When one door closes another opens. Same could be said for windows. I know you all like it when I tell anecdotal stories from time to time. Well, I thought I’d break from recipes and share this little gem with you.
In my harried state last Friday after two back-to-back meetings with my amazing colleagues at Vie, I left two napping kiddos with my 18 year-old stepdaughter, Kate, in order to run down the road and pick up my oldest from school. I brought the dog. The damned troublesome, barky dog. Why?
Because he is A) attached at my hip and B) I thought it would be a wonderful surprise for Gabe. Ah, the best laid plans. When will I learn?? So, got to Gabe on time, check. Managed to keep the dog from running out of the car into the road, check. Left the car running with the keys still in the ignition…check?
So after scooping my tall and lanky first baby into my arms and covering his face with kisses, we ran to the car together…off for a fun-filled afternoon of dinner cooking and Minecraft playing. Until we got to the car, that is. Inside was the dog who had managed to lock every single door with his tiny little paw. I sat there for a minute as I watched the principal and the rest of the staff walk by–somehow unable to move or ask for help. Shock is what you call it, I guess. Or utter embarrassment at bringing my sweet and annoying terrier with me. No surprise is worth getting locked out of the car.
Gabe and I attempted for awhile to get Fitz to unlock the car in the same manner he had locked it. I had just about given up when I looked up. Much to my utter shock was the fact that the back window to our untidy little van was open just enough for me to squeeze my arm through the hole. Now, I knew I couldn’t reach an unlock button from there, but I had a thought…
If I pulled one of the ornamental benches from the front of the school over I could stand on top of it, reach in enough to get a finger on the window button and voila! I was able to roll the window down enough to keep the dog inside and also help give Gabe a hoist to climb in and unlock the rest of the car for me.
Since I can remember Gabe comprehending the words that I spoke to him, I remember teaching him that any problem has a solution. I truly do believe that. Perhaps that’s why I’m so optimistic. I haven’t been proven wrong just yet, thankfully. So when I saw the window open, I knew I would get yet another chance to drive that point (and us) home. I’d like to think that someday when Gabe finds himself in a sticky situation, he will remember this moment and trust that everything will work out.
That’s a pretty big one for a mom, right? #winning for sure!
So, when I heard Relay was set to merge with Door-to-Door Organics and close it’s Cville office, of course my heart felt pretty heavy. I have a good number of friends, colleagues and acquaintances who work there. I have enjoyed my time working with them immensely. I am so grateful for the existence of this little company, in fact. Over the years Colin and I have had the great pleasure of becoming friends with Founder Zach and his beautiful and inspirational wife, Shirley. Our kids play together, we have a lot to say to each other. I mean…when you get four entrepreneurs in the room what else is going to happen?
This post is coming a little late. I know that. You see…that’s where the “when one door closes another opens” adage comes into play here. In my sadness of the closing (which I know was felt by many of you) I had lost sight of one very important fact: the closing of Relay was coming almost to the day of the launch of my company, Vie. Now, we are not an online grocery store, but we are a connector between the customers who shop at the grocery stores and the grocery stores themselves. We are your friend at the store.
I realize now that all of this has happened in a beautiful way. Vie has the perfect opportunity of stepping in and partially filling the shoes of another wonderful home-grown business in our beloved Charlottesville. We will have the chance and privilege of working with locals in the same states touched by Relay: VA, NC, MD and our capital, DC. We will yet again make a goal of bringing local, healthy and family-friendly food on a budget to our community.
In fact, now is as good a time as any to announce that starting in the spring we will be partnering with local farmers and food-makers to offer meal plans that can be purchased through locally-owned stores, like Rebecca’s Natural Foods, and the local farmers markets. It feels good to be back in the local food saddle again, I will admit.
Below is my homage to Relay. Please read, but keep in mind that there are great things on the horizon. Hope is a powerful thing.
Written January 13th, 2017
It’s a sad day here in Charlottesville. Our beloved Relay Foods closed its (truck) doors today. This awesome company that was supported and loved by a lot of us here had its final week last week, with the very last delivery/pick up for customers on Friday.
Of course, I went to offer emotional support, do a little ritual cleansing and closure, but mostly because I wanted to be a little part of history. You see, Relay and I were very close.
When I started my first business in town, I met with Zach, the co-founder of Relay (Retail Relay at the time). He loved what I was doing and we eventually became friends. Now I love spending time with his wife, Shirley, and our kids get along and play like one big family.
At the time his new start up couldn’t support ice cream delivery, so we decided to punt the partnership until later down the road, however I loved what Relay was doing and became a customer. Since then, Relay has gone through many iterations, including expanding into an awesome warehouse and super start up workspace as well as working to reach more customers by opening its delivery channels up into surrounding states.
After Beckett was born, I knew I needed to work with Relay again, and I called up another great friend of mine, Jeff, who has worked there for a long time now. I told him I was working on some meal planning projects and he said so were they. Could I come on board and help?
I’m so glad I answered yes.
That following year was filled with recipe development, food styling, picking up some mega photography skills from their resident photog, John, and overall feeling empowered again as I re-entered the work force after having baby #3. Relay welcomed me with open arms and I always looked forward to going to work and cooking all day in their beautiful kitchen space. The team there was always welcoming and kind, and I loved getting to feed them what I made at the end of the day.
I always felt great pride with my connection to Relay. I loved that my kids saw Relay trucks drive past and exclaimed, “Look, it’s Mommy’s work!” In fact, I loved simply teaching my kids that I could work and participate in our community in a positive way that also fed my soul (and our bellies) since I brought a lot of what I made home.
So, Relay, it’s been really real. I am so grateful for the experience of having you around. I know a lot of us locals feel the same, and I’d just like to wish the entire Relay team well on their journey forward. Maybe we will all work together again someday!
And for those of you interested, while Relay’s presence is gone, they simply merged with a larger Colorado-based company, Door-to-Door Organics. Stay tuned because we’ll be seeing them around here soon. Go ahead and give them some love, won’t you?
In the meantime, thanks for everything, Relay!