Oct 26 , 2021
Hey everyone, it's Lisa from Gem City Fine Foods. For some of you, those who have followed our Lunch'N Watch and other Facebook Live videos, a familiar voice is saying that line right now.
So, where have I been? NOT in Myrtle Beach for a much-anticipated first vacation in well over two years. I canceled that trip because I am a Covid breakthrough case- how exciting! (Not at all.) But wait! I just read this morning that Covid is on the decline.
OK, that's great news! But I am only one of several people I know right here in my own town who hold the dubious honor of being breakthrough cases in the past month or so. I just dropped off a Vegan Chocolate Cake at the doorstep of a friend who is having a harder time than I am, barely evading pneumonia, while a couple days ago when walking the dogs I ran into another friend who is having an easier time. He had gone on a bike ride the day before; I went home and took a two hour nap after the dog walk.
I'm not here to wag a finger at those who have not been vaxxed. I also would appreciate if others would not judge me because, as careful as I've been over the past year and a half, limiting travel and taking extra precautions, especially when flying back home to help my family, I finally contracted Covid. And I am humbly grateful for the friends who have checked in with me, especially those who have taken the time to make and deliver Jell-O and chili (sooooo good on the sore throat and for the congestion, respectively.)
The experience is different for everyone, no doubt about it. Every person I've spoken with who has had Covid can talk about very specific symptoms, recovery times, even long haul issues. While there are similarities, there are distinct differences. I spoke with a colleague in Salt Lake late last week. Our timelines were exactly the same, and neither of us had been up for returning to work on our regular schedule as soon as quarantine was over. At one point in our phone conversation he declared, "When I was flat on my back with this, I didn't really care about work." My own experience (I'm up to walking about half a mile at a time before being wiped out, sometimes twice a day, far below my normal pace but far ahead of where I was two weeks ago) gave me pause.
I was briefly upset about missing out on vacation, and moreso about not having time with an old friend who was scheduled to join me- and even moreso because she lost some money when canceling her plane ticket. I was thrilled to have some time to read, nonetheless, breezed through several magazines that have been sitting in a pile for months, and read half of two books (does that count as one whole one?) And I found myself wondering why I work as many hours every week as I do, and why I do some of the things I do at work when sometimes it feels like beating my head against a wall, and whether leading a dedicated gluten- and nut-free bakery is what I really want to be doing for most of my waking time for how many more years of my waning life? (Face it, kids, if you're over 50, you're likely on the downside.)
Am I doing what I love? Am I loving what I do? Are you? The answer for me is "often, no." Does that mean I'm not still committed to every one of our friends and community members who appreciates a truly high quality and great tasting treat, despite celiac disease, gluten sensitivity or food allergies? No it does not.
Yesterday I interviewed for a Chef position at the local senior center. I had a very enjoyable conversation with the Director and Kitchen Manager. As the discussion evolved, I found myself admitting openly that I do not want to walk away from Gem City Fine Foods, but that I have been seriously evaluating my role and my duties with the company. It's not an easy task in a time of upheaval. We could use a couple more good team members on the floor, and our productivity would be greatly aided by the disappearance of supply chain shortages.
We left the conversation yesterday with, "Let's all give this some thought and see how we can develop the opportunity." I'm willing to do the same with this company. I would welcome your thoughts, especially those of you who have been with us for a while and who have spoken with me directly, whether in person at a show or bakery tour, on our live streams in the chat bar, or via email when wondering whether we can include a birthday card in that cake you've ordered to be shipped to your uncle's cousin in Miami.
What do you value about Gem City Fine Foods? What do you know about what I do, and what do you see as my strengths in helping this company succeed? Yeah, I'm serious!
Until I hear from you, I promise you I'll get better about letting you hear from me more often. Which reminds me: DYK our fabulous PT Social Media and Marketing Assistant Jesse writes a monthly newsletter and emails it out to people who subscribe to our email list? It's usually pretty short, and includes news, events, specials and other tidbits, along with photos. You can suibscribe by clicking the envelope on our Facebook page, or head to www.gemcityfinefoods.com and click on the subscription pop up. Hope to see more of you on that list, especially while we are still mostly not seeing each other in person.
With respect and continued commitment,
AND HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
Lisa Cox is CEO/ SVP Sales & Marketing at Gem City Fine Foods. She has been with the company in almost every role you can imagine for 8 years.