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LETTER SEPTEMBER 2018
www.OctoberKitchen.com | 860-533-0588 | 309 Green Rd., Manchester, CT 06042
Meet the Team Behind Your Meals
Stephanie Croteau’s Many Gifts Did you know running a kitchen means you have to do more than just cook and deliver food? There’s a whole mess of technical things we need to take care of every day to ensure our customers enjoy the highest possible level of service. Thankfully, I have people like Stephanie Croteau to lend a hand. AN ANSWER TO OUR PRAYERS
proud to see her blossoming into her own in the kitchen and in life.
Before my first interview with October Kitchen, I spent the entire drive praying. I’d just left a truly horrible job, had $200 to my name and less than an eighth of a tank of gas. “Please, God, bring me somewhere I can grow,” I prayed. “Let me end up somewhere I won’t be abused, that will be good to me. Please let me do something with my life.” The first interview at October Kitchen went so well, the interviewer asked if I could come back for a second interview. I wanted to say yes, but thinking about my gas tank sitting below empty, I admitted that I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make the 40-minute drive from my house again. Instead of telling me goodbye, the interviewer ran into the back and grabbed Ali and Paul. They conducted the second interview right then and hired me on the spot. At the time, I didn’t know a lot about the job or October Kitchen. I’d just seen the listing on Craigslist and figured I’d
Stephanie came to us four years ago from, let’s just say, a less-than-happy work environment. At the time, Stephanie was only 21 years old and without much on her resume, she was a bit of a gamble. But Ali and I knew we wanted her after our first interview. If Stephanie was a gamble, then we really hit the jackpot. My wife trained her to handle the technical things and provide good phone service, but her ability to interact so warmly with our clients, to remember their names and all their orders — you can’t train a person to do that. You have to have a gift for that and Stephanie does. “Gift” could be how I describe Stephanie in any situation. She’s a bright, beautiful person, who’s been quite the blessing for October Kitchen. She’s morphed into quite the leader, a marketing savant and a real guru when it comes to our software. I rely on her for so much and she always delivers with a smile. Ali and I have come to view Stephanie as our work daughter and we’re
“Since my first job at 16, I’ve spent almost my entire career in the food industry and there’s no place I have loved half as much as I love being at October Kitchen.”
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Sarah Cummins Turns Heartbreak Into Hope A SERVING OF LOVE
a resident of Wheeler Mission in Indiana. “It’s a great opportunity to spread love … This is just a very nice thing to do.”
On Saturday, July 15, 2017, the sky was clear, the sun was shining and it was a beautiful day for a wedding. Unfortunately, less than a week before her big day, Sarah Cummins and her fiancé called it quits and Sarah was left with a broken heart and a nonrefundable reception. Instead of letting the dinner go to waste, Sarah invited over 100 people, including many veterans, from homeless shelters in Indiana to come enjoy the meal. When word of her generosity got out, other people stepped up to make the day special. After two years of planning, Sarah’s reception was meant to be an elegant affair, so many people donated formal and semi-formal clothes for guests to wear. After getting all dressed up, guests were treated to fine hors d’oeuvres, catered dinner, drinks and of course cake. Many of the guests had never enjoyed such a fine meal and they were grateful for Sarah’s kindness during such a difficult time.
After turning a painful experience into a day of love, Sarah was inspired to continue the good work in her community. During the would-be reception, Sarah met staff and residents of Dayspring Center, a shelter for homeless families in Indianapolis. Despite attending Purdue University and working two part-time jobs, Sarah began volunteering at Dayspring Center, finding a new sense of purpose by helping out in the kitchen. “I am also thankful for the Dayspring Center and all the people there who have taught me how fulfilling it is to give freely to others,” says Sarah, recovering from her rocky year. “I am so fortunate to have so many inspiring and strong people in my life.”
