Uncharted Territory

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Each new year of this business adventure seems to bring new, exciting experiences that keep me inspired. Last year we received a lot of media and marketing attention. This year a neighbor, who is working on her MBA, has asked to do her Capstone business analysis project on Support Suppers. While I’m very grateful and excited for the opportunity, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous to put ourselves out there and hear where we could do better.

While I was completing the online form to initiate the process, I had to reflect on some of the challenges we face as a business. I noted some pressing issues, all mostly business-related, one personal, but as I thought more about it, this business does not just face business challenges. We are a complicated business that treads in very personal and emotional territory. I know for a fact that when I was doodling menus and business plans in a notebook when Support Suppers was just a fun daydream, the emotional weight that might accompany it never crossed my mind. Let me explain.

A few weeks ago when my sister and I were in the kitchen divvying up the meal deliveries for the day, she pointed to one of the cards and asked “what’s the situation”, I sighed and shrugged my shoulders and replied “I don’t know, I’m trying not to know for a little while”. Her question was totally valid and normal, it’s good to know what you’re getting into when delivering to a stranger’s home. For example, if it’s a new baby meal we don’t ring the doorbell, we knock lightly and try not to stir up a commotion during delivery. And delivering is fun, I can honestly say that regardless of the situation, nobody’s been unhappy to see us when we come to the door with a big bag of homemade food. But when your business niche is helping people support one another through tough times, you are made hyper-aware of many of those tough times right here in our community, all around, all the time. You can’t help but feel a little bit of the weight of the situation when your job is to convey a message of love and support from the sender and distract the recipient, from sometimes a hard reality, with a great meal (no pressure, right?! 😉).

While the experience helps us gain a better perspective and more sincere empathy, it can also lead to unreasonable worry and shared sadness that spill into our personal lives. It’s one of those business problems I never saw coming and that I’m not sure has an easy textbook solution. It’s just something we have to navigate as we go. One thing for sure though is it’s not going to stop us. In fact, it’s hearing from the recipients of our meals that keep us motivated to keep pushing to move forward and get bigger and better.

Like this one, “I want to thank you for the wonderful meals being delivered to our home. [The recent passing of a family member] caused an outpouring of efforts by our family, friends and colleagues to make sure we had everything we needed during this trying time. Going beyond the necessary: Support Suppers has offered a wonderful dining experience within the confines of our home. The food is beautifully prepared, the ingredients fresh, the experience of fine dining is real, and the delivery is ‘high-tech’. Thank you for the care you take to make each meal a dining experience to remember.”

It simply amazes me that someone took time away from their busy life to write an email to me. All I did was take an order, cook the food and deliver it. It’s not from me, I don’t know them, but it still meant a lot to me. It confirmed also that the experience we set out create was happening in real life for real people in our community. So we’ll just keep on keeping on and take the bad with the good, maybe squeeze in some therapy when needed, because regardless of how it makes me feel, this is still the best job I’ve ever had, and at the end of the day it’s not about me, it never was.

We just posted dates and menus through the end of April. Check out what’s cooking at supportsuppers.com/order and during this lovey week of February, thank you for all of your love and Support.