Good afternoon from Butler and Bailey Market.

I hope everyone is having a good week!  I have not written in quite a while, I’m not quite sure why. Probably because I have been in a constant state of irritation for the last twelve months.  I can’t speak for everyone, but I am around a lot of people every day, and it seems most people are in the same boat. Hopefully, we are turning the corner on this pandemic, and I can get back to only being irritated about normal things instead of pandemics.

I did get my first vaccine shot last Saturday.  The irony of that is I got it at Kroger.  It seemed odd to me that the only place I could get an appointment at the time for a global pandemic is at a grocery store!  A competitor at that!  Anyway, after my shot, they wanted me to wait around a few minutes to make sure I didn’t have a reaction, so I decided, since they were nice enough to give me a vaccine, I would buy a few items while I was there.  I shopped around in the pharmacy area and picked up some vitamins, razor blades, and things like that, and when my wait time was up, I went to check out.  Well, the price I thought I was going to pay was not the price I was charged.  It turns out you have to have some kind of card that says “Kroger” on it to get the price you think you are going to pay.  That would be one of those normal irritations that I run into in everyday life.

We don’t have cards here at the store with our name on them because they irritate me and, at the end of the day, I get to decide.  One of my goals here at the store is to irritate as few people as possible, so if I think cards irritate one other person walking the earth besides me, the choice for me not to have them is a simple one.  Joking aside, I do appreciate the fact that Kroger was nice enough to provide me a vaccine!

As for the vaccine, in the very unscientific polling I have done with the people I run into on a daily basis, I would say about a third of them are not interested in getting the vaccine.  I have heard a myriad of reasons for this.  Some have logic to me, and some don’t.  

Another poll I am conducting is how many people want to receive all these free checks that our government is sending out.  About 100% of the people polled want these.  Free money = 100%, Free Vaccine = 65%.  My suggestion to equalize this number would be, no vaccine = no free money.  Everyone still has a choice about getting the vaccine; they just wouldn’t get any free money until they did.  I think the government would be money ahead to, in essence, pay people to get the vaccine.  I also think a lot of people would decide the vaccine is OK after all…if they got a check for it.  Then, in theory, we could all get back to work and school, and they would not need to keep sending out checks in perpetuity. 

Maybe by the time I go back to Kroger to get my second and final vaccine shot, I will get a card that says “Vaccinated”, and I can send it to the government, and they will send me a check!  I’m all about free money.  I have a bad fishing habit I need to support!

Getting off my soapbox and back to the grocery business, we are slowly but surely getting back to normal at the store.  We have finally moved our store hours back to pre-COVID hours.  We are open from 8:00am-9:00pm Monday thru Saturday and 10:00am-9:00pm on Sundays.  We are closed this Sunday for Easter.  I also talked to Barbara Tenney this week, and we are about ready to start cooking classes again.  We have not had these since the pandemic started.  I want to see how vaccinations go in the coming weeks, but we are going to shoot for May or June to get those classes started back up.

If you have been in the store recently, you might have noticed we have installed a brand new floor.  I think it turned out great!  I was planning on doing this right after we installed our new meat cases 14 months ago, but all my plans went by the wayside 13 months ago!  Oh well, better late than never.

I’m glad we are starting to get back to planning ahead and all the other things that went on hold for a year! It has been a hard year for all of us, but we are a resilient bunch here in Rocky Hill. I think the world could take notes on how well this community has handled this pandemic!

We look forward to the coming months when maybe we will be able to see the smiles on each other’s faces instead of the COVID Fatigue in all of our eyes.

Thanks for all of your support, and thanks for letting us be a part of your community!

Tom Butler

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