Welcome to our blog...

Welcome to our blog...

Friday, November 4, 2011

What a Great Time to be Living in Big Bear, California!


Autumn is our favorite time of year in Big Bear. The oaks, aspens and maples are changing their leaves. Even the sunsets seem to be competing with the trees as to which one can put on a bigger Technicolor show. The air is crisp, and there’s already a fire burning in the hearth. It certainly is the season of giving thanks for all the beauty around us, and our family and friends to share it with.

It’s also time to start thinking about that Thanksgiving menu, and what needs to be ordered through Watkins to be sure it arrives long before November 24th.  There’s not a better way of letting your family and close friends know how much they mean to you than with a feast they will long remember.
Now is the time to Gobble up These Savings for Your Thanksgiving Table
Check out what’s on special by clicking the Monthly Specials link on the left column of the website, then on November Monthly Specials. There you will find one of our seasonal favorites that seem to sell out as soon as we put it on display at our public events – Watkins PumpkinBread Mix! We can’t think of a better bread to serve at Thanksgiving, or to give as a gift to your host, or your family members who can’t be part of your turkey celebration. Right now, you can purchase one bread mix at the regular price of $5.99 and get a second bread mix for only $3.49!

Those Watkins bakers have been busier than our Big Bear squirrels gathering acorns and pine nuts for the winter. You have to glance at the current featured recipe on the website – Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake.  Sure, you have your traditionalists who insist that their Thanksgiving pie be plain and simple pumpkin.  Why wouldn’t a pumpkin cheesecake made with Watkins Double-Strength Vanilla, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves and Ginger be a hit with all your guests? Just be sure you have all those spices in your cabinet. Right now, the WatkinsDouble-Strength 11 oz. Vanilla is on special for only $13.99. That’s two dollars off the regular price. You know you’re going to need plenty of vanilla for other holiday baking to come. So you better stock up now. You can always run over to a neighbor to borrow a cup of sugar. But they wouldn’t be as neighborly if they were running low on their last bottle Watkins vanilla at holiday time. Perhaps you should think about giving a bottle to your neighbors, along with a loaf of pumpkin bread fresh from your oven.

If you’re like our household, you can never get enough pumpkin, particularly this time of year. Watkins Pumpkin Butter Spread was such a big hit last year when it was first introduced, the product quickly sold out. While the Winona plant upped the production count this year, we always get worried when we see the words, “limited quantities” in the catalog. That’s why we ordered a dozen this year just to be on the safe side. Our “all-natural” customers love this butter, particularly when we tell them it’s only 30 calories per tablespoon.

But just in case you want a change of pace, there’s a new spread that’s getting rave reviews – Watkins Apple Cranberry Butter! As the catalog reads, “Enjoy this delightful butter with the sweet taste of apples and cranberries. It’s equally perfect for a holiday feast or an everyday treat. Spread on toast and bagels, or add to any dish you would like to enhance with the delectable flavor of apples and cranberries. ” For those who just can’t make up their mind, why not put a jar of both on your Thanksgiving table. Both are just $6.99 a jar.

We know this blog is getting far too long, so you will have to go through the amazing list of other products that will make you holiday baking, entertaining and gift-giving a wonderful experience this year. We ask you to consider Watkins turkey rub for your holiday bird, and the Cucumber and Dill, Garlic and Dill, and new Garlic Parmesan  Snack and Dip Seasonings when preparing your holiday party platters.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Trick or Treat?

Just ring our toll-free doorbell and you will receive a treat that will brighten up your entire holiday season.

It’s a scary time out there. No wonder many people today are afraid to make any move that might cause the family finances to become even more catastrophic then they already are. Those who are employed, even part-time, are concerned that anything they do beyond answering to the boss will upset the applecart.

But even your boss must recognize that your limited salary can be stretched just so far to cover the increasing costs of gas, food and clothing to run a household. Therefore, he or she will applaud the initiative you took to begin your own home-based Watkins business that you can carry out in the evening and on week-ends.

When your youngsters ring doorbells on Halloween, there’s no guarantee that the treats they seek will be as good as they hoped. But with Watkins, there is a money-back guarantee that the $39.95 (plus tax) you shell out to become an Associate of the 143-year-old company will be a good investment. That’s right. If you are not completely satisfied after your first 30 days with the company, just call our toll-free number, and we will have your money back pronto.

