I recently took a trip to Minneapolis Minnesota to visit General Mills HQ. Did you know that people in Minnesota have accents? Yes, quite funny coming from the girl with a BIG OL SOUTHERN accent I know. I absolutely LOVED it though and couldn’t get enough. It’s one of those accents where it just pops in and out on certain words (like ohhhhhhhhh and nooooooooooo) and just made me smile when I heard it! Oh here’s a tip, if you plan on ordering a soda be sure to ask for POP. My PSA of the day (because I’m always looking out for y’all).
Why was I in Minnesota? I’m part of the Betty Blogger Team and we all gathered in Minneapolis for the GMI Blogfest which of course included a trip to the mother ship. I can pretty much tell you General Mills HQ are amazing. Anything you can think of they have it. Salon? Yes! Day Care? You betcha. Sick Child Day Care? Oh yeah. Fitness Center? Yepper. Coffee Shop. You know it. Dry Cleaning? You guessed it. Kitchens? Duh. Vegetable Garden? Si’. Doctor? Dentist? Bank? Library? You get the picture. It’s a city in and of itself. I’m thinking of moving, I kid not. Well okay the snow is holding me back but otherwise.
We started our GMI Blogfest off with a group dinner to Cafe Lurcat in downtown Minneapolis. If you’re anywhere near there go ahead and make reservations (I recommend the Sea Bass and the Cannellini Bean Crostini with Truffle Oil – Boom!) We had fabulous food, conversation and a lesson on wine from the multi James Beard Award Winning Dara Grumdahl.
Thursday morning we headed over to General Mills HQ. I was in awe for most of the day. When I tell you that every single person I met was wonderful, they were. So generous with their time and talents. I’m so so happy to be part of such a terrific team. What was I looking forward to seeing the most? The kitchens, the prop room(s), and the photography studios. Up first, we spent the morning in the Betty Crocker Kitchens. I was totally jealous when I found out they have personal grocery shoppers for the kitchens! How awesome would that be to order your groceries and have them stocked and ready for you the next day. Like magic I tell you.
The kitchens are also full of the most beautiful natural light I have ever seen and everything you could ever want or need to cook with. You know were were going to cook didn’t you? We were split up into teams (Hi! Angie, Jessica, Mark and Jeff) and a la “Chopped” style created a recipe on the fly. I’m pretty sure our recipe was the best but I’m slightly partial. It was after all taste panel approved.
The day just kept getting better. We spent the afternoon in the photography studios where we shot and styled our respective recipes (which will be up on the Pillsbury site very soon). I got lost in the prop rooms. Sadly there is no photo to show you. Really how did I NOT get a photo of those? Oh yeah I was too busy wiping the drool off my mouth. To. Die. For. And you see that camera above? That’s a serious piece of photographic equipment. The photographer and stylist we worked with that afternoon were such cool cucumbers. Have I mentioned I want to move to Minnesota?
You think after a day like that we’d be tired? Not when there are roller coasters to be ridden! Thursday night: me, Bree, Angie, Mark, Lauren, Deborah, Cheri and Sarah, headed over to the Mall of America. We turned ourselves upside down until we needed food and drink. We had a great group dinner at Crave and then picked up a little gelato for dessert (because there’s always room for gelato!).
It was a great learning experience and only furthered what I knew. I love my job and the people I work with!
Disclaimer: General Mills sponsored my trip to Minneapolis. I was not compensated for this post. My opinions are my own. Always have been. Always will be.