Sunshine Foods Market

1115 Main St  St Helena, CA  94574

Open 7:30am to 8:30pm  - 7 days per week 

SUNSHINE …… the daily dance


………dance as a metaphor ……..


A few years ago when I first approached Sunshine Foods with my desire to join their team I was asked where best I thought I could apply my experience and skills . I replied that I wasn‘t quite sure and , …….. “ that I had really just come in for the dance contest. ”

Fortunately for me that position was available.

Dance is , quite simply, moving in harmony with others ……… a melody we hear, or a melody we invent .

Semi-logically therefore , I have chosen the “dance ” metaphor as a vehicle to launch our effort to link those who have read our previous newsletters with those who share with us on Facebook as friends and fans, and also invite those who visit our newly reconstructed web-site to join with us in a renewable, sustainable, continually progressing DANCE into a fashionable BLOG celebrating food and the harmony of the human condition.

Our business is specialty grocery products…….. but our interests are as varied as life itself . Therefore the intent and goal for this Blog will be to travel

life’s interesting back roads and byways, share and barter our expertise and interests with ,and for , yours while stopping frequently at tastefully set roadside tables filled with traditional and inventive culinary ideas and décor .


“ We sure wish we had a Sunshine Foods in our town ”


Future SUNSHINE ……. The daily dance blogs will , of course , become more product specific with input and commentary from some of our people, advice from regional and national growers and experts, and recipes from some of Napa Valley’s most famous and respected chefs and restaurants. We will also aid you in procuring all of the exact ingredients used in these culinary creations………….. But first things first.


In an effort to allow us to dance in harmony it is important for us to share our brief philosophy.

A year or so ago I was asked to describe Sunshine Foods mission statement ( and secret for success ) in an article for a regional trade journal.

The following is the article I wrote.

It was not published because the journal was looking for a more “ nuts and bolts ”

approach to business………… unfortunately for them, but fortunately for us, we learned well , and then moved forward from “ nuts and bolts” along time ago.




Sunshine Foods Statement of Business Philosophy


“ ………..Well” said Pooh, “ what I like best ,”…. and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you begin to eat it which was even better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called . ~ A. A. Milne


At Sunshine Foods we believe that the excitement of that unexplainable moment of expectation for something wonderful, that elusive aura which we strive to create in and for our people, and thereby transfer to our customers, is simply……. happiness.


Therefore, Happiness becomes the “H” in Sunshine Foods rather homespun business philosophy acronym : H.O.P.E.


The “ O” , of course, is Optimism.


Real Optimism, William Arthur Ward reminds us, is aware of problems but recognizes solutions; knows about difficulties but believes they can be overcome ; sees the negatives, but accentuates the positives; is exposed to the worst but expects the best ; has reason to complain, but chooses to smile.


Real Optimism opens wide the door to Happiness.

But Hope, Happiness, and Optimism are not simple acquisitions, rather, practiced and nurtured skills. Simply owning a fine piano does not make you a fine pianist, only desire, study, and practice will produce the music. And, “the music ” at Sunshine Foods, since it’s inception, has always been it’s people. “ P ”: PEOPLE

At Sunshine Foods resume’s and credentials are merely icing on an applicants cake……

What Sunshine looks for during hiring is a gleam in the eye, a bounce in the step, a person ready to build not just labor , a person willing to share his knowledge in exchange for the knowledge of another, a person who exhibits pride rather

than arrogance. A person who chooses to acquire, and share, happiness.

An unwise man seeks happiness in a distant field, a wise man grows it at home.

PEOPLE are business’s number one sustainable and renewable resource, and who knows where a persons skill and imagination might take them ?

For this reason Sunshine Foods practices a program of cross-training, or cross- orientation, which briefly trains a new hire in every department before they join the department to which they were hired. This program is designed to, at the very least , allow all employees to walk in their neighbors shoes. Hopefully, along with the knowledge and empathy gained from this experience comes the added bonus of our customers never having to hear the discouraging words, “ I’m sorry, this is not my department .”

Sunshine Foods is seldom guilty of wasting or ruining a perfectly marvelous

“ round peg” by forcing it into an uncomfortable “ square hole ”

Opportunities for change, and growth are not only offered, but encouraged.

Since it’s inception in 1975 Sunshine Foods Market has been guided by the hardworking , yet extremely moral and nurturing work ethic of three generations of The Smith Family.

This ethic, which was not conceived in a boardroom, but rather a manifestation of an ethical living philosophy , has enabled Sunshine Foods to attract, and hold, a core-group of managers, department heads, and advisors who boast some of the finest credentials in the Grocery, Culinary, and Specialty industry.

Skilled and visionary people with an innate desire to learn, to teach, and to

share , have found a like-minded home at Sunshine Foods and are cautiously eager to provide the “E” in our acronym………. EXAMPLE.

We acknowledge that caution should be given to the old phrase “ teach by example” because we understand the phrase has a double edge.

Indeed people do learn from example…… good and bad .

Sunshine Foods believes strongly in “ Raising The Bar ”, and has been instrumental in establishing a co op within the industry which bears that name and is dedicated to sharing new ideas, and products.

Every step toward improvement builds an energy that contributes to a winning and harmonious mentality.

It is pretty hard to tell what actually does bring happiness, and it has been noted that both poverty and wealth have failed.

Happiness is an essence which is felt , not spoken……….and , unfortunately, not everyone is receptive to it……………. still, at Sunshine Foods, we consider it an important bi-product, a product which, through the application of our acronym

H .O .P .E . , we will always be able to provide to both our employees and customers alike in the pursuit of our one-line Mission Statement :

To Create Customers For Life

It is our sincere hope that you will revisit Sunshine…… the daily dance often.

As a fledgling BLOG the future direction that SUNSHINE …. the daily dance will take will largely depend upon your participation and nurture.

Come on…….let’s dance !









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