We doubt that will be necessary. We are beginning the busiest and most profitable season for Watkins Associates. First of all, you will immediately receive 25% off the retail price of all orders you place for holiday baking, entertaining and gift-giving. Certainly, there is a friend or family member on your gift-list who aspires to be a great chef, or at least the greatest one on the block. A perfect gift for that person is Watkins’ Gold Medal Set containing our International award-winning vanilla, cinnamon and black pepper.  Normally, $32.99, your cost is only $24.75 when you are signed up as an Associate.  We also have a great assortment of nicely wrapped Gift Packages for your holiday gift giving.

We suggest one of the first events you plan is a fall harvest tasting reception/new business launch in your home, or have your best friend serve as host for the event. Certainly, the both of you can come up with the names of dozens of friends and family members planning their own holiday shopping list. Many of them may already be familiar with the Watkins brand, and jump at the opportunity of supporting you in your new venture. As your Watkins managers, we help you every step of the way with Watkins’ time-tested formula for such an event. Watkins men and women were holding these money-making events years before Tupperware was even born.  

Before you open your door to any little gremlin this Halloween, call 888-881-7372 to receive a guaranteed treat to enhance your family’s financial future.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Most Expensive Vehicle in the World
This 1884 De Dion Steam Runabouts sold for $4.62 million at auction


It's full name is the De Dion Bouton Et Trepardoux Dos-A-Dos Steam Runabout. On Oct. 7, it sold for more than double its estimated value--a cool $4.62 million.

The 127-year-old vehicle drew a standing ovation from the crowd, according to RM Auctions, which presided over the sale. Bidding started at $500,000 before immediately jumping to $1 million. The final price is a new world record for an early motor car sold at auction. The winner is the fifth owner of the historic machine. It was offered from the estate of John O'Quinn, a collector who bought the car from British Veteran Car Club member Tim Moore. It was Moore who restored the De Dion to full working condition. As a result, it won the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in 1997.

"The world's leading automotive collectors recognized the incredibly rare opportunity the sale represented, as was reflected in the spirited bidding and impressive result," said Rob Myers, founder of RM Auctions.

Just imagine. The JRWatkins Company was already 16 years old when this high-priced De Dion was first built. In those early years, Watkins salesmen distributed their products to remote farms in ss carriages. They carried America's first door-to-door salesmen to their customers in distant homesteads, who would wait in great anticipation to see the Watkins wagon come rolling down the dusty road every month.

As the sales force grew to include both men and women, their cars needed to be a bit more comfortable for those longer trips to handle the demand for a wide array of Watkins products. No longer just an apothicary company, the Watkins Associates were able to offer baking products, cleaning products, and body care products to make every housewife feel like Gloria Swanson and Heddie Lamar.

Today, we are still selling Watkins products door-to-door here in Big Bear, CA, but we purchased our Watkins wagon -- a 2007 Jeep Patriot -- for a few bucks less than that 1884 De Dion. We didn't even need a major overhaul when we purchased it in 2009, the year we launched our Watkins business.

The Jeep gets its biggest workout when we travel, not to nearby farms but to farmer's markets and street fairs. For the first few years, we could get our tent, display tables and products inside the Jeep. But this year, with the intent of showing at least one of the top 50 Watkins products, we had to resort to straping three 8-ft. tables to the roof to make everything fit. It certainly is easy to spot n a large parking lot!

If you live anywhere from Palm Springs to Riverside, CA, give us a call at 888-881-7372. We can include you on our door-to-door route. Or we may be able to hook you up with one of our Watkins Associates who lives closer, and could come to your door more often than just once a month.

Remember, the holidays are just around the corner. There are so many items you will remember from our last year's Seasonal Favorites, plus a number of new products just in time for this year's holiday baking, entertaining and gift-giving. Check them out at our website:

Monday, September 12, 2011

It’s Harvest Time at the

Big Bear Country Store

We’re stocking our shelves with everything you’ll need for holiday baking, entertaining & gift-giving.

It’s beginning to feel like fall when we pitch our travelling Big Bear Country Store tent at the Big Bear Farmer’s Market this month.  Those brisk temperatures have led Farmer’s Market organizers to close for the season at the end of September, meaning there are just a few Tuesdays left for locals and mountain visitors to sample some of our fall favorites.

