Reflections on Community
Lately, I’ve found myself reflecting upon the past year. It’s not an uncommon practice in business to compare over previous years—whether measuring growth, or looking back to improve plans or processes.
However, this year, that all looks pretty different. When I reflect on where we were a year ago—we were closed. We had been closed to in-person business for over a month and had no idea when we’d re-open. While we had a website—it had a very small assortment of our products on it. Kiss the Cook, at its core, has been a brick-and-mortar store for nearly 30 years. It was a really scary time.
Reflecting on it now, I learned a lot during that time. I learned we needed a better online presence and that we’re capable of selling online. I learned, while our team here is small, we have exceptional people. I also learned just how special our community is. The support we received, both while we were closed and after, was exceptional. Each and every call we received while closed buoyed our spirits—even if we didn’t have what folks were looking for, just knowing people were thinking of us meant so much. We felt very lucky to be here in Vermont, where people shopped small long before it was trendy.
Since then we’ve relaunched our website with our full assortment of products, and started growing our Kiss the Cook community beyond Vermont. After living through March-May of 2020, I can sincerely say regardless of where you’re located, we truly appreciate you. Your support means a great deal to our little kitchen shop.
As a result of these reflections, we’ve decided to start a couple of new programs. The first is a simple concept we came up with last year when retail stores and restaurants were closed. It was a series of Zoom interviews we called “Community Chats” where we interviewed people involved in various ways in the food industry. The feedback we got was that people really enjoyed learning about other businesses, or about the people behind their favorite restaurants, or food products. So, starting in May we’re going to bring those back—one each month, and hopefully we’ll be able to talk about food, as well as introduce you to some interesting folks!
The next thing we’re excited to announce is something we’re viewing as “phase 1” of a new initiative here at Kiss the Cook. While we love talking about delicious foods and the best cookware, the sad reality is that food security is a challenge for far too many. Food is an essential human need, and we’ve decided to make fighting food insecurity part of our purpose. The first step will be designating one weekend each month to donate 10% of our sales to an organization that is fighting food insecurity*. We’ll also host a 2nd monthly “Community Chat” where we interview someone from that organization to help raise awareness of their mission, and the various ways they can be supported. While we’re excited this, we view this as a first step. We look forward to announcing more in the coming months, and growing this effort for years to come.
If you made it this far—thanks for reading--and thank you again for your support.
Keep on Cookin’
*Our first of these will be the weekend of May 8th. We'll donate 10% of our sales to Feeding Chittenden, and be sure to check out our Community Chat which will be available here on our website, and on our social media platforms Friday 5/7!