—all these within 3 weeks. It was depressing. I remember freezing in the moment. Acknowledging how impossible the situation feels (and even sounds) was all I could do—’til I got a call from a friend. She insisted that I check out this piece of property. “I don’t really feel like going anywhere right now,” I said. “Come with me. I really want you to see it. You won’t get it again,” she said.

So I came, and there was this huge lake and all this land, and I couldn’t believe the whole thing was up for sale. “No way,” I said. “Yeah,” she said. It was beautiful with all its unreal colors, like something straight out of a painting. And somehow, it was spiritual. The place called to me, and I thought, “I’ve got to have this.” And I usually don’t do that.

… but thanks to books like Lily-Therese Wiltfong’s Flash Forward, I realized I can claim anything I want in life—that instead of winning the Great Battle of Waiting for My Fate to Strike, I can bloom where I’m planted, and let my choices now design my future.

 

Embracing Present Opportunities

I put the land together and made a silly promise to not develop it (i.e. build condos on it). With 300 acres of land on my hands, it was easy to have long strings of what-am-I-going-to-do’s and a whole bunch of other worries. “Wouldn’t it be great if I could grow truffles?” I asked. Sure seems random, but trust me, it wasn’t. I love truffles—so much, that I would get them every year for Christmas. I knew little to nothing about growing them, though. But hey, I got to do what I got to do, so I went to France and explored, reached out to mycologists, and checked in with universities. And when I realized it hadn’t really been done here, I thought, “How about a commercial truffière?”

It was terrifying, but thanks to books like Lily-Therese Wiltfong’s Flash Forward, I realized I can claim anything I want in life—that instead of winning the Great Battle of Waiting for My Fate to Strike, I can bloom where I’m planted, and let my choices now design my future. Sure, there were heaps of knocks and bumps but, see, sometimes, really good things can happen in really messed up ways.

Me, examining a truffle tree with Chef Nick Stellino

The Future

There’s always this basic understanding that all is possible and we make things happen! And apologies for the exclamation overkill, but if that’s not amazing then I don’t know what is!

After what seemed like a long wait for truffles to grow, I decided to create some products. Everyone’s like, “What do truffles taste like?” anyway! And while I couldn’t afford to feed the world with truffles, I can whip up a simple truffled popcorn—and so I did. The next thing I knew, I was creating more truffle products… and developing a love for helping other businesses grow.

Nothing beats being in the presence of someone who shares the same passion and is as motivated as you. I’ve been involved in helping other entrepreneurs and businesses grow for years, and, busy as I may be, I do it because we need each other in these positions to generate ideas, share experiences, and direct guidance. Just imagine what brainpower generated by two or more chefs/ entrepreneurs/ business professionals can create! And while you’re at it, think about how much growth we’d have with others tapping into new insights and discoveries! There’s always this basic understanding that all is possible and we make things happen! And apologies for the exclamation overkill, but if that’s not amazing then I don’t know what is! (Oops, I did it again!)

 

When I first thought about growing truffles, I just knew how phenomenal it would be. I was presented with opportunities that match my passion, grabbed each by the balls, and made things happen instead of waiting for the future to unfold. I help businesses and get involved because I find the more you participate and share, the more enlightened we become.

So why a truffière? To that, I say, why not?

Schedule an appointment to meet with Susan Alexander
Susan is available to consult for events and dinners, including:
  • Supplying in season truffles
  • Working with Chefs and Staffs
  • Pairing Wines and Recipes
  • Special Appearances & Presentations
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