The Low Carb Luxury Newsletter: 
Volume III / Number 24: December 27, 2002: Page 7
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      Special Feature
Meet The Merchant
                                                 A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation
                                                              with the bricks that others throw at him or her.

Low Carb Luxury is now offering a Special Feature called "Meet The Merchant" that will allow you, the reader (and shopper) to get a better "look" at the merchants we all deal with. There's a nice "comfort level" that comes with knowing something about the merchant to whom you trust your shopping needs. This issue features the folks at Low Carb Connoisseur and is written by Elaine Payne.

Low Carb Connoisseur

How Low Carb Connoisseur came to be...
Back in less enlightened low carb times — 1997 — to be exact, two sisters found themselves following Dr. Atkins' Diet and spending a lot of time on line looking for low carb information and trying to find low carb products to make their way of eating more enjoyable. It's hard to think back to a time when there was one low carb meal replacement bar available, and that it came in only one flavor, when you consider the multitude of low carb products on the market today. My sister Lynn and I were fortunate to live in South Carolina where pork rinds were available in every grocery and convenience store. Dr. Atkins called this the perfect low carb snack food and we whole heartedly agreed! We were amazed to find out however, that this southern delicacy was not available to many low carb dieters in other parts of the United States. Through the many low carb message boards and mailing lists that we were apart of in those early days, we realized that there was a similar need among other dieters — to find low carb food to make this new way of eating more varied and interesting.

Low Carb Connoisseur At the time, Lynn and I were working in the family business in property management and real estate. I had a three year old daughter Catherine and Lynn had an eight year old son Justin, and we both had husbands who were sure that we would eventually tire of talking about low carb "all the time" and trying to convert all our friends, family and new acquaintances to this wonderful new way of life we had found. Our foray into the world of Internet retailing was very ambitious and maybe even a little bit crazy! Not only did we lack any retail sales experience and our only business experience was in real estate, unlike many others who started in Internet retail, we had no knowledge of web design or creation. We were determined to do it all ourselves, and to learn as we went. We had small ambitions at the time, we were mainly interested in finding products that we liked and helped us be successful, and if others liked them and wanted them all the better.

As time progressed, we knew we were really on to something big. Not only was the general Internet retail market growing, so was the interest in low carb diets. Over the next few years, the products started coming fast and furiously. Since we made none of the products we sold, our job was to seek out and sell the best products on the market and to offer the very best shopping experience and customer service possible. We have watched in amazement over the years, as this way of life has gained more and more acceptance and the variety of products has grown. Our business has grown too, from a part time interest, to a thriving real business with seven online stores, two walk-in locations in upstate South Carolina, and a work force of 15 employees.

Low Carb Connoisseur Over the years, we are fortunate to have been honored for our business growth and success with several national and local awards, and we have always felt that these were great opportunities for personal growth and to further the awareness and acceptance of the low carb lifestyle. Our most rewarding experience as been our opportunity to work with John Hopkins Hospital to help children who are treated for epileptic seizures with a Ketogenic diet. It was such an exciting thing for us to realize that the same principles behind the diet that we and our customers used for health improvement and weight loss were being used to literally save the lives of children who suffered from these severe epileptic seizures.

Lynn and I consider ourselves to be so fortunate to have found success in a field that we so strongly believe in. With every new article, study and news report that praises the virtues of low carb, our firm belief in this way of life is reinforced! Our goal now is the same as it has always been, to give our customers the kind of products and shopping experience that we ourselves expect, because after all, we really are all in this together!

Elaine Payne
The Low Carb Connoisseur
Southern Connoisseur

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