Fall has always been my hands-down, favorite season. Yes, I know it sounds like an ad for cheap Halloween candy. After growing up in Southern California where every day of the year looks exactly the same, the arrival of fall in Seattle makes my heart fill up with an appreciation for strolling in the crisp air, cozy sweaters and roasted squash of any kind. I almost feel a little jealous the golden leaves free-falling so effortlessly in the wind without a care in the world as to where they land.
Fall also clearly marks the end of our summer season. For many people, summer is all about sunscreen, beachcombing and lazy evenings sipping the latest spritzer with friends. When you run a catering company for 27 years, your summers are also filled with lovely memories…but they mostly involve other people’s beautiful celebrations, sampling obscene amounts of wedding cake (to check the quality) and more steps logged on my walking app than I can count.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Honestly, this (semi) post-pandemic summer certainly has had its days (and even weeks!) where our team wasn’t entirely sure if we should have come back from our Covid break… what with the unprecedented labor shortage (I swore I would NEVER use the word “unprecedented” in a sentence, but sometimes there just isn’t a better word to describe what an impossible job our event staffer had this year), unnerving supply chain issues, Covid-safety protocols that seemed to change each weekend, and having to remember systems that had been turned off for so long that we could barely recall the security codes to our own walk-in coolers.
In the end, we persevered with our sense of humor intact, with so many amazing and grateful clients. And as I sit on my sofa catching up on emails this chilly morning with a roaring fire and my dog, Skipper, snoring away on her chair, I do have to admit that at least some of the changes have been good.
One side-effect of our newly minted work-from-home model (and me having a very difficult time sitting still), was redesigning our old office space into a beautiful new micro venue, “Ravishing Radish’s Atelier + Studio”. Breathing life into our sad & empty office by refinishing the hardwood floors (thank you, Chef Gary!) and doing a mini-makeover was the perfect creative project I needed when we weren’t allowed to throw parties.
Our new “Atelier + Studio” not only makes for a swanky event venue, it also provides a peaceful & serene space for our team to meet in-person for our weekly operations & leadership meetings. Even more important than having a posh place to meet up (and a fun new venue to promote!), I love the new lens this space provides.
We see each other differently. We work more intentionally. We pay a lot more attention to “why” we’re doing this work. The old way of doing things “because it’s the way we’ve always done them” no longer flies.
So with this fall (and a little break in our schedule!) comes enormous gratitude. I can now see that those fourteen months of isolation, uncertainty and fear gave me the space I’d never had before to go inward (as opposed to frantically chasing down more truffle lamour linens or a Whitehaven sauvignon blanc that’s out of production).
This upheaval turned my full-time job of running a busy catering company into a full-time job of trying not to go completely bonkers. And in doing so, it showed me why I love the Radish and the people here so much. It’s much more than putting on pretty parties (although we still absolutely love that part!). It’s creating an amazing and heartfelt experience for everyone we touch…from our customers to our vendor partners to the Radishes themselves. You are the reasons we are coming back with so much gusto, honesty and gratitude. And I think you’ll see it shows in everything we do.
Cheers to slowing down enough to watch those amazing little leaves trust that wherever they they fall, they will land where they are supposed to be.