04 / July

tales from the hearth: our store is open again, a journey two years in the making!

Our Store is Open Again!

What a 15 months!
For us, it actually began more than two years ago, in May of 2019, when we found out that a one-week roof repair would be a three-month-job, we'd have to install massive scaffoldings throughout the space right away, then move everything out, let go of our staff and hope we could bring them all back on the other side. We spent more than six months planning all that, and thought it was pretty much the worst thing that could happen.

Then, the weekend we closed to prepare for the renovation, the first shelter-in-place orders went into effect in the Bay Area. Remember that weekend? Traffic melted away and the earth stopped vibrating so much, the air was filled with birdsong and nature's quiet...before all the Zoom meetings...


We packed everything up here that surreal weekend, cleared out and hoped for the best. We opened a stand at the Tuesday Berkeley Farmers Market, sold frozen bone broth in the parking lot, the roof got fixed and we finally opened for online ordering last August. Since then we've kept things as lean as we could to maintain operations, amid the constant vigilance to keep everyone safe, the collapse of the Mason jar supply chain and other challenges. Oh, yes, and the smoke and fires and deep red skies...
But we made it. We managed to round up enough jars and enough staff and enough ingredients. We even brought on four new worker-owners in January from among our veteran staffers -- who have all risen to the occasion to keep things running. Along the way we also benefitted from some PPP loan funds, recently received a grant from StopWaste to support our reusable glass program, and we just signed a five-year lease, which provides an important piece of security amid so much uncertainty.
And here we are -- we just had our first "Opening Night" in 15 months! Our space is much more open and well-lit after the roof work, and we've done what we can, in our homespun way, to add warm and welcoming touches.
We are still requiring masks for everyone who comes into the space, for the time being, and will provide one if you need. We hope you can feel us smiling as we greet you, even if you can't see it yet. To maintain social distancing we have separate areas for online order pickups and store shopping. The glass returns area will remain out in our parking lot.
We still face a lot of work to make it through the rest of year and set TSH up to be a thriving, sustainable business. Your support, commitment and enthusiasm for what we do keeps us rolling up our sleeves, showing up to meet the challenges of the day, and reaching out further to adapt and grow.
So keep ordering online -- it really helps us to get those orders in early! Return your glass and bring a bag or box to take your food home. Are there groceries and staples you could also buy from us? Nutrient-dense foods you can take camping, glamping (we don't judge) or to that Airbnb getaway? Can you follow us on social media, leave a review on Google or Yelp? Are there friends or family members you can encourage to check us out, who might benefit from our nourishing foods? Save on health care tomorrow with a jar of broth and a pickle today!
In the meantime, we'll be opening the curtains every Wednesday through Saturday. See you soon.