And what a harvest Watkins has reaped this year! In addition to the favorites from previous years like the Pumpkin Butter, there’s Apple-Cranberry Butter, rich Baked Potato Soup, plus Black Walnut, Hazelnut and Irish Cream baking extracts.  

We don’t sell fruits and vegetables just harvested from local fields like the other vendors at our Farmer’s Market. However, your dinner guests will think you harvested many of the baking ingredients yourself!

The Big Bear Country Store is Just a Click Away

Once we fold up our tent for the last time at the Big Bear Farmer’s Market this season, you can still order all 17 seasonal favorites.  All you have to do is click on the “Gifts” link in the directory at left, and then “2011 Seasonal Favorites.” Order these now before you find Watkins is out of stock of the most popular items by October, and you have to wait for the jars and packages to start rolling off the production line again.

If you can’t think of a thing to bring the host and/or hostess of that autumn harvest party you’ve been invited to, you can’t go wrong with the Watkins Gold Medal Sampler. Packed in a handsome box, it features the award-winning Watkins vanilla, black pepper and cinnamon, and is priced at only $15.95

You don’t have to be a trained chef to take advantage of the many holiday extracts now available in larger 8 oz. baker bottles. Click on the Recipes link at left and you will find many of your holiday favorite cookies, cakes and breads. The recipes are available in a printer-friendly format, and easy to follow.

Even the most critical mother-in-law will be asking for your recipe. Imagine the smells of Watkins award-winning cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg filling your kitchen right now.

With all of us pinching pennies during this recession, you may be wondering how you can stretch your gift-giving dollars during the coming holiday season. Consider joining the Big Bear Country Store Wholesale Shopping Club. For the low price of just $39.95, you will be able to purchase all 350+Watkins products at 25% off the retail price. And to get you started, we’ll throw in a $25 Watkins gift certificate when you sign up for your membership through this site.

Call us toll-free today at 888-881-7372

No he avy pressure to join, no false promises, just answers to all your questions. As Bogie said at the conclusion of the film Casablanca, "This might be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Monday, August 15, 2011

There’s Just One Thing

That Would Make This Moment Perfect, Sweetheart!

Some Watkins
Mandarin Orange Dip

for the fruit salad in our picnic basket!
Yes, Watkins has been bringing satisfaction to picnic baskets and dining tables for more than 140 years! Don’t let summer slip away without trying the delicious, cool taste of Watkins Mandarin Orange or Cucumber Dill Dip Mix. In fact, if you stop by the Big Bear Country Store’s booth at the Big Bear Farmer’s Market on Tuesdays from 8:30 to 1, you can get a dollar off each jar of these popular flavors. That’s only $7.99 a jar, for satisfaction that will last you well into fall, when other summer pleasures are but a faded memory.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Happy 100th Birthday, Lucy!

I think of you every morning when I have my daily dose of Vitameatavegamin.

Who can ever forget Lucy when she promoted Vitameatavegamin with the now famous words, "It’s so tasty, too."

We at the Big Bear Farmer’s Market, just like most of you, grew up with Lucy. Today we join the rest of America – no, people around the world fortunate to be exposed to the antics of this classy lady through "I Love Lucy" -- in celebrating what would have been her 100th birthday.

It’s hard to believe that Watkins was already an established 34-year-old company the year that Lucy was born. Already, the product line had grown far beyond its initial pain liniment. But it wasn’t until this decade that Watkins introduced a full assortment of vitamins and dietary supplements to help Americans feel better and live longer.

Two years ago, Watkins – with consultation from a team of physicians and nutritionists – developed "Immunergy." A blend of eight fruits and herb seed powders and D-Ribose, Immunergy is all natural and caffeine free. As the name implies, it is a daily immune support and energy boost. Lucy would have never wrinkled her nose up at the taste, nor would she have become a bit tipsy; Immununergy does not contain alcohol.

Those of us at the Big Bear Country Store are celebrating Lucy’s 100th birthday by offering two boxes of Immunnunergy for the price of one -- just $15.99! You won’t find this special offer on the JR Watkins website. You have to call store manager Alan toll-free at 888-881-7372. Quantities are limited.

This morning, when I mixed up my daily dose of Immunergy, I raised the effervescent glass and said, "Here’s to you, Lucy. It’s so tasty, too."

Friday, July 1, 2011

Declare Your Independence!

