Saturday, August 31, 2013

And then there was one....

Roederer Cristal Rosé 2004 $425.00

Tasting notes: Cristal Rosé 2004 is precise, racy and balanced. A pastel pink colour with bright, slightly orange glints. Fine, light bubbles in a long-lasting flow. The bouquet is delicate and subtle, with elegant fruitiness (red fruits: strawberry, fig), zesty hints (citrus fruit: lemon and orange) and juicier nuances such as vine peach. There is a deep, slightly sweet burst of aromas.
Varietals:  60% Pinot noir - 40% Chardonnay
Region: Champagne, France

Friday's Answer:

In this case "Fridays answer" just won't do...

With a great deal of pride and weary typing fingers we have to take some time to wrap up what has been a wonderful experience.

In order to properly close this promotion we must first go back to the beginning...

Back in April I was looking at some instagram pictures that Renzo was taking with his iphone around the store and an idea popped into my head, at first it seemed simple enough...

Lets show off the fact that we have a HUGE rosé selection in the summertime.

"We'll take a bunch of pictures around the store, at the cheese shop, the deli and the pasta shop in our corner and showcase a new one each day." Renzo seemed to like the idea and started setting things up. I handed him a bunch of bottles and asked him to be creative with it.

His first set was taken at Tutto Pasta.
(Below are some of the ones that we didn't use and clicking any picture will show it to you fullsize).


The next day he went over to Fairfield Cheese Company and took some more and he was getting us set to kick off the new promotion. Renzo is very creative and things were going along quite well...
(Here are the rest of those pictures that were never used either)

"Ok Renzo", I said, "Now for a handful here at Harry's. Try some fun things and lets try to use some of our history in a few along the way to show that there is alot here that we've been around for a long time. One of the things I would really like to show the endurring legacy of our store".
He looked around and started trying a few things...
(These are the pictures leftover from that set)




It was time to pack up and go home for the night and thats when, unbeknownst to me, things began to evolve...

I have come to enjoy the ride home along the Post road sometimes.

I pass Rawley's and Hemlock Hardware pressed right up along the road and further down is our ageless shopping area the feels to me like a small town used to feel, a bit like "It's A Wonderful Life" with lots of small businesses and people strolling along the sidewalks, moms and dads with their kids, a candy shop and Mark Twain sitting right there on the bench. There is even a Gazebo and an old time Community Theatre on the corner (Something positive really needs to be done with our theatre... Soon).

Something began to resonate.

Jan and I went to dinner at Bodega that night and everything changed...

We were sitting at our table and through the window I could see a sign above a very unassuming looking building that said "Serving Fairfield for 75 years". It was the Ronald J Henry insurance building and it was the changing moment for this promotion. "Hmm" I thought, "They've been there 3 years longer than us".

I began to talk with Jan about all of the small businesses that our town supports, the idea that we still have family owned Hardware stores and Bakeries, we also still have family owned Drug stores and Grocery stores! The more we talked, the more we began to realize how well this town supports its small businesses and that there wasn't just one of each of these type of shops, we have multiples, and they're in many catagories.

More surprising, Some of them have been here even longer than we have!

"We need to make sure that the people in this town realize how lucky we are. So many towns have empty building after empty building left from what use to be good, thriving businesse before big box stores ran everyone out." I said. "There is a distinct differnce between the Coconut cake at The Pantry and the one at Stop & Shop and the same goes for the service your receive at our store as compared to one of the giant stores".

The next day was a little bittersweet for Renzo. He was going to be able to use this talent, one that no one really knew about but everything he had done to get started was going to get scrapped. Fortunately for us, he was excited about the new path and he was willing to do the creative work if I would reach out to local businesses and ask them if they wanted to be involved... Fair enough.

I started dialing the phone and explaining the premise. What was interesting to me is that so many people understood very easily that it made sense. This was something that struck a cord with people on a community level and the excitement rubbed off very easily. Soon people were coming up with ideas and moving things around in the individual stores to "set up the shot". Renzo was treated to a Hot dog or Sandwich a few times along the way and there were so many "Thank yous" that we lost count. My phone even started ringing with other people that wanted to be involved.

In the following weeks and months we visited many small businesses and the promotion evolved as we thought about this towns history and landmarks. There was a real connective adjustment as the weeks went by and each of us learned more about the town, its history, churches, services, traditions etc...

I noticed quickly that people were really getting involved and were very excited about what we were doing so I tried very hard to approach it with open ears and eyes. Early on I noticed one person in particular that was involved each day and who was not just guessing, but seemed to really get it. So... of course, I used it as an opportunity to beat up on and with no provocation whatsoever, make him the target of a written beating in each days post. Mark (Mr. Fairfield) Beyerly came by each and everyday of this promotion and diligently lead the way to its conclusion adding fun clues and educational notes to our promotion and in return for his insight and hard work he was jabbed at daily by yours truly.

I am quite happy to admit that without him (and his clan), my journey here would have been much less fulfilling, so, I offer my humble apologies and sincere thanks. Mark, you were great!

(In todays picture above Mark finally gets his due when on Saturday we invited him to come down to the store and be crowned the King of "Rose of the day"!
In the picture he dons his well earned crown and holds a 3 litre scepter of rosé. He was then joined by his much better half (had to get one more in) Sandy in our final picture titled "Ring around the rosés" which includes our Harry's staff to help wrap things up at a store not featured until the final day. Our own Harry's Wine & Liquor!)

Mark was not alone in our game, he was the first to be involved everyday but he was not the only one. Chefmichaelatyourservice became a daily contributor fairly early on and there were many people that checked in regularly. Some people commented once or twice a week and others started strong and then faded a bit only to reappear further down the line. Lots of people "liked" our posts on Facebook and many of them "shared" our posts. I am sorry to say that in fairness to everyone I can't begin to name all of our participants that popped in and out along the way.

The number of people that have stopped me in the store to share a story or tell me that they were following silently was sometimes a bit overwhelming. I had this sense of responsibility for continuing what was only meant to be a self promoting campaign that morphed in to so much more. I am glad that Renzo's pictures spoke so well to so many. He and I are both really pleased that this run connected with so many people along the way.

This past couple of weeks were filled with the question, "Whats next?"

It is a good and fair question. We have said time and again over the past months that we have a great town and this promotion could never show "all" of what this town has to offer. In the upcoming year our town of Fairfield is celebrating 375 years! That deserves some major fanfare and if we can be the catalyst to some creative and fun toasts to our town we will be very pleased.

The question is... Whats next?

I'll answer this way... WE have some fun things in store for the celebration and we invite all of you to join us and to find your own ways to speak about the virtues of Fairfield Ct.

A final thought...

This, in our minds is what rosé feels like:

It's uplifting, It's connectable, simple and elegant at the same time, It is everything you need and want.

Now, stop and take a minute... you will realize that you can use the very same descriptors when you describe our town of Fairfield, it really is a model town. Fairfield... It's Rosé personified!

(some final pictures that didn't make the original cut)

If you've scrolled down this far there is one final message. On the first day that I sent Renzo out in to the town to start taking pictures, for some unexplained reason, this note was tucked under the windshield wiper of our delivery truck that Renzo used time and again to take pictures. He simply propped up the bottle next to the note and clicked this very innocent picture that speaks very loudly.

I never knew quite what it meant or how it could be used in our game but it does feel like a fitting final message to the folks that scrolled all the way down and finished with us.

- Cheers

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