Everything was changing all at once. I had just graduated college with no idea where I was going, and my father, Ben Tabatchnick, the strongest person I have ever known, was battling cancer…and losing.
I won’t go into the emotional impact this experience had on me, but five months after I graduated college, I lost my father. I was devastated. There is no worse feeling than losing someone you love. Cancer is a terrible disease and for those who fought and won, I hope you have a different perspective on life. Personally, I wish I could see that happy ending.
After my father died, my family had a major decision to make. Do we keep going or give up on the business? My mother, Rita — the strongest woman I have ever known — wanted to keep my father’s legacy going. As a proud fifth generation Tabatchnick of Tabatchnick Fine Foods, I can proudly say that I did as well.
On her first day in the office, Rita met with the staff and told them: “We can’t replace Ben. No one can, but I am all in if you are as well.” Everyone wholeheartedly agreed, because even though I lost my father, they all lost a wonderful boss, many of them having worked for him for 30-plus years. Here at Tabatchnick, we are all a family, working together to achieve our goals. That sounds corny, but it’s true. My coworkers have shared wonderful stories about my dad and photos I had ever seen. You see, I never knew my dad at work. I knew him as my father, not a CEO or business man. When staffers shared their stories, I was seeing a different side of him, and the pride I now felt joining this team and following in my father’s footsteps grew tenfold.
In honor of my dad, we created a new organic, gluten- and dairy-free soup line called Benje’s Naturals. Ben was always too humble to have anything named after him, but we wanted to show him off and finally put him in the spotlight.
My biggest challenge was to find my place here at Tabatchnick Fine Foods, while finding myself and healing from this great loss. I had to think about what I wanted to do to help this business grow. I graduated from the University of Delaware with a BA in Communications. I have always enjoyed devising creative content, so I decided to apply my talents to help revolutionize the company.
I will continue to work hard and try my best to show people that Tabatchnick Fine Foods is more than a nice little soup company. It’s a family company, with a heart and soul that’s been in business since 1905. My brothers, sister, mother, and I (all actual Tabatchnicks) aren’t running a huge corporation trying to sell you something. We are a family hoping you’ll share our table, by bringing you the best and highest quality products possible.
What’s my best job perk? My entire family has lunch together every day. You know who packs lunch? Mom.
Can’t beat that!
Love and Soup,