“It’s just a really great opportunity for us. That was going to be a huge tragedy in her life,” said Erik Jensen,
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“Great food and honestly it ends up being cheaper and less wasteful than if I cooked for myself. I get 80 percent of my meals there. I’d be lost for time without them!” –Richard A. “Love the fresh food and the ever-changing variety! Especially love the Silver Palate chicken salad!! Staff is always friendly and inviting.” –Amy V. “My husband and I have been ordering October Kitchen now for about a year and a half and I can say, “THEY SAVED MY MARRIAGE!” My husband and I have very busy lives. We get home late during the workweek and neither one of us feels like cooking after working all day, but we like to eat healthy. October Kitchen has provided us with wonderful, home-cooked meals that are so convenient, not to mention so delicious — delivered right to our door!!!” –Christine F. At October Kitchen, our mission is to provide delicious, nourishing meals. In doing so, we hope to help our clients lead healthy and independent lives. Nothing fills our hearts more than knowing we’ve succeeded in our goal when we hear such kind words from our clients. TESTIMONIALS Granny Smith If you’re looking to get more fiber and don’t mind a tart green apple, grab a Granny Smith. High in fiber and polyphenol content, Granny Smith apples are great for promoting good gut bacteria and fighting obesity-related disorders. Liberty This is a relatively new variety of apple that’s only been available for 25 years, but it’s worth trying. Liberty apples have twice the antioxidant value of Golden Delicious apples, which means they have the potential to combat eye problems, memory problems and mood disorders. Red Delicious The recognizable deep red peel of a Red Delicious contains some of the highest phytonutrient levels of any apple. The red color is also a sign that Red Delicious apples are rich in anthocyanins, a flavonoid that has been found to boost the immune system, improve recovery after exercise and possibly protect against heart disease. While these apples are top of the class, there are really no bad choices when it comes to apples. Even varieties with the least nutritional value, like Empire, Cortland or Golden Delicious apples, are far better for you than a candy bar or corn chips. Just make sure to eat the peel, as it’s a rich source of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Pick This Healthy Apple This Fall Does an apple a day really keep the doctor away? Probably not, but apples are an incredibly healthy fruit.
NO BAD SEEDS HERE
A great source of fiber, vitamin C and potassium, apples are also full of immunity-boosting
... Continued from cover put in my resume. To be honest, I was a little apprehensive then. Today, I truly feel like my prayers were answered. Since my first job at 16, I’ve spent almost my entire career in the food industry and there’s no place I have loved half as much as I love being at October Kitchen. The guys in the back are like my brothers. They throw sass at me and they know I can throw it right back. Our guests are so wonderful. During my first Christmas with October Kitchen, so many people gave me ornaments for my tree! And Ali and Paul have really become like my work parents. They’ve enabled me to grow as a professional, they support me as a person and they’re even helping me plan my wedding! I could go on and on about why I love October Kitchen and why I feel so lucky to work here, but it can really be boiled down into four words: They’re really freaking awesome! nutrients called phytonutrients that act as antioxidants. Studies published in the international review journal Advances in Nutrition note that exposure to apples can improve the health of people dealing with diabetes, weight management and cardiovascular disease. That said, not all apples are created equal — and we don’t just mean that some are better for pies than others. Your local grocery store offers dozens of different apples, from Acey Mac to Zari. If you’ve only been buying apples based on price or taste, check out which popular apples pack the greatest punch in terms of health and nutrition.
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What Have You Always Wanted to Do?
Aside from financial concerns, the No. 1 question that most impending and recent retirees struggle to answer is how they will fill up all their time. While spending time with family and relaxing are priorities for most folks entering the post-career chapter of their lives, these aren’t enough to fill up the bulk of your newly acquired free time. Cultivating a hobby is a great use of your time at any age, but especially during retirement. As Dick Van Dyke once said, “To me, retirement means doing what you have fun doing.” Here are three questions to help you discover a hobby that’s right for you. LATER LIFE A Guide to Picking a Post-Career Hobby NEW AND REDISCOVERED PASSIONS IN
Do you have a dormant passion? Work has a tendency to put our other interests on the back burner. Maybe you painted for pleasure during college but put the canvas away to focus on your career. Perhaps you were once a chess fanatic and today you find your board gathering dust from lack of use. Now is the perfect time to rediscover those once-beloved activities. What have you always wanted to do? Discovering new hobbies is just as rewarding as rekindling old ones. Have you ever heard about a pastime and thought, “I’d love to do that, if only I had the time”? Former NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe opened a winery after retiring from football. While you probably don’t have the financial resources of a professional athlete, there’s nothing stopping you from pursuing a newfound passion at the same velocity as the footballs Bledsoe threw.
Is there a cause you want to support? Volunteer work can be incredibly fulfilling, especially when you have the time and energy to devote to it. Many older adults find that giving back to the community adds meaning and purpose to their lives. The best way to figure out how to donate your time is to think about a cause dear to your heart. From there, find a reputable organization that supports said cause and see what you can do to help. Retirement is the perfect opportunity to throw yourself head-first into something you’re passionate about. So what are you waiting for?
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