Episode 3: March 17th, 2021

by | Mar 17, 2021 | Lancaster Connects Episodes

On episode 3 of Lancaster Connects, we find out about the important work the Hempfield Area Food Pantry is doing to support the community.
We also speak to a local military veteran/entrepreneur – Kyle Slaymaker – about the great work being done by his masonic lodge – and the importance of supporting local independent businesses.
You’ll also meet our “Pet Of The Week” – Lucy – from Zoe’s House.
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***This episode is also available as a podcast on your favorite podcast platform!
Learn More About This Week’s Guests:
😴 This show is sponsored by Gardner’s Mattress & More in Lancaster, PA! Get your FREE copy of Ben McClure and Jeff Giagnocavo’s book – “Sleep Better”: https://gardnersmattressandmore.com/

This episode is sponsored by Gardner’s Mattress & More in Lancaster, PA!

Click here to get your FREE copy of Ben McClure and Jeff Giagnocavo’s book – “Sleep Better”!

*Fill out the form below to enter for a chance to win a $25 giftcard to a local Lancaster restaurant! Winners will be announced on the next episode.



Episode Transcript (Click Here To Open/Close)

Jeff Giagnocavo 0:00
How can you support the local Lancaster community?

Ben McClure 0:03
That’s what this show is all about.

Ben McClure 0:24
Coming to you live from the world famous Dream Room at Gardner’s Mattress & More. This is the Lancaster Connects podcast. Hey Jeff.

Jeff Giagnocavo 0:31
Hey Ben, we’re here. Show three.

Jeff Giagnocavo 0:33
We’re here.

Ben McClure 0:34
Dude you’re looking some 10 ADP right now.

Jeff Giagnocavo 0:36
10 ADP? So, a little inside joke there we’ve…to bring you this great podcast, great quality podcast I will say thanks to our production team at Get Super Cereal. They’ve helped us all along the way. Helped us understand what we need to do. And we are coming at you I guess now and officially, like official-official, 10 ADP. So that’s great. We’re glad that you can better see us. I’m not so sure that’s a good thing for you I mean we’re not like models or stud quality type guys or folks.

Ben McClure 1:12
I gotta shave now.

Jeff Giagnocavo 1:14
Yeah, we don’t do the makeup stuff. But a little odd fact. I mean, high definition cameras and TVs actually, you know, when they started coming out? What was that about 15 years ago?

Ben McClure 1:23

Jeff Giagnocavo 1:24
10 years ago? You know, really actually changed the entertainment industry quite a bit as far as makeup techniques and things like that. But we won’t be getting into that here. This is what you get. Like it or not. So anyway, I’m Jeff Giagnocavo, co-owner of Gardner’s Mattress & More.

Ben McClure 1:40
And I’m Ben McClure, also co-owner Gardner’s Mattress &. More. [Inaudible].Yeah, we wear many hats, but, all right. We’re good.

Jeff Giagnocavo 1:49
We’re good.

Ben McClure 1:50
All right.

Jeff Giagnocavo 1:51
So yeah, I mean, here we are episode number three. The show available to you on, as a podcast as a video show to watch on our channels. You can get on your famous…favorite. Famous? I guess podcast platforms can be famous, but your favorite podcast platform, you can get it on. Also available to watch on Amazon Prime. And you can find all of those links for easy use, easy access at lancasterconnects.com.

Jeff Giagnocavo 1:51
So listen, guys, let’s queue up Baba if you if we can. I’m going to roll right into this. The whole premise of this show is about making connections, being impactful in our community. And one thing, we had the wonderful Wagner family on episode two if you’ve missed it, you should really check it out. They run a charity that their family created called Little Hands Big Plans, all designed to raise money for Make A Wish. I became, we became aware of the Wagner family through a Make a Wish event that we contributed to a few years back…2018 actually. Hard to believe it’s two years ago already.

Ben McClure 2:37
Time flies.

Jeff Giagnocavo 3:01
Time flies for everybody. But, so Baba is a very special child, Make a wish child, with health issues and to refresh everybody, kind of catch you up, Baba was gonna sing the anthem at the truck convoy kickoff, and it got delayed because of…or got canceled because of the rain. We made connections to the Barnstormers, had him come out and sing mid-game, God Bless America. And just like knocked it dead. Nailed it. Did a fantastic job. So, where I’m going with this, this kid is such a special kid. His name is actually Keith. But everybody calls him Baba. As his mother Tanya said, he was her little Baba the minute she saw him and adopted him. But whenever anybody is brought to your attention, who’s struggling, whatever you do, give good thoughts, pray, add karmic goodness to the universe, whatever it is that you do. When you hear of a need like this. Baba needs it. The Wagner family needs it right now. So, I would just ask that you do that. All right. So Baba, we’re thinking of you. You had an impact on us. We really wish you nothing but the best. All right. So stay strong kid. You’ll get through.

Jeff Giagnocavo 4:23
All right. So without too much further ado, we’ll kind of jump in here. We’ve got a wonderful guest, charity guest this week, from Hempfield Foods representing the Hempfield Food Pantry. And I’d be remiss to say you know also without Dave Blile we wouldn’t have our great employee asset his son Andrew Blile. So welcome. Welcome to the show. Dave. Glad to have you.

Dave Blile 4:50
Thank you very much. Glad to be here.

Jeff Giagnocavo 4:52
Yeah. Yeah. Well, thank you and then our business guests for the week. Mr. Kyle Slaymaker of The Slaymaker Method. He is joining us as well. Welcome, Kyle.

