I remember at my high school graduation, my singing group sang “It’s so Hard to Say Goodbye” by Boyz II Men. I think that moment in time – trying to get through that song, knowing that goodbyes were just around the corner – was so gut wrenching that it ruined me for goodbyes ever since. Why stand around and weep, when you can give a hug and a high five and say thanks for it all with a smile on your face. So that’s what I’m going to try to do today.
This is Beer Guy Noah’s last week at The Urban Grape.
Yup. Let’s all take a moment and let the sting settle, shall we?
When TJ hired Noah the week before we opened The Urban Grape, the conversation went something like this:
TJ – “I hired Judy Rosenberg’s son. He’s just out of college and looking for a job. He knows nothing about wine, but loves beer. He’s a good kid.”
Me – “Great, he’ll be so helpful for stocking, doing deliveries, things like that.”
Little did I know! Fast forward to when I met Noah a few days later as we were frantically stocking the store trying to open our doors on schedule. After five minutes with Noah, I told TJ – “He’ll be running this place in a month!”
Noah is type of employee you dream about. While it’s true he knew almost nothing about wine on that first day, he single-handedly ignited our beer program and made it what it is. He’s a freaking beer geek, and our customers have really responded to having one of those around. But it’s the record-speed increase in wine knowledge and customer service that has really made Noah shine during his time here. We’re going to miss him, but we’re not going to cry (really).
Noah’s off to find his next adventure in life. A little travel, maybe some time working with his mom behind the scenes at Rosie’s, maybe something new entirely. Whatever he does he’s going to be fantastic at it. He’s just that kind of guy.
We’re going to miss Noah, but we know we’re not saying goodbye. After all, we’ve gotten Noah addicted to the good stuff. He’s not going to be happy with package store wine from now on. That was our way of ensuring that he’ll be back to visit us often. Meanwhile, we’ve hired Harry, a pretty fab beer geek in his own right, who will be taking over for Noah and strengthening our beer program even more.
As for the beer itself, we have lots of ideas for that section of the store in 2012. We’re bouncing ideas around now, but we know for sure that we’ll be increasing our beer tastings. We’re also thinking about starting a beer club that will encourage you to try new brands and types of beer throughout the year. No matter what we come up with, beer will be a focus in 2012.
But for now, stop by and give Noah and hug and a high-five and say thanks for it all…but please, do it with a smile on your face! And I’ll try to do the same.