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October 1, 2020 · Slice of Life

Musings, interests & fun tidbits

Harvest Moon

Today is the Harvest Moon of 2020. You will see that moon will rise in the sky early tonight and appear large and bright. Historically the harvest moon allowed farmers to spend more time in the field as they picked the fruits of their labor. The harvest moon is usually in September right after the equinox but every three years it lands in October. The symbolism of the full harvest moon is one of new beginnings after a season of hard work and dedication. Farmers knew they were heading in to winter and could rest for only so long before spring would be here so they should be planning. If you haven’t ever listened to Neil Young’s Harvest Moon album, today is the day you should just pop it on. It is gloriously ramblings of love’s middle years, friendships and finding yourself.

The first day of October and we are officially in the fourth quarter of arguably the most challenging year for many people. The challenges as a business are no different than for all of us personally. We are adjusting to a new reality and we’ve been waiting for relief. However, as a business we are still very much in the middle of growing season. What I mean to say is that we are putting the processes in place every day to improve and get better. We are financially sound and responsible. We have balance where we work hard for 40 hours a week but then have the balance of time with people and things we love. Internally our Order Managers continue to refine the processes, Rose works on operational efficiencies, the finance team is implementing new software, the warehouse is doing more kitting projects than ever before and sales is working in a new paradigm to take care of clients and find new ones. None of these challenges are harder than the other and all equally stressful. The hard work and sweat must be balanced with the opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come, rest a second and then dig back in. I am confident that by the end of the year we will be in a substantially different place and celebrate and reflect on the work that got us so far forward.

As we continue to strengthen our core business practices we also find needs to reinforce with additional resources. Kristin is currently in the middle of her new and exciting move to Nashville. We have hired a new graphic designer, Nick, who will be starting on 10/19. Kristin will stay with us as she settles in to Nashville and connects to her new community and then she’ll transition out. We have hired a new order manager, Cindy, who will be starting on October 12. Cindy joins us with a strong financial background and focus on the details. We have also hired a utility player, Deb who will be starting October 5. Deb brings 25+ years of industry experience. She will split her time between order management and account management with focus on client management as we look to the new year. For those of you going to Des Moines today, Deb will be joining us and you’ll have the chance to get to know her.

Speaking of Des Moines, today is so exciting for me personally. We are putting our first whiskey in the barrel. We will be using this experiment to help tell the story about what we do for our clients but more importantly to share experiences that are unique with each other, our clients, and our industry friends. We are going to use this experience to build press but ultimately to take a journey together. The barrel to bottle process is no less than two years and can be up to four years. We won’t know until we know that it’s ready for the bottle. I look forward to learning more about the process that goes in to it and all the unknowns today. I bet we see many similarities with our business.

The first whiskey is called Harvest Moon. We will discuss the elements going in to the mash today but it has been developed with the idea of the American farmer from the great plains and the mountain west. We are a company rooted in Nebraska with branches in Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota so it is natural story to tell. The timing is of the barreling today is intentional as with the name and the mash bill.

A lot to digest (probably why we need a drink) but I hope you’re all excited.

I cannot wait to experience the future we are creating now while continuing to prepare for the future.

Thanks for being part of the team.

Mike


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