A lot To Be-

woman holding black umbrella
Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.com

Good morning November- As I think of who I am!  I also think of what I am not.  We can all get really upset about the behaviors of others or what we perceive to be.  As I write this I think of how different things would be without God.

God made me in his image!  God made me to glorify him.  As I start my day I prayed this morning.  I prayed thanks for waking me up, I prayed thanks for grace in my life, I prayed for some people I do not know!  I prayed for our Nation and I prayed for our President.  Our country is in such a deeply ugly e-moral place.  There is a lot to be upset about!  However there is a lot to be thankful for!

The sun came up today- I got to hug my daughter this morning.  I got to call my sister!  I got to say good morning to my staff and I have an opportunity to continue to make things better for those I serve in my job and thru my company!

None of this above would be possible without God!  God created me!  My heart as I grow in my walk is about the love to put God first.  I want to be brave, I want to be courageous in a world who not seeking God!  Satin may look like he is winning!  But he never does!

I choose to be a lot to be thankful!  I choose to be a lot more kind to those who are rude!  I choose a lot to be more gracious!   I choose to be a lot more like Jesus!

A soft answer turneth away wrath, but grievous words stirs up anger.  Proverbs 15:1




clusters of pumpkin scattered in the field

Season’s seem to change faster as I get older.  It seems like it was just the beginning of June and now we are the door step of November.  Another year almost behind us.

The reflection as I drove in with snow crisp in the Nebraska air.  I love fall and it comes and goes way to soon.  Appreciate each season!  The Bible speaks of the seasons

Ecclesiastes 3:1 1There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:  This reminds me to stop and be peaceful.  To appreciate and know that each season is part of the journey.






A year of change!  October 25th a year ago, I announced that I was making changes at Marketplace & Companies! We started with the name to Marketplace & Company making it easier to be sourced on social media plat forms.  We moved away from the coffee house because we were challenged with traffic flow.  We added the Italian Restaurant Pesto Fine Italian as an evening dinner only-

We created brands for each area of the market so all we needed is to produce specific products for the market.

Butter Bakery

  • Cinnamon rolls
  • scones
  • 4 specific cakes
  • New York Style Cheese cake
  • Tiramisu & filled Italian cookies

Marketplace Coffee Company

Offers small batch Wyoming made coffee from the Cheyenne Coffee Company  as well we still offer a few selections of coffee from I & L Coffee Roasters.  The kids went into their own location in July.   We also bought out a tea company that allows us to produce fresh organic tea blends-

Clove Sage Antiques & Gifts – My favorite place

I love Clove Sage it is a place that transcends my love of the things that make a home a home.  From one of kind antique pieces too the tea towels and gourmet jams, candies and pastas from Italy!  We recently started our renovation of the the old Market.   with dried floral arrangements, wreaths, candles warmers, coffee mugs, teas, coffee, hot cocoa’s winter tea blends, hand made soaps, lotions and decor pieces.  We are creating something very special.  Our gourmet cookies that are seasonal at the market are customer favorites.  Look for our special selection- Right now we have an array of Halloween cookies that will make anyone happy!

Up Coming Events 

November 15th we will host Christmas Open House Clove Sage Antiques & Gifts!

November 1st  Pie orders for Thanksgiving go on sale for pick-up no later then Wednesday November 27th – Apple Pumpkin or Pecan Pies are on sale for $ 14.95  home made whipping cream a pint bourbon vanilla & cinnamon $ 9.95

November 30th we will host Small Business Saturday with Sample Saturday & Free shipping Saturday of gift baskets from the market-  We are hoping we will be grand Opening our Wine Shop and will host Wine Tasting Evening at Pesto Fine Italian

Pesto Unlimited Dinner Card goes on Sale December 1st- Only 100 cards will be sold

Allows the card holder 1 year of dinning in house with 12 take out meals to be picked up- Cost of card is $ 100.00 you can reserve cards starting now-

Biggest Office Party Event Saturday December 7th at the Market Tickets go on sale Monday November 4th- Ticket includes appetizers, dessert & drinks  $ 25.00 Market will Open at 3 PM – 10 PM

Breakfast with Santa December 13th- Join us at 9 AM-12 PM for this special Event.

Breakfast available – Santa Pancake with sausage or bacon and eggs $ 9.95 

Book your Private Party at the Market thru out December  by contacting us at granolabox@yahoo.com or following us on Facebook at Marketplace & Company 62034631_2954445397906900_5814451425958166528_n







Looking Back

It has been tough couple of weeks at the Petersen household.  I have been fighting a virus that started out with a stomach ache and then turned into an upper lung infection.  I have coughed so hard that my abdominal’s hurt as well as my back.  I run a fever and the exhaustion has been over whelming.  My poor husband has been down with this crud as well.

As I write this I am aware of how fortunate I am to be able to have modern medicine and knowledge of things that will help me get better. My parents were born in the Great Depression of the 1930’s and a lot of our area never did over come the depression.  Modern roads came thru and everyone seemed to go shop in the large discount stores.

Closing a lot of the store fronts and small towns across Nebraska.

Growing up on the farm we ate a lot like my father would have in the Great Depression.

Potatoes and hot dogs or canned milk with beans and dumpling soup.  On Sundays once a month we would have fried chicken and mashed potatoes.  My dad always insisted that a raw egg be blended into the potatoes.  I just learned that this was a depression way to help fill you up.  I had never had BBQ food growing up.

I think of the Great Depression and what was happening in this country when Dad was being raised.   There was no money.  people would take there children to churches and leave them because they could not feed them.  Times were tough.  Crops were for most part harvested by hand.  People would actually steal food out of garbage cans or come into your yard to steal food out of gardens.  Men had no way of supporting their families.

