The Interesting Things That Have Happened

Less than a year ago I was in Woodhull and still mulling over my crazy idea of opening a market in my hometown.

Tomorrow the girls and I are getting on a plane, back to the Midwest, and I’m going to sign paperwork that will transfer a lot of commercial land over to us.  And figure out exactly how we are going to build a building (we’re thinking pole barn…. ).  Start visiting farms and growers and producers and making face-to-face connections.   We’ve got a chunk of time to devote just to The Butter Churn – which feels decadent.  Starting a business while taking care of kids, working other jobs, and basically living… hard.

Last night I was thinking about all that has happened this year.  (A lot has happened this year.  Sigh.  However…..)  Specifically about the people I’ve met and the relationships that have been created because I could not stop talking about this market/hometown thing that just kept going around and around in my head.  I want to share just a few of the stories (not even close to all of the stories, but a start)

There’s a girl who grew up Woodhull, who lives in the PNW now, that I would have never known about.  And now we occasionally correspond and I love knowing her!  We are so similar in so many ways and yet because of The Butter Churn, our paths finally crossed.

A gal who lives in Woodhull, who knows my family, but we had never met before… turns out she loves markets and grocery stores!!   She’s such a solid support of the store and a delight to email and talk with.  She’s got some health stuff going on right now, and I realized how important she’s become to me.  I can’t believe we would have never have met had The Butter Churn not kept me awake at night.

A sweet friend that I met on a plane going to Woodhull, we started as strangers and randomly connected – I was going to work on Butter stuff, but instead had a conversation that linked us together – hopefully for a very long time.  Had I not been going to Woodhull… We would have never met.

And of course Roxi.  Did you know her mom used to give me piano lessons?  And that my grandma gave Roxi lessons?  Highlarious!  And yet, I hadn’t met Roxanne before.  Now frankly, I cannot imagine my life without her in it.

Dear friends have emerged as staunch supporters, and yet there have been far more strangers (now friends) who saw something in the story of The Butter Churn that moved them to make connections and support this.

It made me wonder about the folks who start a business just for profit.  Do they get to experience all the sweetness that we’ve gotten?  Honestly I don’t know.  And at this point I’m fairly certain that I’m doing it all wrong (full disclosure – I think I knew that from the beginning), and that’s okay with me.  We are that Can’t Be Categorized Business – not a non-profit, and yet, full of integrity.  (alright cynical ones, I know those things don’t always go together)   But, it’s been interesting to see just how we don’t quite fit in – and that makes me so happy.

And despite all the seemingly obvious obstacles…  (which honestly, I never saw them as obstacles) we get on a plane tomorrow to keep going with this dream.

It’s funny now – someone here in CA recently said to me “oh!  You were serious.  You really believed in your store and wanted to make it happen.  It wasn’t just one of those things that people talk about and say they want to do, but don’t really do.”  And I realized what a true leap of faith it was for folks to support this – probably most of them were crossing their fingers, but what was the likeliness of it actually working?   (I imagine thoughts along that line)

I get it now.  And even with the trepidation, that you were able to support us… thank you.  And the connections and relationships keep happening.  Turns out when you make yourself vulnerable with a dream, it moves something in others.  We keep showing up, and being transparent, and… I cries a lot because I’m super emotional, and we keep going.  It’s good, good stuff.

Interesting times.   See you soon Woodhull.



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