Kyle Slaymaker 5:07
Absolutely. Thank you guys very much. It’s a It’s a pleasure to be here. Just wanted to give a shout out to Baba. Such a small world this county is. My wife worked with Baba for for quite a long time. So seeing you guys talk about Baba is incredible. So Baba if you’re listening, Miss Elizabeth says hey. So that was cool guys thanks for for putting that up there.

Jeff Giagnocavo 5:30
Yeah guys, we’ll make sure, we’ll have to get this clipped out and certainly send it to the Wagner family so they can they can see it. And hopefully, you know, we’ll clip it out and get this shared out so more people can, you know listen. I mean, listen to a, you know 30-45 minute podcast. You know, everybody’s time is precious, but we’ll get this clipped out and definitely get the need for for well wishes for Bubba and the Wagner family shared out. And then our pet of the week. We’ll talk a little bit more about Lucy a little later in the show, but we always have a pet of the week because pet rescue is near and dear to my heart and we want to highlight that need as well.

Jeff Giagnocavo 5:44
So, this podcast is brought to you by Gardner’s Mattress & More, we’re right here live from the Dream Room. You know as I said before, this podcast is available on all your major podcast platforms. You can just open your podcast app on your phone and search Lancaster Connects and that’ll bring it right up. You could go to lancasterconnects.com and click any of the links. I mean, Billy and Simon do a great job. We’re all over the place. I think there’s about a dozen different ways you can digest, listen, watch this show. So that’s great. We really appreciate their hard work getting it out. lancasterconnects.com is the place to go. On lancasterconnects.com a couple of things. If you represent, work for, or run a charity and you want us to highlight you on the show, please fill out the form, let us know. we’ll get you on. Again, that’s the whole idea here of Lancaster Connects, we want to highlight local heroes, local families, local charities, doing good in our community. Additionally, if you’re a business, doing good in the community, part of your whole business model is to give back, we would love to have you and highlight as well, you can sign up there. And most importantly, you can enter to win a $25 gift card as a listener of the podcast. We draw two winners weekly. And you can enter to win a local restaurant gift card. We bought these gift cards and we’ll continue to buy these gift cards to help restaurants that are obviously impacted by our current times. And we’ll give those away. So without too much further ado, we’ve got our two winners for this week.

Ben McClure 7:50
Yeah, you know, so funny story about our winners this week. I’ll announce who they are here. And then I’ll share the story. So two winners, Bethany Georgia, from Lancaster and Donna Pittman from Red Lion. Donna…or both, thank you for entering. Donna, we picked our winners yesterday. And you know now it’s it’s Friday today, right? But you know, this will be, you’ll watch it on the same day that we’re recording it right? But this morning, the first person in the door turned out to be Donna. Totally didn’t know she was coming. She brought some family members in and made a purchase of a futon. And when we heard her name Drew…Andrew…Dave’s son. mentioned or asked her who you know, she was because she mentioned she was a customer and she said her name Donna Pittman. And both of us looked at each other and said, that’s our winner! So yeah, she picked out our gift cards and it was great. It

Jeff Giagnocavo 8:50
It was nice because she doesn’t live exactly around the corner. So winners can pick up their gift cards here in the store. We’re open like 63 hours a week. So you’ll be able to get here seven days a week to pick up your gift card. But yeah, that’s great. Donna congratulations Bethany. Congratulations. And yeah us lancasterconnects.com, let us know about a charity. Yeah, maybe you just know of one. Maybe it’s a charity you donate to you can make a connection and introduction. Please use the forum for that. At lancasterconnects.com again, you can enter to register, to win a gift card. And you of course if you know have a great business or own a great business, you can let us know about you there and we’ll work to get you on the show. So without, let’s let’s roll into our first business guest [Inaudible] have Kyle introduce himself on the show. Kyle, welcome. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and about your business?

Kyle Slaymaker 9:43
Absolutely. So my name is Kyle Slaymaker. I own the Slaymaker Method and Entrepreneurs Expeditions, both of which I’m sure you will see down there on the ticker on the bottom. My passion obviously is the Slaymaker Method. developed my own sales process after many many years in the sales game working for global brands, working for local brands. Just realized one day that I love sales. I was really, really good at what I do, I taught plenty of people to sell. And I created my own process. And it’s not aggressive. It’s not pushy. I help companies develop a world class sales process that helps develop a visceral and emotional connection between the product that you’re selling the service that you’re selling, and your customer. It’s being used Australia, Ireland, the UK all over the world, it has influences and so it’s, it’s great. I think I’m more proud that I got my start here in Lancaster.

Jeff Giagnocavo 10:45
That’s very cool. It’s always nice to see people recognize the skill set you bring to the market, not only in your backyard, but then it’s all over the place right?

Kyle Slaymaker 10:56

Jeff Giagnocavo 10:57
Listen, this show is really about making connections in the community. But you know, just for anybody listening, you know, I’ve worked my entire life in sales. My 17 year old son, we just bought a pickup truck for him, because he wants to have a little side hustle cutting grasses and expanding that this summer. I think a sales career, when done right…and there’s, in anything there’s good operators, and there’s bad operators. Right, Kyle? But when done, right. I mean, I think somebody who has the ability to help you make a decision on whatever it is that you’re purchasing, you know, and help you get the desired outcome. I think that’s probably one of the most honorable things a person can choose to do on a career when they do it the right way. And, yeah, again, there’s good and bad. But I think you as a purchaser can discern that, you can figure that out. But I think you know, it’s like having Donna here in the store, walking in, her and I’m not sure if that’s family or friends. But regardless, that’s the biggest honor we can get as a business, is having somebody refer let alone walk them into the store. I think that’s I think that’s just great. So, Kyle…

Kyle Slaymaker 12:22

Jeff Giagnocavo 12:24
Yeah, I mean, I, you know, I think your method is great. And, you know, having the ability to impact people and help them through their purchase. And so they’re happier, ultimately is great. So that’s wonderful.

