Words by: Tom Piper
(A Guest Post from our Friends at The Works Bakery Café! The Works has 8 delicious bakery locations throughout New England)
Sit back and grab an omelette. We’ve got a story for you.
You like eggs, right? At the Works, we buy, make and eat a LOT of eggs.
Which means a lot of chickens need to lay a lot of eggs. Farmers sort these oblong gifts of white-gold nutrition into five sizes from small to jumbo.
Here’s the thing. Generally speaking, we like big eggs. We like eggs that fill up a carton like the Hulk fills jeans. Big is not only beautiful, it’s the only thing our moon pie eyes can see.
But, chickens, man. Chickens… They lay what they lay. Big, small, medium. So what’s a chicken farmer to do?
Ten years ago Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs were swimming in petits oeufs when they met #TheWorks founder Richard French, who couldn’t find local, organic eggs at a price that would work for his customers. No recording of the conversation exists, but we have it on good authority that it went something like this:
RICHARD: “The Works needs eggs! So many eggs.”
PETE AND GERRY: “Dude, we have eggs.”
R: “Are you from New England? We try to be really thoughtful about where we get our food.”
P&G: “Yep. Monroe, NH.”
R: “Are your eggs organic? Any chance?”
P&G: “Organic, free range, from small family farms. Certified Humane. B Corp Certified. The works.”
R: (shakes his head, looks at the ground, grins, looks up to the sky, shakes his head again and says) “Wow. But man, premium eggs — that’s a path to the $12 breakfast sandwich.”
(There is a long pause, with a hint of pessimism hanging in the air. Then…)
P&G: “Do you care about size? Would small and medium sized eggs be okay?”
R: “Heck yeah. But can we get ’em already cracked? No way we can crack 400 eggs on a busy breakfast line.”
(P&G and R look at each other. A general feeling of “Dude, we’ve come this far, we can figure this out” fills the air.)
P&G: “Dude, we’ve come this far.”
R: “We can figure this out.”
NEARBY CHICKEN: Bravo, gentlemen! Strong regional economies start when producers and restaurants get together, tell each other what they need, see what products aren’t fitting into the market right now, figure out how to use them, and come up with a solution that benefits everybody. Creativity, practicality, patience, good will. Awesome. BWAAAAAAAAAWK.
Ten years on, The Works and Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs remain partners in getting awesome eggs to our customers.