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Tue Mar 24, 2020, 01:17 PM

Bill Penzey and the Coronavirus....


So along with our stores, as of this past Sunday we’ve closed our warehouse for shipping orders for 3 weeks because it is the right thing to do. There’s lots of essential jobs out there but very-very few that are so essential they can’t shut down for 2-3 weeks. Everyone in America whose job isn’t truly, absolutely critical should be staying home right now. We are doing our part, as should all of you. Go home. Stay home. Really stay home. This isn’t the time for grand meanders around the neighborhood. Save lives by not letting your ability to transmit viruses overwhelm our hospitals and their courageous staffs. Please.

And for all the uncertainty we are all facing on so many levels, there really is no uncertainty to the way out of all this. The answer is a nation-wide shut down followed by as many as possible being tested. I can’t help but imagine how different this all would have been for America if that over-prepared woman who far more people voted for was in the Oval Office to shut everything down in February. Elections truly do have consequences. South Korea was prepared and no one there called this a hoax. Even though they were hit well before us they already coming out of this with 120 deaths total. Yesterday alone America had 140 deaths and that number is now taking off like a rocket ship. Damn.

So we are shut down until April 13th. Orders already placed and new orders placed going forward will be given priority by day placed. With your huge response in support of our email announcing our stores temporarily closing we were a few days behind in getting orders out when we shut down. I am sorry. If you need to cancel your order click here, but of course we would appreciate it if you didn’t. In fact, I believe there’s a lot to be said for placing an order right now so you are up by the front of the line when orders start shipping again, but I suspect I may be biased. Nobody gets charged until orders ship.

In trying to think of a story of value to share for times like these I’ve arrived at my very earliest days working in my parents' spice store at the corner of 33rd and Galena on Milwaukee’s near northwest side. And where growing up in the Milwaukee county suburb of Wauwatosa was all pretty non-stop white privilege, working in the 33rd and Galena neighborhood was pretty much the exact opposite of that.

Back in the late seventies we had customers driving in to shop with us from all over southeastern Wisconsin to stock up, but some of my best moments were with the people of the neighborhood just walking over to get what they needed that night. That despite my white kid suburban privilege I also got the chance to play a part in generations connecting to their roots through nutmeg and sage and cayenne pepper is a huge part of why Penzeys is what it is today. Thanks Dad!

I think in some ways I was a curiosity to our neighborhood customers, but for whatever reason they seemed to like me. At times they would share with me bits that their lives had given to them that they knew my life had left me clueless to. The late seventies was, like now, a time where the economy got so bad layoffs had actually reached into the lives of the privileged as well as those who usually bear the brunt. Against this background one of the neighbors shared this joke of truth with me: “Hey kid, do you know the difference between a Recession and a Depression?” I responded with a weak: “Maybe, but not really?” To which he delivered: “A Recession is when your family moves in with you. A Depression is when you move in with your family.”

That one stuck. It’s so nice on so many levels. At first you want to respond with: Hey wait a minute... but then it’s pretty much everything Einstein was getting at with his Theory of Relatively with double-extra bonus points for being about your relatives, but ultimately it’s a story about kindness, acceptance and even hope. Wrapped in this joke was the gift of the basic truth that no matter what happens, no matter how much our plans have gone amiss, in our humanity there is always someone there to catch you if you fall. So beautiful. Thanks neighbor man from 42? years ago!

Our original Galena Street and newer no-salt Galena Street are us doing our best to sum up the popular flavors of our original neighborhood and those efforts were well-received. Yes, originally they were used a lot for chicken and ribs, but the Galena flavor is also great for root vegetables, wonderful for stuffing, and makes for an awesome breakfast sausage patty with whatever meat or non-meat you choose. Order yours today. You will have to wait 3+ weeks for delivery, but you will be at the head of the line. Thanks.

And please stay home waiting for that delivery. With the nature of the coronavirus the death toll of the next 12-14 days is already virtually carved in stone. For the next 14 days we will pay the price for not taking this seriously and that price will be heartbreaking. But what happens on that 15th day is very much in our hands today. Today is our chance to make a difference. Please do what is right.


Thank you,

Bill




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Reply Bill Penzey and the Coronavirus.... (Original post)
Heartstrings Mar 24 OP
ploppy Mar 24 #1
StarryNite Mar 24 #2
WePurrsevere Mar 24 #3
BumRushDaShow Mar 24 #4

Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Tue Mar 24, 2020, 01:20 PM

1. I love Bill Penzey

and his company, spices and emails. I wish all corporate America was like Bill Penzey.

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Response to ploppy (Reply #1)

Tue Mar 24, 2020, 01:21 PM

2. Yes!

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Tue Mar 24, 2020, 01:24 PM

3. We've become regular customers of theirs...

Quality product from a great business owner by decent thoughtful human beings.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Tue Mar 24, 2020, 01:26 PM

4. Yup. Read the email this morning

My cabinets are packed with his spices and the overflow is in a bin.

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