An old Bernalillo Buddhist used to say that “You never step in the same Rio twice.” And by the way, I just made that up, so don’t go try and Google Bernalillo Buddhist. But the idea rings true. Life, like the water in a river, is fluid. You are a different person today than you were yesterday. Most of the time (in calm waters) it is hard to see how our lives change daily. But I think it is safe to say that the last 3 weeks have been a very tumultuous time for everyone on the planet. Our lives are changing daily if not hourly.
So it is not a surprise that our little local home delivery business has been thrown into the chaos along with everyone else. We have been in business for 17 years. Fine-tuning our mission. Chewing on what our selection of food should look/taste like. And yes, obsessing about the efficiency of logistics.
But nothing over the last 17 years could have prepared us for how the last 3 weeks have unfolded. Let me have a few minutes of your time to bring you up to date on what has transpired for us and how we are adapting to this new way of life.
My dream/mission for this movement from day one has been to feed all of the New Mexicans who wanted our food. I have written so many times that our local food model is not for everyone. We are not the Golden Arches trying to sell a billion burgers. Our food is thoughtfully sourced from the Mom n Pops. We talk in harvest numbers not stock prices.
I never want to turn someone away who wants a seat at our table. For me, the local food movement is rooted in the notion of Inclusion. Feed those who want to eat locally and support fellow New Mexican businesses. Over the past 3 weeks, the mouths at our table have become many and are growing.
And I will be honest with you, we were not ready for this flood of new people in the first week Or maybe even the second. I think the technical term that they use in business management classes call it a “Total Shit Storm.” Or maybe that is just what it feels like. It has been so overwhelming that I actually shed a few tears one day. I am a 44-year-old hairy guy and had tears in my eyes like my goldfish just died. And the most frustrating part was that I couldn’t even pat my eyes. A) because there is no tissue paper left in the Enchanted state, and B) we’re not supposed to touch our dang faces. So I had to wait for the desert air to dehydrate my tears.
But then I saw our long-time chariot driver, John, after he was wrapping up a 70 hour week of deliveries. His face was exhausted. Eyes bloodshot from days behind the wheel. And instead of complaining he simply said, “We’ve got this.”
And folks, that is what I have to tell you today; you have the most dedicated crew working to keep you, your family, and your neighbors fed during this time. Every one of our team is tired, stressed, over-worked, But… they are 100% committed to the challenges that we all face. We could not do what we are doing without this commitment. There is a definite feeling of being on the front line around here and we are so grateful for your trust in us at this time. It is not taken lightly. Thank you!
So how do things get better logistically in a time of such high demand? 1) We just fired up a 1,700 square foot walk-in cooler. This brings our total cooler space to over 3,000 ft. 2) Two new delivery vans just arrived yesterday morning from Georgia. Total 8 vans to help cover the state. 3) Restructured route density in ABQ to get more deliveries done in fewer hours. 4) Hired dozens of new crew members to help prep, sort, pack, route, deliver, and return emails/calls. 5) We have asked our partners to harvest more, make more, milk more, bake more. Our supply of local food will catch up to the demand. I promise. We have an incredible group of suppliers on our side. On your side.
Few things that will help us help you…
1) Try and do as much of your account maintenance on your own through our web site.
2) We have been sending out a ton of emails. Please make sure you have not unsubscribed from our mailings or you will NOT receive these updates.
3) Double check your billing settings to make sure payment info is current. We don’t want you to miss an order because of an expired card.
4) Be patient. We are doing our best and will get systems back to normalcy soon.
5) Stay healthy. Eat well. Be grateful. Go dig in the dirt!
Salud, Farmer Monte