What's a girl to do when her cacao arrives from South America on the Friday of Labor Day weekend? Well, she must find it of course! My 'wild goose chase' began on Friday morning when it was confirmed the cacao had arrived at NY JFK airport. By noon it had cleared customs, and I decided I would meet the shipment at our warehouse. Finally, I would be able to inspect our wonderful cacao for any damage!
As I took the train to New Jersey, I received a call that our trucker was still waiting at JFK and wouldn't make it in time before our warehouse closed for the holiday. I jumped off the train in Newark to head back to Manhattan. I asked our customs agent if I could go to JFK, and he advised against it -- I finally asked if I could just go to the trucking yard to wait for the truck's arrival on Friday evening. I'm sure he thought I was crazy. Luckily, I reached Ian at Gateway trucking who told me I could come visit. It was now past 4:00 pm on a holiday weekend, and Gateway agreed to wait for my arrival. Instead of turning around to Manhattan, I would find the next train to Elizabeth, New Jersey from the Newark platform.
I pulled up from the train about 5:30 pm, and Mark, Keith, and Ian welcomed me with a quick offer of soda. They informed me that the truck was going to arrive in just 15 minutes! Caesar, our driver, drove in with a smile on his face. They lifted me into the semi, and we began to check out the cacao. The owner, Mark, who has been in the business 36 years, was so helpful and climbed atop boxes to help me find our 3 cacao flavors. We found out that everything was ok (and I let out a sigh of relief as I could now sleep over the weekend.)
At sweetriot we don't use the word 'vendors' as we believe it is about 'partnership' with anyone with whom we work. The Gateway guys are great partners and proved to me how important it is to find the right people for all aspects of your business. A special thanks to Mark, Ian, Keith, and Caesar at Gateway, to Dan Smith, our stellar customs agent, and to Nina for finding these wonderful people in the first place!