I started this off on a positive note, because as tired as I am of the snow, sleet and missed days of school, I do love the quiet repose and sleepiness that come with this time of year. Without it the plants can’t work their magic underground so they can feed us in body and soul in just a few short months. I also am inspired to cook more and differently during the long winter. More soups and stews, slower cooked entrees to savor, encouraging us to linger at the table just a bit more as the snow falls outside. To me the table is the heart of your home and family regardless of whether it seats 2 or 10, and is an heirloom piece or salvaged from a trash heap. It’s a place to gather, to pause, to reflect and refresh and push back the rest of world for just a little longer.

For a long time I have threatened to start a blog about this particular subject, not just to rant in the face of BAD experiences, but also to applaud and suggest in the face of good or mediocre interactions. Seeing as customer service is the very heart and soul of my industry (which is Catering and Event Planning for those who don’t know me), I consider myself a bit of an expert (or at least a voice of experience if not ready for the black diamond trail).

So here goes; my first entry and foray into regular blogging about a subject I find important and hold near and dear to my heart. I decided today to start with a positive interaction; maybe it’s the New Year (resolutions to be more positive and better balanced abound at this time of year) or maybe I like to think we can start a trend if we acknowledge the good in a pay it forward kind of a way. Let’s hope!

My first gold star award goes easily to one Sport Hill Farm, owned, operated, sowed, harvested and marketed by one Patti Popp. Now I know she doesn’t do everything on her own, but she certainly goes out of her way to make her customers (each and every one) feel welcome. Since I interact with her on a professional level through my business as well as a personal level when I visit her Market on Sport Hill Road, I can truly say that she goes above and beyond in preserving my faith in the service industry. Whether I reach her via text, Facebook, email or phone, she is always responsive; if you Google “customer service, responsive” you will find a host of articles dedicated to this very subject. My favorite is found on instigatorblog.com (written by Ben Yoskovitz) and reads “Most customers tolerate bugs. Most customers tolerate products with missing features that they need (or think they need!) Most customers tolerate the quirks and hiccups that come with new technology and software. This is true of early adopters, but it’s even true to some degree, of late adopters. Customers can be quite forgiving. But what they won’t tolerate is being ignored. Even the feeling or inkling of being ignored can set customers into a rage; and worse, have them looking for alternative solutions to yours.” Now it’s a given he is writing primarily to the tech world, but his words are accurate across a number of industries, including your local family farm. Responsiveness will keep people coming back, and come back I do to Sport Hill Farm in Easton!

Up next, we take a look at the automotive service industry. See? It won’t all be about food. Trust me.

Bye for now

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Ten Vegetable Lentil Soup. Want to know all ten veggies? You’ll have to come get some! Better than a V8 any day. And while I have no scientific proof soup warms you up, it is good for the soul and that is never a bad thing!

It is beyond a perfect day for soup! And we have delicious minestrone available in the Market. Italians call this ‘big soup’ for a reason. It’s a meal in a bowl!

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