Holy Moly. 17 years! Next Month on August 7 True Sake will turn 17 years old. That's getting up there! And next month’s True Sake Newsletter will be the 180th issue, which translates to a monthly issue consecutively for the past 180 months or 15 years. What the what? I’m feeling pretty old, but I’m also feeling a heck of a lot wiser. And there is literally no way that both the store and the newsletter happened by myself. As I type this I’m reminded of that fact, because Mei does all of the heavy lifting to actually make this thing and the store work with the help of an amazing team of sake people.
In honor of this remarkable achievement I went back into the way-back-machine and pulled the following piece from the very first newsletter from September 2004. Enjoy!
Greetings at long last!
If you are receiving this email it means that at some point in the last year you signed up at our store TRUE SAKE or sent us an email requesting that we do so.
It is quite sad, darn near pathetic, that we have only sent out one email to date! (This annual email campaign must stop). But as you are all aware, True Sake and the whole sake movement in the Bay Area and the US has been so hot that we have been incredibly busy keeping up with your enthusiastic demand for the best sake coming from the breweries of Japan.
Future communication from us will take the form of two types of emails. First is Beau Timken's Monthly Sake Newsletter that will keep you posted on all things sake-centric as Beau tests the limits with sake in the American context. Second are short True Sake Announcements and Reminders Messages that are sent only in the event something comes up between Newsletters. These messages will alert readers to special events, limited quantity sakes, and potential sales at the store. We believe that less is more (not one email per year less!) and will strive to stay out of your in-box unless we deem something incredibly important.
Basically the crux of this first Newsletter is to inform you about two major events that will help your personal crusade to understand and appreciate sake to its fullest.
We have re-designed www.truesake.com. The new site went live in August and features 60 images of sakes for sale by phone, and will include the store's complete inventory of over 150 sakes to select from. There will be a brief history of sake, but we will focus more on the future of this exceptional libation. Look for the "Sake-of-the-Month" and "Restaurant of the Month" reviews, as well as selected recipes and tasting tips. There will also be a calendar of major sake events that should not be missed.
We want to thank you for being a part of our unique community that focuses on the essence of one of the most misunderstood beverages in history. It is our goal to pull the covers back on this mystery and allow you the chance to discover the sake that best fits your pallet and desires. We cherish your active participation and would love to answer any of your questions that you may have in our "Ask Beau" section of the Newsletter that will select one or two questions each month to answer. You may "Ask Beau" by replying directly to the Newsletter.
True Sake opened with an inventory of 90 sakes. Within three months we increased this to 120, and as of today we are at 155 different sakes to choose from. Our philosophy is to carry only imported sakes brewed in Japan.
Ha Ha and wow!
Pretty funny stuff! But I love the fact that we have stayed true to our mission in the newsletter to keep it sake-centric and cutting edge for taking sake into the future. I also love the fact that we have only really sent out one email per month in this over-emailed world today. We did not spam your in-box! We have sent out a SAKE DAY notice or two, but other than that we have been acting like a true responsible partner for connecting you to the sake world.
It’s interesting and I forgot that we did a website upgrade after year two. And it is ironic as our development team is currently crafting the future of sake selling websites right here, right now, and we will be rolling it out shortly.
Likewise it’s also funny to note that many of the sections that we started then are still in use today. Is that a testament to something? I dunno! But I do know that we have been going over the Newsletter for the past two months to determine where we want to take it!
Lastly, I love the Postscript! It mentions how we have expanded the inventory very rapidly and how we almost have double that today in-store with access to perhaps 5 times that number for ordering from our distributors. But this was the beginning! This was the infancy of the dedicated sake store outside of Japan. And what makes me most proud is that we have shattered that store “rule” of only selling sake made in Japan! Hear me Jake and Yoshi?
So please consider the upcoming 17th Birthday and 15th Anniversary of the Newsletter to be a present to you from yourself! You did this! And we were just along for the ride! Thank you so much.