Ross Landing (aka Eddie’s) made it to the one-year mark and we thought this would be an ideal time to provide a “report card” to the local community with an update on where we have made progress and honestly where we still need work. We are primarily motivated by our mission to save the store, revive downtown Ross, and serve the community.
Where we have made progress: We are pleased with the changes we have made to the appearance of the store, including new communal tables and a new paint job. We also improved the quality of products by eliminating some products (bye bye Doritos) and adding more natural & local products (hello Dosa Chips). On the topic of food, we were very lucky to hire Chef Immar (“Tony”) Oliva from Marche Aux Fleurs (thanks Dan and Holly for sharing!) and he is turning out great pastries, soups and salads. Most importantly, we re-launched the school lunch program and continue to get good reviews from our most important younger customers.
Where we can do better: Our biggest challenge continues to be staffing the store, despite materially increasing the wages we pay our employees. We recognize that this has negatively impacted the consistency of store hours and the availability of certain products. I am happy to report that we have a hired a new store manager (Mark Sheff) who has experience managing a number of well known Marin establishments. That said, we welcome any and all employee referrals from the community (have a college kid or nanny that wants to work a few extra hours?).
Finances: In the spirit of transparency, Ross Landing generated a fairly significant loss this year which is a product of both the store upgrades and the operational challenges mentioned above. Again, we are primarily motivated by our mission to save the store, revive downtown Ross, and serve the community. We are confident that with more consistent service and new items we can get the store to break even and potentially be able to reinvest in bigger capital projects including outdoor furniture.
What is coming next: We have many other ideas including cold pressed juice, espresso, take home dinners, and more. It isn’t easy prioritizing these projects so PLEASE send us feedback on what you’d like to see next (firstname.lastname@example.org). Starting next week, we will donate $1 from every hot drink (coffee, tea, hot chocolate) to the Ross School Foundation, which we hope will equate to a very meaningful donation to help sustain the exceptional education that our kids benefit from.
Where we need your help: First and foremost, stop by! Humans are creatures of habit and it can be tough to switch the daily routine - but a small change like where you buy coffee, salad, or a bottle of wine can have a dramatic impact on the community over the course of the year. Downtown Ross is at a critical juncture where we risk losing more businesses due to the lack of activity. Please consider Ross Landing for coffee with a friend, organic juice after a hike, salads for your office, our popular wine tasting events, or hosting a kid's birthday party.
To close, thanks again for your heartfelt support and feedback. Go Ross Bears!