We reached a milestone at Morning Glory Coffee. We are now baking for our retail store once again. We stopped baking four years ago. The reason? We were no longer able to keep up and maintain our family business due to illness. My wife and business partner was subjected to six surgeries in less than three years, including the removal of a kidney due to renal cell carcinoma (Kidney Cancer).
Operating a small business in a small seasonal community has more than enough challenges. Operating a manufacturing facility while one of the owners is surviving cancer and battling a variety of health issues is more than overwhelming.
The fallout from health issues, and a cancer diagnosis is much different than anyone would expect. We lost multiple retail customers, who could not cope with our situation. We also lost multiple commercial accounts, dropped shortly after we announced what was happening. We spent months wondering if our business would survive, or if we would go bankrupt, losing our house, as well as our business, due to our lack of health insurance.
Aside from a few loyal friends and customers who helped, there was no family to fall back on, there were no fundraisers, there were no new accounts to help soften the blow. There was no indication from anyone that we mattered to our community, or that we would be missed if we were gone. In fact there was one person that told us that we did not matter, and if we did not like how things were going, we should just leave.
It was a dark time and confusing time. And the remnants of this struggle still remain in the form of medical bills, continuing healthcare issues, and lost relationships, both personal and business.
Throughout this struggle, the only person that matters, Laura, persevered. She maintained the family, and continued to see hope in adapting and growing our business. She has dealt with the pain and loss, and focused on moving forward. It is only because of her that Morning Glory Coffee & Tea continues to grow within our community, regionally with wholesale, and throughout the United States via our online catalog.
It is because of her that I was able to reach outside of our isolated community. With her support, I ran for State Legislature twice in an effort to improve our local and regional community while meeting and networking with others that loved Montana as much as we do. In the process I have been able to meet and network with incredibly talented people from throughout Montana. I have also been appointed a Montana Ambassador with the Governors Office of Economic Development. This has further helped in my ability to reach out and share both our business, and the state that we love, with our customers and the world.
So here we are today. Anxious as ever, producing the best products we can, and growing our small Montana family business. There are great challenges ahead in the near future. Like any business, of any size, we will confront those challenges without knowing the outcome. We will move forward, growing our brand and producing the best coffees and teas that we can. Satisfying one customer at a time. And for the first time in four years, we will begin to make baked goods from scratch for our retail again. It has been fourteen months with no surgeries. It is time to begin again and reinforce what we do best. Creating things that make people smile.