Ben McClure 12:38
Kyle, what’s the second business you referenced? Entrepreneur Expeditions?

Kyle Slaymaker 12:43
Yes, so Entrepreneurs Expeditions also founded, owned, launching out of Lancaster. When I first started the Slaymaker Method, when I went down my entrepreneurial journey, I had a goal of wanting to go on a business retreat. I had seen the benefits. I’ve heard people that have went on business retreats, I’m thinking, man, that’s incredible. I’d like to do that one day. Fast forward, about a year, year and a half later, and I’m not going on them, I’m running them. I’m hosting them, me and my partner, Shannon. So we take entrepreneurs, business owners all around the world. And we place them in front of some of the best and brightest minds that the business world has to offer, from billionaire entrepreneurs, global business leaders, to local community leaders and business owners. And each trip is just action packed and a ton of learning. So it’s awesome. It’s kind of my way of giving back.

Ben McClure 13:40
Where are some of the places you’ve gone?`

Kyle Slaymaker 13:43
So we actually just launched two weeks ago, we have a trip plan to Fayetteville, West Virginia. And we have a very large trip planned to actually Jordan. Got to keep the details kind of scarce on that one. But it is shaping up to be an incredible, incredible trip.

Ben McClure 14:03
It sounds fantastic. Thank you.

Jeff Giagnocavo 14:05
Very interesting. Very cool. Well, thanks for sharing that. Kyle, we’ll get you back on here in a little bit. We’re going to jump into Mr. Blile…Dave Blile. Dave, welcome. Welcome to the show. So why don’t you kind of introduce yourself? Tell us a little bit about what you know what your career has been. And your connection to Lancaster community and ultimately let’s then we’ll dig into the Hempfield Food Pantry.

Dave Blile 14:34
My name is Dave Blile. I’m from the Hempfield Food Pantry, a school teacher for many, many years. In Mannheim Central alone I was there 39 years. Finally, they got wise and kicked me out. And I started volunteering at Hempfield Food Pantry. I heard that a pantry had moved into the area. And so I stopped in one day to see if they needed help and they said yes, today, so I started working and helping out there. And in 2009, with the help of Zion Lutheran Church, the pantry became a 501(c)(3). And we only we service people in the Hempfield school district only. If someone from outside the area happens to come in, we still give them food and show them, give them resources where they can get food in their area. Last business year, we handled about 157,000 pounds of food. We had 91 new clients since March 20th of this year, we’ve had 91 new clients, we have approximately 275, it’s on our books. They don’t, they may come every week, but most of them do not come every week. We’re servicing, I would say around 100 clients a week, maybe a little less, a little more. And that would represent about 350 people with kids and everything else. And we’re trying to make a difference in society as far as helping the have nots and get them through not only the pandemic, but all the other troubles they may face. We do have a few families that are multi generational. So we have one family comes in. They get food for 16 people. That’s amazing.

Ben McClure 16:43
And when clients come in, what are they getting on a weekly or monthly basis? What and to expand on that, what type of donations does the pantry look for? That are better or good to donate?

Dave Blile 16:58
Well, we’re getting, we have, actually with Zion Lutheran Church, there are 18 other churches involved in supporting this mission. That’s amazing. So we have all these people volunteering, and also they’re doing food drives. Some churches do a food drive every month. And they’re bringing in you know, six to 800 pounds of food a month. The Hempfield School District just gave us a donation. They they did a school district wide, volunteer for for food, getting some food in, we got 7000 pounds from them. If you take a look at all of our donations, and then combine them with our purchases, it turns out putting everything together we average about, paying about 26 cents a pound or all of that food and I’m talking you’re talking about like 57,000 pounds of food that we went through. And as far as our budget, we’re probably playing with around $65,000 a year to keep this whole thing going. It’s a business. And fortunately…

Ben McClure 18:24
How many volunteers do you have?

Dave Blile 18:28
We’ve cut down the volunteers. As you can see from the pictures, we have people that pull up behind Zion Lutheran Church, and we come out to the door, come out to the car. Everybody’s wearing masks, we ask them their name. And we have our register so we can check their name against who they are, and especially how many people are in the family. So one of our volunteers doing that, you have a Suzanne or Barbara will tell us, the runners, how many people are in the family. So we’ll walk in and we have already boxes that are put together. those boxes include canned meat, rice, fruits, vegetables, pastas, soups, cereals, and then we give them fresh frozen meat or frozen meat and also fresh vegetables. We get vegetable. Right now we’re getting vegetables from Community Action Program which is behind [Inaudible] go down there and pick it up twice a week. And once a month, we get a shipment of food from Central Penn Food Bank up in Harrisburg that just came Wednesday I think we got between four and 5000 pounds of food Wednesday. That was really gracious and letting us use the facility. We’re very, very fortunate. Yeah.

Jeff Giagnocavo 20:03
So Dave, I got a couple redirects a couple of questions for, if you will. But, folks, again, that’s the whole premise of the show. Making connections, helping the community that happens when you like, share this video, like the page and subscribe to our channels again, all of that can be done on lancasterconnects.com easily. You know, I said, there’s like a dozen and a half ways you can connect to the show. Just go to lancasterconnects.com, pick your favorite one or two or three, or all of them. But yeah, if you do just one and you commit to it, we’ll take that. But you know, bringing on guests like Dave and Hempfield Food Pantry, our past charity guests, our future ones, is only made impactful if you subscribe, if you follow, if you share. So please do that at lancasterconnects.com. So Dave, you know, you said 157,000 pounds last year, is that correct? In 2020?

Dave Blile 21:00
Yes. Yes.

Jeff Giagnocavo 21:02
Quantify that. That’s about four truckloads of food in total, which is a lot of food.

Dave Blile 21:11
That’s actually more than that, because when they bring a semi in, for example, we had the semi come in from Central Penn. We had probably six stacks of food on pallets that were brought in. Yeah, talking 1000 pounds right there. plus another probably 1000 to 1200 pounds from Cap Action Program. So you’re talking a lot more than just a few semis. It’s an enormous and yeah.

Jeff Giagnocavo 21:53
I guess I guess I was thinking about, you know, a truck load going a tractor trailer going down the road legally, weighs about 40,000 pounds on the trailer. I guess that’s where I was thinking, Oh, yeah, it’s, that’s it regardless, it’s a lot of food. And that’s great. I think what’s important, let’s talk about this for a minute. You know, I think it’s very easy for folks to take for granted, especially with the amount of food waste that goes on in our nation. I think it’s easy to take for granted the fact that most can just go to their fridge, their cupboard, their pantry and eat. What, in your opinion, from using this, what causes the need for food? Why are people struggling with that? Because I think it’s important for people to understand that because possibly, if you understand this, that might be a way for you to connect and make an impact. If you understand that problem. Maybe you can’t donate time to a food pantry. Maybe you can’t necessarily afford to donate food. But if you understand the problem, maybe there’s an opportunity there to help. So why don’t you share where you see the need arising from?

Dave Blile 23:02
Well, obviously, the pandemic is a big factor. However, pre-pandemic, we’re talking about people that are from working families that sometimes need a little help, could be because their income is too low. And by the way, they may qualify to get food by telling us, self-reporting their income. They have to fill out information once a year to get on our books, so they can do that. So you’re talking about a lot of times you’re talking about working people that have maybe more kids, one of the parents, or both might be unemployed for a short time. So they’re going to come in and get some help. These are people basically that are at the borderline and making it and we also have a fair number of retirees, senior citizens that may be limited by their income, might be only Social Security. You think about senior citizens, some senior citizens, they they worked all their life, they may not have had an opportunity for a 401k they possibly were working or making it from paycheck to paycheck. And consequently, because of that they could never put any money into savings. They just need a little help. And by coming there, we can help them with food and try to give them nutritional things that they can really use. And you wouldn’t believe how grateful they are. They continually thank you. I had a person last week that came, she was a first time client she was just there to get help, hopefully for a couple of weeks. And after we packed, gave her the food and things like that she started crying. That’s tough.

Jeff Giagnocavo 25:11
Yeah, I can’t imagine. I mean, I know myself, anecdotally, and it’s not attempting to compare to a continual need as a family for weeks to months in a row, but I know as a child, my parents were divorced and we got the school lunch tickets. And the children, the kids, I was like, 14 at the time, the kids who were on assistance, got color coded lunch tickets. And you knew and I forget what my color was, but I knew the regular pay ones were blue. I think mine was yellow. And the shame that I fell, having that, I’m pretty sure it was yellow. Now I’m talking about it again. I didn’t like it at all. And at the time, I was actually thinking of getting a job a part time job anyway, because I was 14 year old boy, I was looking to get a car in a couple years. So I was beginning down that road. So I went and got a job at Zinn’s Diner washing dishes for the sole reason to, to not have to carry that lunch ticket around. And I think what, what I would like everybody listening to understand is, there’s a lot that goes on in this world, there’s a lot of understanding, I think we all need to have of one another. And I’m sure, Dave, you could affirm this. No one shows up by choice. Right, right. They’re not they’re not there to get up. They’re not there to get a free handout. That’s the last thing.

Dave Blile 26:45
Absolutely not. Absolutely not. And they really are people in need. They’re very gracious, they, especially ones with kids, I mean, boy you hate to see a kid go hungry. And during a pandemic, and hopefully, we were very fortunate Hempfield School District, for the most part has stayed open. And those kids are getting their free lunches. Like they should be getting, some free breakfast. But at times when that’s not possible. And especially in the summertime, in the summertime, we go out of our way to we have extra food for the clients with families, with kids. So, besides the regular food that they get, we give extra in the summertime, because of them having children, they have children between zero and 18. We give them extra food. So yeah, it’s just…

Jeff Giagnocavo 27:53
That’s great.

Dave Blile 27:55
And this is United States, we need to take care of all people.

Jeff Giagnocavo 28:02
Yep. Yep. fully agree. So on that note, you know, I mean, the bottom line here in front of you is the problems created because they simply can’t afford food. I mean, that’s it. And so we have to address it head on. So maybe, maybe you listening you cannot donate 50 or $100 a month, maybe that isn’t in your budget. But Dave, what would be the top food needs people could get that would make…I mean, I heard the starches, the rice, I heard the canned meat. What else? What are those items that people could look for in the grocery store? And maybe on this week’s trip, they can afford to pick up five bucks worth of extra food. And then we’ll talk about how we get it to them. But let’s address what are those top needs.

Dave Blile 28:53
What’s interesting is that a number of the stores already have programs where they’re specifically collecting food or you can pay $5 like that and you’re donating a gift bag of food that’s already packed. I can think of three different stores, three different companies that are currently doing that. And that’s a big help.

