October 3, 2020

I love Flour Bakery too

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Who wants a sticky bun!!! The first 200 customers to order meal boxes right now will get Flour’s famous sticky buns as a little gift tucked into their box.

I was a bit intimidated the first time I met Joanne. I knew her through her work. But the closest I’d come to her was seeing her on TV with Bobby Flay beating him at Sticky Buns.

I’m over that now and feel lucky to know Joanne. It’s become a bit of a Clover tradition to stock up on Flour’s cookies when we’re having an afternoon meeting (maybe not so much now that COVID : ( Now I’m just eating them alone in my car! The Double Chocolate Cookie is sooo good.

I’m sure there are people wondering why Clover would be including Flour’s sticky buns in our meal boxes. I guess technically Joanne and I are competitors. But I love what she does, I think Boston is measurably more fun for being the home of the country’s best sticky bun. I love Flour. And I don’t think that’s at all inconsistent with my being responsible to grow Clover.

I’m not just saying this because times are hard. They are. But even when times are not most of my favorite people in the food industry support one another more than they do battle. We are the scrappy small upstarts from Boston facing really large national brands with deep pockets.

I know many of you reading this love your Starbucks, and your Dunks (no, they are definitely not a local brand at this point). I know many of you love Sweetgreen, Dig, and many other national fast casual chains that have grown rapidly in Boston. I’ve been reading many industry reports. Make no mistake. Those national chains are gaining share in COVID times. The local smaller operators are losing right now.

I’m going to ask you right now to challenge yourself. How many of your meals this week can you source from local joints? Can you skip that Starbucks in favor of a local option? We have a few friends here, but there are so so so many more.

I don’t know how many will try to seriously do this. But I can tell you what will happen if you do:

  • I bet your bites will be better. You’re going to have more yum
  • I suspect you will have some better experiences with the staff at those places you hit up
  • I know that more of your $ will get to local purveyors and distributors
  • You may have to fight some habits. The big players literally work with consultants who coach them on how to use your psychology to build your habits

Most important: one of the local joints that brings joy to your life might be more likely to be here 6 months from now. I know that sounds a little extreme. But it’s just the reality. Most restaurants are barely holding on. Right now our lifeline is limited to what customers spend on us.

Let’s use our $ to invest in our region and support our neighbors. Thanks Joanne for doing this with us. I love what you guys do!

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