Thursday, December 04, 2008

Tom Sturgis

Some of you may know my office as the Church Secretary’s space, but by now, after these 4 years, most who visit the church on any kind of regular basis know it as Grand Central. Some days I host the pantry, some days my office serves as a conference room, but every day, I hope it provides warmth and respite for all who venture in.

I keep bubblegum in a bowl on the desk as a staple, and usually a jar of mixed nuts or some other concoction as well. Of late, I’ve added pretzels.

Years ago, I happened upon some pretzels that I liked especially well. Tom Sturgis.
There is a picture of a little cowboy on the front and I like that, too. I took them to the workshops I taught and shared them as energy snacks. They were well liked by all.

I bought them for my family, for friends and neighbors until one day.. there were no more to be found.
I was sad in my heart. I visited several other stores but no Tom.

I asked the store managers to restock and they all said the same thing. Tom had been ousted by Big Boy UTZ and SNYDER.

So, I wrote the company. I told them how I, my children, and friends had enjoyed them and the lengths we had gone to to find them.

A few weeks later, I received a call from Jean Sturgis. She asked if she could use parts of my letter in their marketing. I was flattered, sort of. It seemed as if she had missed the point. Where Are The Pretzels? Where, Jean? I told her she could use my words if she sent me some pretzels. She did. She also, corrected me on the comments I made about the cute cowboy. Seems Tom is a dutch boy. Sorry.....Soon, I received several tins of a variety of their goods. Heaven…..

Then, we consumed them and we were without Tom again.

At that time, I was traveling the state teaching workshops to teachers and administrators and I started asking people to keep their eyes open for Tom, especially people who were traveling to Pennsylvania. For a few years, I received random bags as people visited Tom’s Ovens.

I have been out of that world for several years now, and yet, I crave, still Tom’s little mini cheesers.

A dear friend mentioned he was going to visit Penn and thought I was joking when I asked him to look for Tom. How could I be so serious about something as mundane as pretzels? Well, said friend and his honey bunny did follow through and they did find Tom and they did not resist the urge to sample the little ones, and lo! They not only brought some back for me and the girls, but they kept some for their own pretzel loving selves. Such friends who trust and walk blindly in that are rare!!!

Eventually, I caved and ordered some from their gift catalog for the desk and have been pleasantly surprised and entertained to see people reach into the jar saying “ oh, pretzels….. sigh…..” At first crunch, however, there is a complete turnaround. So much so that we now keep them in the closet so they will last longer. Ordering via catalog isn't nearly as much fun as having random bags be delivered by friends, but when you need a crunchy pretzel, we'll take them however we can get them.

Over the break, I found that two staff members were traveling to Penn. I asked them to bring back Tom. They were good sports and did, in fact, look, but they were not near Tom’s bakery so they did the next best thing. They bought pretzels while they were in the pretzel state that were made in the towns they visited. I was touched. Thrilled. Grateful. It was a very kind gesture on both their parts to do this for us.

The products do not compare. I am taking them home to dip them in white chocolate so we can enjoy them as a treat. They really can’t compare to Tom.

Next time you come by, try one of Tom’s pretzels and tell me what you think.

church chick


Belle said...

Surely for all your marketing for them you deserve more pretzels!

Anonymous said...

So great to look forward to trying something new. I have a friend in PA and we travel through there at times so will try to help you out. Loonygin

Emily said...

What about Tommy's visit?

Emily said...
This comment has been removed by the author.