  1. I don’t think Dad realized that he raised us with depression behavior.  I think it was a way of life that marked his life.  As I look at my life I see what 9/11 did to us.

It was our Depression that no one called Depression.  We saw every prescribed medication advertised to help us deal with what happened.  It truly crippled us like the crash of 29.  Everything that day changed!  Cost of fuel,  food and we did not feel safe.

We watched our money become worth a lot less.  I was more aware of what we were spending and what it cost.  Yesterday marked 18 years and yet I feel a bit depressed today when I think of what happened.  it forever changed me.





My Vision- My Hope

preview (3)Starting a new company is never easy.  Unless you can be in a great location have a great product and money to finance a venture it is a lot of work!   What I envisioned had to change as product line staffing and location had to be considered.  We decided to go into a small town for our location because we were looking to manufacture our granola and operate a coffee house.  Within 3 months another coffee house opened in the same town in a better location.  This would hurt the coffee side of the store.  I needed to evaluate what we had to change to grow the businesses.   I made mistakes in hiring the wrong people.  My daughter was supposed to be involved in the business and this was not happening.

Pop Up Dinner Events

We started to doing foods around the world.  Pop Ups in the Evening,  This seemed to be helpful to in growing dollars.  However these events were very expensive and once costs were taken out this really was not logical.

What had been successful was our Italian Night.  I had hired a manger to run the store.  She saw my vision but did not like where I was trying to go.  Good lady just was not the correct fit for my company.  I then went without a manager and hired a barista that was good at what he did but he could not stop talking about his personal business.  As an owner I had a vision of what I wanted and yet I could not find the key people to hire that could understand my vision.

Trying to do everything sometimes is the worst thing you can do.  In business you need to seek out others who understand your industry.  I am always open to learn research and seek out better ways to better my business plan.   This past year has been turbulent with a ton of changes coming at me all at once.  As I evaluate what I like and what I do not like it is clear.  Marketplace & Company is growing!  By adding Pesto our evening only Italian scratch kitchen we found our market!  People started hearing about this Italian Food Experience and we have been growing!

Our addition of Clove Sage Antiques & Gifts adds a lot to the environment as well as add on sales from the bakery.

We simplified things to include gourmet Italian pastas, sauces, oils and other amazing things from Italy to sell in the gift shop with simple recipe cards from me the chef of Pesto at Marketplace.  These amazing baskets allows our customer to ship a gift basket or box to a family or friend anywhere in the US or our team can deliver.  This has been a really smart concept.  Best simple things make the best food experience.

Coming soon our wine shop that will add even more to offer our consumer.  I love food and I love that I could re-evaluate what I needed to do to grow my brand.

I asked you to follow and see where the Good Life For Half grows too.  If you would like to send one of these amazing food boxes or baskets you will be able to once our website goes live later this year.  Until then you can call 308-424-1055 to order and ship


Finding My Audiance

chocolate torte

As long as I can think back, I have had the desire to just create amazing food.  The love of great food is all about people.  I love when I cook for my family because it is an extension of my love for them.   I feel that the love of food & family has helped in my walk with Christ because I have grown in faith of who I am as well as how God is using me in my life.

I have had a real struggle with writing of this blog for several months over my personal life.  If you have followed me in the past you have seen me open Marketplace & Company that houses our granola company Granola Box,  a coffee house Marketplace Coffee Company and now it also has in house bakery Butter Bakery,  a Vintage shop Clove Sage Antiques & Gifts, Pesto our Italian Restaraunt as well as Hello Cookie Company

Why so many shops?  Because we are located in a community that has lost its downtown!  We are part of a downtown block that holds a plumbling store, the Marketplace & Company, and a hair salon.  Across the street there is a clock shop that does not see customers at its location.  A American Legion who just celebrated their 100th year with no fan fare and a bar & restaraunt named Reds

Rest of the buildings are since closed with no economic hope of renewal.  Yet this is where we decided to lease space for our granola company.  the building is nearly 100 years old with amazing orignal tin ceilings and a vibe back to the 60 with painted wood panenling.  the bathrooms were probably put in at that times as well.  Its orignal life was that of a state of the art pharmacy 100 years ago and would have had a soda fountain.

With a population of 1,300 people the community has not seen growth.  Highway 26 goes straight thru this community with not a lot of people getting off the highway to do business downtown.  Our orignal thoughts was to produce just granola there.  but being new we are stilling finding our Audiance.  We wholesale our product.  However the goal was to locate Marketplace owners for each section of the market.

As I struggled this first year I tried different things.  When we did our grand opening it was apparent that we needed to be vested,  I believe that you should be vested in the youth of any community.  So we selected the a group of kids that we donated a portion of our proceeds to raising 390.00 for over this past school year.  This did not grow a customer base. I was in hopes that we would see students come in after school to do homework and hang our in the coffee house. I feel that seperate shop owners should be my focus.  My goal is to lease each section of Marketplace to people who will promote and there skill.  So that is what we are doing now.  Seeking

I have found my food love with PESTO our Italian Restaraunt.  I have been cooking Italian for 35 plus years using heritage recipes that we create at Pesto.  The food is real with a growing following.  We operate only in the evening at this time making it a speacial place to come for a group.  If you do something great people will come.  This Audiance is growing.  with Wine and beer being added this summer I hope to see this take our average transaction up!  Business has changed so much and if I was not able to over come my original plan I would be gone by now.

Are we making my investment back?  At this time NO!  The business investment was my retirement plus half of my wage that I make.  In the past you could just go to a bank and they would set you up with line of credit and loan.  I choose to go the seed to ground aproach where we do the work and reap the harvest.  Not an easy approach! However it is a worth the journey-