Friday, April 25, 2008

more than 4 million people are reading this article

After a gorgeous day at the beach last August, we’ve been on pins and needles awaiting the May issue of Family Circle magazine. You see, their crew came to a quaint coastal town in Oregon to photograph our client Rosanna and her family at their beach home in August. The story is on newsstands now—all SIX PAGES. Visit to see the entire piece. We’re just thrilled.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tasting menu for ten

Chef Brian McCracken is a busy, busy man these days and a buzz is building. Intrigued? More to come on that…

…but in the meantime, do definitely check-out his new seasonal menu posted at for a serious case of desk-side tummy rumbles.

Born into a family of fisherman, farmers and restaurateurs Chef Brian McCracken has trained with some of the nation's top chefs in culinary capitals such as Boston, New York, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and his home town of Seattle where he worked under Chef Maria Hines. (Factoid: Maria was just nominated for a James Beard award last month. Back in 2005 Brian accompanied Hines in the kitchen at the James Beard Dinner in New York when she earned national acclaim at Earth and Ocean Restaurant.)

Jens afield

Spring has sprung. The snow has melted and flats of Redmond-grown pansies are flying off the shelves and into area gardens. We’re thrilled that Patti Payne told of Molbak’s expansion in her Puget Sound Business Journal column entitled “Just in time for spring, Molbak’s nursery in Woodinville is sporting a new look”.
If you haven’t been yet to check things out, plan to buzz over there this weekend. With weather predicted to be back up in the balmy 60’s for Saturday and Sunday, perhaps planning a Friday hooky trip to the nursery will help you beat the crowds.

Inside tip: if you don’t already know about Molbak’s e-news club, it’s a great way to get emailed coupons for exclusive discounts. Visit to sign up.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Calling all swans. An artistic collaboration takes flight.

Post from Margo: We got a last minute call last week to help spread the word about a new dynamic-dance-duo in town: Kevin Kaiser and Patricia Barker, both Pacific Northwest Ballet "alums". Kevin became the Artistic Director at Evergreen City Ballet in January and opens Swan Lake Friday. Who's helping whip those ECB swans into shape? Returning recently from coaching the Slovak National Ballet in their production of Swan Lake, Patricia has flown south to help.

More news to come on this collaboration, but if you need a fresh ballet fix, head south this weekend to Renton's IKEA Performing Arts Center at 400 S 2nd Street, Renton WA on Friday, April 11th at 7:30 pm; Saturday, April 12th at 1:30 & 7:30 pm; and Sunday, April 13th at 1:30 pm. Further information and tickets are available at

Check out Barker's great new “do”. (Photo by Chris Clark.) When we saw her recently she quipped: “my hair's even shorter than yours.” And so much cuter!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Modo Branding Pros Open in Paris

Coverage we secured this week for the talented group at Modo:

Seattle Marketer Spans Ocean with Paris Office
Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle) - by Greg Lamm and Steve Wilhelm Staff Writer

Modo Group, a small Seattle marketing and branding company that counts Microsoft as one of its major clients, is opening an office in Paris to be near the software giant's European, Middle Eastern and African headquarters.

The move to Paris this June will put Modo closer to the action with Microsoft's Paris-based operations and also will give the boutique branding firm a foothold in Europe to attract new business, said Modo Managing Partner George Murphy.

Modo's decision shows how issues such as currency exchange rates and more convenient travel options can affect the strategy of a small company with clients in foreign markets. Murphy said the weak U.S. dollar against the euro should make Modo's fees more attractive to European companies. And Modo's decision to go to Paris was helped along by non-stop service between Seattle and the French capital that Air France launched last year, Murphy said.

"It makes things a whole lot easier because of the direct flights," said Murphy, a former branding executive with Starbucks and Coca-Cola who relaunched Modo last year.

Those daily Air France flights, which began June 11, helped put Seattle on the map in France, said Jack Cowan, executive director at French-American Chamber of Commerce in Seattle. Since the non-stop service started there has been an uptick in interest from executives and officials in France.

The cross-continental interest may not be reciprocal, however. Cowan said the Air France flights have not sparked a flood of interest from Washington companies considering branches in France.
Cowan said about once a month a French dignitary who might not have made the trip otherwise turns up in Seattle. In February, Cowan attended a dinner with local French senior executives to welcome to Seattle Monique Ben Guiga, a French senator who represents overseas French citizens.

About 5,500 French citizens live in Washington, mostly in the greater Seattle area. About 50,000 people travel each year between Seattle and Paris, including executives with The Boeing Co. and Microsoft Corp.

Murphy said Modo has seven employees and annual revenue in the range of the $5 million to $10 million. Murphy originally launched the company in 2003, only to take his then-four-person staff with him in 2006, when he became managing partner of Fitch, a British-based design firm with a Seattle office. In September, Murphy resigned his position with Fitch in Seattle and relaunched Modo.

Modo has about a dozen clients, including Microsoft, Kaiser Permanente and Grupo Modelo, the Mexican brewer of Corona and Modelo beers.

Heading up Modo's Paris office will be Sarah Van Dyck, Modo's managing director. Prior to coming to Modo, Van Dyck worked on product launches and branding strategies for Proctor & Gamble in Europe. She speaks fluent French and received an MBA from Insead, the European Institute of Business Administration, in France.

Van Dyck also has another connection to Paris: Her husband, Philippe Sanchez, former CEO of Seattle's PhotoWorks, is the new managing director of Starbucks Coffee France.
Contact: • 206-876-5435

Friday, April 4, 2008

Spring Media for Molbak's and Some Garden Fun to Boot

A front of Business section photo ran in today's Seattle PI covering our client Molbak's new wholesale business and stepped-up production of locally grown plants for sale in both retail and to the wholesale community of landscape designers.

This piece ran on the heels of some gloriously sunny afternoons we spent at the Molbak's "farm" with fabulous media including Marianne Binetti (PI garden writer and renowned author), veggie-expert Willi Evans (the West Coast editor of Organic Gardening) and local legend and gardening buff, Patti Payne (columnist of the PSBJ). World clematis expert Raymond Evison gave a riveting talk on those climbing beauties and gave us countless ideas on how to incorporate them into our landscapes. I woke up thinking about it. And chef-to-the-stars Russell Lowell feted us all with crazy stories and good, good salmon.

Today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer read: "Molbak's Focuses on Growing Local Trends. Four acres of Molbak's 40-acre plant production farm in Redmond are dedicated to a new wholesale operation, growing plants primarily for professional landscapers. Nursery worker Jacqui Evans is shown moving perennials Thursday at the wholesale site. Owner Jens Molbak says the retail business, in Woodinville, is also offering more locally grown plants this year, a new sustainable pots program, and more fruit trees, herbs and vegetable plants to serve the trend of growing and eating local foods."