Our Sunshine Family is an ever evolving, yet certainly long lasting, relationship between all who are lucky enough to call Sunshine Foods their home away from home. You know what I'm talking about... That other place in your life where you happily spend most of your time.
I have been with Sunshine now for just about 14 years and worked with most of the department heads for even longer, Connie our Produce Dept. Manager 27 Years, Gena our Culinary Director who is responsible for our Meat Dept. since we took it over in 1997. 27 Years, James, 19 Years, Jean Leonesio 16 Years. And now, since coming to work at Sunshine, Mark & Matt Smith.
I can't believe how much everyone has changed, yet stayed the same, myself included. So... I would like to give you some insight into who the people of Sunshine really are and what they mean to our small, yet culinary advanced, town of St. Helena.
I could fill pages extolling the accomplishments, expertise and statistic's regarding these true experts. That, however, would be boorringg. Sooo, I will try to give you my own thoughts and perspective on what makes each one of them special.
I want to start with Connie Gehring -
I have worked with Connie since 1988. Every day I see her, we greet the same way. We call each other a non flattering name. It's always fun when she gets a new hire and has to explain how they will never be able to call her that name. It's my special term of endearment for her. I will tell you if you ask me, but I'm not going to write it down. LOL :)-
Connie runs the Produce Department at Sunshine and she has been here about 16 years. She loves working with local growers whenever possible. Her staff all know exactly what is expected of them and everyone of them is empowered, by Connie, to help their customers to the very best of their knowledge and abilities.
Getting to a "Yes" answer for our customer, many times, requires 3 or 4 phone calls between growers or distributors. Make no mistake, if it is available and high enough quality, she will get it for you. She doesn't even have to carry it in her department, if you ask she will bring it in. She will order it specifically for you!
Through the years she has forged amazing relationships with the local chef folk as well as her incredible resources for fresh, quality products. Sometimes that's exactly the edge you need to get that almost "unreachable" product. I will have to talk a lot more about Connie in future blogs.
Oh, I almost forgot... James Ayers, our Top Curd Nerd (human repository of all knowledge regarding CHEESE) is Connie's brother-in-law. I will think of one of my fun James stories to share with you in a future post.
I didn't know that writing this was going to make me so sentimental. ( sniff, sniff )