15 and Up Club
This is a picture of all but two of the members of the “15 and up” club. A few years ago, I took a look around BonBonerie and began to ask how many years different staff members had been with us side by side, day after day, year after year. Even though one of our co-workers, who during extremely challenging holiday weeks, has been overheard saying, “This is going to be my last Christmas here!”, she has fortunately been working with us for thirty-five of the thirty-eight years we have been in business. Her presence alone is enough reason to celebrate, but as I began to inquire about the length of time other people had been part of our work force, I became more and more amazed and immensely grateful.
Aging has taught me a very interesting lesson which is that time passes as it will. It can pass quickly or slowly. But when you do the same thing in the same location like we do at BonBonerie, some years are hard to distinguish from others. The only reason we really know when we started the bakery is that it was the year Brad Pace was born, my business partner’s first child.
So, getting back to our staff, after discovering the amazing number years various staff members have been working for us, we decided to start a tradition to celebrate our luck: an annual dinner with everyone who has been with us for fifteen years or longer. This year we recognized thirteen people who have been working for us for at least fifteen years. The total years were 263 and divided among bakers, decorators, managers, and customer service representatives. For two of them, it was their first year as members of the club. That’s 263 years of knowledge and experience under one business roof.
This year we gathered around a large square table in a private room at Nicola’s. It was such a lovely evening especially sharing the endless stories that 263 overlapping years working together provided. Long histories at the same business are uncommon these days. Sometimes it’s the business that doesn’t last that long. We have witnessed each other evolve in our personal and professional lives. It is one of the greatest thrills I have experienced in my career. We have so many reasons to be thankful this year. Happy Thanksgiving!