Fate has a funny way of twisting the decisions you make in life. As the fall of 2009 was closing in, I realized that twelve years in corporate America was causing me to reflect on the important things in life. I had been successful managing facilities for Aramark, a Fortune 500 company, whereby I was relocated to one of the most diverse areas in the country – San Francisco.
The Bay Area was a welcomed dream with a plethora of things to do, see, and consume. However, running a 24/7 operation, living five hundred miles from my San Diego friends and family, and purchasing an ice scrapper to clean the windows of my car as I recall that weather (other than 70 and sunny) is comprised of seasons, all made for some interesting life challenges. Ultimately, while I enjoyed my time in the Bay, it was time to find the next step in the game of life.
While searching for a new job in the worst economy since I had been alive, I decided to develop a short list of requirements for the next chapter in Life 2.0. I knew I wanted to head back to San Diego to my friends and family, and longed to return to working for a small private business far from the behemoths of the corporate world. I knew I had to find a product or service I could one hundred percent believe in and would purchase myself. I had some great leaders as my bosses in the past six years. So finding someone great to work for, passionate about what he or she was doing, became another non negotiable. After making my list, I thought where in the world am I going to find this dream job?
One day a job posting came my way: General Manager Needed. We’re looking for a special person who can help us reach our goal in becoming a great soft pretzel company. Having grown up in Philadelphia where people consume twenty times the national average of pretzels, I thought, “I love Soft Pretzels!” I quickly applied for the job, and with my German heritage and Philly background, I figured I had a good chance of at least getting the interview. I was pleasantly surprised when I got a phone call from Harris just fifteen minutes after applying. He said my resume fit the bill, and I was exactly what he was looking for - someone who had years of experience in managing a large food facility. We had a great chat as we realized we had met about ten years before when I was the service manager for Cintas, a large linen and uniform company, and Harris was a former customer of mine.
I found an opportunity that had a product I could believe in; a small private company where decision making could be swift; and a business based in my adopted home of San Diego. I quickly packed my bags and flew in for an interview, and to try out a San Diego soft pretzel hoping it would meet my super high Philly and German soft pretzel expectations. One taste, and I was hooked. I was also hired. Who would have thought that the twists of life would lead me to a pretzel?