Here we grow again...
This Summer has been a complete whirlwind at the farm. We started an
expansion project in our barn to better serve our warehouse employees
and provide a more conducive structure for storing our inventory of
Through the expansion we have continued to work business as usual
within the same barn by renting a large semi-trailer freezer. Nothing is
where it should be, and everything is a bit chaotic in the barn.
We’ve been graced with a really great team of people to manage
through it all, and we can’t be anymore proud of their consistent
work-ethic this Summer.
As school begins again, we say goodbye to a few good men who have
been packing orders, managing inventory, and building new walk-in
coolers alongside us.
Isaiah, our warehouse manager, stepped up into this position after
shadowing CEO Lou at the farmers markets for around 6 years. He’s a hard
worker who wanted a challenge this Summer after high-school graduation.
He’s stepped out of his comfort zone by relocating from Chicago, IL to
the small town of Dowagiac, MI. It’s been a pleasure to watch him take
initiative and practice management tactics while running around with the
“warehouse warriors.” He’s bright, ambitious, kind, has a lot to learn,
yet eager to process and receive information as it comes. We are
incredibly grateful for all of his effort this Summer, and are thankful
he will still be behind the blue coolers slinging pork and fish while at
Nolan, grandchild number 2 for Nate and Lou. We were always happy to
see Nolan because of his overall laid back attitude, curiosity, and
ability to do the job. He put his hands, body and mind to the test while
building the new walk-in freezer walls. He enjoyed destructing the
building and putting it back together, similar to his extra curricular
activities of taking apart and building computers.
And finally Parker, grandchild number 3, and our youngest, coolest
“warehouse warrior.” Parker was one to lighten the mood while being
helpful whether it was loading chickens, running orders to the office,
counting product, or weed whipping around the barn. He’s still figuring
out his interests, so it was a joy to see him try new things. He would
always stop to shoot some hoops on the way in to the office and I’ll
miss catching a glimpse of him making a couple baskets throughout the
day. Thanks for all the hard work guys.
At the same time of saying goodbyes, we are welcoming new faces to
the Jake’s warehouse and delivery team and training them through the
chaos. Luckily the timing of the new hires allowed Isaiah and our
current warehouse warrior, Hunter, to designate time in their day to
training through the expansion project. We look forward to learning more
about and from our new coworkers, and are excited for the future of
Our project is still not finished, as the electricians and cooling
teams put finishing touches on wiring and functionality; but we all can
see the light at the end of the tunnel. This type of project during our
busy season has been exhausting at times. Some days my parents pondered
why they take on all of this work at their age, and I always lend a good
ear when this contemplation arises, because I foresee myself pondering
these same questions someday.
I’ve listened when there is no real answer and frustration conquers;
but then there are the triumphant times when real truth shines and the
answer seems to lie within service to others. Whether it is by meeting
great people through sales of our food, creating opportunities for
others to excel at farming unconventionally, learning new tasks,
supporting a family, or stepping outside comfort zones – this farm and
business is a place to serve others, whether we like it or not, and that
is something we all can hang our hats on at night.