Director of Sales
The Stoney Moose
It’s the end of 2020, and we have been in a global pandemic for almost a full year. I am grateful to be employed and to be considered an essential business in Alaska, but my job has evolved into a whole new animal. The challenge of navigating the ins and outs of three businesses (The Stoney Moose, Stoney Moose Farms and Stoney Moose Kitchens) and implementing proper procedure to keep all employees and the public safe, as well as not only staying afloat but progressing as much as we can is, at the very least, a daunting task.
However, I have always been up for a challenge. Times are hard right now, and the situations are all new. What are we doing to keep the public safe, to keep our employees compensated and protected? And let’s face the bottom line: How are our businesses surviving COVID-19? These are the questions that we are all asking as this pandemic continues.
Safety, success and sustainability are three key aspects here. Implementing safety SOPs, sitting down with our staff and communicating with the community is something we have all done to keep our doors open during this time. Sustainability, however, is something we are discovering along the way as we collectively settle into this difficult time.
After we wade through the ever-changing landscape of this pandemic, where does that leave us? Having compassion for everyone in the community is a necessary outlook right now. We are being asked to make tough decisions daily regarding people’s safety and welfare, and it is not easy. But further than that, it is up to us to be safe and conscious in this time and to set the example for our staff and for our community. It bares mentioning as well that in each community, we represent not only ourselves, but the entire industry as well. We have all made sacrifices to keep the ball rolling in this time: the long hours and late nights covering shifts when employees need extra time off or cannot work at all. Not to mention making the margins go round.
This is what we are all going through. I am so grateful to be a part of a business collective and community where we take care of each other. At the end of the day I have learned that the relationships I have built within the industry have kept me afloat more than I even anticipated during the great Alaskan Pandemic Pot Drought of Summer 2020.
If you’re from Alaska, you know what I am referring to. This past summer, we had a huge surge in the market, which was wonderful for business but made it very tricky to keep the shelves full. Cultivators were overrun with phone calls, and I haven’t had to put that much effort into keeping products stocked since our doors opened in 2017. However, good relationships, compassionate action, hard work and trying to make the best of a historical time of hardship has proven sustainable. Listening to my staff and the community and staying grateful for the efforts people are putting forth is essential in this “essential business.”
On a final note, I believe that raising morale in whatever way possible is key to keeping your company and community moving forward in rather depressing times. Decorate and dress up for holidays, offer an incentive for selling a certain product, give someone a raise they deserve, offer the community discounts on buying in bulk and staying home, have a winter clothing drive for your local homeless shelter. It does come back, as I am grateful to report that The Stoney Moose continues to grow and expand, even in a global crisis. And when the cruise industry does pick back up, look for our Stoney Moose tour in Ketchikan, Alaska. It will be something special.
Stay savvy, safe and prosperous during a wild time in history, my friends.