Stay encouraged

It’s easy to say, but hard to do.  It doesn’t matter what business you are in, where you work, or what stage of life you currently find yourself, the challenges we all face are abundant.  Some of these can be overcome, some must simply be endured.  There are resources that can help, but sometimes something as simple as a kind word of encouragement can have life changing consequences.  Ron agrees.

We first met many years ago when my daughter and his son attended the same private school.  We were parents, focused on encouraging and helping our children make it thru the challenging middle school years.  In addition to school functions, we’d see Ron occasionally delivering the mail around town.

Ron is the pastor at the Lakeview Missionary Baptist Church.  From fatherhood to the pandemic, Pastor Ron has always been there to help in some way.  I can’t remember a time when he failed to offer up a big smile, a helping hand, a kind word, just the right verse, and/or a word of encouragement.  One of my favorites was his simple, yet powerful advice, ‘Stay encouraged’.

We ship probably 99% of our orders via USPS Priority Mail.  Occasionally we’ll ship a package via Express and on rarer occasions, we’ll use one of the other carriers.  I’ve shared stories in the past of our experiences with the USPS and in particular, those people on the front lines – the individuals who show up every day and move what has become an overwhelming volume of packages.

In 2020, the USPS delivered some 7.3 billion packages to more than 161 million delivery points.  I’ll do the math for you – that’s an average of 44.2 packages per delivery point.  And some small portion of those packages were cookies and brownies from Anna’s Gourmet Goodies.

Running a business like Anna’s Gourmet Goodies is akin to conducting an orchestra.  One important difference is that all the players are not on stage together at the same time.  They come from as far away as Madagascar, where our vanilla supplier, Cook’s, acquires most of their beans.  To the wheat fields of the Western US, where organic farmers nurture the grain to maturity, then transport it to Lindley Mills for processing.  Butter, eggs, and sugar all start in a field somewhere, and a host of hands pick up these ingredients and pass them along, hopefully at just the right time.

Beyond the ingredients, we rely on the people and companies making boxes, ribbon, tape, labels, ink, toner, technology and more to play their instruments at just the right time.  Business, like music, works when everyone in the chain hits their notes at just the right time.

Once the order is placed, we pull together all the ingredients and produce the product, a gift of our cookies and/or brownies.  In our final movement of this symphony, we hand that product off to our friends at the Wake Forest Post Office to begin the journey, along with the 7+ billion other packages, to their final destination.
There are so many hands that we’ll never meet along the way but having a group of people at our local post office has made this final, and in some ways the most important part of the Anna’s Gourmet Goodies experience, possible.

I can’t name every person from their staff of 100+ who help us on a daily basis.  Supervisors Wesley and Marsha are always there to lend a hand.  And when he’s not out on a route delivering the mail, Pastor Ron is there as well – ready, waiting and smiling.

In 2019, we incorporated the ‘Kindness Rocks’ project into some of our customer outreach.  If you have not heard of this, I’d encourage you to visit their website.  They recently added a new ‘Encouragement Pack’ of messages to their cards.  When I saw this, I immediately felt this was something we needed to re-visit in 2021.

This year is turning out to be one of the hottest summers on record.  The pandemic has re-emerged, threatening our physical health, and draining us emotionally.  Hurricanes.  Wildfires.  Global unrest.  There is simply no shortage of challenges that we all face in some form or another.

On a personal level, the COVID-19 virus has ravaged Debbie’s family, with the latest delta variant relentlessly attacking the vaccinated and wreaking havoc on those who unfortunately, have incurred its wrath.  Sadly, it helped end the life of my Father-In-Law, Richard Geiger.  You may remember reading about him in this post.

But today, and most every day throughout the week, we’ll tap the podium, turn on the oven and assemble a group of packages that Pastor Ron and many others will usher to the delivery point.  We hope that the cookies and brownies themselves deliver more than a little nourishment, but a feeling of happiness, of kindness, of hope.  And depending on what the person placing the order asked us to include, there might be a few words on encouragement on the card.

In any case, you can rest assured that our message to those receiving our products that might be facing any of the host of challenges they face today, is the same one Pastor Ron shares with me.

Stay encouraged.

