Dear Friends and Supporters
SINCE OUR OPENING IN SEPTEMBER 2018, we have been diligently testing and assessing both the market of Woodstock and the operation of that is the Mud Club.
Pastries, Bagels, and Coffee on a commercial scale is a new endeavor for the owners of the mud club. Going with the foray into unexplored turf necessitates a certain humility that allows for people like us to assess our newly launched business with clear eyes. One must be open to getting things wrong, right, the idea of luck, bad timing, and so much more.
In our case, having never opened a business in Woodstock, much less a bakery and coffee shop, we wanted to give the business model as much time to accumulate data before making any determination or decision. Another factor in our process was appearances, and not wanting to make any moves that would paint us as being opportunistic and money-focused, i.e., any kind of hour changes while in Winter would have come off as having the appearance of discounting the locals while focusing on the weekenders or tourists. Hence, another factor in our hesitation to act overly swiftly in any determination.
During our evaluation over the last ten months, another trait in our operation revealed itself: our carbon footprint. Now, it should be said that the owners of The Mud Club hold the sanctity of our environment and the principle that we leave it better than we found it for our children, close to our hearts.
It should also be no surprise that our carbon footprint is quite sizable and disproportionate to our size. First and foremost, we employ weekly about 14 people all said and done; these people are all of us, who drive our cars to and from work. Secondly, our emission rate is staggering; we burn wooden fuel, we consume massive amounts of electricity in the forms of AC, refrigeration, ovens, kettles, and the list goes on...
Yes, we recycle aspects of our food waste, but these efforts are inconsistent and rely upon a third party outside of our control, and as such, are small gestures.
Yes, we use sustainable and eco-friendly cups and straws and have eliminated single-use plastics entirely from our operation but, again, these are token efforts in the face of plastic bags and frankly, what we as a society emits daily.
This gave a reason for pause in our thinking; we entered into a project to create a sustainable enterprise, that would espouse eco-friendly business policy while promoting and highlighting such practices to our daily customer. Yet we found ourselves in the difficult position of seeming to appear as supporting the environment at face value while doing the opposite behind the scenes. To any discerning person, this would be hypocrisy; to us, it is simply unacceptable.
According to a cluster of recent studies, working less is good for our environment. If a business closes operation by even one day a week, that business should expect to shrink its carbon emission by 11.6 percent. By being open less, we produce less; we burn less fuel, consume less hydro, the list goes on and on.
In our case, WE DECIDED TO NOT OPEN FOR BUSINESS Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Which, we estimate, will shrink our footprint by almost 40 percent.
This will allow for us to embrace this approach while having the side effect of being able to improve our products and brand even more, as general happiness amongst our team members improves.
And as for the wary, this is an approach that many progressively focused societies are experimenting with, with over 75 percent of UK people supporting a four-day work week. We realize that this concept may seem strange and foreign and difficult to palette for many at first, and please know that for us it was, too. However, we never intended to be all about making money; we entered into Woodstock with the idea that we would contribute and make our locale proud while protecting our beliefs in a healthy environment. We would happily sacrifice three days of business to shrink our carbon footprint so significantly, and so, we have decided to do so.
It is our sincere belief that we will CONTINUE to provide for all of you the same great products you are used to while improving both our general offering and our staffs' collective happiness. And for those of you that have grown to truly enjoy the Park space between The Mud Club and Early Terrible, fret not; this space IS open and accessible for all people of Woodstock.
With much peace & Love
——— THE MUD CLUB TEAM