Bestsellers CafeBookstore in Medford, Massachusetts
As time goes on, I wonder how Medford Square businesses are doing....thank goodness for a milder winter, but still....bridge construction and parking meters have created chaos, hasn't it?
In a continuation of "Where have they landed"....I have transitioned to Whole Foods in Cambridge (River Street location) as a member of Specialty Department (Hullabaloo!! Bridget!!) and can't be more thrilled to be part of their team. The Department is very busy with cheese, antipasto bar, ...wine, beer, coffee bar (yes you can visit me and I'll make you a latte!!) and they even roast their own beans, which is very cool to learn and watch! The commute is a bit longer, but I feel like it's a move that recognizes my skills and talents more than Prepared Foods, so let's see where the journey takes me!
I haven't heard from the Bestsellers Cafe team in a while, but I'll tell you that Charlie is almost as tall as Grandma D and Aunt Debi, who we recently saw on our way back from a week-long trip to Disney World...yes, it's the most magical place and we will have years and years of memories (and some goofy stories).
Be well and don't forget that your voice matters...always challenge civic leaders to be on the lookout for your best interests and let's see every community grow, prosper, and move forward!!
It's been far too long since I sent a "personal" post...I hope all is well as we welcome a 70+ degree day today...My family is well...Marianne is still struggling with the commute from Melrose to Watertown, but is getting more comfortable with her role at Athenahealth...Charlie is over 5 feet tall and is keeping us busy with Boy Scouts, Basketball (yeah, the season has ended), Church Choir along with keeping up good grades..Me? I miss my friends at Wegmans and am thrilled th...at they are moving forward with a location in Medford!! I try to shop there at least a few times a month to keep up with my friends (and get some great food!!). My role at Whole Foods in Somerville keeps evolving and changing, which I really enjoy. I'm now the Prepared Foods Supervisor/Buyer/Department Trainer....My next move will be Assistant Team Leader, but it could open up opportunities at other locations that might be an hour away from home....so, I'm enjoying my current role and am not that anxious to take on a long commute at this time....however, I could change my mind ANY day!! It's wonderful to have Bestsellers customers/friends show up at Whole Foods (yes, I mean Chuck, Clara, Dr. Joan, Clea, Lawrence..among others...). I miss you all and look forward to running into you somewhere along the way--Be well!
Hello, my friends!! I just posted an event for the Boy Scout Troop that Charlie has been part of for the past year...he absolutely LOVES being part of Troop 416! As a parent of an "only" child, it's been reassuring to see him develop friendships with other kids through fun activities, camping, life lessons, and all around good times...Please consider supporting the Boy Scout Troop by attending this great event...if you can't make it and wish to send a donation, contact the email address on the event listing...Thank You!!
Contact Paul MacLean at email@example.com for tickets, which are $25/person. The event includes 18 Holes of Bean Bag Golf (aka corn hole), dinner, raffles and prizes!
Life revolves around Charlie...as it should be, as parents...I don't know how parents of multiple kids do it....KUDOS to you!!
Two things this time around--first, our space at 24 High St (sorry, "old" space) is now open to new business owners...I haven't gone inside, but have been watching the construction progress for last several weeks...As a fellow business owner, I wish them success...Medford Square can be tricky, but I trust that they did their research and know what lie...s ahead for them...I still wish my landlord had many more months of lost rental income which cause him even more financial distress (I'm not surprised that the money spent on Bestsellers Cafe build-out was torn apart by new tenants--the Taj Mahal of Medford Square was far from perfect in design and layout), but the space is rented and new life enters Medford Square and the community ought to embrace it, even if we all hold a grudge on the landlord.
Secondly, the political race comes to a conclusion in a few weeks...Every vote matters and every voice ought to be heard..Change is coming which is a good thing...new voices, new ideas, new challenges, new successes....whatever the political outcome, we need to appreciate the process and feel lucky that we live in a country where our votes COUNT...no matter who you vote for (okay, I would love to see what Penta can do for the City of Medford), go out and vote...change is coming to city council, mayor's office, and school committee---embrace it!!
Well, we're all settling in with a school "routine" although I think Charlie's teachers are being a bit easy with homework so far...I'm certain it will change soon---much to Charlie's dismay!!
Where have we landed?? I didn't know that there was going to be such an "uproar" when I posted for a new position at Melrose's Whole Foods Market, but there was! The store leadership in Somerville got wind of it....and offered me a Supervisor position within Prepared Foods Departmen...t--they like me and want me to grow with the Somerville store...at least, for now..Anyway, I accepted it and look forward to leading our team with two new hot bars, one brand new salad bar--expanded menu and fellow team members that remind me a lot of Bestsellers Cafe co-workers/friends....I'm excited to get recognized after only a few short months and look forward to next step at Whole Foods--Assistant Team Leader of a Department...
