Crown O’ Maine Organic Cooperative
Dear Jerry, Bill, and the Northeast Mechanical Crew,
A young farmer from down the road came to pick up a chest freezer I was giving him, and asked what I was having built over by the windows.
“Are you remodeling?” he asked.
I crooked a quick smile and explained I was having a wall built to partition off our bathroom from our new cooler. He left w/a freezer to put his pigs in, and I walked back through the warehouse thinking about our particularly unglamorous, muscular version of remodeling.
In the four years we’ve been in this building we’ve taken an abandoned relic of Maine’s agricultural businesses, and slowly rearranged, deconstructed, built, and cleared to create our own new configurations. In the same time frame we’ve grown our business from working with 75 steady producers selling $750,000 of Maine foods, to this year working with over 200 small producers to sell over $1.7 million of Maine foods.
We never would’ve gotten here without your help and partnership.
It’s rare to find people such as yourselves, who take such a high degree of pride and care in their work, let alone people who are committed to doing a thing right because that’s how it should be done.
On top of all that, the ability to think creatively to find solutions, regardless of the limitations of site or build, and the ability accomplish high quality work in those conditions are also exceedingly rare.
All these reasons have given us a HUGE respect for you, as a crew, a company, and individuals.
We’re a small, unconventional company, homemade in a lot of strange ways, and we couldn’t be more grateful to work with professional, respectful experts of your caliber who never talk down to us (or treat us like girls). Any time we see the red trucks in our driveway, we know the professionals are in the house, and we have work to accomplish together.
It speaks very highly of your company culture that every single technician we’ve ever met has been unfailingly polite, respectful, and pleasant to work with.
When we write the book of Crown O’ Maine, and how we became a recognized piece of helping family farms in Maine be successful, Northeast Mechanical will have its own chapter. You honestly have been that integral to our success.
As the Director of Operations, the facility + infastructure has been my professional obsession for four years. I’m always planning 2-3 stages of growth ahead of where we are, and we’ve needed and wanted this new cooler for 1-1/2 years. It’s the first box my brothers + I haven’t built on the weekends (and it shows!), and it’s the first unit that’s had new equipment from Day 1 (and it shows!). It’s the first nice thing we’ve had in a while, if ever, and it represents a milestone to me in our business and how far we’ve come.
And honestly, every time we go into the new cooler, or I forklift something out of the freezer, WE take a huge degree of pride YOU’VE all put into it. In fact, we joke that no one wants anyone but me to run the forklift because no one wants to have to look Bill in the eye + tell him we dinged that externally installed heated door frame on the freezer. It’s only kind of a joke . . . I’m still the one meeting trucks @ 5 am.
I thank my luck stars that we found you (or you found us) and after all these years you still actually want to do business with us.
So, thank you, for all your help, and patience, and generosity over the years. We love working with you, and it’s a little humbling to realize the myriad ways you’ve incubated us along. We are profoundly appreciative of the rarity of this type of business relationship. You guys are top of the line, no doubt.
Jerry, we know you don’t go anywhere, so we included the photos for you—maybe someday we’ll get to meet the man on the phone? (Although imagining you as Charlie + your tech’s as Charlie’s Angels is funny too . . . )
Katrina + I are rewarding ourselves for surviving another summer with a bonfire up at Marada + I’s land in Grand Isle.
We’d like to invite all of you to join us up there. We’ll be up there Oct. 12-14, + setting off the burn pile on Saturday. Anyone who wants to come can give me a call at 316-6776 for directions or details.
Thank you, once again for everything—Leah, Marada + the COMOC Crew