Some quick things:
- Want to receive this list via email each week? Sign up here.
- Strawberries didn’t make it last week after all, but they’re here now! Click here to reserve yours. (We’ll probably have them on display on Thursday and much of Friday; probably not on Saturday.)
- Asparagus continues, and continues to make me happy.
- New this week: STRAWBERRIES, also, basil, and, fittingly, Tait Farms’ Strawberry Basil Shrub. Also, escarole!
- We’re celebrating four years of Radish & Rye this weekend. Join us on Friday from 5pm to 6pm for a glass (plastic cup) of bubbly. I might cry.
Scroll down for the full list of what we’ll have this week!
Four years. That feels crazy, but I’m not sure if it’s crazy that it’s been four years already, or that it’s only been four years.
In thinking about what to write tonight, I re-read our anniversary posts from the last three years. In the first year, I wrote about how we thought the stand was going to be a time-consuming hobby more than a job, and about how shocked we were that it became financially viable enough to replace our jobs when we realized we both just wanted to be there (here) all the time. I wrote about how we were starting to think we might need some help. And I wrote about how grateful we were for all the people who had gotten us so far. It may not have quite the same effect on you, but when I re-read it, I cried.
A year later, in 2017, I wrote about some of the new challenges we were facing as Radish & Rye and the Broad Street Market were both growing at a seemingly break-neck pace, about how much we would love to have a stand-alone spot where people could shop without facing the crush of the rest of the market crowds. I wrote about how much I wanted to announce that we were doing something to meet that demand, but I knew it was too soon. In 2017, I didn’t tell you that we were just a few weeks away from purchasing the building at 1308 N Third St, the building that will become the standalone Radish & Rye. When I wrote that post the promise of a Real Store was so close I could taste it! But I also figured I’d have a taste of it in my mouth for a long time — I wrote then that I knew it could be another year before we did have something to announce.
Turned out, it was a year and a half before we had anything solid enough to announce. I’m a little mad about that “and a half” because I relish in and love anniversaries, and even from the very first one, I really really really wanted the timing to work out so that I could announce an expansion in our anniversary blog post. At some point, I thought, well, if I can’t do that, maybe we’ll open in conjunction with our anniversary, and then in future years, it’ll be a double anniversary! But no, that was not to be. It’ll be a few more months.
Even though — or perhaps because — my somewhat superficial anniversary dreams have been dashed, I find myself savoring our past, revisiting and relishing the moments of great promise and great challenge that I wrote about in past years.
In 2016, we were elated that sales had doubled in the first year. It meant we could afford to make it our primary work. In 2017, we had three employees, and most of the time at least one of them was on-site. In 2019, we’ve now doubled again those 2016 numbers — that is, we’ve more than quadrupled the sales we were doing when we started. We still have three employees (or maybe three and half), but now usually there are two or even all three of them on-site. Not only our sales, but our payroll spending has doubled since 2017, too!
Sometimes it’s hard to remember what it was like back in the beginning — when Dusty or I (usually Dusty) could work alone for hours at a time, sometimes leaving the stand unattended for a bathroom break; when we felt like the farmers we worked with were essentially doing us a favor by bringing our paltry orders into the city; when we struggled to meet order minimums, but we sure didn’t have a problem getting all our prep work done inside of market hours.
Now we try to have three people scheduled all the time, because we never want fewer than two people to be there at any given moment but sometimes you just gotta pee; now we feel so. proud. of the support we’re able to offer farmers and growers (did you know that about 70% of the dollars you spend flows straight to them?); now I rarely think about order minimums, and a far bigger problem is making sure we have enough prepped to start on Thursday morning, even with eight+ hours of work happening on Wednesday afternoons.
Things have changed. The challenges have changed. But the rewards — they haven’t changed, only gotten sweeter.
At the end of year one, I wrote:
This has been a lot of talk about the how the stand is doing financially, which is mostly because I assume that’s what people are asking when they ask how we’re doing. The financial health of the stand also serves as a proxy, though, for some of the harder to measure metrics of health. In a market full of interesting and delicious things to buy, I’m tickled every time someone chooses a product we’re selling, from a farmer we know, from a town not too far away. The increase in sales we’ve seen isn’t because we’re business or retail experts — far from it — but because people like you want the goods we’re providing. We are deeply grateful to live in a time and a place where there is a demand for real food, good food, local food; and we’re deeply grateful to be a link in its supply.
It hasn’t changed, it’s only gotten sweeter.
Thank you for being with us this past four years(!). We hope you’ll join us this Friday evening (May 31) from 5pm-6pm for a champagne toast to the market, to the area’s farmers and producers, and to you, without whom we would have no business at all.
It hasn’t changed, it’s only gotten sweeter.
P.S. It was silly of me last week to think that strawberries might arrive — they always come the week we celebrate our anniversary. It hasn’t changed, it’s only gotten sweeter.
Spring Treats too good for another category
- Bunched spring beets
- Rainbow Chard
- Collard Greens (somewhat limited)
- Green Curly Kale
- Lacinato Kale
- Pea Shoots
- Lettuce Mix
- Little Gem Romaine
- Butterhead Lettuce
- Fuji Apples
- Strawberries deserve to be here twice
- Basil (somewhat limited)
- Parsley (somewhat limited)
Onions & Garlic
- Spring Garlic
- Sweet Potatoes (very limited)
- Mixed Beets
- Mixed Radishes
- Hakurei Salad Turnips
- McGrath’s Original
- Sesame Original
- Irish Oatmeal Pan Bread
- American Harvest
- Baguettes (frozen only)