06 March 2008

Another Special Delivery

I spent most of yesterday in Chicago, on a work-related trip. It's a 3.5 hour drive from here, which is just close enough to avoid an overnight stay.

As my client meeting wasn't until 11am, I figured I had time to make some farm deliveries to old customers who'd appreciated our eggs. Once the details of the trip were set, I contacted those customers by email and made arrangements to meet.

My first stop was a four-star restaurant in Lincoln Park, where the chef is one of our eggs' biggest fans. (He's gone so far as to carry our eggs on a plane to take them places for cooking demonstrations.) He'd have bought 30 dozen if we'd had them, but our flock had only produced a little over half that over the last week. Still, it was wonderful being able to deliver them all to someone who likes them so much. He also took 6 dozen of our largest duck eggs, which I doubt he's been able to put on the menu for some time.

My next stop was the most important. As mentioned in a post last year, we have a customer who is allergic to chicken eggs --- but who can eat duck eggs. As our kids also have severe food allergies, I'm very empathetic to this man and make sure I contact him whenever I'll be in the area with duck eggs. Our ducks hadn't been laying since late last summer; needless to say, he was very excited when I emailed him with news of this trip.

As his building is just a few blocks from my client, I ditched the car near the client's building and then walked to the egg customer's place. It's hard to describe how bizarre a feeling it was to be dressed in a jacket and tie, laptop computer slung over my shoulder, walking up and down the busy streets at the heart of Chicago's Loop, elevated trains roaring overhead...while carrying 4 dozen duck eggs in my hands. Yes, I got some funny looks. But the best look was the expression of joy on my customer's face, as he met me in the lobby of his building and then told me about what he'd be cooking and eating in the days to come.

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