And we're off! A week into 2019, and the only resolution I made is to cook more at home. So far, success! Almost three meals a day, every day this week, and man does that mean a lot of leftovers. I'm using a cookbook that I bought my mom for Christmas, and then promptly bought for myself - Cook90 by David Tamarkin - and the recipes are so simple and I often have a lot of the ingredients at home already, which is one of my main cookbook prerequisites. Not going to ask me to by rosewater or violet petals. Though I may be able to find the violet petals in our yard in a few months.
It has been very nice to get back into Bloodroot routine after the holidays. Coming back to work has been a relief, and isn't that a wonderful thing to say about your job? I'm happy to be able to say that I like getting a break from the shop, and then I really like getting back to it. Working with David and Luke doesn't hurt anything. We run a very mutually supportive workplace :) 100 yards from our houses.
We talked a lot over the break, since we're all together anyway, no matter what time of year it is, about what we wanted for Bloodroot and our customers in 2019. I feel like (and I know other people feel like) the only reason businesses should really exist, is they make something about their customers' lives easier or better. Life is hard, and any business should work to make something about their customers' lives more enjoyable, more beautiful, more pleasant, simpler...the list goes on and on. At Bloodroot, we strive to make your time in the kitchen more beautiful, more enjoyable, more pleasurable. You are there in your kitchen, most likely, every day. Often with your families or often alone, feeding each other, serving each other, feeding yourself, caring for yourself - either during a great day, a sad day, a hard day. How can we make that thing you have to do every day, several times a day, something just a little more (or a lot more) enjoyable?
So far, we have stood very definitely behind the fact that your tools should serve you well. They should last a lifetime, be beautiful, be a joy to use, and they should be made in a way that you can feel good about, ideally by people whose names you know. Your knives should make your work, your cooking, easier - not harder. And, the process of getting those knives, should be like the process of getting something from a friend who cares for you. Even if that friend has a very long waiting list :| :) So we strive to care for each of you who emails us like we know you and want the best for you. Because in a lot of ways, over the years, we will come to know you, as we have come to know many of you already, which is one of our greatest pleasures in this work.
One of the things David, Luke, and I have been discussing, however, is that the knives we put in your hands require a certain kind of care. A kind of care not often required by less expensive stainless steel knives, and a kind of care people are not always able to give without a little bit of learning. So, we hand out our Knife Care cards with every knife we deliver, and mostly, that works just great. But I know there is more we could do.
That's why, in December, we collaborated with another business in town - Water's Edge Woods - to offer an end-grain walnut cutting board, because end-grain cutting boards substantially improve the edge-life knives. Using an end-grain cutting board means your knives stay sharper, longer. It helps our knives perform for you in the way that we want them to. We will have another batch of these cutting boards available in February.
In 2019, we would like to, slowly, add other items that we can get to you that will help your time in the kitchen be more pleasurable. We are often asked about knife storage - how should your new Bloodroot Blade be stored? Can I put it in a drawer? (Nope). Where should I put it? So, we would like to begin offering several different types of knife storage solutions - magnetic knife racks, perhaps a knife block, a knife...kind of peg shelf that David came up with that we have in our kitchen and love...we'd like to make that kind of thing available to you.
How should we keep our Bloodroot Blades sharp, you often ask. Well, perhaps it would be good if we made that easier for you, kept ceramic hones in stock that you could buy without having to scour the great Amazon, looking for the right one.
All this to say, we've been talking a lot about how to take care of you. We could hire a bunch of people, get super big, make our waiting list shorter, but that would take us away from the kind of business that sustains our lives in the way we want it to. So if we're not going to do that, what can we do to make your lives in the kitchen, cooking, eating, feeding yourselves and your families, easier, more beautiful? That's what we're going to be trying to do in 2019. If you have any ideas about how we can do that (besides building a factory), please send them our way :).
We are so happy to be looking forward to another year with you, in the shop every day, in the garden. Thank you again for making this business possible. We hope that you had a wonderful holiday season, and are having a lovely to start to this new year.
With gratitude and affection,
Katy, for David, Luke, and Helen.