Good morning everyone ~ We have some news to share and after much deliberation, we have decided that this is the best time to make it public.
There isn’t an easy way to share this, so here it goes…. Ridley Straws is going to be taking a short hiatus while we focus on some personal matters. Jim has a rare type of blood cancer and the only hope for a cure is a stem cell transplant (bone marrow transplant). We have known this for a few years but chose not to make it public knowledge until we needed to. The good news is that a donor has been found and his transplant is scheduled for late February! A transplant isn’t an easy treatment and he has a long, difficult road ahead but he is strong and has fought and beaten cancer once before and we know he can do it again. We will both be focusing all of our time and energy on his recovery for the next several months.
The transplant is going to be done at the Mayo in Jacksonville and Jim will be in-patient for a little over a month, followed by several additional months staying at the Gabriel House on the Mayo campus. Our last scheduled markets are February 15th and we are hoping to be back, healthier than ever and ready to help you with your eco-friendly needs in June!
Between now and his transplant, our website will be up and we will still be processing and shipping out orders through February 20th. Once he is admitted we will not be doing anything Ridley related until Jim is no longer in-patient. Hopefully, this will be early April.
If you need straws during this time, you can get them at one of our many retail partners (I’ll put a link with a listing of stores in the comments below). They have all been sent an email about a week ago letting them know about these changes and many have been stocking up on Ridley Straws to help supply our local customers.
We appreciate all of your kind words, thoughts and well wishes. We are looking forward to being back in the summer and seeing you all at the markets. We will be posting updates on our Facebook page as necessary.
Thank you all for your support these last couple of years, you have made growing Ridley Straws so much more than just a job for both of us. We both love what we are doing and we couldn’t have done this without all of you.
Sincerely, Jim and Michelle