That day is actually tomorrow.
Her rep called Roxi and said “What should she bring and/or be prepared to do?”
(I love this. They called us. Not the other way around. #winning)
Roxi said “Tell her to bring her Apron and her Running Shoes.”
I’ll be honest – I don’t know EXACTLY why Cheri Bustos is going to be at the store tomorrow. They called us and we said – Yah! We would love to show Cheri Bustos (I can’t imagine just calling her Cheri, in my head it’s always both of her names – I run them together in my mind like CheriBustos) the store.
I’m going to guess and hope though that they have something to do with these things:
Woodhull – Whether wanting to acknowledge this or not – was a food desert. It is no longer a food desert.
“Food deserts” are geographic areas where access to affordable, healthy food options (aka fresh fruits and veggies) is limited or nonexistent because grocery stores are too far away.
Did you know that ….. Approximately 2.3 million people (2.2% of all US households) live in low-income, rural areas that are more than 10 miles from a supermarket?
Did you know that…. There is a $400 million investment from the government towards this initiative, which will go towards providing tax breaks for supermarkets that open in food deserts. Wanna know how much The Butter Churn got of that?
Nothing. Want to know why?
Because it took too long. Finding the information and accessing the information and making it all happen were 3 things that weren’t going to happen with 2 people who had a dream. We were shut down by one grant option because Woodhull was too small… Lots of other institutions have some resources available…. but not really. I cannot express to you how discouraging it was in the beginning to realize just why it was difficult to make something like The Butter Churn happen.
Walking downtown Woodhull all those years ago when I was visiting my Grandma (by the way – she turned 89 yesterday. ❤ ) I didn’t know the rabbit hole I was about to fall into when I looked around and thought “Why isn’t there a market here? There should be a market” Little did I know at that time how a seemingly no-brainer idea would be so difficult. And not just difficult for me. Difficult for the nation. Check this statistic out: About 23.5 million people live in food deserts. Nearly half of them are also low-income.
23.5 MILLION PEOPLE.
I’m far too impatient when it comes to righting things that seem obvious. We were never going to see any grant money. Or pull together a committee of people from a community that hadn’t had a worthwhile food market in years. So Roxi and I just plowed forward. Because there just isn’t enough time sometimes to wait around. If we would have waited – Jean wouldn’t have been there for the Grand Opening. That would have been a life fail for me.
We sell things that are grown and made by other people in the area. I KNOW we keep talking about this – but it is a HUGE.FREAKING.DEAL. We can call up any one of our suppliers and ask them a question. You cannot do that when you buy things from China. Every thing you buy supports another small business. Again. This is a 180 from most of the other things that most of us currently buy.
We have a business model that could potentially change food deserts in America. And we did it on a crazy dream, help from a butcher, a banker who thought “why not”, and faith. (And a bunch of other people that we met along the way, who helped in all sorts of ways)
So maybe that is why Cheri Bustos will be at the store tomorrow. Or maybe because Roxi is such a phenomenal cook and the word really has gotten out..