Make this July 4th weekend

the launch of your own Watkins

home-based business

If you are anywhere within driving distance of Big Bear Lake, CA, we hope you can come up July 2 or 3 to spend the day at the Elk’s Lodge Peddler’s Market.  The Big Bear Country Store will have its Watkins booth all decorated for the holiday weekend, with some great Watkins treats to make your own 4th of July bar-be-cue extra special.  Try a number of our famous Watkins dips, from the cool and mild Cucumber Dill to the tangy Blazin’ Cajon.  And, of course, there’s our very own bar-b-cue sauce. It has a yummy, sweet, smoked taste that is bound to enhance the flavor of your hamburgers and hot dogs.

Steaks perhaps?  That’s doubtful for most of us.  We know it’s been a challenging year because of the economy.  Some of you have had your work hours reduced, or have been asked to take a pay cut.  Even worse, you may be among the nearly 12% of Californians that are unemployed. 

We’re not suggesting you walk in and tell your boss to “Take this job and shove it!” or give up looking for another job entirely.  But between mailing out those resumes and making follow-up calls, we would like you to consider starting your own part-time Watkins home business.

Did you know that the greatest period of self-employment growth in America was during the Great Depression? Some of America’s greatest family-run businesses began during the 1930’s, and are established brand names today.  Watkins was already a half-century old at the time of the depression, but because of the business opportunity it offered out-of-work Americans, its sales force grew substantially during the decade. 

Here’s why.  Watkins has the most lucrative compensation plans in direct marketing today.  It offers an array of top quality, all-natural products at prices competitive with your local grocery and drug store – products you, your friends and extended family buy every day.  Don’t you think they would rather buy those products from you to support the launch of your own business?

Call 888-881-7372 and ask us how you can get started for just $39.95.  Not a bad price for more freedom in your life!  We’ll throw in a $30 Watkins Gift Certificate if you “declare your independence” before July 5th!  You’ll also get 25% off your purchases if you sign up at the Big Bear Elk’s Lodge Peddler’s Market!  

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Perfect Mother’s Day Recipe

Mother’s Day comes early this year, so we at the Big Bear Country Store wanted to give you a great idea that will surely thrill that special lady in your life. We suggest you bake up this special Watkins recipe for
Red Velvet Whoopie Pies  

This is a very simple recipe, so if you are all thumbs in the kitchen, don’t panic at the thought of actually baking something! The first thing you do is preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Then line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.

To make the whoopie pies, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter on medium or high for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla, and mix well. Alternately, add buttermilk and flour mixture, beating after each addition just until combined. Stir in food coloring.

Spoon batter in 1 or 2 inch diameter rounds about 1/2 inch high on the prepared baking sheet allowing 1 inch space between rounds. Bake until tops are set, 7 to 9 minutes for 1 inch cookies or 9 to 11 minutes for 2 inch cookies. Cool completely on baking sheets on rack and then remove cookies from the baking sheet.

To make the filling, in a medium mixing bowl beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Fold in the jar of marshmallow creme. Spread the filling on the flat side of half of the cookies and top with the remaining cookies, flat side down. Store refrigerated in an airtight container.

Most of the ingredients for whoopee pies can be found in your own country store around the corner. However, we hope you have the two Watkins products in your pantry that give this recipe its perfect flavor – Watkins Original DoubleStrenth Vanilla and Watkins Baking Cocoa. If not – and you live within a 30-mile radius of Big Bear, California, one of the Big Bear Country Store managers or associates will be happy to deliver to your front door. If you live down the mountain, outside of Southern California or in another state, give us a call at 888-881-7372; we just might have another Big Bear Country Store Watkins distributor living near to you.

If you prefer, there’s still time for you to order these products online. Just go to the home page of the Big Bear Country Store at http://www.BigBearCountryStore.com, click on the Recipes link on the store directory and then type in Red Velvet Whoopie Pies.

The full recipe will appear with links to the Watkins vanilla and baking soda so you can add them to your online Shopping Cart. All ingredients are listed below so you can check your cupboards and frig to make sure you have everything you will need.


