If I Had a Super Power

If I had a super power, I would choose six months of hindsight on every major business decision before it’s made. Alas, I don’t have a crystal ball, so all I can do is logically think things through and do my best to prepare my team to succeed.

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the day we closed our second location in Shaw. The decision to pivot from growing the footprint of our small business to focusing relentlessly on ensuring that our flagship store accurately represented our true intentions, was perhaps the biggest decision I’ve made yet. It was a tough one that involved consolidating the Glen’s Family, shuttering a gorgeous and beloved second store, showing our vendors that we were still good and trustworthy partners, and answering for it to friends and strangers every single day since.

The weeks leading up to the closure were pretty terrible. It felt like folks were walking into a funeral, but they didn’t realize the person was dead, so we had to break the news over and over and over again, for weeks. Then the last night finally arrived, and hundreds of people showed up to pay their respects… and then essentially loot the store, taking everything that remained, leaving behind a sad, if well-appointed room full of empty shelves and dashed dreams. The next day, I handed over the keys and headed to the tattoo parlor, where I had the letter R permanently emblazoned on the inside of my right wrist, to remind myself always that I’m resilient.

And then we got to work fixing Dupont.

What a difference a year makes. We thought long and hard about our vision, and then we worked long and hard to bring it to fruition. We completely reorganized our company to better support our growth aspirations. We put extraordinarily talented people into positions where they would truly thrive, and they did. We took field trips to see how the best in the business do things in their stores, and then we innovated improvements to what we found.

The store has never looked or felt better. The team has never been happier or stronger, and we’ve been working together for a good, long while now, which means we get to work to perfect instead of simply rebuild. Our Neighbors kindly and patiently allowed us the space to stumble, and they were here to cheer us on when we came back stronger. Through the process, Glen’s has become an activated community center: the antidote to Amazon.

We’ve created a space where our community eats together, discovers and learns together, and comes together to enjoy each other. We convene to share Good Food as we make climate change progress.

I didn’t open Glen’s to make a bunch of money – which is a good thing, because the path to fame and fortune certainly isn’t paved with independent grocery stores. I founded the company to make incremental climate change progress, one bite at a time, by serving Good Food from Close By and growing partnerships with producers, who treat their land, their animals and their ingredients with respect.

I may not have the super power of having hindsight on big business decisions before they’re made, but with a year’s worth of reflection on the decision to close Shaw, I can say without question or reservation that it was the right one for us. It’s never easy to disappoint people, but sometimes it’s wise to remind yourself why you did a thing in the first place, and mindfully work to ensure you honor that goal.


22 Feb

AccelerateHERdc 2019

By glens | In Uncategorized

Glen’s Garden Market is deeply committed to growing small, local, environmentally focused businesses along with our own. Since we opened six years ago, we have launched over 80 food businesses, giving them their very first chance to sell their products on our shelves. Of those companies, nearly 50 were founded by women, and just over

4 Oct

Staying Resilient

By glens | In Our Vendors

As you may know, one of our core values at Glen’s Garden Market is that we grow small businesses along with our own. Another is that we’re resilient – a characteristic that’s positively critical to survival in small business. Over the course of the last five and a half years, we’ve given over 80 small,

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