People come in and out of are lives and some leave lasting impression. Our landlord, Ed Hammond passed away in a tragic car accident last week and although we didn’t know him long, he is someone who Shelly and I will never forget.
When Ed heard that our previous landlord was looking to sell our building, he began looking in and around Berlin for other available retail space with our business in mind. The location at 4-C Bay Street became available and Mr. Hammond personally came into the bakery to discuss the option. He knew we were concerned about the location off of Main Street, but true to his nature, he was kind, encouraging and he shared his confidence that we could “make a go of it” even if not on the main drag. His confidence in our business gave us confidence!
While some landlords are content to simply collect their check at the beginning of every month, with little to no personal interaction with the tenant, that was not Ed. He came in often and was genuinely interested in our success, to know how things were going, whether or not our customers were finding us and eager to share new ideas that might generate additional business. Sometimes he just dropped by to talk, mostly about this little town of Berlin that he loved, art that he favored and football if my husband Kenny was around. Shelly and I will truly miss him, his smiling face and his gentle nature.
Many customers have come in this past week and have shared stories about their friendships with Ed and how deeply his loss will be felt for years to come. In these conversations, most have described him as “a salt of the earth kind of guy”. Did you know that this expression comes from Matthew 5:13, where Jesus, speaking to his disciples, says: ‘Ye are the salt of the earth. Ye are the light of the world.'” Ed was clearly a bright light for many.
Ed Hammond will be laid to rest today and I am certain that his church will be overflowing with people whose lives he “touched”. We feel blessed to have shared in his brilliance if only for a short while and are heartbroken for his family and friends. We ask that together we keep them all in our prayers. May his kind soul rest in peace.