After three decades at the helm of Village Grocer, and following a great deal of thought and reflection, I have decided to make a change.
It’s a development that excites me, and which I’m looking forward to.
Basically, I am stepping back from the day-to-day management of VG in order to “return to my roots” – which will result in more direct interaction between me and our customers.
To make this happen, I am delighted to welcome my friend Brad Fletcher to handle the executive level management of the business. Brad is a modest fellow, so I will take it upon myself to boast about his lengthy and successful senior-level executive experience – which Village Grocer is now so fortunate to have in the person leading our team.
Plus, and this is very close to my heart, Brad will be a business mentor to my son Thomas, who wishes at some point to carry on our 30-year “Family Business”.
While thinking about this change over the last few months, I frequently reflected on how incredibly blessed Cathy and I have been with the richness of the experience in developing our very humble little business into something bigger. We had no idea when we started out that we would be where we are today, and we had no idea how much work it would be, how much fun it would be, and how many friends that we would make along the way……..and what community really was. So many of our friends have shared our ups and downs along the way, as we have shared theirs too……that’s the community part. Intertwined in this whole fantastic episode is our immediate and extended family, whom most of you have come to know through the store, their sports, school and their many extra-curriculars. Further, the people who have chosen to work with us all these years have brought lots of enjoyment to our day-to-day lives; something which I truly appreciate and am thankful for.
As for what I’ll be doing – perhaps “Minister Without Portfolio” is the best description. I’ll be frequently serving customers at VG’s meat counter (for those who don’t know, that’s where I come from. I’m a butcher by training and trade). I’ll also be a “rover” around the store – helping out where and when needed, plus I’ll be the in-house repairman. There’s always something that needs fixing, I love doing that stuff.
And, every spring, I will be front-line involved in our robust outdoor flower and garden center. My happiness is measured by how dirty my hands are!
So, that’s the plan. I’m handing over the day-to-day management of VG to a guy who really knows what he’s doing at the executive leadership level – and as a result, I will now be more available to you – our valued customers – on a regular basis. (Although – I might, on occasion, be AWOL during the summer to play a round or two of golf!)