Funny story, though, that one of my co-workers warned me about having too much customer service (chatting with customers and genuinely being appreciative that they chose to shop in Somerville)...He thought it might be too much customer service....IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?? I guess I'll try to be less friendly next time....probably not!!
Marianne, Charlie and I had a wonderful time last Sunday---Melrose's Victorian Fair ("Hi" to Rep. Katherine Clark) then on to Medford's Community Day where Charlie helped raise almost $180 or his Boy Scout Troop, selling water/lemonade/tea...I think we realized right away that there's a void in the community (both Melrose and Medford) for a store like Bestsellers Cafe--the hugs, accolades, and laughs we shared with our customers---no, our FRIENDS, was heartwarming and we than...k you.....I won't get too political on you, but you couldn't walk three feet at the Medford Community Day without running into a politician....I think the City Council race "polls" are pretty good, but I'm most intrigued with Mayoral Race--did you know that there will be a Mayor Debate on Oct. 15 at 7pm(doors open at 6pm), held at Chevalier Theatre!!! That night could change the tone/future of Medford so please attend, if you can....I'll be looking for it on Medford's local cable access station, which we can watch in Melrose!!
Oh, the life of an eleven year old (aka soon to be sixth grader) is soooo tough...Charlie had a ball this summer and travelled to more states than most of his friends...Marianne even packed his summer homework packet to "work" on while he was away...Today, the procrastination came to a screeching halt when he began to panic about the perfect "Book Report" and the best sentences...what will he do when he gets an assignment? Marianne and I cannot seem to teach him preparedness without sounding "preach-y", yet he doesn't seem to get it yet....Like I said, it's so tough to be 11....!!
I hope everyone had a chance to visit Circle the Square yesterday---CTS for short, I'm told!! Charlie and Marianne assisted Medford Family Network with their activities and I know Charlie had a good time playing Twister!! I went for a little while and enjoyed seeing some old friends and colleagues...even a few hopeful politicians...How stupid is this primary race in Medford next week....where the city council race will hold an election to pare down the count from 16 candida...tes to 14--over $40,000 spent to eliminate two candidates....seems so silly when that money could be earmarked for something a lot more productive!!
I heard from Audrey that she was accepted into the Partners' training program and will begin classes to prepare her for applying for jobs within Partners Healthcare...if there are any connections she can use, please let us know...I'm sure her skills will speak for themselves, but networking can always HELP...Congrats to you, Audrey!!
Well, I haven't heard from Audrey about a job possibility that required me to fill out a survey about her abilities/strengths---I couldn't say enough about her qualifications so let's keep our fingers crossed for good news from her!! Charlie? What a few weeks he has had...friends took him up to NH for a few days of relaxation (biking, swimming, playing...), then he spent a week in Greenville, SC with his grandmother (yes, she needed a long nap after he left...) and has been... spending this week at YMCA day camp in Charlotte, NC (his Aunt Debi is taking care of him)...this time, Debi and her dog, Chloe, are making sure Charlie is VERY tired at the end of the day..His camp? It's modeled after Amazing Race TV show and he is having a BLAST exploring Charlotte with a team of teens/pre-teens...the best part? He goes to the US National Whitewater Rafting Center tomorrow for a field trip of FUN...How do Marianne and I top that? I can't wait to see him and he's back in time for Medford Square's next Circle the Square--next Thurs 8/20!!
Not that we're intending to make it a Bestsellers Cafe reunion, but Marianne and I will be dropping off a few supplies to Mystic Coffee Roaster this Saturday (most likely between 9:30a and 10a)....Wouldn't it be great to accomplish a few things? Yes, I'd love to see you, but you could also get an AWESOME cup of coffee from our friends at Mystic Coffee Roaster, too!! It's always best to support your local businesses...they'e the ones that will support you back!
Here's an update for you all!! As I mentioned, I'll give my "Where have they landed" rundown, as best I know....I assume that Carol, Richard, and Julie are still very active baristas....search them out whenever you need a caffeine boost....from Wellington Circle to Riverside Ave to North End/Boston, you can see many familar faces! My wife, Marianne, swore me to secrecy that I couldn't tell anyone until her first day at work...for fear of putting a jinx on her 14 month unemp...loyment "quest".
This morning, she began work as a Healthcare Transactions Manager with Athenahealth of Watertown....She is finally being recognized for her Project Manager experience and her "green belt" lean sigma certification will be put to work!! I have NO clue what she'll be doing (way above my head), but she'll be working with a crew that's very dedicated and passionate and I'm thrilled for her!!
I'll always remember her start date because today is also my 51st birthday! My mother claims it can't be true since she's only 39!!
