New site, new system 11/20/2020

Quick things:

  • Want to receive this newsletter via email? Sign up here.
  • We’re open for pre-orders/curbside pickup ONLY. Click here for more info, or here to start shopping!
  • ALL THE DAYS WE’RE OPEN BETWEEN NOW AND THANKSGIVING: Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday! Open as curbside normal on Black Friday and from there out. (Open as normal means Tuesday/Thursday/Friday/Saturday/Sunday.)
  • We’ve got a new web store! Read on for some things you should know.
  • New & noteworthy: Apple Valley Creamery’s famous egg nog, organic Massachusetts cranberries, rutabagas, and sage all make their debuts this week. And not so new, but central to many Thanksgivings, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, and, of course, sweet potatoes.
  • This week’s breads: Cinnamon Raisin, Cheesy Peppercorn, Caraway Rye, and Three Seed (plus the standard Original, Sesame, and Irish Oatmeal).
  • Feedback raffles are on hiatus for a minute because of a slew of technical issues I can’t handle resolving right now. Also, we ran out of feedback slips today (and the paper we print them on), so for those of you have completed them since the last drawing — we’ll include you when we resume our normal programming!

A screenshot of R&R's new website

We did it! Or, we’re doing it! We launched the new e-commerce site — really, a whole new website!. It’s going…okay. Our host/e-commerce platform experienced some performance issues on Thursday, which was not a stellar introduction for many of you. We’re so sorry about that, and very hopeful that it is rare! I’ve been getting service alert issues for both them and the old provider for the past several months, and I will say that I get *way* more emails from the old guys than the new guys. I’d rather see *none*, but I’m pretty sure Thursday’s issue was a fairly isolated event. I think they probably just couldn’t handle all the traffic we drove and had to adjust to keep up. 🙂

And speaking of adjusting to keep up! Well, we’re trying! There are some really great things about this new system, like —

  • YOU CAN EDIT YOUR ORDERS. Wanna add something? No problem! Wanna remove something? No problem! Forget to give yourself credit for your bottle returns? No problem! Once an order is placed, you can make any changes you want right up until the moment we start physically shopping it. To edit an already placed order, just look for the “Order in progress” link in the upper right, or navigate to My Account -> My Orders and find the order in question. (Note: this means you should never have to place a second order! Also, if you do place a second order, we are very unlikely to see it and fill it at the same time. Please don’t place a second order! If you need to add something and we’ve already starting shopping for you, please call us at 717-979-7574 so we can make the addition.)
  • WE CAN CHARGE YOU FOR EXACTLY WHAT YOU’RE GETTING. No more of this classifying every piece of produce and cut of meat by weight category (onions .20-.39 lbs or .40-.59 lbs?) — just like we did in-person — and what every grocery store everywhere does — we’re able to weigh the actual items you’re getting and adjust your order accordingly. But what if you liked specifying size? For some items — those where there might be a really big difference between the biggest and the smallest — we’ll prompt you to indicate your preference. But even if you don’t get a prompt, you can always attach a note to that item saying something like, “I don’t care how many sweet potatoes I get, but I want four pounds total of the biggest ones you have.”
  • WE CAN EDIT YOUR ORDERS. Only if warranted, of course! But if we’re out of the green leaf lettuce you ordered and have butterhead instead, we can gracefully make that substitution. *We can make these changes up until your order is marked Ready for pickup. If you’ve received the notice that your order is ready, we can’t make further changes.
  • We also love that the store is now integrated with the rest of the website, that it’s easier (in some ways!) for me to manage inventory, that we can print out price-embedded barcodes for all the cheese and just scan at them at checkout rather than re-weighing it, that the fulfillment software makes it easy for us to print bag labels……and on and on.


We don’t love everything, though. A big one is just, you know, learning a new system. There was a lot about our old system that we didn’t like and a lot we’re glad to move on from, but we knew that system. We didn’t at first, of course. On Thursday as we were pretty far in the weeds and maybe feeling a little desperate, Elliott pointed out that it was still way better than our original first day of online orders back in March. Holy cow is that true. That day remains my worst day in Radish & Rye history, and maybe one of the worst days of my life. We’re golden compared to that!

But — as I mentioned last week, the fulfillment and inventory systems don’t work together quiiiite as well as originally promised, so we’re basically ringing everything in twice — once in the fulfillment app to update your order as it’ll appear online and for billing purposes, and then once through the POS so it’ll update the inventory. Not exactly what I’d call an “integrated” system, but apparently it’s the one we’ve got. For now anyway — promises of something better have been made, though timeline remains unknown.

In the meantime, it’s giving us good practice at that POS, which, honestly, is working more smoothly than I imagined it would. Definitely still have some things to learn and some stuff to get setup before it’s ready for use with actual people present (would you believe that things at R&R sometimes get a little profane?), but I actually think it’s going to work out okay, and I’m feeling pretty tickled and relieved to feel that way!

But yeah, doing that double ring-in thing is pretty time-consuming, especially as we’re learning two new pieces of software at once, and a whole different model of doing business (gone are the days of generating picklists that tell us all the cheese we need to cut for the day; here are the days of dealing with orders on a one-by-one basis, as if each one were a real live customer in front of us). And we’re doing this the week before a food holiday, as case levels are rising around us and driving more people back to curbside pickup — it’s kind of a lot.

We’ll take it, though, over any of the other alternatives within our control, though — bring on those orders — but bring a dose of patience, too, please. 🙂

Please also take a look at our updated shopping FAQ for some more details on how this all works, and please shoot us an email if you’ve got questions or issues not addressed there. Together we’re going to get this figured out!

But on a different note — I have not addressed the elephant in the room — Thanksgiving.

I am so freaking sad not to be able to do the big family thing this year. I’m really freaking excited for a real day off! Dusty and I will stay home alone next Thursday, but I intend to spend the day alternating between lounging on the couch and cooking in the kitchen. Being with loved ones is a really important part of the holiday, but it’s also about gratitude (it is right there in the name) for the bounty of the harvest. And that’s something we haven’t lost, and which remains worth celebrating. I’m not going to make like 18 lbs of mashed potatoes this year, but I’ll make enough for the two of us and some leftovers. Without others to share the labor, the table won’t be spread with 27 dishes, but I think between the two of us we’ll make more than we can reasonably eat. Thanksgiving: the one day of the year when gluttony and gratitude aren’t as far apart as you might think.

I’m not sure what the newsletter schedule holds between now and T-Day — if things keep going like they have been yesterday and today, well, you probably won’t hear from me again until after the holiday.

So — happy Thanksgiving, folks. Thanks for reading, for shopping, for sticking with us through these ups and downs. Thanks for your support, emotional and financial, and thanks for your support of our suppliers — the farmers and bakers and cheesemakers who bring us this bounty. Thank you thank you thank you.



P.S. If you haven’t already discovered this, you *will* need to create a new account. This account, though, will save your shopping list between devices, and will actually allow you to remain logged in all the way through the checkout process! We’re sorry for any hassle this causes, but think it’s well worth the trade offs!