2 cups flour
2Tbs Watkins Baking Cocoa   
½ tsp baking soda
¼tsp salt
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 Tbsp Watkins Original Double-Strength Vanilla   
½ cup buttermilk
1 oz red food coloring
4 oz cream cheese, softened


¼ cup butter, softened
7 oz marshmallow crème    
Now, if you are completely overwhelmed with the idea of mixing anything more complicated than a salad in the kitchen, we have another idea for the perfect Mother’s Day gift – the Watkins Gold Medal Assortment. No mixing, no stress, and guaranteed satisfaction when your mom opens the package.

The Watkins Gold Medal Assortment contains the three products that made Watkins a household name, the award-winning Original Double Strength Vanilla (11 fl oz), plus the traditional tins of Cinnamon (6 oz) and Black Pepper (6 oz) in an attractive gift box. The price for the Gold Medal Assortment is $32.99.

Again, give us a call at 888-881-7372 if you live near Big Bear, particularly if Mother’s Day is quickly approaching and you are worried that anything ordered online might not arrive before May 8. While a number of these Gold Medal Assortment sets were snapped off the shelves of the country store as Easter gifts, we have a few still available. Also, if your children are pooling their pennies and still can’t come up with this amount, we have some of the Gold Medal Sampler gift boxes available. These are sold out and no longer appear in the Watkins catalog. The smaller sampler box contains a 2 oz bottle of the Double Strength Vanilla and 2 bottles of the Black Pepper and Cinnamon. It is only $15.99.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day 2011!

Declare your commitment to a preserving the planet by using all-natural products all year long

Sure. You recycle. You conserve natural resources by turning off lights when not in use, in addition to using those screwy-looking bulbs that use less wattage. You take shorter showers, and don’t run the dish washer unless it is completely full.

This year, why not take your conservation goals up another notch or two? You can do so with the help of J.R. Watkins, one of this country’s first “green” companies. 

For more than 140 years, Watkins has been one of America´s pioneers in natural living, using only the finest natural ingredients in its products.  Whether you are looking for personal care, home care or gourmet food products, Watkins has what you want to feel better and live healthier, AND protect the planet at the same time.

J.R. Watkins Naturals are produced using
ingredients made from renewable resources, avoiding chemicals like parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. It is one of the very few companies in the United States and Canada certified by the Natural Products Association.  To gain certification, products must be formulated with at least 95% natural ingredients from renewable resources. Watkins is one of the first companies in the United States and Canada to gain this coveted certification.  

Back in the 1860s, people on the Minnesota prairie didn't have ready access to doctors, and most couldn't afford to see one anyway.  J.R. Watkins Apothecary provided quality products folks could rely on to make them feel better and keep them feeling better. And unlike some of the "snake oil" vendors out there, J.R. backed his products with a money-back guarantee.

Of course, Watkins wasn’t the only apothecary company back then - but it’s the only one left!  With Watkins, you don't just get a glimpse into the past; you get real tried-and-true products that have been helping people for more than 140 years.

Watkins proudly formulates with natural raw materials such as:

  • Menthol
  • Capsicum
  • Thymol
  • Eucalyptus Oil

Natural Freedom Code - 95% Natural and Above:

  • Benzene Free
  • Boron Free
  • Dye Free
  • Formaldehyde Free
  • Isopropanol Free
  • Paraben Free
  • Phthalate Free
  • DEA/TEA Free
  • Propylene Glycol Free
  • Silicone Free
  • Sulfate Free

They are also:

  • Biodegradable
  • Non-toxic
  • Not tested on animals

Natural cleaners have also been a large part of its diverse product mix as far back as 1917, when the company first introduced Natural Vegetable Oil Soap made with pure vegetable oils and no animal bi-products, fillers or colors. Almost a century ago its advertisements boasted "Just pure soap, that's all"... and "Pure enough to eat!" As globally-minded as its customers, Watkins now aims to make household chores a little easier with its newest line of J.R. Watkins Natural Home Care cleaning products. Made with refreshing lemon and lavender oils and highly effective plant derived surfactants, Watkins diverse line of cleaners are safe and effective for your home and your family.

Responsible manufacturing processes are as important as its commitment to providing natural, consumable items for everyday life. By utilizing gravity-fed filling, biodegradable packing materials, as well as recycling programs and much more, Watkins is devoted to leaving the smallest environmental footprint possible.

As we tell folks who stop by the Big Bear Farmer’s Market and ask us about Watkins’ commitment to quality and the environment, any company that has been around for more than 140 years must be doing something right! You could almost call Watkins itself a natural resource!