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Stop and Smell the Cookies

Just because you love something doesn’t mean it is easy.

Close to a year ago, a Yelp review of a dessert spot on Long Island’s North Fork caught my wife’s eye. “This was the best chocolate chip cookie I ever tasted,” wrote the reviewer, and that was all we needed to hear. Challenge accepted!

The Treatery Logo

We visit the vineyards on East End from time to time, and often pass through Jamesport, N.Y., the location of The Treatery ( and the alleged “best chocolate chip cookie,” so we decided to do some research.

The reviewer was spot on! And while I do not claim expertise in many areas, I’ve tried a lot of chocolate chip cookies, and these are the best so far. Thick, moist, chewy — and they stay good for days after you bring them home. A seriously good cookie.

We now stop by and pick up a batch every time we are near the town and are never disappointed. About a week or so ago we stopped in again and were pleased to find one of our son’s closest childhood friends working behind the counter. After a brief time catching up, the owner of the shop came out from the back and introductions were made.

Trust me — I paid proper homage to the creator of cookies such as these, and she seemed to appreciate it, as we spoke for over an hour. She was telling us tales of success and failures, customer service mishaps and saves, and the often crushing demands a small business puts upon its owners and staff.

I’m sure some of you are already seeing the parallels between this exceptional cookie shop and your expert integration business, and it is about to get even clearer.

She spoke of sometimes having doubts about running the place, something that, once you’ve tried the cookies, you know she was meant to do. And that was why she continues to do it — she loves it and can’t see herself doing anything else.

Just because you love something doesn’t mean it is easy. The glamour of the beautiful and ingenious work you create only comes from a solid foundation of vital business practices that include the decidedly unglamourous accounting, sales management, fleet maintenance, and so on.

In fact, in this issue’s “Lessons Learned From the Supply Chain Crisis,” the real hero of the day — both during the crisis and as a future preventative measure — is intense inventory management that covered not just what you needed, but also when exactly it had to show up. Who knew? Of course, doing it right isn’t easy, and your clients will probably never fully appreciate it, but it remains an important part of the business.

As we slow down for the end-of-year holidays, I hope you recognize how valued you and your business are. Not just from the clients — who should be fawning over you as if you’ve made the best chocolate chip cookie they’ve ever tasted — but also your employees, reps, and vendors.

No, it’s not easy, but is there any better business to be in?

That’s what I thought.

On to 2024!