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A Trip Down Memory Lane

On July 6, 2014 – we relaunched our website in commemoration of our 10th anniversary.  This is a simple record of our website’s journey…. from the beginning.

thelowcarbgrocery.com-2005-2009In 2004, the original website was launched – but had no online shopping capability. Public awareness of the internet only really started in the late 1990’s.  Even in 2005, online shopping was still a new concept for a lot of retailers.

To put all our products online, we spent hundreds of hours to photograph, crop, and document the products.

Back then, many people still used CRT screens and we optimized the website for 800x640px (can you believe that? How did we live?)

 

 


The Low Carb Grocery website (2005 to 2010) 

TheLowCarbGrocery.com 2010-2014In 2010, computer screens were getting bigger. More people were using computers with at least 1024x768px resolution — so we reworked our site on a very tight budget — to have a standard width of 1000px wide.

Still ugly by 2014 standards, but this was still a leap forward in terms of looks, would you agree?

We also added a points program and a tonne of new custom features to make the site more useful for our regular customers.

Also very tricky probem to solve was the addition of our Vancouver/Burnaby store …. dealing with situations where some products are available from one location (serving BC, AB, SK, and YT), but not the other (and vice-versa).

The Low Carb Grocery Website (2010-2014)

lowcarbgrocery-website-2014-desktop

That brings us to today! This time, we put a lot more creative energy into designing what we believe will be one of the best food shopping websites …. in the world!

Our logo was also refreshed with cleaner lines and bolder colours. But its not just looks — we really focused on usability.

For example, the previous website had 35 primary categories and each category had subcategories for each brand.  If each category had on average 5 brands,… thats 175 categories!(finger cramps from clicking?) Also, new customers often are not familiar with our products – so we added the capability to sort by popularity and sort by carb count (the latter is a pretty darn cool feature, ain’t it?)

For people who like to find brands quickly (which is why we had all those the brand subcategories in the first place), we added a Filter by Brand function in each category… so there was no loss of functionality. (Some neat thing still to come on this front who liked the older style of brand categories…. stay tuned)

And of course, screen resolutions improved again with many users having 1920x1080px (HD) or better resolution … but they also got a whole lot smaller. So we also invested a lot into making our website responsive to the device type. We also think we have one of the best mobile shopping experiences for food retailers.

lowcarbgrocery-website-2014-mobile

lowcarbgrocery-website-2014-ipadBoy, this was a lot of work… but we’re so pleased with the result and we hope you like it too.

Making all our stuff fit was like trying to use a twin sized bed sheet to cover a king sized mattress. We had to really think about strategies for tucking things away, swinging menus out of sight, etc…

If you have any suggestions to make our website better – please contact us. We REALLY want to hear from you. Our goal is to provide you with a world class online shopping experience that is not only functional – but a joy to use.

 

….thanks for reading this far!

How to make amazing Miracle Noodles

Miracle Noodles are a wonderful pasta and noodle alternative for people living the low carb lifestyle. In this post, we’re going to talk about a little known technique for preparing an amazing miracle noodle dish…. instructions that should have come with the product.

Miracle Noodles are very low or zero calories (depending on the type), a source of fibre, and help you feel fuller, between meals due to the natural characteristics of Konjac. Miracle Noodles, in particular, also have the benefits of being non-GMO Project Certified, Gluten Free, Soy Free, Dairy Free, Kosher.  No other konjac / shirataki noodle product has all these features.

Sounds all good — but then you go and buy your first pack and it’s not what most people expect.  It’s a plastic bag with noodles floating inside a pool of liquid. When you open it up, there is an aroma — best described as “salty” which is what keeps the noodle fresh (don’t use the liquid – you’re supposed to drain it away). A lot of people get turned off by this smell and might even think it has gone bad,… but its completely normal. Then, following the instructions, you boil it for 5 minutes just as you would regular dry pasta.

After performing these steps, you might decide then to pour some tomato based pasta sauce on it. Voila! When you get is a sloppy mess because the sauce takes up some of the water that is carried by the noodles (the noodles lose a bit of water when cooked). Not totally appetizing, but edible.

After lots of experimentation with the noodles, here is how to prepare the noodles to make the meal exceptional!

  • First, after draining out the fluid in the package, be sure to boil at least 5 minutes… I find even 8-10 minutes is just fine. Boiling longer seems to provide a better texture to the noodle in the latter steps.
  • If you have meat toppings, onions, or other veggies that need to be cooked, cook them in advance (while the noodles are boiling, for example). You’ll be adding these as pre-cooked toppings.
  • After boiling, drain the water and use a frying pan to pan-fry the noodles without any toppings. This process drives out any additional water that the noodles are prepared to release. Pan fry for at least another 3-5 minutes – the noodles won`t burn and won`t stick (in a non-stick pan) and I’ve done this for up to 10 minutes.
  • When the noodles look fairly dry, you can start adding your sauce, being careful not to add too much — add just enough to coat the noodles.
  • Continue to stir in the sauce and add toppings – if you have them. Continue to cook off excess moisture.
  • Give a quick toss to mix everything and serve!

With these modified steps, you’ll have amazing tasting Miracle Noodles!