Jeff Giagnocavo 29:20
Which ones?

Dave Blile 29:22
Which ones? Well, Stauffers just donated, I think 50 bags of food to us this past week [Inaudible] It’s done on a pretty regular basis. Those are the ones that come to mind off the top of my head.

Ben McClure 29:39
I wasn’t even aware that they did stuff like that.

Jeff Giagnocavo 29:42
So Stauffers [Inaudible]. And you’d said Weis Markets.

Dave Blile 29:46
Yes. Weis Markets [Inaudible] pre-packed bags and just pay a certain amount I think like five bucks or something like that and and you’re donating a bag of food.

Jeff Giagnocavo 30:01
Alright, so, you know, maybe listen, go to your local grocery store wherever you choose to shop, go to the customer service desk, ask them if they do a program like that. You can help your local community if you live in Hempfield sounds like it might get back to Hempfield Food Pantry. So again, Dave, just for the listeners, as we’ve kind of wrap up your segment. Why don’t we get that list out of what those top needs are that people could get if they can’t donate? And you know, on the screen, we’ve had Hempfield Food Pantry’s contact so you could make donations directly monetarily but food wise, why don’t we kind of go down that list real quick?

Dave Blile 30:38
Sure, canned tuna that’s always a good one and peanut butter. Fruit, canned fruit is a good one. Canned fruit and can meet are expensive to us, they’re a little higher priced. They certainly can be a big help. Spaghetti sauce, vegetables, canned vegetables. They’re an item we can always use. So I would say yeah, those are the ones that seem to be the top ones that we can always use. And I do want to mention that Gardeners has a collection basket for food there and Gardeners has donated, actually literally hundreds of pounds of food over the last couple of years, via their donation to the pantry. And we’re very grateful that for that. Want to thank you for that. And certainly want to thank you for the opportunity to be on here today. And let us let people know who we are. People are very surprised at times to find out that Hempfield has a food pantry.

Jeff Giagnocavo 31:51
Hey, Simon, we lost Dave in our ear.

Dave Blile 31:57
People are rather surprised to find out that Hempfield has a food pantry. They are unaware of that. They don’t think there’s the need there. But if you check with the school district, the school district will tell you that free and reduced lunches in the school district is somewhere in the 30% range. I’m not sure what the exact number is. Right.

Jeff Giagnocavo 32:21
That’s a big need.

Dave Blile 32:23
Yeah. Thank you for this opportunity. And, and thank you, our volunteers are doing all they’re doing, we have our volunteer list down to a core because of the pandemic. So normally, pre pandemic, we’re having about 90 to 95 volunteers throughout the month, we’re down to probably about 30-35 volunteers that make up the core of what’s going on right now. And in normal circumstances, instead of getting prepackaged food, our food is a choice pantry, which means you would walk in, you would get a, well first of all, you have to show your ID and we check you off on the book. You’d get a popsicle stick that tells you how many in a family and you get in line. And then you’d walk in and and you would select what you want. And you would select the which canned meats, do you want tuna, do you want chicken? Do you want beef ravioli? You know, peanut butter, jelly, rice, which fruits do you want? Which vegetables do you want? Which soups do you want? Which pastas do you want? Which cereals do you want? And then they’ll get the frozen meats and vegetables and the fruits at the end of the line and we’ll carry it to the car. But that won’t happen again until maybe this fall?

Jeff Giagnocavo 33:56
Well, well, we’re gonna have to move on. But Dave, thank you for your efforts. All right, thank you to your volunteers that, you know, going from 90 to 30 or so obviously, there’s more work for everybody involved there. So that’s great, folks. You heard the list that they’ve shared. You can you know, you can learn more at hempfieldfoodpantry.org Okay, again, that’s hempfieldfoodpantry.org I’m sure you can find ways to donate there both money and food. You heard the list. You know, they’ve referenced how Gardener’s gives food and Kyle we’re gonna have you on here in a second. So we’ll get to you here in just a second. But you heard Dave say about how Gardener’s gets food. That’s really, that’s our customers. We realized using our platform of our delivery truck showing up at all of our customers front door every, five days a week, every week of the year. We said what if we got one box or one can of food from every one of those customers and our customers have been amazing because it’s not just one box and one can often it’s bags and boxes and they walk in and bring in food.

Ben McClure 35:10
Yeah, our guys get back from deliveries. Not only are they unloading their, you know, trash from the deliveries and used mattresses, there’s bags and bags and bags of food they’re putting on the warehouse dock door. Yeah, for us to donate, which is just fantastic.

Jeff Giagnocavo 35:22
So, we use that platform that way to raise food. Now, Ben and I match that generosity through monetary donations. So Simon, and I think we kind of spoil the surprise a little bit for Dave earlier in testing it, but either way, Simon, if you can bring up our donation check on the screen, Dave, we are going to donate this every week we donate $125 to charity. That’s our monthly that’s part of our monthly budget each month for giving back to the community. So Hempfield Food Pantry, we’ll be donating a check for $125 to the food pantry as a thank you for supporting our community and getting that out. So again, that’s hempfieldfoodpantry.org. And, Dave, thank you so much for your time. We really appreciate you on the show. Stay tuned because I want to wrap up the show with a little bit of what you’d like to do around Lancaster, why you like living here. Maybe some events that you’re doing that others might have interest in. All right. Kyle, welcome back.

Kyle Slaymaker 36:30
Absolutely. Thank you. It was it was a pleasure listening to Dave talk about the Hempfield Food Pantry. That’s great.

