As we observe One Boston Day, I'm sitting here grateful to be a Bostonian. On April 15, 2013 - I was celebrating Patriot's Day in the best way possible: leaving Fenway Park and walking through the city to make my way over to Boston Garden for a Bruins game, while enjoying what the Boston Marathon brings. We were a block over from the blasts and kept moving. Friends and family quickly checked in to ensure I was OK. My friend from Michigan was worried about my mental health after she found out I was physically OK. I told her "In the coming days, you will see why I love this city so much" and in the last year I've been think about that a lot. Boston is a big city, with a small town vibe and I know we have a reputation for being standoffish, but maybe what you don't know is: we would never let someone spend the Thanksgiving alone. We pick up our neighbors.
I dreamed about living here when I was little. My dad is from South Boston and moved to NH to raise a family, but we were always driving here for family stuff since a lot of my aunts, uncles and cousins lived close to the city. I always felt the pull here. I came down for games and events and family visits and I kept just wanting to be here more than at home in NH. So, I moved here more than half my life ago and for the last seven years I've slowly built a business here.
Last March, I went to bed on March 11th thinking that was the end of the road for us. We had lost 4 out of 5 revenue streams very quickly. We had a few giant things lined up that relied on very large crowds (Boston Marathon and Boston Calling) It seemed unfair, I was looking at spaces for our new home earlier that day and during the real estate tour our orders disappeared so fast.
The next morning I posted a blog detailing how scared I was of the unknown that lay ahead for all of us and what it could mean to my little cookie company. I didn't ask for orders, I think I was just preparing to say goodbye. I was starting to crumble.
As I ran around the following day just trying to stop the bleeding, my phone kept buzzing with orders and that pretty much was the way it kept going. You guys bought cookies, gifts, shirts, gift cards. You sent notes of encouragement with your orders. There wasn't a night I didn't go to bed with grateful tears.
The increase in online orders was met with the realization that our shared space (which we had already grown out of) was even less workable with social distancing measures. Like with many things 2020, the math didn't work. 50 companies sharing a space that was built to have 6 working at a time. So, we called to see if my favorite space was open. It was. We met the landlord, it was a family owned building and I'm insanely grateful to the Lydon family for giving a small business like us a chance. They have been great partners to us through the painful construction and getting open process.
We had to raise money quickly to fund the buildout. This would be a giant undertaking. Using MainVest we gave our friends, family and fans the opportunity to invest in Top Shelf Cookies through a revenue sharing note. I was again blown away when we met our $100,000 goal with ten days to spare. By request, we did another raise and were able to get $27,000 through MainVest.
So, Boston (and beyond) thank you for believing in us and seeing us through a really rough time for small businesses. We will spend the rest of our days trying bring you a better cookie and being a great neighbor.
With my love and gratitude....