By: Chris Felder
Writing the first-ever Grubb's Grocery blog post has proven to be an ominious task. There are so many things that could be said as to why I am truly proud to be a part of this vibrant and growing community in downtown Jackson. So many reasons to want to bring the excitement of natural foods and its products to the residents of Jackson and Madison County. So many industry buzzwords and current topics to tackle, debate, discuss, and explore. And the products! So many amazing products are available now; more than ever before, to deliciously address any number of current health concerns and dietary restrictions. There's never been a more exciting or proud time to be a part of such a huge and growing number of the population who, on a daily basis, are getting more and more in touch with those foods they put in their bodies and those consumables they purchase every day.
But spending time in Jackson over the past months in preparation for the store opening (which can't come soon enough!), has perhaps been the most exciting part. I've been overwhelmed at the enthusiasm, excitement, and encouragement I've received from absolutely everyone I've encountered.
One fun example...I was at the USPS to set up a PO box for interim mail before we open, and the nice lady who helped me with the transaction looked at my application and politely asked, "Grubb's Grocery...what is that?" I replied, "It's a natural foods store we're opening this spring at Jackson Walk." She then proceeded to ask me if we'd carry essential oils. I informed her that indeed, we would. It was at that moment when the look on her face changed from friendly and helpful postal worker to a lady who just witnessed the second coming. She then called all her coworkers around (there were no other customers at the time), and they began their barrage of very welcome questions and comments. I walked out smiling; knowing I'd just met our first loyal customers. And I look forward to getting to know each one of them.
Then during one overnight planning trip before I had a place in Jackson, I stayed at a local hotel. At breakfast, I had the pleasure of being served by a jovial staff member who obviously loved her work, and with whom I struck up a conversation. Somehow we landed on the purpose for my stay. I told her...and again, that "second coming" look. But this time, that look was accompanied by - and this is absolutely no embellishment - a literal tear in her eye. I could see her emotion, and it made sense because, during our conversation, she'd shared with me a little about her personal journey to health and wellness. In closing our conversation, I said, "I look forward to seeing you as a customer in our store." Her reply, "Oh no, I'm not going to be just a customer; I'm going to be your employee." And she may very well be!
There are other amazing experiences I've had in preparing for this exciting new business and life opportunity. Each encounter is marked by the same descriptors: excitement, enthusiasm, encouragement, support.
And it is for this reason that couldn't be more excited for the years and the opportunities ahead. I've had the pleasure of being in this industry now for 15 years. During this time, I've had the honor of seeing many babies born and raised on the delicious and nutritions products we offer, which are ideal for developing bodies and minds. I've witnessed many people who have never shopped or experienced natural foods and knew nothing about organic or natural. For those very people, it's not just become a way of daily or weekly shopping; it's become a way of life. I've been honored to be a part of their lifes, their families lives, and to meet their friends and relatives from out of town when they've brought them in to meet us. And they always have.
So with this, I want to say thank you, Jackson. We aren't even open yet, and you've already shown so much love through our over 3,000 facebook fans, growing daily Twitter and Instagram followers, and the kind words I've received from those I've had the good luck to meet in person and vial email and our social media. And I look forward to meeting many, many more.
We'll open our doors late spring. Together, let's make this summer one to remember. Please visit us, and I give you my personal promise that we'll do our best to make it one you won't soon forget.