Hi, there. My name is Catherine Baker. Among many things, I am the co-builder of Together Specialty Foods. My husband, Jeff, and I established it in September 2013, for the purpose of bringing people together.
Together Specialty Foods made gourmet Dark Chocolate English Toffee. Twelve local grocery stores in the Puget Sound Area sold Together Toffee. But in the Summer of 2015, we shut down Toffee operations and halted sales of Together Specialty Foods due to a 50 percent increase of production costs.
While shutting down operations and dropping Specialty Foods from our name was difficult, we decided to narrow our focus, to lean in and think about what this idea of bringing people together really means for TOGETHER®.
What we’ve discovered is that there are two kinds of together: the event and the experience. Here is a list of their characteristics:When people come together, it typically falls into the event column. Although, there is a desire in all of us for the experience column, because we all want to feel like we belong. (Note: these categories are not mutually exclusive, you could have an experiential event where there are characteristics of both present.)
Knowing this, we’ve recreated the purpose of TOGETHER® – to build cultures of belonging through meaningful shared experiences.
Belonging is somewhere you are wanted for being you. Inside all of us, there are Belonging Barometers. Every time we enter a new environment, our Belonging Barometer senses whether we have the fundamentals: food, drink, and shelter. Once those are confirmed, it scans again for deeper signs of belonging. We will call these the Elements of Belonging.
Creating Experiences and discovering the Elements of Belonging are what the TOGETHER® blog will explore and share. I’d love for you to join us on this quest. Here are three ways to help:
- Subscribe to TOGETHER’s blog (below).
- Follow TOGETHER on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.
- Tell us about a time you felt you did or didn’t belong – email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank YOU for your virtual presence. I look forward to meeting you in person one day. I know we will enjoy that much more.