If I haven’t told you yet, I should: what drives me is you. What gives my job purpose is you.
I want to see your young brain-children, your start ups, your little natural brands succeed with all of my heart. You are builders, creating things from scratch, trying to bake a brand-new award winning business-recipe. Or sometimes, you are children taking your parents legacy on, and transforming it, and making it even greater.
No matter how you do it, I am proud of you. I want to do anything in my power to help you succeed.
Our natural food industry is filled with young go-getters, who want to change the world one plate and one snack at a time. We want the ideas of craft and health to be celebrated. We love, love, love good food. And we are the future of the food industry.
We want to build meaningful brands from the ground up. We want to build meaningful places for people to work, and better the lives of those around us, who all work so hard to push our company forward. We are all just trying to hustle, and to do our very best.
I want to see you succeed in your own career. I want to see you grow through your current position and jump to the next, and help build something new.
I want to see your company grow 10-fold. I want to see you grow 100-fold. I want to use my connections to help you grow your career, to be better as a person and surround yourself with motivated people just like you.
I know you are up against challenges in your job that reflect back on you. People rely on you to be the feet on the ground to make things happen. I want to be that person behind you, helping you to come through for your team.
I want to help you analyze hard questions that don’t have easy answers. Develop new product lines, solve R&D conundrums, strategize through supply chain challenges. I want to help because these problems have no easy solutions, and because I know you’re stuck with them whether you like them or not.
I hope to make your load a little bit lighter, and put all of this oil knowledge to good use. Otherwise I’m carrying around a lot of details about smoke points and flavor profiles and consumer trends for nothing. You are the real reason I hold on to all that information anyways.
I promise to tell you the truth about what is best for you – even if that means pushing you away to another company, including to my competition. Your interests are first and foremost. You deserve sales people who believe that the gut level and act on it every day. I will never understand sales people that put their own interests first, can’t listen, or that will try to convince you of something that isn’t really right (if you were one of these people and you are reading this, please go away. Nobody likes you anymore, you are 10 years too late.)
I promise to always focus on staying true to you, at the heart of the work I do.
To my customers, if I haven’t told you this week or this month or this year, you are the reason. You are the passion of my career.
Thanks for being you and building what you do. I’m cheerleading for you.
The Story Behind The Letter
I wrote this letter after attending the Restaurant Food Show recently in Chicago. I had a conversation about the root of what personally drives us to do the work we do everyday. And what I finally put into words is that it’s really you that drives me — what excites me about working in the food industry and working with Centra Foods is all of you who are working your butt off trying to build something big. I really do believe in you.
I promise to live this as my mantra, and keep guiding my work and our company towards supporting you — so that you can hustle and do what you do best. Go out there and kill it. You got this.
This article was originally published on the Centra Foods blog.