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Our business is built like a quilt

Earlier this year, my friend, mentor and sometimes cookie maker at Anna’s Gourmet Goodies tapped me once again to help put the final touches on his latest book.  Jack Spain and I have collaborated on our books in the past, and for his latest work, “Different Tracks:  Lessons From a Diverse Career Journey” I helped with the title, the cover design and wrote the forward (pick up your copy to read it!).  It is a collection of stories, insights, and wisdom from his career choices, and it reminded me of my Mom and her love for quilts.

It’s probably been two years since I ventured out to any type of business networking event where I’ve had the opportunity to learn about other people, their career path, and of course, talk about Anna’s Gourmet Goodies.  The question about my career journey came up more than once, “How did an MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business end up baking cookies?”  It was not a straight-line journey and includes a patchwork of experiences that I continue to add every day, outside the oven.

I have not updated my resume in probably 20 years, but if I did, it would certainly not fit into any type of template.  It is long, diverse and to an HR professional looking to fill a position based on a keyword search, might just bring their AI (artificial intelligence) engine to its knees.  But I believe that is exactly the reason that Anna’s Gourmet Goodies is here, some 20 years later and it is one of the ‘not-so-secret’ ingredients to our success.

I grew up in a modest, suburban home where both parents worked.  Of all the various skills I learned during my 18 or so years there, it was an attitude of, ‘yes, we can figure out how to do that’.  From fixing things around our house, to building a cabin on a lake, to helping a neighbor with their lawn mower or washing machine, my parents came from a generation where self-sufficiency and the ability to tackle almost any task was viewed as an asset.  Sure, we enjoyed the conveniences that emerged in households during the 60’s and 70’s, but I also learned to repair or create what I needed, often from materials we had around the house.

My Mom grew up in a farmhouse with eight brothers and sisters, raised primarily by a single mother – my grandfather died young from tuberculosis.  She shared stories of my grandmother and how she managed to raise and feed a family.  She made quilts and clothing for her children not as a hobby, but out of necessity.

I’d be hard pressed to come up with a simple formula, or recipe, that explains precisely how I ended up at Anna’s Gourmet Goodies, baking, packing and shipping cookies, making people happy almost every day.  But I do believe that it is the patchwork of experiences that has made this possible.  In my early years, it was lawn care, construction, painting that framed my experience.  From there I added customer service and sales experience.  Post MBA, I embraced computers and technology adding everything from network wiring, to assembling computers and servers, software development, consulting and project management.  For my last gig in the corporate world, I rode the dotcom train with Jack, holding something like seven titles in four years, mostly due to my response, when asked, “sure, I can do that”.

Our chocolate chip cookies have a scant (9) ingredients.  When mixed in the right order and baked to just the right temperature, they are incredible cookies.  But it is more than the ingredients and the well-defined processes that make up Anna’s Gourmet Goodies.  I believe it is the patchwork of experiences that have gone into the business that are key to our success over the years.  When the burner on the oven developed a crack, I found a machinist to weld and repair it.  When I needed a special tool to cut shortbread, I worked with a friend and a metal shop to design and fabricate it.  We use technology to give us an edge in custom printing client note cards and labels, as well as preparing and uploading shipping data to our postage system.  Every system and process ultimately came from diverse experiences and is designed to bring comfort to our customers and their recipients, just like one of Mom’s warm blankets on a cool evening.

Don’t get me wrong, we don’t say ‘yes’ to every request at Anna’s Gourmet Goodies.  If you are looking for a wedding cake or a tray of cookies for your next BBQ, we are not the right choice.  But for what we do, bake and ship cookies as gifts that delight the recipient, our processes and ability to deliver more than what our customers expect, comes from this patchwork of experiences I’ve gathered along the way.

This past year, more than any in my memory, has given all of us the chance to pause and think about a lot of things.  Maybe you are wondering how you arrived where you are, or what the future holds.  I encourage you to look back at your ‘quilt of experiences’ and see them as an asset, something to be cherished and valued.  Who knows when they will come together at just the right time and propel you on the next leg of your career journey.

I was fortunate enough to save a few of the quilts my Mom either made, or had made, during her lifetime.  They are among my most cherished possessions because they remind me of her, the lessons learned, and the experiences I’ve added to my career quilt over the years.  I’m happy to say that the curiosity that drives me towards finding those scraps of experiences continues to this day.

And while the quilts themselves are not on display in the bakery at Anna’s Gourmet Goodies, the collective patchwork of experiences from my career journey are baked into every batch.  And just like that warm quilt on a cold morning, our hope is that all those who share our cookies and brownies, feel the comfort of something that is made from more than a list of simple ingredients.

