Giving thanks

Blog · 11.21.2012 · by Rae

It’s been three weeks since the storm hit.

Twenty one days of waking up to a confounding reality; one that presents physical, emotional and operational challenges that rival any struggle we’ve faced with this labor of love over the last three years. On January 25, 2010 when we opened our doors on Hoyt Street we really had no idea what to expect. No sense of how exhausting days on your feet could actually be or how we could overcome the physical limitations of fitting enough food and people in our tiny storefront to keep afloat. Then those early struggles begat more complex ones: how to grow our production capacity and retail reach while preparing and serving an expanding menu of satisfying yet innovative Jewish comfort food.

In the days immediately following the storm when kind-hearted volunteers suited up in coveralls threw themselves into the dirty work of removing strewn perishables and the remnants of our office, Noah and Max reflected that just 8 months ago they were in the same uniforms, scrubbing 100 year old coffee beans loose from the timber ceiling and constructing a kitchen space that would function as the heart of our operation. Overnight Sandy forced us to rethink our systems and structure and redirect responsibilities and workflow. We had to keep the heart pumping, even while displaced.

We are so deeply grateful to everyone around us – from staff and neighbors to friends, patrons and strangers; for lending a hand, a thought, a space, a snack and even a nip. By eating in our restaurants multiple times a week and then leaving freshly baked cookies behind. By organizing fundraisers and campaigns to benefit the neighborhood, its residents and its small businesses.

This Thanksgiving holiday begs for moments of reflection and recognition; of inward rumination and outward acknowledgement of those that have helped us achieve our goals and embody our aspirations.  And there is so much to be thankful for. Personally, I’m thankful for my husband Noah and his creative energy. His impulse to constantly problem solve and ability to stay positive. I’m thankful to our partners and best of friends: Max for his honesty and strength and Joel for his humor and hugs. My mother has morphed into super-mom and I’m thankful for her constant care. For all those roles of support and expressions of love I am thankful.

These last few weeks have been straining on all New Yorkers and our dedicated and tightly knit staff has stood strong on the front-lines of the recovery. I am always thankful for their spirited personalities and conscious commitment to good food and service.

They share thanks for:

Working with friends, higher education, Tom Robbins, free museums, roasted chicken, the Sunday times wedding announcements, taro root ice cream, October, Chemex coffee makers, face paint, sisters, living within walking distance of several family members, white burgundy, Irving Harper, supportive parents and step parents, moderate-good self awareness, Don Delillo, life, that smoked meat is back so I don’t have to explain it anymore, holiday sales, Ben’s girlfriend, that dad’s not sick anymore, my little niece or nephew that’s coming, being able to get out of bed everyday and laugh, internet cat blogs, an awesome credit score, a kind husband, really great friends just a short subway ride away, skillz in the kitchen, a love of books and reading, appreciation and hope, having another chance in the game of life, working with food.

Wishing you a happy and heartwarming Thanksgiving.