A year after the Thomas Fire and 1/9 Mudslide, I've regrouped slightly. We still have no employees but we jumped back into the Farmers Markets here in Santa Barbara. My husband sold the jars and I made the jam and marmalade. Habitat for Humanity helped rebuild our fence, damaged in the 1/9 Mudslide. And most recently I applied for and received a Thomas Fire and Mudslide Recovery Grant from Wells Fargo Banks, through the Women's Economic Ventures nonprofit her in SB County. Our family was also given two gorgeous quilts from the Ventura Modern Quilt Guild that have blanketed our beds and made us feel safe ever since we picked them out last winter.
It took us until now to gather our strength and endurance to face making the needed cuts and trims to keep Red Hen alive. Throughout, my customers have been my shining light. They've offered everything from free housecleaning to kind words of support and so much pleading to keep making jam and marmalade. The saddest part has been giving up on my wholesale business and missing the great friends I made through all the local stores and more. But in looking over everything, I realized I had to scale back as a one-person operation and I just couldn't continue with that piece of the pie.
For now, I will continue to keep a little bit of seasonal jam and marmalade on stock that I plan to sell throughout the year through the Red Hen online store. And we hope to be back for the holidays, too, at Farmers Markets. As for additional Farmers Markets this spring or summer or adding wholesale back, I can't say for now. But you'll be the first to know, when and if things change!
Thanks, again, to all of you for your support and I hope that you find your inner phoenix this year, for whatever challenges you face.