Over the past few weeks, Simone has been leading our team in an exercise to find a Josephine slogan. The conversations evoked have ranged from silly to deeply emotional and have taken place in pieces during lunch, after work, and on the weekends. Between these short interactions, Simo has been doing research, jotting down thoughts in his back-pocket notebook, and reflecting on our team and our work.
This past weekend, Simo called me from Tahoe to tell me about a slogan he was finally excited about. Here’s the email he sent to our team immediately after:
I’ve always respected in n out burger.
More than the classic home team indoctrination (#bestcoast), I love in n out because their business relies on doing one meal exceptionally well. You can order whatever you want as long as it’s a burger, fries, and a shake…
I’ve done a lot of reflection on Josephine this week as I’ve tried to think about what our brand is all about. What’s our product? Why is it special? But the more thinking I do, the more I realize that we do much more than just one thing. Yes, we empower cooks to sell home cooked food, but we also fight for progressive legislation. We lead discussions about issues that matter. We participate in the communities of which we’re all a part. We open source code that can be useful to others. We try to empathize with every single human with whom we come in contact.
Our mission and values transcend any particular product or feature we ship.
As such, in thinking about a slogan, I was hesitant to recommend anything that didn’t speak to our multifaceted intentions. Yes we’re “community fed” and we’re “people first,” but we’re also humanitarians, foodies, and nourishers. What defines us isn’t so much what we do or who we are. We pride ourselves in how we do it. Josephine’s full time staff, cooks, and customers all have one thing in common — we care about something more than just food.
Some are driven by the community vibes, some by taste, others just like the way home cooking makes them feel. Regardless, we all choose Josephine because we are willing to forgo a little of the efficiency of our on-demand world to get that little something extra.
I think that extra ingredient is “care”.
It’s what makes Shane’s soup better than what you can get at whole foods. It’s what makes Charley and Matt comfortable telling investors that were working with heath regulators because we think it’s the right thing to do. It’s why Tal writes personalized responses to the myriad applicants that apply to join the product team and why Emily and Sika talk to some cooks more than their own parents. Everything we do is with care. Our cooks choose to feed with care, our customers choose to eat with care, and we choose to work with care.
Care is both the nurture and the passion. The protection and the battle cry. Care is our special sauce. And like the in n out “secret” menu, I want everyone to know it.
Stoked to see y’all tomorrow.
This makes me feel happy, humbled, and proud. Not a bad way to start off a Monday.