As for Medford Square (and 24 High Street), there is some news...some good and some not so good. I had someone mention to me that bank tellers in Medford Square have seen a dramatic decline in bank customers since the parking meters began...I drive through the Square and see many, many open spots...I'd like to blame it on summertime "routines", but I think it's reflective of the lack of Medford Square economy. There are signs at 24 High St that something/someone has rented our bookstore space....Best of luck to them, but I don't have any more information to share.
Charlie? He's having a traveling summer, trying to figure out what he enjoys the most. He's spent time in NJ, time at home with Marianne, time in NH with friends, one week at sleepover Boy Scout camp in NH, a couple nights in Cape Cod...he'll be going to YMCA camp in Charlotte, NC soon and spending time with Grandma in SC, then back to camp in Melrose...His calendar has been far busier than either mine or Marianne...
Be well and know that I miss each and every one of you...I miss hearing about your day, your opinions on the news, and your opinions on Medford in general. Audrey says we ought to have a reunion....what a great idea!! Until there's more "landing" news, I hope to run into you soon! Rob D
Congrats to first Circle The Square team of volunteers for the start of a great 2015 series!! Did you notice Marianne and Charlie at Medford Family Network site? They LOVED volunteering and helping out the MFN!!
Marianne was surprised that there wasn't more activity with political candidates....yet!! She did spot Mark Crowley and had a short conversation with Stephanie Muccini-Burke, who completely forgot about early conversations she had with me (and Bestsellers Café). ... She was hoping that Marianne would open up a café (if not another bookstore) in Medford that would be a gathering spot for teens...she explained (again) that there isn't more to do in Medford for teens...I think she completely forgot that she spearheaded a meeting in 2012 I had with Diane MacLeod, Stephanie Muccini-Burke, and other Board of Health employees...they had interviewed Medford High students and noticed that they were fleeing Medford and found activities outside their own community. Stephanie suggested (and hoped) that Bestsellers would have a music coffeehouse geared towards teens....I think she completely forgot she had this conversation in 2012 since she restated to Marianne last Thursday that we should open up a community spot for teens....Sorry, Stephanie, but we tried it for over a year with great success in the beginning, but the community (and teens) couldn't sustain it for Bestsellers Café to continue their coffeehouse...I'm sorry Stephanie didn't have a chance to come to Bestsellers Cafe's music coffeehouse...or help with promoting it when we needed the support...
Oh, it's going to be an interesting election year, isn't it??
Well, today is Charlie's last full day of 5th grade...next two days are half-days...I guess I ought to be thankful that his last day isn't a Monday...and a half-day...what a waste of resources....Have a great summer....Charlie's science teacher/spelling/math teacher this year was amazing...big shout out to Mrs. Kelly at St. Joseph's School...she kept the kids engaged, enthused, and challenged the entire year....I'm very thankful for her teaching this year and look forward to seeing if Charlie follows science/math in 6th grade!!!
So, it was 11 years ago...about right now, if the time serves me...that I returned home from closing Bestsellers Cafe for the night...Marianne said that tonight was the night and labor pains had started....I was so tired and couldn't garner the energy for it...in true fashion, Marianne said she'd call doctor and see what we ought to do...doctor said call back at midnight so Marianne let me nap...her? she paced and paced and paced until midnight and then woke me to go to hospi...tal....Of course, I wouldn't let us go directly to Mt. Auburn Hospital. We stopped in Medford Square to leave a note on the Bestsellers Cafe door...apologizing for not opening on time the next day...that we would hope to have a birth announcement...It was almost 1am when we arrived at the hospital....Charlie was born at 5:25am June 4, 2004...every day is a miracle, but that particular day beats them all!! I'll never forget the enthusiasm Jess, Amy and entire bookstore's community had for our new family....it still means a lot to me eleven years later...Thanks!
So, I'm thinking of surprising Charlie for his birthday this Thursday, June 4th....He has choir practice at Saint Joseph's Church until 4pm and I'd like to assemble a gathering outside the church to sing "Happy Birthday" song to him as he leaves the church...He's turning 11 (so hard to believe, but equally excited for him to grow even more into a young man...). If you can make it, join me at St. Joseph Church (114 High St) at about 3:45pm Thurs, 6/4---I'll give a quick hug &... hello and go inside to get Charlie after practice....His choir director is amazing and will not know I'm planning the surprise singing...so don't go inside the church...I hope to see some friends of ours (and Charlie's) and catch up with you...even for a moment!!
On other news, I'm coming up to a month of employment at Whole Foods! My fellow Team Members have to "vote" me on---or off--the team...Once voted on, I'll be a permanent member of Whole Foods Team!! This is my fourth week, so let's hope I get "voted to stay on the island!!"