Wednesday, February 12, 2020


I probably should be writing about Valentine's Day or President's Day but a VERY important day for Susanville Market just passed and must be recognized! This day does have to do with leadership and relationships so it speaks a bit to both holidays. 

On January 8th 2001 Todd Eid, wife Joyce and their two adorable young daughters moved to Susanville. He came to join our team at Susanville Market as our new Store Director. We could not have been luckier. Todd had lived in Clearlake since 1975, his first job was sorting bottles in a mom and pop grocery store at the age of 14. In 1979 he went to work for Foods Etc where he stayed for 22 years. When he left Foods he was their Grocery Manager. That's a full career of experience right there. 
Such an outgoing and friendly guy, Todd knew darn near everyone in Clearlake so it was tough for him to be new in town. I just love to tell this part of the story: after the move Todd would stand in his front yard and wave enthusiastically at neighbors as they came home from work, he did this every day until they (perhaps just wore down) waved back :). When he wanted to meet the people next door Todd kicked soccer ball over the fence and said "come on kids, let's go meet the neighbor!". That's how he is. He brings friendship, loyalty, caring, hard work and extensive business knowledge to our Ville. Deeply involved with the community through Rotary, College Foundation, LAFCO, County Fair Board, School Site Council.... I know there are others. 

Todd has a whole bunch of outdoor experience too, barefoot water skiing, skydiving, golfing, hiking, mountain climbing, bungee jumping, bike riding, scuba diving (Dive Master) and he's a pilot. Todd says he knew Lassen County was THE place to live for outdoor activities. His latest activity is being a grandpa and THIS makes his whole world brighter!

It wasn't long at all until Todd became a fixture in our store and our community. So many young people have learned their work ethic through him. We couldn't be prouder to have him as our Store Director and as our friend. 

Thank you Todd Eid for making us the Hometown Proud Supermarket we are! You're the BEST in the business!

Happy Valentines Day Everyone!

Hometown Healthy Jim

When I come to work in the morning I like to walk the store and get all those warm fuzzy "good morning" greetings. The crew never fails to get me smiling and motivated. Wonderful way to start each work day. Stopping by the Meat Department to swap recipes with Manager Jim Griswold is enlightening. That guy eats and cooks so healthy! Lean protein and veggies, just what I aspire to. Today I had to tell him how incredible the wild cod from his meat case was. I cut it in small strips, pressed it into cornmeal and slowly browned the filets in olive oil. AMAZING! He said he has raised his family on that wild cod and they all love it. 

An avid hunter and fisherman, Jim really appreciates 'wild' food sources and the outdoors. Staying in good shape matters. Jim hunts with his sons and grandson, they frequently ride in the quad while he prefers to walk. He beats them back to the truck too. How does he do it? The old fashioned way of course, healthy diet and exercise. AND cutting across where the quad can't go :) 
Hiking is Jim's exercise of choice. Ranch Park's Heart Attack Hill all the way to The View on weekdays then further to Rocky Top on the weekends. He also really likes the trails on Bald Mountain which can be accessed off Byer's Pass rd. BLM has MILES of trail up there and is constantly adding more, plus on a clear day in January you're in the full sun the whole time. Nice. During his walks he clears his head. Jim says he's a much nicer guy because of it :) Isn't that the truth? If we take a little time for ourselves, get a good workout (especially outdoors), drop all that stuff we carry around in our heads, it makes all the difference. This way of living has spread through his family too. Everyone is eating healthier because Jim loves to cook. Sometimes his wife Tammie or daughter Kalee will join him on a hike, what a great way to spend time with family. 

Great job Jim! Thanks for reminding me to stay Hometown Healthy!

Monday, February 3, 2020

Broccoli CHEEEEESE Soup

This is soup season! Soup is the perfect cold weather food. I can freeze some, eat some now, heat some for a snack and fill a thermos to take out in the woods! That last part is the best. Outside, chilled, hiking, adventuring and then opening that thermos to the warm steamy aroma. Mmmmm. Since our Produce Butchers- John, Marie and Matt are making assorted meal starters I find myself shopping this section first. Lots of options for making stir fry, soup or casseroles. The chopping is done for me and I get just the right amount of each item, no waste. 

The other day Marie had cut broccoli and green onions, seemed like just the right combo for Broccoli Cheese soup! I get intimidated by recipes that have too many ingredients.  Too much time and mess. So I kept it simple. BIG fan of simple. Cheese soup can be tricky and I've made every mistake in the book...just so you don't have to. If the cheese gets too hot the soup will look curdled (still tastes fine), you can use processed cheese which holds up better but I like the bite of cheddar. Cook the broccoli until it is soft before running through the blender or it will be gritty. Take the center out of the blender lid and hold a towel over the hole, the hot soup expands and will blow broccoli guts all over the place if you don't. Yeah. I did that. I found that it's much easier to use an immersion blender if you have one. No extra dishes or possible volcanic soup eruptions. 

This recipe is just 5 ingredients not counting (lots) of salt and pepper. It makes a BIG pot of soup.
Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup
64 oz Low Sodium Chicken Broth
16 oz Tillamook Triple Cheddar
1 Pint Half and Half
1 tbs Chopped Garlic
1 most excellent Broccoli chop (with onion or asparagus or whatever would all be excellent)
Lotsa salt and pepper

In a large soup pot combine veggies, garlic and broth, simmer for around 10 minutes or until largest pieces of broccoli are tender. On the lowest possible heat begin adding cream, stirring in until hot through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and add cheese, stir until melted. Here you can either run half at a time in a blender, with a towel on top to avoid the explosion thingy or use and immersion blender right in the pot. Either way it's gonna be so delicious!

I like to add a little something on top for color and texture; croutons, bacon, cheese, nuts or this little McCormick assortment, all make a great topping. 

Load up and head out to the woods with a thermos full of this and I promise you'll be glad you did!


We are fortunate to have an opportunity to be a lot of teenager's first job. It's an honor. Young people learn how to interview, dress for work, interact with the public and co-workers. As I've said before, many of those kids shop in our store with their children now.  That sense of continuity and community is really something to be present for. 

Local merchants have been doing this for, like, EVER. I was just talking to our retired Frito Lay driver, Kim Erb, and had no idea he had owned the Susanville A&W. The restaurant was built in 1961, purchased by Kim's parents in '65, Kim bought it from his dad in '72 and owned it until '88. My friend, Jim Chapman says when he was a kid if you could scrape together enough change to get an A&W root beer in a frosted mug that was the "holy grail of kid-dom". Kids would cruise Main, which only went from the Elks to A&W at that time, and A&W was the spot to meet. It was iconic.  The carhops even worked on roller skates originally! Too cool.

I can't imagine how many kids had their first job with the Erbs. When Kim sold the restaurant he went to work for Frito Lay and had a 25 year career as a driver. Hard worker. He shared that work ethic with an awful lot of young people, like Dana Hirsche, retired owner of Leslie's Jewelry~

"I was there after the roller skate era but I was a carhop. I worked there for 5 years! (1976-1981) Starting in high school and while I attended Lassen College. The Erb’s were the best bosses ever to put up with all us teenagers! We gave them a run for their money. I attribute my parents and the Erb’s for my strong work ethic. My lifelong girlfriends that I have now are because I worked there. Several years ago we talked about an A&W reunion and we made a list of people who worked there. The list was so long. They employed so many people over the years. It was a great first job." 

Both Dana and Kim continue to work hard to serve their community even in retirement. That kind of dedication never goes away.

Pretty nice to know you instilled a lifelong work ethic in someone. Thank you to the Erb family for teaching a whole lotta kids to be Hometown Proud.

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