So my mom called me the other day. This alone is not a new occurrence. I talk to my mom almost every day (I am BEYOND lucky in the parent department. My folks are the best ❤ )
Anyway, the conversation went a lot like this:
Mom: Steph, would it be okay if we ate food in the store?
Me: Well. Yes Mom. Of course.
Mom: We just weren’t sure. Like it would be okay if we sat down and ate some lunch?
Me: (slightly exasperated) MOM! There is a table in the store for just that. There’s been a table in the store since we opened. For people to sit down.
Mom: Well, I didn’t know if it was just to sit awhile and have a cup of coffee.
Me: <rolling my eyes and thanking god that I don’t work for a customer service technical department because I would lose my mind> Mom <deep breath> It’s TOTALLY fine. Please go in and say Hi to Roxi for me.
AND THEN I REALIZED THE TERRIBLE TRUTH.
People still don’t “get” the store. And I apologized to my mom for being kind of a jerk. And I sat down at the computer to clear things up. And here we go:
Did you know one of the first things that people say when they walk into the store? They take a deep breath, look around, and say “This is so nice. I didn’t know it would be so nice”
I have a love/hate relationship with traditional grocery stores. I love food. I love to cook. And I hate how traditional grocery stores make me feel tired and sad inside. I loathe walking in with my kids, knowing we will fight over what to get, because of the way grocery stores and food manufacturers market to children. And how ingredient labels are deliberately misleading. I get overwhelmed at grocery stores. And I have to brace myself to not spend more than I meant to because they are set up and designed to try and get me to impulse buy. Which can be fun, but often the impulse buys are low quality and very overpriced.
The Butter Churn is meant to be a place that will fill up your belly, and your heart. I know that sounds crazy. But it’s true. Food should not be a drag. It should be something to enjoy.
The Butter Churn is meant to be a place where you can bring your kids. Your Grandma. Your ownself. Where you could get the essentials for dinner and have that errand be one that filled you up, rather than exhausted you.
Now after being in business for 6 months (woot) we’ve learned a couple of things:
- you guys need more prepared food to go. Casserole Thursday is a success. Soups on Saturday (as well as samples) total win. We are going to be adding more prepared food available – you can stop in and get a snack that won’t give you the runs later and will fill you up now – things like: hard boiled eggs and individual quality meat sticks. Sliced cheese and Bread. We will be adding in mason jar salads once the weather gets nicer, as well as mason jar yogurt/granola.
- Deconstructed Dinners – that means we’re going to have the ingredients put together with a recipe that you can just walk in, buy, go home and make – and not have to think. 🙂
- Retail – You guys are proud of your store and bring in your friends and family when they visit. We want to have more products available that will be helpful in the kitchen, be kind of cool, be useful, and be fun to show off.
- We’re going to have more baked goods available in the next few weeks (give us some time – but we’re working on it) as well as slowly adding in more morning hours for coffee sales.
- Roxi on request has been able to supply food for various events outside the store. Give her a call. She’s so good at it.
And. Yes, we are adding a table for folks to come in and eat. Now, to clear up the confusion – we’re not a restaurant (we never have been, we don’t want to be), but we do want you to feel like you can pop in, eat lunch, have a book club meeting, etc…
I don’t know if The Butter Churn will ever fit into a proper label. Probably not. Because we aren’t a regular store. We want to provide you with the staples you need. We want you to feel welcome. We want you to use the store for your small meetings, to teach in our kitchen or to learn from someone in our kitchen, to come in and buy some coffee and a muffin and then something for lunch or dinner. We want you come to us when you have company and need something yummy that you can brag about.
You know what I really want you to do right now though? Go in and get a jar of the BEST PEANUT BUTTER EVER. It’s called made by a company called Butter Me Up. (Oh – and get some and jam to go with it. And some rye bread.) Like this:
True story – while I was in Illinois a couple of weeks ago at another grocery store (market research yo) I saw they were selling this:
Not only that – but check out the difference between the 2 pictures. The set up, the feel. Now – the store I was at is a good store, and I really like it and it’s not meant to be a Butter Churn. But when we are talking about “what is The Butter Churn” some of the answer is clear just between the two pictures. And by the way – the almond butter that we sell? That is made by a local gal. It’s under $10.
So keep popping in. See how we continue to figure out how to best be what you need. Tell us what you love about us – so that we can keep doing the good stuff. Tell us if you need more of something else, or have an idea you want us to consider. Pop in and take a deep breath, and remember it’s okay to have good things. Grocery shopping doesn’t have to be a miserable errand.