Tuesday, April 25, 2006

From Culinary Adventure to Two Stock Tips

The purpose of Unique Culinary Adventures is not to provide investment advice, even though its creator derives income from trading in growth equities. On rare occasions, however, overlapping occurs between culinary and pecuniary pursuits. In this instance, both pursuits are personal rather than professional.

Perhaps limiting our post to the subject of wheat grass juice would be more appropriate. Created by crushing blades of wheat grass, it hardly brings joy to my tastebuds. When completely fresh I can tolerate it. If the blades from which it has been pressed are even slightly wilted, I gag. Wheat grass is consumed by quickly downing a “shot,” of between one and two ounces from a small plastic cup. Aficionados, such as I have been for 26 years, herald wheat grass as one of the most nutritious and healthy natural substances available for human consumption. Never mind that I was first introduced to it by a dreadlocked Caucasian American named Neure (for new life) who had expatriated to Negril, Jamaica, where all the other dreads were promoting a very different kind of "grass.” Neure’s passion for wheat grass converted me, and I have never doubted but that one day wheat grass juice would become enormously popular throughout the world.

Over the past quarter century, wheat grass juice has become increasingly available in juice bars everywhere. Most prevalent are the Jamba Juice locations, which are best known for their wide variety of fresh-squeezed juices and delectable nutritious smoothies. Headquartered in San Francisco, where Jamba Juice has become practically as institutionalized as Starbucks, the company opened its first location in 1990, and has since expanded to more than five hundred locations in 25 states. Some of the more recent openings have been in and around Washington, D.C. I hope they come to Baltimore soon.

Everything Jamba Juice serves up---with the possible exception of wheat grass juice---should be agreeable to just about any palate. Jamba Juice has long been a profitable company, and considering the ever-growing movement toward better nutrition, the company looks to me like a winner. For years, I’ve been saying: “If Jamba Juice ever goes public, I want in.” Well, now they’re about to.

If enthusiasm about wheat grass that turned me on to Jamba Juice, it was through my investment in a Canadian company called SunOpta (STKL), I learned that Jamba Juice would soon be public. I invested in 400 shares of SunOpta at $8.39 per share on March 29, 2006. My rationale was the profit the company was turning by playing a significant role in three green-friendly industries: the natural and organic sectors of the food industry; the production, sale and distribution of silica free building and industrial materials; and the design and manufacture of systems for processing non-woody fibers in the bio-fuel industry. As this is written 3 ½ weeks after my purchase, STKL is priced at $10.51. I bought more shares yesterday at $9.42. You can learn more about SunOpta by going here:

And how would my investment in SunOpta relate to Jamba Juice going public? At the above referenced site is an April 5 headline in the form of a press release entitled “SunOpta Extends Its Agreement with Jamba Juice.” Learning that SunOpta is a major supplier to Jamba Juice got me yet more excited about my investment. Then, two days later, on April 7, the above site provided another headline (it's still there), this time from The Street.com, entitled “Today’s Early Winners and Losers.” In following up on the earlier press release, the new article also noted that Jamba Juice had recently agreed to be acquired by Services Acquisition Corp. (SVI), which is listed on the Amex. SVI is what is known as a “blank check” company, namely a public company created primarily for the purpose of making acquisitions. You can learn about Services Acquisition Corp. by going here:

I bought 500 shares yesterday at 11.45. As you can see at the chart linked to this site, the price had already increased approximately 50 per cent since word of the merger became public in late March. The above site has other press releases and articles stating that once the “merger” has taken place, the name of the combined entity will be called Jamba, Inc. It's to happen this week, according to the one source, which is from Motley Fool, that I’ve been able to locate as the result of perusing the message board at the above noted site. Here's that source.

No one here at Unique Culinary Adventures has any credentials whatsoever for providing investment advice. Rather, this is the story of how over a 26 yearperiod, a culinary adventure led to the commencement of a financial adventure.