Dear Walden Local Members,
Greetings! I hope 2023 is off to a healthy and bright start for you and your family! As I sit here reflecting on all that has happened at Walden over this past year, including my own onboarding as CEO, my overwhelming feeling is gratitude. It has truly been my honor and privilege to join this incredible team and to lead Walden Local since the fall. While I have learned a lot so far, there is still much more to master as we move forward together. I have enjoyed learning from our team members and partners about grass-fed-and-finished, pasture-raised meat. Most importantly, I am inspired by how much Walden invests in the quality of its food, teammates, and members!
Over the past 90 days, I have had the opportunity to pack and deliver member shares for Thanksgiving and visit with the Walden Local Butcher Shop team. Truly, meeting members really made my day! Experiencing different parts of Walden has helped me to understand how deeply our teammates care for our mission and how they always put our members first. I’ve included photos below that reflect several of my learning experiences … including moments of fun with our team.
With 2022 now behind us, I want to thank all of our amazing members for supporting Walden throughout last year. Your continued conviction in Walden Local’s mission to “make local work” has helped us to continue to provide local, sustainable food that’s good for both people and the planet. Without the commitment of members like you, we couldn’t do what we do!
In 2022, we made significant progress as a team in several important areas including:
- Expanding access to more regions including the whole state of Rhode Island and most of CT, as well as more of NY, NJ, NH, MA, and ME
- Welcoming many new members into the Walden Local community
- Expanding the acreage of our partner farmers by over 2,000 acres
- Welcoming nine new local partner famers to our supplier network
- Beginning our soil testing research project in partnership with Cornell University, with very positive early results
- Displacing over 2.6 million pounds of meat from the industrial system
- Donating over 141,000 lbs of meat to local community organizations, food pantries, and soup kitchens
- After a long search we’ve (finally!) found a new source of lamb that adheres to our strict standards
- Launching our new Gift Share website to be able to ‘give the gift of Walden Local’ to friends and family
- Offering a wider range of educational classes at our downtown Boston Butcher Shop including our new “beef breakdown” classes
And, we have so much more to share in our upcoming 2022 Certified B-Corp report! Stay tuned for an upcoming message!
I am so grateful to our Warehouse, Operations, and Driver teams for their willingness to go above and beyond to keep Walden Local on time and on track throughout the year. Their collective efforts ensure that we get shares to members’ doorsteps with over 99% accuracy. The amount of dedication and hard work that goes on behind the scenes is amazing!
As we look into 2023, I am excited about the opportunities and possibilities that this new year brings. Our focus will be on growing our impact, including improving our share program for our members, bringing sustainably sourced food to more people and places, and working with a greater number of local partners. We will continue to prioritize having a positive impact on the environment and our communities through displacing industrially produced meat, and through volunteering and donating to organizations that align with our values. Additionally, 2023 is a milestone year, as this summer marks Walden Local’s 10th anniversary. I’m really looking forward to celebrating how far we’ve come!
I also want to thank you for your feedback and suggestions submitted through “AskNancy.” There has been an amazing number of new product suggestions and ideas for the Walden team to work with. Thank you for all of your messages of appreciation … I am humbled! I will respond to questions and suggestions in an upcoming blog post. Stay tuned and please continue to share your thoughts and suggestions using our AskNancy form here. I look forward to hearing from you!
Thank you again for your support and for being a part of the Walden Local community. Here’s to a delicious and sustainable 2023!
Wishing you and your family a bright and healthy year!
CEO, Walden Local Meat