Jeff Giagnocavo 36:37
Yeah, hopefully you learned a little something there. And you know, maybe if you hear of somebody who is looking to volunteer time, maybe that’s a place they can do it. You know, I mean, that’s the thing. Of course, charity isn’t just about, you know, charity isn’t just about money. And if, you know, listeners you picked up on it. Dave said he was looking for something to volunteer, he went into Hempfiled Food Pantry and said can I help? And it was like immediately, yes, yes, here. Here you can start picking things up and putting things down. You can start doing this, you can start here. And that’s the way almost any volunteer organization is. They all, obviously the monetary aspect is important. But they have to execute the the goodwill. So yeah. So welcome. In Slaymaker Method, we kind of learn what you do, how you do it. Why don’t you talk about it? You’ve got an interesting past. You as Dave has committed his life to civil service and to teaching locally. You have done the same. Why don’t you share with the listeners a little bit about that part of your history?

Kyle Slaymaker 37:46
Yes. So, you know, like I said, born and raised in Lancaster, went to [inaudible]Valley. when I finished my high school career at Lancaster County Academy with the incredible Diane Tyson who has changed countless children’s lives in the education sector. She and my mother both kind of guided me into military service. I didn’t even walk across the stage at graduation. As soon as I was told that I graduated, I was gone. I went right into the recruiters office, send me, I’m out. Joined the Navy, ended up getting stationed in Virginia for about six months and I figured Oh, this is great. I can be home every weekend with my daughter. Like I said, that less than six months and the Navy changed our home port from Norfolk, Virginia to San Diego, California. So that’s where I finished out the remainder of my naval career. Served in operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, came back, kind of continued as much as I could getting back to the community. You know, I had some some troubles transitioning from you know, military career back into the civilian sector. But you know, I did what I could I ended up becoming a mason with Lodge 43 in Lancaster city. We helped launch our inaugural Relay for Life team to you know, give back even more. I did a little bit of a salesy gimmick with our first relay team when I walked the entire 24 hours. It was fun. And that’s kind of when I realized there was much more to Lancaster than, you know, just living here and being a teen and a kid, a young adult. Met my beautiful wife, who I mentioned at the beginning of the show. We also did a charity event when we first started. The Sandwich Factory actually hosted it so I have to give them a shout out. We called it Warm Up Lancaster. The it was years ago when the news broke of the homeless man dying next to one of his compadres as they were huddled together for warmth and we both realize that nobody should ever have to go through that, especially not in Lancaster city, or anywhere in the world for that matter. And we ran an event, it was covered by LNP. It was covered all over social media. And we ended up donating, I mean truckloads. I don’t remember the final amount. But truckloads of hats, gloves, coats, as much as we could to local homeless shelters, distributed them to the homeless. And that was kind of my, that was the defining moment. For me, I just realized that there’s so much more than just living here. It’s every single person, no matter their situation, or background, makes Lancaster as awesome as it is.

Jeff Giagnocavo 40:48
That’s great. Yeah, I mean, I think, you know, listening to your talk, this is warms my heart, literally, because this is what the show is about, right? I mean, we endeavor down this road, and to give a shout out to our team. You know, we endeavor down this road, at Get Super Cereal’s urging, who’s our production team behind the scenes here, they’re the ones doing all the switching, they came up with that amazing intro for us, right? And they’ve urged us behind the scenes to, you know, set up the tech we talked about earlier in the show. Originally, we were like, you know, hey, we’re investing in the show, we kind of want it to be about the store. But we were urged and yeah, once we kind of stepped back and thought about it a second more. We said, Yeah, let’s just make it about what the first three episodes now have been about. And that’s all about the community. And it’s really amazing. When people just kind of commit like you did, right, you saw a need, and that in that sad instance of the homeless person passing away, and it’s something great. And, you know, again, it doesn’t always need to be about money, it needs to be about initiative needs to be about having a good idea and helping to execute it. Rallying friends and family around your idea and excitement. So, again, I just urge listeners to to kind of follow the path that our past guests have had, Dave has had, and that Kyle just laid out. Why don’t you talk about a little bit of the work that the masons do locally? Because we’ve had the pleasure of one of our former employees being very involved in masons. And masonry, I guess, is the more appropriate way to say it. You don’t have to reveal the secret handshake or anything, but what what does your lodge do? A couple things there.

Kyle Slaymaker 42:42
Oh, one of the tenets of Freemasonry and this is all around the world. Obviously, I’m sure, people are sitting there wondering, oh, gosh, is this going to be dark secret? We’re really not that secret. I mean, for our local listeners, and I mean, we both know, the gentleman that you referenced is just one of the funniest, most awesome guys I’ve ever met. You know, our, our lodge building, is well known, you can see the the Masonic symbol, the square and compass, literally right on the side of the building. We’re all about charity, and giving back. You know, we’re nothing without our community. And that’s not just as a fraternity that’s as community members in general. We’ve done the Relay for Life. We do our pancake breakfasts. You can talk about the Shriners, who have their hospitals all over the world. It’s just, it really goes into that that selfless service kind of mindset. You know, it’s great, we’re connecting, we’re meeting when, you know, the square, but it’s just, it’s all about making good men better. And that’s not to take away from any great and amazing work that any women have done in the community. But that’s the Masonic slogan to make good men better. And we do that primarily through as much good community work as we can.

