Greetings like good morning and happy Monday fill the team’s workspace. Conversation starters like how was your weekend and what are you doing for July 4th fill the breakroom as employees wait for their turn at the coffee pour over station. This camaraderie is the culture of my employer and the personality of the employees who spend over 40 hours a week together.
We recently had a new kid on the block from sunny California. A tenured team member relocated to help build our Oklahoma City (OKC) team with her knowledge, expertise and experience. We knew that a simple Oklahoma howdy and smile would brighten her first day. We wanted more! We decided to fill a basket with our Okie favorites.
First stop was The Market near Quail Springs Mall to find cute and classy Oklahoma branded items. As I entered the building, I immediately spotted the Oklahoma City dishtowel made by catstudio. The colorful design of all the hot spots in OKC was a perfect exploration road map. After this find, I aimlessly wandered from booth to booth looking for the next favorite thing. I quickly found the OKLA mug. Who doesn’t love a mug?
Next stop was to purchase made in Oklahoma food items to help stock the pantry. Due to the convenience and my love for Target, I headed a mile west to find brands made and produced in our great state. My shopping list had the following items:
- Griffin’s Pancake Syrup – based in Muskogee, OK
- Head Country BBQ – based in Ponca City, OK (my birthplace)
- Shawnee Mills White Cornbread Mix – based in Shawnee, OK
- Any local honey to help with allergies
I felt like a contestant on Supermarket Sweep as I hustled from aisle to aisle looking for the item. Sadly, I only found one item on the Target shelf, the BBQ. I was disappointed. I was frustrated. I was disappointed. As a business-minded person, I am sure there are plenty of reasons why Target does not carry those items. I decided that I could still be disappointed in my perception that local brands are not awarded shelf space. Next time, I’ll stop at Crest Foods. It was time to call it a day!
A few days later I wrapped up the Okie favorites basket with stops at our neighborhood coffee shop, Stella Nova, and ice cream and dairy store, Braum’s. Gift cards allow the freedom of choice to explore the menu and discover a new personal favorite. I picked up a bag of Okie Smoke House Flavor Mix along with grape jelly and ice cream cones.
Last, and certainly not least, we had to include the precious Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman. Her Summer 2019 magazine includes yummy recipes and insight into life in Oklahoma. Introducing her is a must for any new resident.
We packaged the Oklahoma City dish towel, an Okie mug, made in Oklahoma items, gift cards to favorite neighborhood stops and a magazine about living in the heartland of America. We couldn’t wait to share our favorites with her.
We said howdy! We smiled big! We gave her the basket. She looked at us and said, “Thank you for giving me a glimpse of Oklahoma. I’m so happy to be here.”
Please note: This post is based on my personal opinion. It is not sponsored or endorsed by any of the businesses listed within.