Archive for the 'by John Phillips' Category

Confessions from a Bike Commuter Wannabe

We have a monthly commuter challenge at G&B. We created it to promote earth-friendly and healthy practices with an added benefit of more parking spaces. To be eligible, you must commute to work by bicycle or public transportation a minimum of 10 times a month. We draw a monthly winner from the eligible candidates for a virtual visa card.

The program has been a success. I am really happy to see a large percentage of our workforce commuting by bicycle or public transportation. I must confess, however, that I have never won the monthly commuter award. As a matter of fact, I have yet to be eligible.

I admit it. I am jealous of these commuter all stars. Why can’t I manage to join these ranks?  I drop my kids off during the school year, but what’s my excuse for the summer? I could start off with the fact that I am not a morning person. Besides….how do I pick up my morning cup of Joe on two wheels? Even when someone signed me up for a company sponsored 110-mile ride benefiting diabetes, I still couldn’t find enough motivation to string together 10 commutes in one month. Oh well, I guess I am hopeless.

John Phillips – President/CEO

If you are thinking about commuting by bike to work, we are hosting a free Bike Commute Workshop here at Grand & Benedicts on August 26, 2009. It’s open to the public and takes place between 12.30 p.m. – 1.30 p.m.  More information can be found here or you can email questions to our Green Team at You can also register your company team in the Portland Bike Transportation Alliance’s Bike Commute Challenge.
Here are some links to some of our favorite bike companies in Portland as well as nationally.

“Just Say No”

It’s around mile 65 of the Tour de Cure that I start asking myself, “how did I get myself into this?” After almost 4 hours in the saddle, with heat temperatures soaring in the 90’s and a 1400 ft. climb ahead of me, I don’t have to think long to ponder the answer. One of the greatest parts of our company’s active culture is its ability to coax people into attempting physical feats they may or may not want to do. I, myself, am an easy mark. Combine this peer pressure with my competitiveness and my inability to “just say no“, and usually this spells an inevitable recipe for soreness to follow at some point.

This has led to multiple summits of the Cascades, decades of running the 196-mile Hood to Coast Relay, marathons and, in a couple of hours, my first century ride (bike lingo for 100 miles).

Portland is a bike-crazy city. It has the highest bike commuter percentage in the United States. As a native Portlander, it was only a matter of time that I join the ranks of the two wheel club. The jury is still out on my ability to commute to work without four wheels…more on that later.

The bulk of our training came from lunch hour rides with co-workers as we attacked the west hills to get our climbing legs ready. In the end, everyone from Team G&B made it to the finish line. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that later in the beer garden there were already calls for the next challenge…STP (Seattle to Portland). I think a real challenge for us would be no next challenge. Oh well, here we go again…..

The Tour de Cure is a series of bicycling events in 40 states benefitting the American Diabetes Association. Team Grand & Benedicts had 18 riders that raised $2400 to help cure and prevent diabetes.

John Phillips – President/CEO

Welcome to the Retail Life Blog by Grand & Benedicts

Since this is our first entry in the blogosphere, we probably should explain the genesis of why we are even doing this in the first place. Well, we kind of “dig” a lot of things… our company culture, what we do, the people we work with, our customers and the cities we live in. So, we thought our blog could be kind of like an open mic for poetry at the local coffee house, well, without the poetry… A collection of thoughts that can highlight things like retail trends, our favorite companies, best practices or even best restaurants.
We plan to touch a lot of subjects that are meaningful to us. Our goal is to deliver them to you in a fashion (we do work in the retail sector) that is light hearted and fun. We also want to serve up doses that are digestible… no long essays or mini versions of Tolstoy’s War and Peace.

We look forward to your readership. Hopefully, you are unabashed in your comments and ideas in response to our blogs. We promise not to take anything too personally. We take our jobs seriously, but not ourselves. In the end, we hope that on occasion you will take something away that will make your work environment better, provide a new idea or at least to provide a new spot to have some food come dinner time.

John Phillips – President/CEO


Welcome to Grand + Benedicts REtAiL LIFE blog. A collection of thoughts that highlight retail trends, stores we have completed and best practices. We look forward to your readership.

%d bloggers like this: