The word of the week 7/16/2020

Quick things:

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  • WE’VE MOVED to 1308 N 3rd St, and we’re still open for pre-orders/curbside pickup ONLY. Click here for more info, or here to start shopping! Order any day; pick up Tuesday thru Sunday.
  • Peak fruit: Blueberries, blackberries, cherries, and peaches!
  • Congratulations to Monroe, the winner of this week’s order feedback drawing and a $10 R&R gift card! As always, many thanks to all of you who have responded to the slips in your bags — we <3 feedback and we <3 you!

Scroll down for the full list of what we’ll have this week! Check out the website for everything we’ve got right now!

This is a meal I wait all year for. Heirloom tomatoes; CapoMozz; Rettland Spicy Tuscan or Sweet Italian or Bar Brats or just about anything. The more bruised or gashed tomatoes we cull, the more caprese salads I get to eat.

Here we are, halfway through our second week at the new shop, and things are chugging along pretty nicely. Our new routines, though not perfect, are emerging and evolving, and starting to feel almost natural.

While we’re still developing new systems of operations and organization, and while there’s still much work to be done to get the remaining equipment in place for in-person sales, and the new website launched for smoother online ordering and fulfillment, it feels like we are entering into the calmest period we’ve seen in at least four months. Can you hear me sighing with relief?

As we’re settling in, we’re also taking a hard look at where we are and where we’ve been over the past four months. We’re pretty proud of the speed with which we pivoted, with our ability to keep operating (almost) continuously during this crazy time, and of the incredible adaptability and flexibility shown by our staff as they (and we) all of a sudden had brand new jobs, right in the midst of record-breaking demand. There are some gotchas — like, we didn’t really mean to put ourselves in a position where we couldn’t open in person at any time, but, well, that’s where we are, and we’re rolling with it!

On the other hand, there is one area that we’re not proud of, that is at the core of our business, but that we have not always succeeded at maintaining in the midst of all the upheaval. It’s the word of the week around here, and it’s QUALITY.

You guys have been really incredibly patient and understanding with us as we have sometimes struggled to keep up and struggled to meet our own standards over the past four months. We are grateful for that patience and understanding. And we’re also deeply grateful to those of you who have let us know when something you received wasn’t as fresh as you expected, or, um, just wasn’t what you expected! We always want to be getting you the best local food we can, and we always want to be held accountable to that.

That starts, of course, with holding ourselves accountable, and this week we are putting a renewed emphasis on that, just as we did in the good old days, when we were open for in-person sales and spent a lot of our time examining displays, culling past-prime items, and Urgent Use-ing anything that wasn’t up to snuff. We believe that really, quality is even more important when you aren’t able to see the goodies yourself before making a purchasing decision, and if you’ve received anything from us that was disappointing, we are very sorry. (And please know that it’s not too late to let us know!)

I don’t think we’ve been terrible these past few months, and we’re pretty sure that we’re not going to be perfect moving forward, but we are also pretty sure that we’re in better shape now to focus on quality — to spend time on all that looking and culling and specialing — than we have been since the shutdown began. I’m looking forward to it — it is, I think, at the very heart of Radish & Rye, and while I don’t regret deviating from that heart in order to keep the lines open between fields and mouths, it’s time to come home.

We hope you’ll help us — if you’re not 100% happy with something you get from R&R, for any reason, please let us know. When you shop online, you’re asking us to be your eyes, and we want all the feedback we can get as we learn to do that better and better.

And thanks again for sticking with us on this rollercoaster. I know it’s not over yet, but I think the screaming part of it has stopped. 🙂


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