Mountain Lifestyle & Snowboard Reviews
Essential Surf Gifts For The Holidays
(including Good To-Go)
As Good To-Go wraps up it’s first year in business, I find the need for a reality check. Sometimes you have to just stop and remember where you are and how far you’ve come. David and I have been plugging along with Good To-Go for many, many months now. We first got into stores in April of this year and are now in over 100 stores nationwide. I giggle every time I think back to David’s hyper vigilante rant this past June, “Jen, we need to get more exposure. We need people to be able to find us. You need to up production.” I laughed at him, as only a wife can do. “Seriously, David? We’ve been in the market for a month and are already in over 2 dozen stores. You need to dial it down a bit dear.”
The one thing David did harp on was staff. “Jen, you need to hire more staff.” Not that I didn’t want help but as a small business I was cautious about hiring. Although he was right, we needed all hands on deck and our four hands weren’t quite cutting it. David needed assistance with the ever-increasing demands of marketing and sales. I was busy in the kitchen 15 hours a day with no extra time to devote to the other demands of an upstart like bookkeeping, shipping or even just answering the phone. Then as luck would have it, fate dropped four amazing people on our doorstep.
Amanda Arloro answered my “Help Wanted” ad for a Chef’s Assistant. She was perfect from first inspection on paper and even better when we met. Amanda graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the prestigious culinary school, Johnson & Wales University in Providence Rhode Island. She spent time as a trucker for the American Mountain Club, stocking their huts and as the store-house keeper. I hired her away from the Kennebunk School System, where she was managing the kitchen, serving 500 students a day. She’s entered our kitchens with absolute confidence and has enabled us to double our production. Amanda is wonderfully upbeat and greets everyone with a smile and an interesting story. During her free time she enjoys baking, playing with her two dogs Libby and Wolfie, and working on outdoor projects with her partner Dan. Amanda’s son Greg is 18 and just about to enter college.
While I was busy trying to find help in the kitchen, Emilie Chatelain came knocking on David Koorits’ door. Emilie was working at EMS’s South Portland Maine store and had sold our products, tried our meals and really loved Good To-Go when David held a staff clinic to give them more detail of our Good To-Go story. Emilie had been working for years in outdoor retail, focusing her creative energies on visual merchandising. For over 7 years she was the visual team leader for dozens of REI new store openings and remodels. Her efforts spearheaded increased sales and customer interaction with the products. We were thrilled when Emilie wanted to join our tiny crew, focusing her skills on sales and marketing. Emilie has also been busy maintaining all our social media and will begin blogging on our website as well. When not at work, Emilie is an avid climber with many ascents under her harness belt. After relocating from the West coast, Emilie has taken up climbing in our local White Mountains but still misses the beauty and ascents of Joshua Tree National Park and Bend, Oregon’s Smith Rock. Emilie lives in Portland with her friend Caitlin and little dog Annie.
With our increase in production and sales we needed help actually getting our product packed up and out the door. This is when we decided to search for just the right person to head our shipping department. A task of this nature takes a person whose attention to detail, brut strength and lovely hand writing skill is paramount. We found all of this in Kate Newport, a recent transplant to the Seacoast area from Philly. I will admit, as we began Good To-Go, shipping was not a high priority for me. Well, after juggling even 10 orders at once I marvel at Kate’s ability. She can make a morning of 35 outgoing orders look like a walk in the park. On one recent day when Kate was off, David and I tripped and stumbled over each other to get out the day’s orders. I’m grateful everyday she’s here, not only is she efficient and always willing to help, Kate is absolutely hilarious, her one liners make even a stressful moment more bearable. Most days when Kate leaves the shop she heads for the ocean, surfboard in hand. She’s vowed to continue through the New England winter, I think she’s nuts, but perhaps that has nothing to do with surfing. Kate lives in Portsmouth, NH with her nuclear engineer husband, Chris and their black lady lab, Tank.
We very quickly realized with all this action going on someone had to jump on board to help us with numbers, projections and the millions of slips of paper that began to accumulate. That’s when Jean Rowe walked in our door. Wehad hoped to findsomeone who could help with bookkeeping, at best, someone with a little experience, Jean was a dream come true. A Bentley College Graduate in Accounting, Jean had kept the books for close to 15 years for the New England Carpenters Pension Fund. Jean had recently retired and was working part time close to Good To-Go’s World Head Quarters in Kittery when a friend had mentioned her interest in possibly working part time as a bookkeeper. We hired her on the spot. She’s been instrumental in reorganizing our accounting system and has already taught this 14 year veteran of QuickBooks more tricks and memorized reports than I ever knew existed before. Jean lives in York, Maine with her husband Jay. The two have 3 children, 12 grand children and 11 great-grand children. None of us here at Good To-Go understand how that’s possible since Jean looks about 50 years old!
Both David and I wanted to take a moment to thank these four lovely ladies for all their help, understanding and wisdom. It takes many hands to make light work or to bring a bowl of hot Thai Curry to a mountaintop. Thank you so very much and Happy Holidays everyone for all your support.
Geared Up: Holiday Gift Guide Edition, Part 2
By Mike Deme and Alex Strickland
Good To-Go ($6.50-$41.75, 844-484-8646)