“Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it’s all about.”
-PattiSue Plumer, U.S. Olympian

Although this quote is from an Olympian talking about what running and racing means to her, the words themselves could be applied to any walk of life. Whether you’re donning a pair of running shoes or a Chef’s coat, digging deep down and pushing yourself to see what you’re made of and striving to go beyond what you had previously considered your best, is the challenge for anyone who seeks excellence in themselves. Here at Bottleneck, these are the things we ask of our management teams and employees; to embrace and overcome life’s daily challenges and seek to become the very best they can be. And like the runner who pushes herself, we too are driven to go beyond where we thought we could go, because the way we see it, this is what we do.

In keeping with this spirit of pushing ourselves, we are happy to announce our latest employee initiative, the “Bottleneck Race Team.” Over the next several months we will sponsor groups of our employees as they run some of the 5 and 10K races in Chicago. The goal for us is to:

•Encourage healthy activity

•Promote teamwork and morale between our stores

•Offer our people a fun and energetic divergence from the work week.

By promoting an initiative like this, we hope to encourage our employees to embrace outside of work what we ask them to at work – the notion of pushing beyond, of finding out what you’re truly made of. And of course, a great bonus is having healthy fun, surrounded by teammates and the beautiful Chicago skyline. But just as important, we see supporting our employees in these runs as a metaphor in practice for one of our core beliefs, and one that’s shared by runners everywhere; that you aren’t measured so much by the others in the race, but by the desire to be the best you can be. As Ms. Plumer says, this is what it’s all about.