Mar 1, 2011

Public Relations experts advise addressing a concern before it becomes something to cry about - an issue requiring a tissue.

I thought I would turn to my blog to 'spring a leek,' or leak some news ahead of the rumor mill common to life in a small town. Of course I know that there are those who will dislike me for spoiling a good rumor with the truth, but not everyone's going to like everyone all of the time - that's life! Much better to insert food into one's mouth than one's foot. A cheese plate is much easier to eat than one's words. Let's make sure the words we share are the correct ones.

So, what's up Cheese Man? Not so much up as out. I'm sad to report that as of the end of March, I will no longer be present selling my cheeses, specialty foods, and organic produce, and operating my organic juice bar at Hamel's Market. My winter stint as Manager of Hamel's Market will soon conclude and the owners return to assume the running of the business. While the owners of Hamel's and myself realize that we have a solid background from our separate businesses on which to form a new business alliance, I have decided not to procede with a joint venture with Hamel's at this time. My personal friendship with the Hamel's owners will continue. Sorry rumor mill, there's, "No trouble at 'mill" -nothing sinister here - no bad feelings - purely a case of a good opportunity with not so perfect timing. I am thankful for the opportunity to have managed Hamel's for the winter season, am confident I have performed a good job, have contributed to the development and growth of the business, and leave Hamel's Market in a good position to re-open for their third summer season. Please continue to support this wonderful local, independently owned business.

For me, what next? I find myself somewhat in a state of flux. Caught between a retail space and a hard place. I had anticipated opening a cheese/specialty foods retail storefront in Rehoboth this spring. Yet, with the absence of a suitable space, it is now uncertain whether this will happen. This much I do know: as I've grown in my knowledge of the specialty foods industry over various entrepreneurial stages of my business the past five years, one thing has become clear to me. What has emerged is my role as connector, facilitator of access to specialty foods and the sales and marketing knowledge necessary to allow others to experience such foods free of any lobbied bias or platform. This does not necessarily need or mean a retail store, but I do not rule it out! What comes next is a logical extension of what has come before. This metropolitan beach town on the edge of a large agricultural plain where chicken houses sometimes outnumber human, is my home. A community that I am a full time member of. A community I love. Yum may have temporarily left the building, but most definitely not the beach.

Thus, I've chosen today, March 1, Saint David's Day, to announce the formation of my new company, the, "Rehoboth Beach Cheese Company." My current mission to support our local businesses in wholesaleing specialty foods direct to them will continue. Additionally, my educational and marketing platform will continue through private and public cheese classes and formal sales and marketing training for my business customers staff. The Rehoboth Beach Cheese Company will continue to enhance and develop relationships with other businesses, growers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. For the time being we will move all of our retail products onto our website You may order online for shipping, or free local delivery. Since I do not currently have a retail storefront, then Auntie's Organic Juice Bar will be mobile only. To book Auntie to juice up you parties, Our organic produce department will also move onto our online store where you may purchase organic fruits and vegetables through a new local delivery service I am calling, "Doorganics." You can order specific fruits and vegetables, or order boxes that we select for you based on seasonality. Doorganics will also expand to distribute locally and seasonally grown chemical-free produce. Please stay tuned for an update to the weknowyum website, going live April 1 with a new logo and new features in keeping with this news.

Remember, slow food, and local food is as much about supporting small, independently owned local businesses as it is farmers markets and farms. Us local retail and wholesale distributors also have a role to play in keeping foods and artisan skills alive. We are the enthusiastic, knowledgeable connectors in our food economy and food supply, as I alluded to above. Use it or lose it applies as much to choices in our food supply as in our muscles.

If you know of a small retail storefront for lease in Rehoboth Beach, a small lock-up refrigerated storage unit for lease, or a small refrigerated delivery vehicle for sale, then

We Know Yum! Thank you, Andy.


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More