Does Local Matter? And at What Cost?

Now more than ever, it seems we place more importance on sourcing locally, but at what cost?  Many feel we have an obligation to our neighbors and communities to keep the money local. I am torn on this issue a bit, possibly coming off a touch hypocritical. For example, I am very much a DIY person and seem to make several trips to both my local hardware and the Big Box stores over most weekends. I buy most of the bigger ticket items from Home Depot or Lowes, and the supplies or smaller items from my local hardware. I feel it is important to patronize the local hardware, after all several years ago we lost our hardware for a few years, mostly due to the Big Box competition.

In the food world, the biggest trend seems to be “Farm-to-Table” (Farm-to-Fork), which refers to a movement concerned with producing food locally and delivering that food to local consumers. These restaurants are popping up everywhere these days; it’s not just a “big-city” phenomenon anymore.  These chefs rely on traditional farmhouse cooking, with its emphasis on freshness, seasonality, local availability and simple preparations. West Michigan is one of the finest growing regions across the continent and our farmers having been selling their harvests to local restaurateurs long before the Farm-to-Table movement gained popularity. East-Town seems to have a large percentage of establishments that practice FTT, such as the Electric Cheetah, The Green Well, The Winchester, Marie Catrib’s, Brewery …

What is the Essential Ingredient for Success? Just One Word: TEAM

For the purpose of this Blog, Team is synonymous with teamwork. It’s my belief that to be a success at anything, your Team is the most important factor, bar none. If your rebuttal is there are many successful sole proprietors’s out there; I would make the argument, that the successful one-person-companies, still surround themselves with a team of professionals. Or if you make the point that Serena Williams won 19 Gland Slam Singles tournaments by herself, my counter would be her family is her team. After all, she grew up playing with Venus, not to mention they are 13-0 in Grand Slam doubles. Plus both her father Richard and her mother Oracene are credited as being her coach up until she brought on Marcos Baghdatis in 2012. I would make a similar argument for Tiger Woods.

Vince Lombardi defines teamwork as “individual commitment to a group effort”. He is also quoted as saying “People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses or the problems of modern society.”

Paul Bear Bryant “In order to have a winner, the team must have a feeling of unity; every player must put the team first-ahead of personal glory.”

Henry Ford when discussing teamwork, “Coming together is a beginning, Keeping together is progress, Working together is Success.”

Thomas Edison when asked why he had a team of twenty-one assistants, “If I could solve all the problems myself, I would.”

Andrew Carnegie “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct …