Last Saturday, we were excited to open and be there for the community. (We had so much fun with our neighbors when we opened for the snow storm in December). Unfortunately, when we unlocked the doors, we found that our deli case had died. We lost all of Amy's beautiful food as well as our deli meats and cheeses. We spent the morning cleaning out, throwing out and washing, as well as climbing the icy, snow-covered roof and begging the refrigeration service people for help.
I'm sure you know that every dollar is critical for a small start up and this made my eyes well up a little bit. The sting was worse because a couple customers came in looking forward to our deli selection. We had to explain that there just wasn't any turkey to slice. I was disappointed to hear exasperated sighs and grumbling. And then, I listened to our one phone message. A woman who started out sounding sweet and kind, "Hi, I'm calling to see if you are open today. I'm really disappointed if you aren't...," At this point, I felt needed and appreciated but then my mood quickly darkened, "because you SHOULD be here to support the community."
Not "I hope you and your staff are safe in this state of emergency." Not "Oh darn. Maybe next time?" Honestly, it was at best: insensitive, at worst: plain nasty.
These are the exact moments that feel the most bleak. I felt like closing right away and calling it quits -- I'll admit.
I am lucky though because the staff of GFM is amazing, supportive and upbeat when faced with obstacles. Amy came in early Sunday and began cooking again. Quincy came in early (on his day off) and got the refrigeration tech to come in and fix the case. Everyone used humor to cheer me out of the depths of despair and we are moving onward.
So, this morning at 6:30 am I was feeling anxious and slightly traumatized about today's storm. But, we opened. Anne and Makinlee, both locals, walked in. Tracy & Amy volunteered to come too! Luckily, the cases were humming away beautifully. We shoveled and the neighbors came. Rosy cheeked, they thanked us for being open. They laughed with us and they made me feel a part of a community again.
And I remembered again why I started this crazy venture.