Meet Jim, KCO's Health & Dedicated Lab Technician

by Annegret Pfeifer

I remember very vividly the first time I met Jim. It was around 7 years ago at his retirement party. He pulled me to the side, handed me his updated resume and expressed his deep interest to work for at Kettle Care Organics. With this dedication, Jim started with us in the lab.  He went from handling semiconductor wafers, to making fine skincare with beeswax and botanical oils. At the beginning, the ingredient measurements were still in cups and tablespoons, which soon changed to weights in grams. With this overhaul of fine tuning came intricate directions for each recipe that Jim followed to the letter. Accurate measurements and Jim’s dedication to apply the same processes to every batch resulted in the consistent formulas that you see these days with Kettle Care Organic's skincare. When we moved the company to the current facility in 2014 the lab became ‘Jim’s Lab’. He was like a kid in a candy store when he saw all the white cabinets and drawer space that was at his liberty to utilize. Consequently, he ended up using a lifetime supply of labeling rolls to tag all the shelves and cupboards. Trust me, it is a joy to enter ‘Jim’s Lab’- organized, clean and well lit.

He so enjoys coming to work in the mornings. With minimal interruptions allowed, he follows a detailed daily schedule that instructs him on what product to make, at which quantity, and how it must be packaged.

Needless to say, what began as a side job in retirement has become a solid production job for the last 7 years.  Jim is always there and we can absolute rely on it.  It wasn't until last month - having had foot surgery - that Jim had ever called in sick.  Not just at Kettle Care, mind you.  This marked his first time ever having to miss work, in his entire professional career. He was actually pretty bummed out over the fact that now, at age 72 he had to break this longstanding record. So, we inquired with him the other day of what his secret to his unwavering health was.

We learned that he usually gets up at 5:00 a.m. every morning, reads the newspaper, and starts the day with a solid breakfast. No, not your standard eggs, potatoes and sausages. Try Organic oatmeal, Organic blueberries and Organic yogurt. He adds a healthy portion of anti-inflammatory Turmeric and Curcumin to this morning goodness.  Jim does not drink coffee or tea, just regular distilled water and once a day a bit of Organic grape juice. While he did not mention it this time, we know that he also enjoys a sip of bourbon in the evenings, every once in a while. 

Here at Kettle Care Organics, we are all witnesses that Jim's lunch is consistently a delicious and wholesome homemade dish - which he enjoys eating in front of a particularly sunny window in our facility. Jim does not like deserts or sweets. However, the one exception we've found is our German cakes which have only a fraction of the amount of sugar as compared to American cake recipes. Jim also rather enjoys a good conversation with his co-workers during his lunch time.  We all look forward to hear from Jim at lunch where he tells us about the latest issues he's learned about- Arctic Warming, Plastic Pollution Solutions, Migrating Birds in Montana, Medicinal Botanicals in Alaska, etc.

Besides his love to work like clockwork here at Kettle Care, Jim loves to stay active. He thrives on being around people and volunteers several times a week at the Agency for Aging. He loves and adores his wife Barbara with all his heart; he loves to hike, to read, and to be in the outdoors. While he sometimes complains about his large yard, we all know that he can’t wait to get it ready in the spring to grow his favorite vegetables. He also regularly takes classes at our local community college and you find him at many of their most interesting presentations - hence the awesome lunch time conversations.

As you can see, besides a healthy diet it is his zest for life and what he does that keeps Jim so upbeat every day. We feel so lucky to have him part of our team here at Kettle Care Organics.