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2020-Goodbye, Farewell and Amen

If you’re a fan of the TV show M*A*S*H, you probably watched the final episode, titled ‘Goodbye, Farewell and Amen’.  And even if you are not a dedicated fan, chances are you might have tuned in for the finale.  When it aired on February 28th, 1983, 121.6 million viewers watched as the end of the show’s 11-year run ended.  More people watched this episode than the Super Bowl that year.

And yet, it pales in comparison to the number of people who watched the year 2020 come to an end.  With a global population of nearly 7.8 billion, it’s hard to imagine that all but a small percentage of that population were not ready, mostly happy, to put the year 2020 behind us.  He never liked saying ‘goodbye’, but I suspect that if Mike Farrell were to revive his M*A*S*H character, BJ, he would gladly say goodbye to 2020.

It’s not that absolutely everything in the year 2020 was bad.  At Anna’s Gourmet Goodies, there were plenty of reasons to practice my word for 2020 – grateful.  We were grateful that we managed to dodge the COVID-19 virus.  We implemented what are now being touted as best practices, early in the year.  We wore masks before they were recommended or required, kept our distance as much as possible, washed our hands obsessively and wiped down everything with sanitizer, for good measure.  Extra work for sure, but worth the price.

We had another record Holiday Gift Season.  While some customers were not able to send gifts this year, others increased their orders, particularly for remote employees.  And we made new friends as well.  For those customers that did not ship with us this year, we maintained that close bond, pulling for them, in some cases weeping for them, as their businesses struggle to navigate the pandemic.

The word ‘farewell’ is a fancy way of saying goodbye, usually reserved as an expression when someone is embarking on a journey.  This past year has been a challenging journey for so many people on so many levels.  Businesses trying to quickly adapt and learn to survive.  Families struggling not just financially, but emotionally, adjusting to new ways of doing the most ordinary of tasks.  And sadly, too many families saying farewell to loved ones who embarked on their final journey.

It does not happen very often, but we filled an order this year for 2-packs of cookies that were used as part of a memorial service.  We were asked to create a simple label with a photograph.  Out of respect, I did not ask any additional details about how or why.  We baked and shipped the order, hoping that in some small way, we helped the friends and family wish their loved one farewell in their final journey.

The word ‘amen’ originated in the Hebrew Bible.  It is most often used in Christian, Jewish and Islamic worship services as a conclusion to a prayer.  Colloquial translations of the word mean to express strong agreement or to verify something is true.

If you are a person of faith, you’ve probably used the word amen to mark the end of a prayer.  If you are not, you still might have used the word to mark strong agreement, or at the end of an event.  In either case, it’s fair to say that for many different reasons, people all over the globe are happy this past year has come to a close.  Some of us will emphatically add an ‘Amen’.  As Seth Godin replied in one of my emails, ‘here’s to better days’.  Amen.

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Focusing on gratitude – not the hat

In a few weeks Americans will celebrate a holiday dedicated to the idea of being grateful, Thanksgiving.  First celebrated in 1621 and declared a national holiday in 1863, it is a time of tradition, of family, of gratitude, of celebration and of remembrance.  For me, it is a holiday that renders some of my most vivid memories.  And while 2020 will most certainly be different for all of us, we still can focus on the idea behind the holiday.

I don’t know about you, but I am tired.  Mentally, physically, and emotionally.  Just as the smoke from the devastating wildfires in California, visible from space, hover over our planet, a cloud of discourse has coated our nation and much of the world.  Health, economic and social issues have touched all of us in some way and despite our resilience, it is easy to become worn down.  And in that state, gratitude might not be the first thing to come to mind, but it might just be the answer to finding a way out of the clouds.

Several years ago, I wrote a post about my experience with a sudden heart event and how it helped me focus on why I was thankful.  I replaced the tradition of setting ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ by choosing a single word to focus on for the year.  As I shared in an earlier post, my word for 2020 is ‘grateful’.

What we focus on has a powerful impact on what we see around us.  Try this.  Enter this search term in your favorite search engine, ‘what you focus on is what you see’.  You will find a range of articles from bloggers to sources like National Geographic, Inc Magazine and Psychology Today.  All lead to a similar conclusion that what we focus our thinking on, is what often ends up in our experience.

I’ve never compiled the text from the messages on gift cards we include with packages at Anna’s Gourmet Goodies, but I am confident that most of them focus on the idea of being ‘thankful’.  Whether thanking a person for their help, a client for referring business, or an employee for a job well done, we send out gifts of gratitude almost every day.

Despite the overwhelming challenges of 2020, I am grateful for many things at Anna’s Gourmet Goodies.  We have taken every precaution we could and have avoided the virus.  And unlike so many businesses that have suffered, and sometimes forced to close through no fault of their own, we’ve grown this year.  We have developed deep and long-standing relationships with our customers, our suppliers and have added some new friends to our family of customers.  I am grateful for this and so much more, every, single, day.

One of the interesting side effects of sincere, humble gratitude is that it is beneficial for both you and for others.  For ourselves, it is hard to stay in a state of despair when you focus on gratitude.  And for others who are hurting and suffering, recognizing their plight while humbly, not boastfully, being grateful for what we have is a sign of respect.

One of my favorite stories about gratitude, or lack thereof, comes from the late Dr. Wayne Dyer.  He shared it on his audio series ‘The Power of Intention’ and probably in his writing somewhere.

‘A woman was walking down the beach with her grandson when suddenly, a large wave swept over them and carried him out to sea.  Unable to see her grandson in the water, she looked up and cried out, ‘Dear God, please return my grandson to me!’  A moment later, a second wave crashed on the beach and deposited her grandson on the sand at her feet.  She paused for a moment, looked up and said, ‘Uh, he was wearing a hat’.

If I am honest, there have been times in my life when something wonderful has happened and rather than focus on that, I’ve looked for the hat.  Maybe you have as well.

This happens rarely, but occasionally at Anna’s Gourmet Goodies.  We sent out cookies to customers not too long ago as a thank you.  One of those customers let me know that they ‘were not the right kind’.  A little poking in jest or looking for a hat – maybe a bit of both.

At Anna’s Gourmet Goodies, we have been working as never before to plan for the Holiday gift season.  We are not sure what to expect, but already have orders in the queue from customers sending out gifts, expressing their gratitude to those recipients on the list.  It is an amazing thing to be part of and whatever the remainder of the year brings, I’ll be focused on my word and making sure every package we ship includes a healthy measure of gratitude.

I don’t know how we’ll celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday this year.  It will be different.  But we are grateful that Anna will be home with us to celebrate, be thankful and create a memory or two.  And I’ll be happy to see her, even if she is not wearing a hat.

“When you change the way you see things, the things you see will change”
-Dr. Wayne Dyer

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Our logo is not our brand

Every day, when I walk into my office, I see the silhouette that I used to create our logo hanging on the wall.  When I am on a video conference (which happens more frequently these days), it is in the background.  It is a constant reminder of where our company was focused when we started, and a big part of ‘The Why’ behind Anna’s Gourmet Goodies.  But as Seth Godin reminded me in his season opener podcast from May 27, 2020, this logo is not our brand.

In a comment during the show, he reminds us that a ‘brand is a promise, not a logo’.  The artist and entrepreneur in me absolutely loves the art, the thought and the design that goes into a logo.  After all, it is often the first impression we get of any company.  It is the front door to a business.  And while that is an important part of any business, it’s what’s behind the door that really matters.

We purchase different things at different times for different reasons.  There are times when we buy what we need because it is urgent, or it meets our needs.  But the moment we begin to think about that purchase, when we think about what we expect, the idea of brand almost invariably comes into our thought process.  We remember the experience of purchasing something from a company that kept their promise, and we remember the experience where that did not happen.

The pandemic has impacted virtually every person on the planet in so many diverse ways.  We won’t know the true impact of all that has happened for years, perhaps decades.  The financial impact on businesses in all sectors is undeniable.  It has caused us, me included, to think carefully about where we spend our money.  Now, more than ever, is a time when keeping the promise is critical for any brand to survive.

At Anna’s Gourmet Goodies, we are fortunate that everything we do is built around a set of promises, not just cookies and brownies.  Our products are great.  We occasionally receive direct feedback from recipients who rave about the taste and quality of what we make.  But there have been a handful of times in the past 20 years when we did not hit the mark.  We had one recently, and without hesitation, we made it right.  That’s part of our promise.

While we don’t have a list on the wall of our promises, I’ve put some thought into this lately and here is what I came up with:

  • We promise to treat every single order with the same love and care as if it were the only order we process that day.  Whether is it one package, or 100 packages.
  • We promise to look thru every order, and if we find a typo in the address so it does not verify, a name spelling that does not look right, a typo in the message or maybe the person forgot to sign the card – we’ll reach out and ask if this is correct.
  • We promise not to thoughtlessly substitute ingredients of lower quality just to improve the bottom line by a few pennies or dollars.  For example, when pure vanilla hit $500+ a gallon, we refused to switch to artificial at <$10 a gallon.
  • We promise to treat all our suppliers like part of our team, our family.  We pay our bills on time.  If we make a mistake, we own up to it.  And if the supplier makes a mistake, we give them the chance to make it right.
  • We promise to treat every customer with dignity and respect.  If we make a mistake, we take ownership and make it right.  If we are not the right fit or don’t have what they need or want, we’ll be honest, let them know up front and if possible, refer them to another business that can help.
  • We promise to continue to show gratitude for what we receive and to be good stewards of the gifts we have been given.  Our customers entrust us with their money and we promise to use that wisely to provide products and services that are of value in a sustainable business that will be here next week, next month and next year.

We recently had an experience with a company in Washington state that demonstrated the epitome of a brand keeping its promise.  In a time before the digital camera age, I invested in a Sony Hi8 video camera.  It was believed to be the best of its kind at the time.  This was in 1998, just before Anna was born.

Our first tape in this camera, was to record Anna’s birth.  The hospital set us up in a single private room for everything – labor and delivery.  Of course I did not want to capture anything that would compromise Debbie’s modesty, so I setup the camera in the corner of the room to capture the event, the conversation, the background music and of course, Anna’s first cry.  I still have vivid memories, but the images on this tape are priceless.

For the next 10 years, we captured other significant events on tape including first crawl, first steps, birthdays, Easter egg hunts, Christmas pageants, vacation and more.  Mostly, we captured life.

With the tapes more than 20 years old, it was time to think about converting them to a digital format before they deteriorated or the camera failed.  I looked into buying the equipment and doing it myself, but I found this company on, Lotus Media.

While I could have purchased their service on Amazon, I went to their website, searched for more reviews, looked them up on Facebook and finally, decided to call.  To my surprise, Ngina answered the phone.  No ‘voice defense system’ – a real person.

I asked about the service and the various options.  She patiently explained everything and what they recommend for sending in the tapes.  It did not sound like a sales pitch or a script, but a conversation with a friend.  At some point, she explained that they understand these are not just tapes, but priceless memories that cannot be replaced.  I understood their promise.

I packed the tapes, over-doing everything.  Return address labels on each tape case, tapes inside a padded plastic envelope with a return address label, the envelope in a box to ship via USPS Express Mail Overnight.  I was taking a leap of faith with irreplaceable memories expecting that Lotus Media would keep their promise.

I called and left a message after receiving notice that the package had been delivered.  Ngina returned my phone call and sent an email confirming the package arrived and my order was in process.  The delivery estimate for the digital files was about two weeks.  I was surprised and elated when an email arrived a few days later confirming that my order was ready.

The files were shared via Google drive and with one click, I was transported back to a time twenty two years ago when what was to become the little girl we used to create our logo, came into this world.  Her first cry.  Her first bath.  Her Mom holding her for the first time.  Priceless.

There are plenty of examples of a company living up to their brand by keeping their promise.  For me, Lotus Media did exactly that, 110%.  And while we are not handling priceless memories for our clients, rest assured that the Anna’s Gourmet Goodies brand we’ve been building for the past 20 years will continue to do what we say and deliver more than our customers and their recipients expect.  We promise.

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Thinking back and looking forward

Most of us with a fair amount of ‘life experience’ under our belt can probably think back and remember those milestone events that are permanently etched in our memory.  It might be personal, like the birth of a child, the death of a parent or meeting your spouse.  Or it might be those events that impact us all.  A few for me were watching my Mom crying in the kitchen the day John F. Kennedy was shot, watching the Challenger explode on the televisions in the hall of Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, and being at SciQuest on September 11th, huddled around a TV in the break room.

There is no question that the pandemic now impacting all of us will leave another permanent marker in my memory and that of virtually every person on the planet.  Unlike events that happened in a short time frame, this one is playing out over days, turning into weeks, turning into months and beyond that, no one really knows.

Chances are you’ve received more than your share of emails about the virus, many from companies you’ve not heard from in a long time.  Instead of rehashing things that you’ve probably already heard or read somewhere else, I wanted to share some of what I’ve been thinking about over the past days and weeks.

Do you sleep in a storm?

In one of my posts titled, ‘Do you sleep in a storm’, I shared a video of my experience at the Men’s Retreat at August Turak’s farm.  The of the video title came from an excerpt in Mitch Albom’s book, Have a Little Faith.

In it, Mitch tells a story of a farm hand looking for a job.  His letter of recommendation from his former employer reads simply, “He sleeps in a storm”.  After being hired, a storm erupted waking the farm owner from sleep.  He calls for the hired hand but finds him sleeping soundly.  He runs out to check the animals, the hay and the grain, finding everything safe and secure.  And then, he understands why “He sleeps in a storm”.

Don’t look back

I shared a story from my teenage years in a post titled, ‘Don’t look back’.  I talked about the risks of looking backward when going fast, in a forward direction.  In that case I was sledding down a hill on a car hood, backwards, hence I couldn’t see the tree.  I am truly blessed to be around today to tell that story and thankfully, Mom is not reading this right now.

Obviously, we are all caught up in a story that is moving forward and changing rapidly, at break-neck speed.

Maybe lagniappe is the answer

And finally, I’ve been thinking about what has become one of my favorite words, ever, ‘lagniappe’ (for those of you who don’t speak Cajun, it is pronounced ‘lan-yapp’).  Renee’ and our friends from Uptown Endodontics taught us this word years ago when we sent them an extra basket of our cookies after they placed a large order with us.

I’ve never forgotten her call to thank me for the lagniappe and for adding such a powerful, life-changing word to my vocabulary.

I cannot think of a better time in history, for all of us to put others first and focus on what little extra we can do for each other.

From the very beginning of this company, we’ve always strived to do things in a way that allow us to sleep well at night and weather whatever storms come our way.  From the recession of 2008, to skyrocketing commodity pricing, to the pandemic, we’re never anxious to enter another storm, but committed to taking care of our customers, our suppliers and the people who work with us just as we’ve always done.

This pandemic is moving and changing at incredible speed.  Our World and how we interact in it has forever changed.  If we spend our time looking backwards at our business, there is a risk of running into something like the tree, and I might not be as lucky this time.

And finally, I do believe that ultimately the answer is not to do less, but to do more.  Lagniappe is more than just a word, it’s a philosophy of looking at how we treat those around us.  It doesn’t have to be anything big or expensive.  It’s about doing what you can to improve someone’s life in any way you can.

The long view

I watched a Simon Sinek video on the difference between Optimism and Positivity.  I’m choosing optimism, doing my best to look as far forward in the future as I can without focusing too much on short term events and news stories.

I was in the wooded area behind our house the other day when I saw an azalea bush strutting its stuff in full bloom.  I planted this bush nearly 22 years ago.  When Anna was born, my Aunt Lois (read the ‘Rest of the Story’) could not come out for a visit, so she asked me to buy something for Anna and plant it to remember her by.  I did exactly that and it is thriving to this day.  She lived a full and robust 91 years and took the long view of life.

It’s okay to sweat the small stuff

In the past weeks, Anna’s Gourmet Goodies gave away free cookies to restaurants to help with takeout orders.  We sent cookies to a group of ER ICU nurses who were having to put their patients on DNR due to lack of equipment.  And I dropped off some brownies to help with an Easter basket for a family whose father was laid off.

The things we are doing at Anna’s Gourmet Goodies are not big things, but we believe that in some small way, they made a difference.  In many ways they are the same things we’ve always done.  But now, they’re even more important.  They are all based on the same principle that we’ve followed since starting this company, to make people happy.  I believe that continuing to focus on doing that is a recipe that stands the test of time.  Like the azalea I planted all those years ago, we do our best work when we take the long view.

We have some customers that have ordered fewer cookies as demand for their business shrinks.  And we’ve had others, including some new companies, that have stepped up orders to reach out to friends and customers who could use a little extra touch right now.  Rest assured that we’re packing the same amount of love and care into every, single, shipment.

It’s my hope that you’ll be inspired to spend a little time thinking back on where you’ve been and what you’ve learned.  Try your best to be prepared.  Do a little extra when you can to make people happy.  And if there is something that Anna’s Gourmet Goodies can do to help, we think we have the right recipe.

But whatever you do, be careful not to spend too much time looking back.  The way out of the woods without hitting a tree, lies in front of us.

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