I was lucky enough to have a couple of conversations with folks in the store this week that brought questions for me about the nature of a healthy economic system. We, the store's staff, have been delightedly surprised by the number of folks who are willing to participate with us as we build the store into a robust center for our village here in Saxy. For instance, just today I got to have a carrot cake discussion with some of our store friends (we're working on the perfect recipe, so feel free to weigh in if you like). We often receive helpful ideas from customers. Sometimes folks even grab the plates coming out of the kitchen and deliver them to fellow diners.
One friend of the store, Cheryl, recently relayed an experience she had here of an afternoon. She'd stepped outside to look at the bulletin board, and she noticed the wind had strewn some of the notices about the sidewalk. She placed them carefully on the bale of straw that hosts our lettuce plants and secured them neatly with a brick. A moment after she stepped away, Judith walked over (she hadn't seen Cheryl), looked at the flyers, and arranged the ones from the straw on the board, pinning them into place. We learned later that Shannon arrived a little later and tidied the flyers again, making sure all were visible and secure. All had participated in that function of the store--each to a higher degree of detail, none having to do too much lifting.
Cheryl also shared with me how she has come to view the store here as something for which she feels ownership--thus participating in its care feels natural. I realized her feeling is literally accurate, in a way. As I have shared before, this place has grown so far out of the desires and needs the community has expressed, so the people who show here do own it, in spirit. That’s where the questions arose for me. In a culture where we often doubt the intentions of the companies with whom we do business, what does it look like to participate in businesses we frequent? To what extent can our real needs be met by economic entities--including the need to contribute to community? How can we reconnect with our actual needs in an era of hyper-exposure to advertisement? And what are the roles of those employed by businesses--both in serving customer needs and in facilitating healthy participation by the community? I’m learning there are all sorts of ways people invest in businesses, only some of which are monetary. Their returns vary based on the kinds of investments they’ve made.
Thanks to Cheryl and others for bringing these questions to me to work with this summer, as Saturdays at Saxapahaw brings new life to our place.
Jeff and company have been finishing dinner--they'll be serving special eats Thursday and Friday, and offering picnic fare Saturday nights through the summer. I should also let you know that they've recently dubbed Sunday night "Casserole Night;" so be on the lookout for stick-to-your-ribs comfort food to cap off the weekends.
Here's tonight's menu (tomorrow will be similar, with minor variations):
Whole Fish! (B-liner's the sort--a member of the snapper family) roasted, with fried green tomatoes and mashers
Lamb Shank over whilte bean ragout with saute of spinach
Pork Country-style ribs with duck fat fried potatoes and spinach
Sea Scallops with asparagus and fried green tomatoes
Cane Creek Pork Chops with duck stock mushroom gravy, mashers and Brussels sprouts
Pan-seared salmon salad
Beef short rib with mashers and spinach
Vegetable lasagna with local mixed greens salad
Carrot cupcakes with orange cream icing
Lemon-vanilla cupcakes with lemon icing
This week's sandwich winner is John Nowicki. John, please stop in sometime soon for a meal worth up to 8 bucks--on us!
Thank you for your support. I will look forward to seeing you again soon.
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