As I finish out another year on this planet, it is a good time to reflect. I have so much to be thankful for and one of them is for the opportunity to serve so many families in NW Washington. My role has changed as I have “matured” and I find myself managing more and doing less. It is the natural evolution of a family business and the aging process.
A decade ago, I watched the seamless transition of a family farm happen from dad to son. I am sure there were a few rough patches, but from the outside looking in, the transition was a success. I think it had a lot to do with, in this case, a dad knowing when it was time and not hanging on and a son ready to take on the farming operation. The dad in this case is still helping, just not responsible for the day to day.
But much like my farming neighbor, I also recognized that our family business would be better able to serve you if Alaina, one of our daughters, was at the helm. For the last 23 years our business model has revolved around the seasonality of produce and delivering quality ultra-fresh produce with excellent customer service. Anytime a new team member joins our company, I could hardly wait to see what talents they were going to bring with them and how Box of Good would become an even better company.
In many ways, having Alaina assume much of the day to day as the general manager was me just being me, recognizing that Box of Good would benefit (really it needed) her management style and talents to tackle the Amazons and Walmarts of the world, but also integrate new technologies and products.
Some of you probably haven’t noticed much change. She has been at the helm for a couple of years, and I have been supporting her.
As I have gotten older, I find myself in a similar role as my neighbor. I still step in to trim the lettuce or make a delivery and I still pay attention to the quality and the seasonality of produce. It is hard to not do what you have been doing for almost 3 decades. In many ways, I am a fully integrated foodie, not only do I love to grow vegetables I also love to buy them and build menus. I am as much at home in the kitchen as I am in the fields.
In addition to my role as chief foodie at Box of Good, I have also started a software company that helps other small businesses with online sales and fulfillment using the same system you use to order your produce from us. It is an important work for me, because small businesses and non-profits need better tools to compete and serve their customers. For me serving and helping others achieve their goals is important.
I still have a lot left in the tank and look forward to growing two companies. I can hardly wait to see what team members are going to join our “companies of good” and how we will continue to evolve and serve the Box of Good community and other small businesses.
Tristan for Joelle, Alaina, and the Box of Good Crew