13 Crazy weeks!
It's hard to believe it has been 13 weeks since we started this journey and my what a journey it has been. Today, I looked at Jenny with disbelief in my eyes and said "I have no idea how just the 2 of us did this in the beginning".
We started out with roughly 25 products. Now, we have grown our product offerings to over 160 and it continues to grow each week.
13 weeks ago, we spent our Monday's driving both of our vehicles back and fourth to the valley to pick up from our 4 suppliers in the Valley; Noggins, Elmridge Farms, Foxhill Farm Milk and Nutsmith Foods. We'd load up our cars with fresh veggies and coolers full of dairy products ( I'd be sure to give the leeks to Jenny because " her car had more room" LOL. Leeks if you don't have quite a strong onion scent......especially in large quantities). Now, we have everything delivered in a refrigerated truck to Masstown Market; which saves us both a lot of time and long days. Tatabrew generously loans us their delivery Van on Monday's to pick up from our various suppliers; although I think sometimes people are a little disappointed I don't have any beer with me when I arrive. Monday's we weight all of the produce for the orders in the week.
When we started, Jenny and I did all of the packing, sorting and delivering. Which made for some very early mornings and late nights. Now, we have a staff of 4. 2 who pack from 8am-2pm and 2 drivers who deliver your wonderful box of goodies.
It became a running joke for a while that your name had to begin with a "J" in order to work here.
We have Jonah Pye and John Creighton who delivery your boxes.
Jenna C ( yes 2 Jenna's) and Jenny who pack; and myself who handles the marketing, logistics, the store, customer service, supplier pick-ups/ orders and anything else that might come my way. So, Jenna, Jenna , Jenny, John and Jonah make up our team ( say that 3 times fast).
Last weekend I opened the store as a "sneak peak". Let's face it, it's been a long time coming. You have all been so patience and we are all looking to get out of the house and explore something new. We figured it was time to give you just a taste of what is to come. I didn't care that the counters/ displays weren't finished, I made do with what I had. I think it looked pretty great for my "rough draft" as I kept calling it.
While we do not yet have our fridges and freezers, we were able to show case local veggies from Waldgrave, Small Holdings Farm and Windy Mountain Road Farm as well as a few other favorites such as Bramble Hill greens (which have been a huge hit, and a staple in our produce boxes from the beginning). We had 2 varieties of mushrooms from Maritime Gourmet Mushrooms, Shiitake and the Wild Mix.
This weekend, in addition to all of these lovely products we will also have Spinach and fresh herbs from Riverview Herbs in Maitland. Come early for the best selections.
We will be open this Saturday June 20th from 11am -7pm. We will have fresh baked breads and other goodies from Sheryl's Bakery.
Thank-you to everyone who stopped by last weekend! We had over 60 people visit the store. It was so nice to put a face to the names we have been delivering too.
We fully intend on maintaining our delivery schedule as many of your have expressed how much you like it, and wanted it to continue.
We hope to have the store open Friday- Sunday in July; once our fridges and freezer arrive. Currently we are still packing all of our boxes at the Wentworth Recreations Centre. Being in 2 places at once has it's challenges; but if we can deliver through freak snowstorm after snowstorm I am confident we can handle just about anything.
Thank-you to everyone, customers, social media followers and of course our suppliers. Our friends at Tatabrew, Wentworth Recreation Centre and Masstown Market. I am truly grateful for all of the partnerships. Without them we would not be where we are today.
As the growing season changes, we shift to buy as local as we can from all of the wonderful growers, producers and farms that we are fortunate to have on the North Shore. I am really lucky to be working with them, and I look forward to next years crop as we now have a better idea of our supply/demand needs and can plan with local farms to maintain a supply chain for everyone next summer.
I hope to see you all on Saturday! This will be the last Saturday we will be open until July. I am taking a much needed stay-cation where I will still work, but I am going to try and relax while catching up on my administrative duties before things go crazy with the store.