As most have heard, despite all of efforts, our store was recently impacted by COVID-19.
It’s easy to prepare everything on paper, but all the preparation in the world can’t prepare you emotionally for a phone call informing you that someone you know has tested positive for COVID-19. I’m thankful enough for a staff who values, as much as I do, customer safety. As soon as we were aware one of us were positive – everyone took proper precaution and got tested.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it every day until the end of time, my staff and customer’s safety are of the upmost priority to me. I will always do whatever I can to make sure my store is a safe place to shop. If I were the reason that someone was to have fallen ill – I’m not sure I’d ever be to come to terms with that.
For that reason, in addition to all the testing – we took another precaution and sanitized the entire store. We were lucky enough to have a long-time customer, who is the local Clorox Territory Manager, offer to apply the Disinfectant Cleaner on all touch areas and stock in the store (with exception of dog treats and house plants). Clorox Total 360 is very safe chemical that has now utilized in over 1,000 facilities in Michigan (particularly at most school systems in the state).
I hope that with all these precautions OERTHERS has taken, you’ll feel comfortable shopping with us this holiday season. We still have Christmas trees, wreaths, swags, grave blankets, and roping available. In addition to all your evergreen décor, Christmas Tree Lane is OPEN! The greenhouse is currently filled with Christmas trees decorated with the handmade items, perfect gifts for friends and family, by local crafters. We have to support our small, local businesses this season - it's important now more than ever.
We held our tenth annual Pumpkin Something event just a few weeks ago, and over the past few days I’ve been reflecting on just how blessed I feel about how everyone came together during such a hard year to help raise money for our community.
I’d be lying if I said there weren’t challenges. Really… a few times I had to ask myself how this was all going to work? My staff was quick to help. I’m grateful to have such fantastic employees who went above and beyond to ensure this event was safe for everyone. It may have taken a few brains “storming” to be sure all of our activities were able to maintain safe social interaction, but they made it happen.
One of the first things we had to alter was our famous Pumpkin Bake Off, where people donate homemade pumpkin themed dishes to a silent auction. This year, we instead auctioned off handwritten recipe cards, donated by our beloved community members, and beautiful baskets donated from our lovely local Marshall businesses. I’m truly, very grateful to all my fellow small business owners who gave me such generous donation baskets during this trying time.
We had our first annual Howl-A-Ween Pet Parade. It was great fun to see all your pups in costumes strut their stuff down our runway. In fact, we had so much fun, we hope to carry this tradition on to future Pumpkin Something events.
In the end, with the help and support of all of you, we raised $2,245 this year for the Oerther Non-Endowed Fund.
If you’re ever interested in knowing where the money from the Oerther Non-Endowed Fund is donated to, you can always call Marshall Community Foundation for updates. As one example, the Oerther Non-Endowed Fund has recently made a $1,000 donation to preserve Wilder Creek. We will continue to make donations to benefit and preserve the Marshall community we all love so much.
To Our Loyal Customers,
After six years of owning and operating SPRUCE STREET LANDSCAPING, we have made the very difficult decision to close this side of the business.
When I had the idea to expand the parent company, OERTHER’S, it seemed only natural to open something complementary, that could provide care for customers’ gardens and yards. In the beginning, we started out doing quite extensive landscape design. Quickly, we realized that these unique skills are out of the scope of my current employees’ talents. What we finished with in 2019 is more than what I could have ever hoped for the company to be.
SPRUCE STREET LANDSCAPING was a help in the garden, assisting laying mulch, weeding, transplanting and trimming plant material, and so much more. It felt wonderful to be so helpful to busy home owners and people of advanced years. What I have had trouble with all six years has been finding, hiring, and retaining employees trained in landscaping and keeping them motivated to do this difficult work. Many of you may have seen me working on your property this past year. I have never shied away from helping the crew. But in 2019, I found myself working three+ days “out in the field.” As owner of OERTHER’S, these were days that I also needed to be at the store – and as the old saying goes, you just can’t be in two places at one time.
