This week, I said “so long for now” to a dear friend who is moving across the country to embark on a new adventure. I couldn’t be more excited for her. She is one of the first people who welcomed me into the food industry when I started Gundalow Juice. Her bright smile and warm heart is something I will miss on the East Coast, but I am so appreciative that we came into one another’s lives and that she is following a calling.
As I looked around the room at her going away party, I saw so much love and impact one person could make on a community and city. I took note of how many shared acquaintances and friendships she and I have, as more people came through the doors to celebrate, and in that moment I was beyond grateful.
These relationships and friendships all blossomed when I started Gundalow Juice. I realized I gained a brand new community in a city that I loved because one day (almost 4 years ago) my mentor asked me to juice some fruits and vegetables into a bottle. You never know where one moment or decision is going to lead you and who will come into your life.
I started thinking about how my life changed as a result of Gundalow Juice and who else has come into my life because of it. I simply lost count. I tried to trace my steps back from big opportunities to their igniting spark and I found myself tangled. The one thing that was at the base of everything though is Gundalow.
For a long time I have struggled with identifying success. Having grown up in the MTV Cribs generation, it seemed like it was put in our faces at a formative age that fortune and fame was a quick and easy way to deem someone “successful.” Thank goodness we know better now. Success is different for each person. I am finding that success in my eyes is building something from nothing and somehow being able to touch someone else’s life, and then hopefully bettering their life in some small way. I can easily name 100 people who by this definition of success are successful and yet would not call themselves it. Gundalow Gourmet and Gundalow Juice teams both fall into this category.
Gundalow, I have so much love for you. I appreciate the challenges that you have brought me (though I curse you through a lot of them), but I thank you for teaching me to be patient, challenging me to not compare myself to others (boy, do I need to get better at this), for making me ask deeper questions about myself and what I am trying to achieve. Thank you for the people who you have brought into my life, thank you for my circle of lady bosses, thank you for an experience that has brought my mom and me closer, for teaching me to align myself with people who are both similar and different from me, and thank you for charting out new waters ahead. Speaking of....
This summer I am moving to New England. I am moving to the place that inspired both companies and I am going to be expanding both businesses to the Northeast region. I will be splitting my time between New Hampshire and Baltimore, as both businesses are still based in my and Gundalow’s beloved hometown (Baltimore, you can’t get rid of me that easily). I am grateful that my parents are totally cool with me staying with them while I am in Baltimore. And more than anything, I am grateful for all of those people who have helped build Gundalow into what it is today. From buying a juice at the farmers market, to making room on your store shelves, to taking my phone call and listening when I needed help, for juicing until the wee hours of the morning-- thank you.
Gundalow is a company built on love and compassion, and I am excited to help the love and compassion grow beyond our home.
*From 4/20-4/27, we're spreading the #gundalowlove with a sale. Share your #gundalowlove story and your success stories!