Happy New Year! I cannot believe it’s already 2020 — time really flies when you’re having fun! This time of year, of course, means that it cold and snow are inevitable. Hopefully, during the holidays, you picked up (or received) some cozy scarves and hats to keep you warm. If not, don’t worry; we likely still have some hanging around.
We are excited to announce that we will be working on installing a new refrigerated cheese island sometime in late January! We started to look for a new one all the way back in October, when we realized that our old cheese island was acting up. We were able to get it working so that we could get through the holidays and still offer some of the best cheeses for your holiday festivities. The new island will be easier to merchandise in, and it will hold more items for us to offer. It will likely be installed after we close for the evening, so we don’t anticipate much interruption in service. Once it is installed, it may take some time to let it run before we fill it with more delicious cheese, but this should be a short-lived interruption.
This past fall, we hosted our Annual Meeting, where members were able to meet and engage with our board candidates prior to voting for them. The conversation went well, and I was also able to present my areas of focus as I get more and more comfortable in my new role as general manager. The one area of focus that it is near and dear to me is looking at how we can increase our diversity, equity, and inclusion, for our staff and for our owners and shoppers.
Our human resources manager and I participated in a Diversity Leadership Training, with a local diversity and inclusion consulting company called Inclusant. It was a great, intensive program that focused on developing the awareness, skills and knowledge that are crucial for successfully engaging with diverse constituencies. This was an important first step to recognizing who is included and who is excluded from full participation in the services we provide. I will be putting together a multi-year plan that we will use as a guide to accomplishing full diversity, equity and inclusion training for all of our staff and for our board of directors. One of the best pieces of information that I walked away with is that, in an organization such as ours, this type of cultural change is a marathon, and not a sprint. It will take a lot of learning from many different groups to help us be a great community. I am excited to begin this journey, and I feel that it will only help us serve each-other and our community better than ever.