“Plan First Investments and Insurance,” was in business in Reidsville since around 1995. The owner was eagerly looking to sell her practice. Happel Financial was not looking to purchase a business because it had a growing enterprise in High Point. However, once Brad and Rosalie got to know the people of Reidsville, something happened.
We began to uncover stories that transformed the numbers on a page to real people with needs, dreams, and uncertain futures. Like a garden neglected and left to seed, we felt these people needed a financial gardener. Who else better to protect such a connected community of people? If not us, then who? It was not just a call that we received to help evaluate a business opportunity, but a calling. We felt then and we feel now, a deep commitment to give our best selves and to be of service to this community.
It has been over ten years now, since Happel Financial started serving Reidsville. When I look back at the 2008 financial meltdown, I remember, our family grew a bigger garden. We bought food from local farmers and renewed our efforts in canning fruits and vegetables. We were not only saving money, but we were eating fresh and healthy food. The silver lining there was, if we were spending weekends canning, and evenings pulling weeds, we were not shopping and we were spending quality time together as a family. Through this process “Happel Butter” was born and eagerly shared with our newfound community in Reidsville.
“Happel Butter” became a tradition. Annually, Brad and Rosalie go to local NC Apple farms and buy bushels of apples, and discuss the current year’s recipe. The kitchen will once again turn into a production line ready to convert bushels of apples into jars full of “Happel Butter.” But the better question is why continue this tradition? What weight does it carry? This is our way of demonstrating that the commitment to this community is more than just business. Canning represents one of the values we and this community share.
Canning has always represented to us two ideas.
One: It is a culture of plenty. These is something special about picking a tomato off a plant that you grew. Is this going to become spaghetti sauce, salsa or just the simple summer goodness of a tomato sandwich? When there’s a plentiful harvest it’s your duty to give back. Giving a jar of “Happel butter” in the winter is like giving away little summer sunshine on a cold and cloudy day.
Two: It is the tradition of sharing. If you grow apples, trade with someone who grows peaches. Swapping some of your garden for someone else’s garden is a win-win. It’s a wonderful feeling giving something you love and admire to someone you know. A simple exchange can grow into swapping seeds, learning new canning techniques and of course new recipes. Gardening and canning is a never-ending cycle of learning and growing. We believe it helps provide balance in all aspects of life.
So giving a jar full of “Happel butter,” and receiving some of Jimmy’s “Chow Chow” may seem like a simple exchange, but to us; it reinforces a bond of friendship and mutual respect within a community. It may be silly that we call ourselves Financial Gardeners, but we feel nothing personifies us better. We aren’t here to micromanage, we’re here to help you get a good start. We’re the ones you call when your financial garden need tending.