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Celebration of Life for Tom Mello

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Earl first met Tom in 1980 when Tom worked at Fowler Brothers, a distribution company in San Rafael, and Earl was working at a small retailer, Living Foods in Mill Valley.  It was in this capacity that Earl got his first taste of customer service as Tom would save for Earl precious lettuce from Russel Wolter of Down to Earth Farm in Carmel Valley. At that time the product was so scarce that it would sell out before anyone would know it was available.  It was Tom’s anticipation of customer’s needs that served as a foundation piece of a produce business to take form.

There was a brief time in the mid 90’s where Tom and Earl were able to work together at Earl’s Organic just before Tom moved to Sebastopol from San Rafael. Earl’s memory is that it was not uncommon to kick Tom out of the warehouse as he was continuing to QC the inventory. And that is not even saying anything about the softball team the Fowler’s Brothers sponsored with Tom manning left field. He always had wheels!

The EcoFarm conference is a mecca for the grass roots organic industry that meets once a year where friends and professionals gather. This is where Tom generated an expectation. “As it would be, you would find yourself on the back steps of the lodge at Asilomar with the early January sun and Tom would produce several handfuls of CDs from his backpack announcing some of the greatest rock and roll music of your memory, asking “which ones do you want?” “, remembers Earl Herrick.

Over the years he continued to remain friends with many of Earl’s Organic employees.  Tom Mello will be greatly missed.  If you knew Tom please join us at the service on Saturday, October 20th. Details are below.

Tom Mello

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