Publisher’s Toast: Observations from the Homefront

As I sit here at home for what has now become an eight week seige, I reflect on all that has transpired. Our world as we know it has changed forever. I have often stated that I am not tech savvy, so on the way out of the office I grabbed my 300-plus 5×8” index cards — my contacts all — to use to work from home. Yes, I’m from the old school. Little did I imagine that they were to be my lifeline to the beverage industry.

I have now found immense respect for people who work at home. It isn’t easy. It’s hard to reach people by phone and await a return call after you’ve left a message. It’s just hard to wait. And I miss the face to face. I have sent out more emails in this isolated two months than I would in a year. It’s important to stay in touch and send messages of support and sympathy to those affected, but it’s frustrating not to be able to connect.

It is disheartening to listen to the issues that most beverage marketers are going through. They have spent years building their brands and now are having to do all that they can to keep them solvent. I’ve heard more about PPP loans than I would ever want to. I hope that they all get these grants, but I know it will not be the case. Sadly, many terrific brands will not make it — and for once, it will be through no fault of
their own.

My appreciation of the internet as a lifeline grows exponentially. Technology has kept our business chugging forward. My respect for our team at BevNET has grown with each passing day. They are an extraordinary group of workers. We have a mission to deliver news and insights and to keep people connected. We take that responsibility seriously. We continue to evolve, with new initiatives serving the marketplace. We appreciate your support.

My physical environment has shrunk to 11 blocks. That’s 11 blocks to Whole Foods, 7 to Trader Joe’s and 11 to the Fairway Market. I’m grateful that they are open, stocked, and respectful of the crisis. I think they’re handling it well — which is to say that they are handling it, which is no minor task. To all the retailers, small and large, thanks to you and to your employees. I also give kudos for the distribution channel getting the goods to market. Everyone in the process risks their health to make it happen. They are noble people indeed.

Lastly, and most important of all is the personal aspect of the isolation. Yesterday was one of the best days of my life. My wife and I went downtown in Manhattan to see our darling 15-month-old granddaughter Isabel for the first time since this started. Nothing is better than that — and that part of the world won’t change.