We’re excited to introduce to you the latest installment in our Meet the Team Series, RJ Thornton, our Operations Lead, Inventory Manager, and Captain of the S.S. Sales Order. Winning the imaginary Batch Rookie Award, RJ arrived in the summer of 2020, and ever since has been showing up and taking his game to the next level. His Spongebob references are top notch. His tie-dye is on point. His knack for problem solving is making Batch a smarter company each and every day.
RJ, tell us a little about your position at Batch.
I’m an Operations Lead with a minor in Inventory and Accounts Receivable. I make boxes, pack boxes, tape boxes, label boxes, move boxes, and ship boxes. I also keep count of every peanut in every Goo Goo Cluster that comes through the warehouse.
Where are you originally from, and how long have you been in Nashville?
I’m from Durham, North Carolina and I’ve been in Nashville since 2018.
How long have you been working with Batch?
Just around 6 months.
Other than the glory, what’s your favorite part about your job as Operations Lead?
I like having a big order at the beginning of the day or week and getting it out the door in a timely fashion.
[RJ is a fan of local coffee. Check out his favorite haunt, District Coffee on Sidco Dr.]
What are your favorite items that we have at Batch?
Southern City Flavors Dark Chocolate Pecans, Harbin Hollow Bee Pollen, Kernels Caramel Popcorn, Chapel Hill Toffee, Mothership Coffee, Little Seed Farm Rompo Beer Soap, Nashville Wildsam Field Guide, and Hot Sauce Nashville Hot Ginger.
What would you put in a Batch to a loved one?
Willa's Original Shortbread, Kijiji Whole Bean Coffee, J.M. Thomason Hot Chicken Spice, Callie's Cheese Crisps, Tennessee Peanut Co. Honey Roasted Peanuts, a Nashville Skyline Mug, and a Navy Slate + Salt Turkish Towel.
[Shop the complete RJ Collection here.]
What are your favorite things to do outside of work?
I'm a pretty good cook...at least I'd like to think I am. I went to Japan my freshman year of college and that opened my eyes to cultural cooking. I try to do my best with Japanese cooking. I even got a wok for Christmas. I'm also a drummer. I studied music during my undergraduate degree and toured around with a prominent Blues artist. Like everyone else, I moved to Nashville for music. I sing a little. My cat seems to enjoy it. Be on the lookout for our next album. Coming to a PetSmart parking lot near you.
Favorite thing to do in Nashville?
Play shows. Not playing live anymore has really gotten me down at points. But as I like to try and tell myself, "This too shall pass...eventually".
[RJ plays drums for the Nashville-based Southern rock group, Lone Hollow.]
Who is your favorite musical artist?
I am a devout Derek Trucks follower. I've been a fan of him and his wife's band, Tedeschi Trucks Band, for years. I've seen them more times than I can remember. I finally got to see them at the Ryman thanks to a buddy who couldn't go. I sat on Derek's side. Cried almost the whole show.
Have you picked up any new hobbies, skills, or habits since COVID shut-downs began?
I have gotten really good at NBA 2K20. Go Pelicans.
If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would you do?
Probably talk to my dad again. He died a few years ago from Acute Myleoid Leukemia. I miss him everyday and know he'd be proud of where I'm at. "Enjoy every moment" - Robert J. Thornton Jr.
Aside from necessities, what could you not go a day without?
I know this is going to make me sound like an old man, but I cannot go a day without listening to NPR and a cup of coffee.
What about working at Batch excites you the most?
Coming in and seeing what music Chap is going to be playing.
Interesting fact about you?
I have a cat named Chili Nelson.
[@uknowichili is on Instagram. You must request his permission to follow.]
What the team has to say about RJ:
Sam: “Our inventory is in good hands with RJ. From ensuring quality counts to making sure we don't run out of our crown favorites, every item that comes into this place passes through his rugged drummer hands. And that helps me to sleep at night. Plus, his spirit animal is the same as mine: Guy Fieri.”
Rob: “While RJ will never be accused of being a sparkly gigglebox, he is guilty of being a great teammate who gets things done. He takes the lead when necessary, asks the right questions to prevent mistakes, and is more than happy to point out problems because he usually has a solution to offer.”
Heather: “RJ is passionate about product reviews. He is the first to try something new and give you honest feedback. RJ's lighthearted spirit is a joy to work with.”
Chap: “RJ’s infectious attitude towards detail and process has to stem from his upbringing helping work on taxes. In his short time with Batch, he continues to bring it and always has a calming attitude when approaching ideas to make Batch better. Fair enough.”
Brittany: “A very hard worker. Since day one, he has been the person who volunteers to do any task without complaining. Also, when you need a laugh, he is always there with his sarcastic and dry humor. Not to mention he’s got great, long, curly hair!”
Mark: “RJ instantly made himself an essential part of the team when he joined us. As our warehouse operation keeps growing and changing, he's always thinking of ways to refine our systems to increase efficiency and productivity."
Zach: “RJ has quickly gone from being a mythical southern jam band savant to one of the people I most frequently text in waking life. He has confidence that I genuinely envy, and a sense of humor that has influenced mine for better, or for worse. Even though he would roll his eyes reading this, it’s an amazing feeling when you know you and RJ are on the same team.”
Erica: “According to RJ, we are all always “glad we got to see him” today. Luckily, we are.”
Famous RJ Sayings: “That’s fair” , “You’re good. . . you’re good” , “I’m gonna go make a pot of coffee”, “Glad you got to see me.”
Connect with more stories from the Batch Team, as part of the Meet the Team Series.