There seems to be a swelling sense of pride that I'm noticing as I travel. There's a pride of place that can't be mistaken. If "wherever you go then there you are", it's clear to me that a lot of people are happy to be where they're standing. They're so happy, in fact, that they want to bottle (or box, in our case), what they're experiencing in order to draw upon this pride whenever they wish.
This sense of place comes down to one word that America has prized for generations: local.
If it's made here, baked here, put together here, dreamed up here, started here, grown here, shared here, sold here, or birthed here, then you can find a group here that wants to get it out to the world.
This love of local isn't limited to the two cities where Batch has taken root: Nashville and Memphis. I've seen it in Birmingham and Richmond, Louisville and Fort Worth, Chattanooga and Atlanta. We're a proud people, eager to brag on neighbors and friends who spend hours in a kitchen or a field coming up with something remarkable.
We're about to hit our six-month mark here and each Batch we curate has a distinct sense of place behind it. But we're finding that we're shipping more than food or candles or towels; we're shipping culture.
And because the notion of local is so deeply embedded in our culture, we're certain this pride of place isn't merely a wave, meant to be ridden until you crash desperately into the shore only to pick yourself up and hope for another. That's the folly of trend-chasing.
What we're finding is an entire ocean that our forebears have been swimming in for ages. Our grandparents and their grandparents pitched tents and built cabins, planted seeds and grew family trees so that they could say they were from somewhere.
Even with the advent of social media and digital tools that can take you anywhere in an instant we've still got a place where we're from that we believe in and that we're proud of. That place is deep within us and here to stay.
So at Batch, we're about local. We're about place. But deeper than that, longer lasting than a trend, is being about a culture. And this culture produces a pride in our purveyors and customers that we're happy to watch happen.