Jeff Giagnocavo 44:09
Yeah, yeah. We kind of teased our mutual connection, Pete Ruggeri. He’ll be our guest on next week’s show. But I never, I had never been exposed to Freemasonry before and getting to know Pete and it’s, it’s very cool to see the give back. And the ways, you know, there’s like he gave us an opportunity to simply extend a unique discount on, like, one of those cards you buy, that’s, you know, you got 20 businesses, you buy it for 10 bucks and you get a discount all year long. I mean, things like that. Again, folks, if you’re listening, it’s super easy to do, right? It’s so easy to do things like that and create an impact. And again, that’s what, that’s why we’re bringing this show to the community. Again, kind of like our delivery network was a platform. This is a platform. So real quick, Kyle, Dave, why don’t you guys think about what you’d like to do around town, maybe you’ve got some events that you could talk about share that are coming up that, you know, obviously, we’re still in the midst of COVID times, but maybe there’s something you’d like to do. Obviously, we had just beautiful weather yesterday. And while you think of that, I want to just talk real quick about our Sleep Better Book, got to pay the bills for this show. Right? So our one brief commercial, Sleep Better. This book, we wrote, again, it’s still getting used. There we go. We wrote this book all about really, truly helping you wake up happy, sleeping better. This book has been impactful for our our customers that have got it. One comes to mind, who was cross-shopping, our store and Sleep Number and really just point blank said, “Look, the tips in this book, not only helped me sleep better, but you know, coupled with what you’re offering me, I can say $4,000.” And the sleep tips in the book and the sleep system from us just kind of came together as a great package. And there’s a lot of helpful tips in there. You can get that for free, right on our website gardnersmattressandmore.com/sleep better. And of course, coming to you live from our Dream Room, this is the only place you can try mattress before you can buy it, try it in private, we’re obviously going to take the cameras out of the room. Because we don’t want you know, our motto here is don’t do anything in the room you don’t want mom to see. But this room gives you the opportunity to really relax away from the showroom away, from other guests in the store. And you know, get to know your future purchase, if you will, see if it’s truly a fit. So there’s more details on that on our website gardnersmattressandmore.com. Ben, why don’t you highlight a testimonial that just came in?

Ben McClure 47:11
Yeah, so it just came in the mail. This week, yes, people still do fill out testimonial forms and mail them back to us, which is fantastic. Like Jeff mentioned, our process here to help someone sleep better is all about making them comfortable, not only obviously comfortable with a mattress, but giving them educational materials like the Sleep Better book, to make them comfortable with their purchase our 120-night comfort guarantee. The try before you buy Dream Room, but also just our approach in general. I thought this was very indicative of of, you know what we do here? One of the questions on the form is, tell us what you thought about Andy, one of our sales associates, how did they do helping you select the right mattress. And this person said, not sure what he first said, but in my mind, I said this will be good and relaxed. I’m in the right place. Andy listened to me directed me to the options I wanted. She goes on to say that she never felt rushed. And that Andy was great. The delivery guys were great. And she already told three friends about the place. So this one wasn’t specifically about the information, but just that she knew she was in the right place because she felt comfortable with the approach in finding a mattress. Often people are uncomfortable to shop for, you know, goods, and mattress is one of those purchases that people generally hate to make. So our whole approach is to try to make that as easy as possible. And we’re thankful Jane wrote this in for us. I thought her words were great.

Jeff Giagnocavo 48:44
Yeah. And I mean, again, you know, I said it earlier in the episode, the highest honor we can have is our customers not only earning their trust to have them invest their hard earned money with us. But then the biggest honor is having them send friends and family our way. So that’s great. And those handwritten testimonials, there’s one binder over Ben’s shoulder. Yeah, we’re still figuring out the pointing. But it’s right there. There we go. You know, you can see online about I don’t know, we’re probably up to 400 or so online reviews that you could see, but it’s those handwritten ones that are really special to us because people take the time to share their experience. And we’ve got three binders of those plus about 100 pinned up on the wall like happy customer wallpaper. So I did forget one thing guys, Simon, Billy, I’m sorry. How dare I forget this? Lucy, our pet of the week. And then Kyle, Dave, we’ll get to what we’d like to do, maybe think about your favorite restaurant or fun activity and some fun things you’d like to do in Lancaster but real quick as we bring Lucy up on the screen. Lucy as a foster dog, was a Zoe’s House rescue and you can learn more about Zoe’s House by going to zoeshouserescue.com. There’s all kinds of links there. You can view the foster dogs that are available. Lucy is available right now. You can donate, you could volunteer and you can fill out an adoption form and I really hope you would because Lucy just looks like a gem. She’s a one to two year old Pit-Lab, Pitbull mix. She’s super active. She needs a home with another playful male dog her own size, loves walks, but she’s still learning how to walk on the leash. And I can tell you from having two dogs that needed to be trained on a leash, it’s all about the harness. And you know, Zoe’s House will definitely work with you on that, to get that fit and so it makes sense and it’s easy for you. She’d love to be adopted with someone who hikes around, she’s eager to please, treat motivated, so she’s very responsive to training and the way you might do things in your home. She is listed as best in a home with no cats but after three months of training she is getting more savvy in that regard. So that would be something if she’s, if you think she’s a fit you could discuss that and see. She should have a fenced yard All right. And I think that just makes pet ownership easier when you can kind of let them out do their own thing. Yesterday was like our dogs, our three dogs slept so great last night because they were outside running around so much. But that’s Lucy. You can learn more about her at zoeshouserescue.com and again I’ll make mention, while Zoe’s House is based out of Sinking Spring I know the the founder of the of the of the rescue there personally. I coached her son in football for a number of years. Their connection to Lancaster is they rescue a lot of mill dogs. And, you know, that’s, I guess that’s one black mark on on our county. And I’ll highlight that often. Folks, if you can rescue a dog, you’re not only rescuing that dog, but you’re saving another dog from being put through the mill process. All right. So on that note I hope you all like Lucy cause she looks super sweet.

