Sake Truths – True Sake Update and The Power of Mei
True Sake is very lucky. Sure we sell an incredible beverage to remarkable customers and it's been so fun growing during the process. But sometimes things aren't fun, and we run into problems - problems that you notice, but don't fully understand.
There has been a big problem at True Sake for the past 18 months and in due time I will fill everybody in on exactly what has transpired. But suffice it to say the problem was huge and it's been very difficult navigating out of it. So difficult we almost did not make it, and we will feel the effects for years to come.
In my many discussions with dear friends I'm often reminded that there are many paths to take during difficult times, and as one extremely bright friend stated, "Carl Jung, the famous psychologist said you must embrace the dark as well as the light to understand life."
It's been very dark with unimaginable depths that have challenged me to the core. And yes I've continued to embrace each and every level. But I haven't been alone, I've been surrounded by some amazing warriors who you all know very well. If not for the team at True Sake there probably would be no True Sake.
For the past 18 months the employees of True Sake have endured a very difficult landscape, and have done so with impeccable grace and professionalism. They embody the entire True Sake spirit and have made lemonade with the horrible lemons that they were dealt. I am eternally indebted to each and every one of them. Including those who are no longer with the team, and have gone their own ways.
But I'd like to single out one person, who literally saved True Sake by being the remarkable woman that she is. I'd like to take a moment to not only thank Mei, but sing her praise to all who will listen. Mei is the bomb. You may see the smile and feel the warmth of her kindness, but I have witnessed first hand the slog that she has had to endure during this crap-fest.
I jokingly say that sake is easy to sell because it sells itself! Nothing could be further from the truth. It is the most laborious hand sell in the libation industry, bar none. It is uphill in the wind on snow-covered shale. But we love it! And we are good at it! The only problem is when things are broken and we are totally off center and off balanced, then and only then does our love for selling sake get tested.
Welcome to Mei's world. Our True Sake has been broken for the past 18 months and she has guided the ship to port in very tumultuous seas. I've been quizzed during this difficult time, but Mei has been tested! And she has done a fantastic job keeping the True Sake ship/shop going forward towards new horizons rather than sinking to Davey Jones' scary depths.
Mei has been with me side-by-side during one of, if not, the most difficult experiences in my life, and she has not faltered once. She has seen it all, and quite frankly, she saw it before me. Mei told me a long while back that there was a problem, and I didn't get it. She did and she does. And she is wise way beyond her so few years. And that is what I admire about her. Mei is so good for the sake industry and sake world and she sometimes doesn't even see it. I do, and I think we all do.
So if by chance you are lucky enough to speak to Mei on the phone or see her at the store, please say a little "Thank You" because there probably wouldn't be a store without her stupendous efforts behind the counter and more importantly behind the scenes. She is as good as it gets, and she epitomizes the lengths that sellers of sake will go to ensure that you get great sake!
You are one of a kind Mei!