It’s hard to believe that we’re already three weeks into 2022, a year that is has been both welcome in its newness and surprising in its arrival. With the turn of the year comes a fresh start, closing the door on 2021 and opening another as we look ahead.
This past year was, as many of us know, difficult. For Cowgirl, it was a year of change—the retirement of our founders in January, the closure of our store at the Ferry Building in April, and a constant revolving door of pandemic-related struggles alongside all the normal challenges any business faces in its evolution.
But here we are, late January and already kicking off a new year. Despite an interesting start thanks (and not thanks) to Omicron, we are bolstered by energy and enthusiasm for what’s ahead. In the past few weeks, we’ve welcomed new faces to our team. We’ve built back up a stock of cheeses we had to pause in the last year when we were too short on people to make everything. This past week, we broke ground in our production facility to build room for the future. And every week, we load up our trucks to bring cheese to restaurants who keep soldiering on despite terrible challenges, to wineries who keep patios open and tastings going, and to the retailers who have kept us fed throughout.
This weekend, I joined friends on a long hike up Mt Diablo in the East Bay. A mile or so from the summit, we stopped to eat lunch—we couldn’t wait!—and I sat on a rocky ledge overlooking the electric green hills that have come alive in the past few weeks thanks to our very wet December. I devoured my sandwich—a thick spread of very ripe Mt Tam, prosciutto slices from our friends at La Quercia in Iowa, and a little grainy mustard on an Acme baguette— and let my lungs and feet rest a little. My heart pumping, my stomach filled with cheese—I thought to myself, it’s going to be a good year.