I look back over the years and do not regret expanding our business. I have been honored to be trusted with your property and have enjoyed working with you at your home. I am blessed to consider many of you so much more than a business contract – I am honored to now call you my friend. But as I look forward with our vision for the coming years, what is most important to me is OERTHER’S. Working in our store and greenhouse, tending to the plants, having time to talk with and assist shopping customers . . . these are the things that I must focus on now. It is with sadness that I must close down the landscape side of our business until someone with my like-vision comes along to run SPRUCE STREET LANDSCAPING beside me. As we have since 2008, OERTHER’S will still be available to do light planting, mulch delivery, etc. But as of January 2020, we will no longer be contracting for the SPRUCE STREET LANDSCAPING side of the business.
Thank you for trusting us and believing in us. I cannot thank you enough for teaching us life lessons and allowing us the privilege of helping to make your yard so amazingly beautiful. We wish you every success this planting season and hope you will continue to shop with us!
With sincerest gratitude,
Kathleen Oerther, Owner
One of my favorite things about being a business owner is supporting our county fair! This year, in addition to being an add-on buyer for a number of 4-H participants, we were a sponsor for Mar Lee schools food tent! We always have a lot of fun wandering the fair and seeing friends and community members enjoying their time.
Our 4th annual Firefly Sale was very well attended and so much fun. It's a great pleasure to see our customers out in the courtyard and greenhouse with flashlights browsing our offerings. We had one customer bring their own headlamp! It tickles us when we see cars lining up well before we are ready to open. Love your enthusiasm for what we offer!
Stargazing with Margaret was successful for the first time as our Michigan weather finally cooperated!
Thanks to all of you who joined us for an enjoyable evening of shopping and camaraderie.
On Saturday the 16th of February we held our fourth annual Meatball Mania Fundraiser. This was by far our largest year, and we owe it all to the amazing 13 meatball chefs that took their free time to make some over the top meatballs!
This fundraiser would not work if it wasn't for these amazing people. We determined the best meatballs of 2019 a little differently. Instead of an actual judge, we did peoples choice and whoever had the most donation dollars in their jug was the winner!
MJ Byrne won Best Balls with a stuffed up version, Jack Reed took a classic route and got Better Balls, while Shirley Knaack turned sweetness into Good Balls!
At the end all 13 of the chefs helped us raise over $700. That money was raised by the community to go into a non endowed fund that gives back to the community throughout the year.
In the end, I can't give all of the credit to the chefs because let's be honest deciding which was the best meatball was the hard part! Huge shout out to everyone that came down to visit and taste the meatballs, you are the rock stars that show what this community is really all about...giving back!
I’ve asked for the recipes of this year's and previous year's meatballs, We want to put together a cookbook so that everyone can enjoy the yummy meatballs we all tasted. Keep an eye open for that cookbook release date!
As you know, we love to support the community! Another way we hope we're helping is to have ARC volunteers help in the store and courtyard each Thursday morning. Our volunteers tend to rotate every few months, so you'll see lots of new faces. Here is Rashad and Kathleen having fun.
Life in Michigan is, well, kind of like Russian roulette, but with the weather. Nobody knows what will happen next. This last week of January has been unpredictable, from 40 degrees to arctic temperatures. Through this all, though, my amazing employees here at OERTHER'S have faithfully pushed on and allowed us to remain open so no animal has to go hungry or driveway unsalted.
So if you have been thankful we were open during this time, let the employees know, because I can only tell them so many times.
Stay safe out there and lets cross our fingers the next weather shift is into spring!
Some take the winter to Hibernate, but not us here at OERTHER’S! Ever since opening 10 years ago we have slowly been making the store larger to hold more product for the customer. When we first opened we asked you to come grow with us, and thanks to you we have been able to grow!
This winter Mark and Max Oerther spent all of their free time removing and rebuilding a wall on the south side of our store opening up another 20’ of floor space. With the help of our employees; Laura, Olivia, Maya, Angela, Jay and the head of it all Margaret, and the patience of our customers we were able to restock and paint before the busy season.
We are far from done growing and hope you can stop on by to see the up-grades and find all the changes inviting to shop in. In fact, stop down March 31st for our 10 Year Anniversary Celebration!!
Check out some of the photos of our renovations.
From the desktop of Kathleen Oerther
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