Ed at the “VILLAGE FUDGE SHOPPE”
I’m grinning from ear to ear as I write this post and I hope that Big John (from Kent, England) will read this. His latest post, called “Fruit that Leaves a Bad Taste” addresses the problem of the little shop owner getting pushed out of business by the big commercial giants.
I hope I’ve done my small bit today to try to combat this. Here’s what happened: My oldest sister lives in Hyannis (Cape Cod) Massachusetts and her 80th birthday is this Sunday, Sept. 10th. She is no longer able to drive but she still lives alone and can manage her little house very well. She has a sweet tooth and I thought it would be fun to surprise her with a gift of something gooey and decadent.
With the aid of the Internet I found some retail stores in her area but they all seemed very commercial and included very high delivery charges. I finally decided to go to the Hyannis Yellow Pages and I chose the “Village Fudge Shoppe” which is on Main St. (not very far from my sister’s house.)
Ed, the owner, answered the phone and we had a great chat. He was amazed that I’d chosen his shop since he doesn’t advertise on the web. I explained what I wanted to do and asked him if it would be possible to have the gift delivered today or tomorrow. He said that his nephew could watch the store after school today and that he’d be happy to run the fudge out to Mary. (We’d decided on a 2 lb. variety box of his home-made specialties.)
We hadn’t mentioned cost until now and Ed said, “How are you going to pay for this?” I told him I’d be happy to put it on my Visa card but it turns out that they deal in cash only. “Don’t worry,” he said, “you can send me a check!” I almost dropped the phone. Here was a man who was doing me a great favor and was willing to wait for payment…not to mention the fact that he had no idea who I was !
“Great”, I said, “now what do I owe you?” When Ed told me that it came to $19 and change I told him that I would send him a check for $25 to cover the cost of delivery. “I’ll tell you what”, he said, “Let’s settle for $22.”
So, is it any wonder that I’m grinning? I feel like I’m back in the 50’s when the neighborhood store owner really cared about his clientele.