A Grand Occasion
This Sunday is the Grand Opening Celebration for Community Market, our new retail home. There are several bands scheduled, beer and wine tastings, and Don Payne from Wild Pig BBQ and I are firing up the 24 foot smoker! We are doing pulled pork, brisket and hamburger sliders, smoked chicken, and some cool surprises as well. This is your formal invitation to join us from 11am-7pm. One way or another I will have the football game on down there, so come hang out with us! We could not be more pleased with the reception we have received from the patrons of Community Market, as well as the incredible support from Mel, Nica, Mandy and their staff. Since we opened November 1st, we really have had nothing but holiday season. A lot will be told over the next eight weeks as we get to see what “normal” looks like, but the first two weeks look really promising. We have had some odd/funny moments as the customers familiar with Community Markets’ original location in Santa Rosa get used to the idea of having meat available. The first few days of November saw us dealing with one woman turning the corner, seeing our display case and literally screaming and running the other direction (those that know me well know how much I detest the over and misuse of the word “literally”, so you can be sure she screamed loudly). One gentleman politely went to customer service and suggested a black curtain in front of our counter, “you know, like a porn shop”, so he would not be traumatized by our wares. At the end of all the initial fuss, we find ourselves in a great space, surrounded by a lot of really supportive people, dedicated to our thriving in their environment. Many of the staff at CM are vegetarian or vegan, and yet for the most part I couldn’t tell you who is or isn’t. They all seem to be genuinley excited to have us there and do everything they can to support us. So Mel, Nica, Mandy and Staff….Thanks for the warm welcome and here’s to a long and prosperous partnership!
A Good Sign
A common mantra of ours, as a means of explaining how we are different from our competition, is the fact that almost everything in our display case is raised within 25 miles of us. We know every ranch the animals are raised on, who’s raising them, what they are eating and how they are cared for. Those of you that are Facebook acquaintances with us have already seen this, but we wanted to share with those of you that are not. Wait a minute, why aren’t you hanging out with us on Facebook??? That’s where you get the most current info, schedule changes, and last minute deals and suprises! Tell you what… click here,  Like us on Facebook , and we can just move on from this minor Meathead infraction. Now, where was I? Oh yeah, our new sign…here it is!
We have always been proud of the transparency of our business, and now it is hanging on the wall of our shop. The ranch’s logos are on interchangeable placards so that as we make additions or changes, our customers will always know what’s in our case on any given day and where their meat is coming from.
A Bad Sign
One of the reasons it took me a while to get back to writing is that I have been in a real funk the last few weeks. If one more person comes up to me and tells me how great this weather is, I might just slap them upside their head with a rib-eye. I thought about asking everyone to wash their car on the same day as that was sure to generate some rain, but then I realized how counterproductive that would be. I get a lot of comments about this newsletter appreciating the fact that I share a lot of stuff about what it’s like to do what we do and the personal struggles and successes that have gotten us to where we are today. I don’t remember actually writing a really negative newsletter without it having a pretty solid comedic purpose. But I can’t find anything funny about the lack of rain. I mean we can’t even get a cloudy day right now. I wake up at 4am, turn on the news and am greeted with seven pictures of our egg yolks as a forecast. So I was all set to write a very serious article about the dire situation we all will face if the situation doesn’t change soon. Then I thought about my good friend Kala. She may get mad at some social injustice, or pissed off when big business steps on us little guys, but all in all she is one of the most positive people I know. Most of this I see through her Facebook posts, but I know her to be this way pretty much all the time. “Holy crap, look at that burning building, Kala!” and Kala would say “I know, it’s scary now, but think of how rewarding it is going to be to help lift those people up and recover, and nobody was hurt so that’s a blessing, and we will be stronger as a community for helping them get through this.” That’s just who she is…
And so I’m not going to write a negative article about the weather and all it’s implications. I do ask that while you enjoy springtime in January, you are sensitive to those of us that are directly impacted by the lack of rain and what it means to your food system, local or otherwise, and keep the jubilation down to a dull roar. For my part, I’m going to channel my inner Kala and find the positives in this ridiculous situation. For example, I can go fix all the pipes that burst during the freeze and not have to do it in the mud! And hey, all this sunshine is drying up the left over Christmas trees, so the burn pile will go up real quick if we ever get a burn day! Kala, I may need a special consultation for this one….