I have been thinking about this blog for awhile now…the one that wraps up all my thoughts and feelings about Kejara’s and The Redheads Cafe & Tasting Room as well as all that has unfolded over the last 20 years; in that space and in my life. I have thoughts of so many ways and angles to approach how to honor my feelings on these subjects and how to cleverly share them in a few paragraph blog. But what I have landed on is that I am going to let Sunday be my memory lane… and let you all help me go down that lane…and allow that lane to pop up when it seems fit and whenever it begs. If you are able to make it to our celebration, please share with me some of your thoughts and feelings about your experiences at Kejara’s/TRCTR. I will have a guest book you can write in, or share with me face to face…and Christen will be there too~ or we will have a few folks with iphones to capture you live if you so wish. I want to know and remember and share with you. It has been an impactful time. If you are unable to attend, please send me a comment on this blog, or send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or post on our facebook event page or reply to the newsletter. I read it all and I would cherish knowing how this epic space and place in time is reflected in your head and heart. And I thank many of you who already have…it has been very moving for me to state it lightly.
What I would like to do in this blog is thank you. Yes, you. And I hope you are patting yourselves on the back because we all were the ones that pushed the slow food movement, the farm to table angle, the support local in Northern Michigan. We all were the ones that bought from CSA farms, and paid more for eggs and potatoes and organic greens because it makes a difference in the economy, the land, and in our bodies and minds. We were the ones that knew supporting local artists and traveling musicians were and are what really allows compassion, music, art and joy to integrate and evolve. We were the ones that believed. We believed that we could make a difference. We could come together as a community and create good school programs and knew that early childhood education mattered. We were the ones that knew drum circles and spoken word performances were important avenues to connect and share and understand one another. We were the ones that came together and moved back here after college, or travelled here and stayed, or summered here in our youth and made it our home, retired here or who have been here all along and wanted to make a difference. We did it folks. The odds were certainly incredibly against us, but we did it together…through all the years, and curves and turns and changes. We did it. We are all still doing it. There is much more work to be done and I am ignited about this next phase.
The dream back in the winter and spring of 1997 for us was never as “small” as just local food, supporting the fine arts and music, a place to connect, a place to create, and a local economy to restructure. The dream we had certainly included all of these unbelievably challenging and incredibly important ideas, however, the deep hearted dream glided above all of these components. The true dream was to grow, learn, share, expand, understand, change, evolve: in ourselves and together as a community. We committed to facing our fears, and to be brave, to be vulnerable, to be true to the discovery, and to ask the journey of it all to be the goal. And even though these words are perhaps a bit less tangible than the words that most business people tend to refer to as they plunge into their businesses, they are the words I still know to be the basis of The Redheads and my life. To all of this, mission accomplished. We did it…together….and I deeply thank you for being brave. For being willing to grow, learn, share and expand. I thank you for sharing, understanding and evolving with me. Together, we accomplished the tangible, as well as intangible.
So, as The Redheads settles in to her new restructure, she is finding her lane, cleaning up and sorting some loose ends…and thriving. Our Balsamic Vinaigrette has been promoted from 113 Meijer stores, to ALL 230 stores! (Spread the word!) Our two new dressings are now available at the Leland Mercantile, Hansens, NJ’s, and Tom’s (and many more stores as we continue the launch over the next few weeks!). Our veggie burgers and black bean burgers keep popping up on restaurant menus around the state (The VI, Fischer’s Happy Hour, The Knot, and Figs, to name a few locally) while our granola too is marching its way to be featured on breakfast and brunch menus alike. We have three new distributors adding our products to help us expand our reach and spread our message, while spartan stores, Buschs, and several other stores are adding The Redheads to their shelves! We are sharing the message~
And if in all this hustle and bustle you have forgotten what that message is…let me remind you. I believe our duty here in this time and place is to offer ourselves and one another our best selves. I do not believe we are able to be our best selves with out clean, good thoughtful food. I also believe that to feel full and joyful, we must invite growth, change, and courage into our lives. Thank you for encouraging me to do so. And pat your kick-ass self on the back for all you have committed to and encouraged over the past 20 years…with me at Kejara’s and The Redheads and beyond. It does not go unnoticed. Your work, your commitment in your way has rippled and affected us all. And, we are certainly still in need of so much more courage in so many ways…so shine on, and know that we will continue to have each others backs on this crazy, lovely journey.
Seriously, SO much love and light~