Ben McClure 52:19
Looks like a sweetheart. And she and I share something in common.

Jeff Giagnocavo 52:22
What’s that?

Ben McClure 52:22
We’re both treat motivated.

Jeff Giagnocavo 52:25
Yeah, one of these days. This guy right here will get one of these pets of the week for his house.

Ben McClure 52:31
The kids would like that.

Jeff Giagnocavo 52:32
That’s coming. Guys, let’s talk about events. So I found a good little resource. We’ll bring Kyle and Dave up on screen. I found a good little resource for events. If we go to justlancasterpa.com there’s a lot of great events there. Dave, what do you got coming up in your calendar, anything fun?

Dave Blile 52:52
Well, nothing really exciting. We’re we just both got our shots and so soon I would like to get back out. And we do a lot of outdoor restaurants and like the live music and a lot of the venues. Really enjoy that. Another big factor is that Lancaster, I’m from Erie, Pennsylvania, so weather down here is just great. And we like the location because we can hop in the car and go to Philly. We have a daughter in Baltimore. I have a sister in Washington and these are very drivable places.

Jeff Giagnocavo 53:31
A great spot.

Dave Blile 53:32
And it just really warms me. There’s so many wonderful things around here.

Jeff Giagnocavo 53:38
Where’s your favorite place to to eat outside right now?

Dave Blile 53:42
Well, unfortunately, the one right in town here the Black Knight burned down. So {Inaudible] when that’s going to happen? One of the things we liked about Black Knight is the entertainment they get in on Thursdays and Saturdays, we enjoy that. Rockwell’s another nice place just thoroughly enjoyed just getting out. And especially the outdoor venues, more of our favorites than anything else.

Jeff Giagnocavo 54:12
Well great. Kyle, same question. What do you got coming up on your calendar and places you’d like to go?

Kyle Slaymaker 54:22
Ah, I mean, on my calendar, I’ve got three kids. Fifteen, almost three and seven months. So I’m running the gamut. I really don’t have much time between the business and kids. But my doctor is gonna lose her mind. I also love the Lancaster food scene. I had to laugh when last time I got a message from my doctor. We were talking about something she has ended with, “Oh, maybe dropping a few pounds would help this situation.” I’m like, “I appreciate the subtlety doc.” Right. One of my favorite places to eat is is Tobias Frogs. Quick little you know Lancaster emotional connection story there. It’s where my wife and I had our second first date. If that makes some sense? When I first met her the first time we went out, I ghosted her flat out ghosted her for like six months. I was like, there’s no way this woman…oh, no, I just knew she was way out of my league. I mean, you want to talk about like marrying up, I’m just like I have no business being with this woman. I, there’s no way I’m gonna reach out. But six months later, she reached out to me. It was like, “Hey, why would you stop talking to me?” And I’m like, “Ah, well, I honestly felt like you were out of my league.” But she was a glutton for punishment and decided we would meet again at Tobias Frogs. And all these years later, three kids, one of which from a previous relationship of mine, my 15 year old. But yeah, apparently, either, I mean, I still say she’s way out of my league. So Tobias Frogs always has a special connection for for my family and I.

Jeff Giagnocavo 56:08
Yeah, very cool. Very cool. Well, Simon, Billy, let’s, we’ll help a brother out. And we’ll clip that part out for Kyle. And he can share that with Miss Elizabeth right. Is that right? Your wife’s name? Yeah. Absolutely. You can have that in your pocket for when you didn’t need a little get out of jail free card about how you married [Inaudible]…

Kyle Slaymaker 56:32
I need that weekly.

Jeff Giagnocavo 56:33
Smart man.

Kyle Slaymaker 56:35

Jeff Giagnocavo 56:37
Folks, I think we’ve got a solid episode here. I really appreciate your time. Dave, why don’t you let everybody know where they can go for Hempfield Food Pantry, share the website there again, if you don’t mind.

Dave Blile 56:55
Yeah, hempfieldfoodpantry.org. You can get the basic information as to when we’re open, when you can drop off food. Who you can make your checks out to and the good place to go. You had asked me about up coming events. I think the biggest things we have coming up is doing things with our grandchildren. Brady up here in Lancaster and little David and little John down in Baltimore. They’re our big events. Thank you.

Ben McClure 57:29
We hear about them often.

Ben McClure 57:30
Yeah, we hear about those little ones often.

Dave Blile 57:34
I’m sure you have [Inaudible].

Jeff Giagnocavo 57:35
Yeah, Kyleow , how do people get ahold of you?

Kyle Slaymaker 57:41
Oh, yeah, there’s plenty of ways. Obviously my website www.theslaymakermethod.com as you see down in the bottom of the screen. I am also searchable on social media, Facebook, Instagram, The Slaymaker Method. I have my business page up. I am on LinkedIn. Entrepreneurs Expeditions, [Inaudible] under that same exact name, Instagram, Facebook, my podcast if you guys would allow me to plug it, The Slaymaker Success Talks. It is on all, just about all major platforms, features various local community leaders, people that have seen success in many different ways. But that’s the best way to get ahold of me. So that’s hopefully, if anybody wants to talk sales or pick my brain, please feel free.

Jeff Giagnocavo 58:28
All right, wonderful. Well, folks, I think you got to know two great folks helping out Lancaster in both Dave and Kyle. So thanks for listening to this week’s episode. We’ll see you next week. On Episode Four. Take care.

Georgia 59:00
Get Super Cereal.


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