Some news about next week (we think) 11/12/2020

Quick things:

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

Side note: It’s looking like we’ll be doing T-Day just the two of us this year, so I’ve been thinking about what we might do — this experiment from last year is providing some inspiration. It’s a Brussels sprouts/cranberry/sweet potato?/chicken sheet pan dinner. I remember that I should have made a sweeter glaze for the cranberry/Brussels, maybe tossed them in a little bit of maple syrup or something before or after roasting, but it was worthy of another round of experimentation.

So! I don’t think it’s necessarily a great business strategy to say, “We might be closed for a day next week!” without being 100% sure that that’s the case, but — here’s the deal:

We are this.close. to being ready to launch the new e-commerce site, and, because we believe it will make shopping and order fulfillment a better experience for you and for us, we sure would like to get there before Thanksgiving. That means — next week’s our window.

Under normal circumstances, I’d want to be announcing this after we’d dialed in all the final details and done some extensive testing and training, but….we anticipate having those details dialed in by Sunday or Monday, and we need a few days of being closed to do inventory (so we can be sure we’re starting with accurate counts in the new system) and then run some testing and training, and I also want to give you as much notice as possible without that notice delaying the launch.

And so, here we are. Tentatively the plan is that new site will go live sometime on Wednesday, for orders for Thursday and beyond. We’ll definitely spread the word once we’re ready for you, but the most important thing to know is that the new store will be on our existing site at — you won’t need to go anywhere special, unless you’ve bookmarked the BigCommerce URL directly, in which case that won’t do you any good after Sunday. We’re pretty sure. If we’re wrong, we’ll spread the word about that instead.

You might be wondering, “If you think you’re so close, what could possibly happen between now and Wednesday that would prevent this from happening?” Well, if I knew, maybe we wouldn’t be setting this plan in motion, but just today — as an example of a November surprise — I got an email from our Account Manager at the POS company (who knows we’re trying to launch the website next week) saying, “Julia, can you meet with our Product Manager on Tuesday so we can evaluate what version of our software is best for you?” WHAT?!? WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE VERSION YOU JUST MOVED ME TO?  Well, it turns out that one of the features you thought you were getting by moving — like one of the main reasons for the move, really — well, actualllly it doesn’t exist in your version of the software and the version of the software that *does* have it hasn’t been tested for some of the other things you need it to do, so…once they finish testing this newer version in 140 other stores, then you can have it. Um, okay.

The feature in question (that we can’t have yet) is the ability to have the e-commerce orders “auto-injected” into the POS for reporting and inventory purposes. The alternative — and, actually, the way the vast majority of grocery stores do it — is to update the order picking app as you go (which is what charges the customer), but then ring it all manually through the POS with a fake payment type (since the order picking app is actually driving the payment) so that the inventory gets updated and all your sales reports are in place. So, we thought we were going to just update all the final quantities and weights and things in the order picking app, mark it as ready for pickup, and that was it, but actually we’ll have to do all that *and* ring it through the POS.  This is, like, not a *huge* deal, but it’s definitely, not, you know, optimally efficient. We can live with it, especially while online is the only thing we’re doing, and especially as it’s probably really good for us to be learning the POS better right now anyway. But here’s the real kicker — on Tuesday — that’s the day before yesterday — I asked this woman who emailed me this afternoon, “Hey, are you done with whatever you need to do so the e-commerce company can setup the auto-inject?” And her answer, “Oh yeah, we’re just waiting on them”. WHAT?!?!

Anyway! I think we’re going to be fine there, but I feel like when that’s the kind of situation we’re dealing with, well, how can I predict what’s going to happen next?

I do want to say that for all the ups and downs and crazy broken promises, I do think this new arrangement is going to serve all of us well. It’s not perfect, for sure, and I’m sure there will be weird quirks that we have to find workarounds for, etc etc, but I am really excited to be able to do this “right”. You guys have stuck with us during some crazy times when I don’t think we’ve been operating optimally — I hope you’ll stick with us just a little longer while we get all this stuff implemented, learn what those quirks are and how to work around them, and finally finally get to where we really want to be, which, of course, is focused on getting awesome local food into your bellies (and, to be honest, our own!).

In other news, this week we had needlepoint bipolar ionization air treatment systems installed on the heads of all of our mini-splits, which was a significant thing we wanted to have in place before we open, so we’re really happy to have that taken care of. And speaking of being open in the physical world — we definitely want a few weeks under the new e-commerce system to get used to it and better learn the new POS, so we’re not right around the corner, but the move to the new site will definitely signal the beginning of the end game. So keep your fingers crossed for us that it all goes well — I’m really looking forward to seeing you! Or, at least your eyes. 🙂