As many of you may know, I work in the demo station at Trader Joe’s. Trader Joe’s is an inexpensive gourmet food store that has bizarre and interesting foods from around the world. I cook in the demo kitchen preparing food for customers and staff to sample throughout the day. I demo all kinds of things throughout the week, serving thousands of samples.
Some of them are vegetarian, most of them are not. Recently I decided to ask my supervisor if I could bring Meatless Monday to the store. Why not just ask? The worst he can do is say no and make me clean out my locker. I envisioned weaving my meatless message throughout the store using signage created by our art team.
So I requested a meeting then stated my case with relentless enthusiasm. He said yes. Because it is easier to demo the same thing for two days instead of one, it is actually Meatless Monday and Tuesday, which is even better.
Today when I got to work, looking forward to cooking and serving some meatless grub, I found out that because of an ordering snafu, I had to demo chicken all day. I was disappointed, but moved on. Later in the afternoon, several of my customers asked about Meatless Monday even though it had only been in place for a few weeks!! I was so happy.
A very little boy came and stood in front of my demo station. He looked at his mom expectantly who then said to him,”You can ask her.” Then he turned to me and asked,” Do you have anything vegetarian?” To which I replied,”You bet I do,” then I opened every sample bag of dried fruit and kale chips I could immediately get my hands on. I would have baked him a Tofurky Roast if I had been given the time. It was fantastic.
This experience has further instilled in me the belief that what I do matters. One person does make a difference. The decisions I make, information I share and my basic enthusiasm for vegan and vegetarian food excited others to give it a try and that is the best place to start….with one meal, today.
If you would like to see Meatless Mondays being celebrated at a restaurant, deli, grocery store near you…speak up and say so. Maybe they had never considered it and will be grateful for you engaging with a great suggestion.
Have a delicious day.