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from the publisher’s desk
FEW PEOPLE PAY more attention to quality and detail than
Martha Stewart—and, of course, Costco buyers. That is why
our new food partnership with Martha is such a great
match. I have admired Martha since I met her 25 years ago
at a cooking class she taught while promoting her first book,
Entertaining. It was a pleasure to meet her again recently as
we launched the co-branded Kirkland Signature™ Martha
Stewart Favorite Holiday Ham.
This is not just your basic ham. Our new ham—Martha’s
very first food product—is an artisanal, all-natural, antibi-
otic-free ham that is seasoned and cured for several days and
smoked over apple-wood chips. I prepared the ham for my
family over the Christmas holidays and it was a big hit, as were the omelets and soup that we
made with the leftovers. The Kirkland Signature Martha Stewart Favorite Holiday Ham is
available at Costco this month, and would be perfect for your Easter dinner.
As you can read in our cover story on page 22, the Costco team and Martha’s team of
food experts worked for months to create a number of products, starting with visits to the
hog farm and to each manufacturer. In addition to the ham, you’ll find a line of Kirkland
Signature soups by Martha Stewart. Stay tuned for more delicious “good things” to come!
Speaking of top-quality operations, did you know that Costco’s Optical Department
ranks number one in customer satisfaction among in-store optical departments, according
to the last two J.D. Power and Associates national surveys? In addition to top quality,
you will find low prices on a large selection of designer frames at our Optical Centers.
Our Optical Centers are staffed with professional opticians, and many locations also have
doctors of optometry on-site. You can read more about Costco’s Optical Centers in the
“Buying Smart” article on page 62.
Be sure to check your list of needed or wanted items, as we wrap up the Wallet
of Savings coupon program this month with special savings on large LCD HDTVs, prescription eyeglasses from the Optical Centers, leather sectionals, vacuum cleaners, GPS
systems, outdoor sheds, tents, trampolines, financial products and services, and more.
Happy Easter from all of us at Costco! C
Ginnie Roeglin is Senior Vice
President, E-Commerce and
Publishing, and Publisher of
The Costco Connection.
from the editor’s desk
I HAD THE GREAT FORTUNE a few weeks ago of speaking with Mary Sytsma, the U.S. winner in this year’s Costco
International Photo Contest. Her story behind the winning
photo is told briefly on page 27. But I would like to share
four more pieces of Sytsma’s story, because they show how
the most rewarding arcs of our lives often are unpredictable. Here they are, in reverse chronological order.
This January, Sytsma traveled for the second time to David W. Fuller is Assistant
the Nigerian village of Kwoi, where last year she had taken Vice President, Publishing, and
her stunning photo. The purpose of the journey, like her Editor of The Costco Connection.
first, was to provide help to villagers widowed or orphaned
due to AIDS. This time, Sytsma and two college students she teaches arrived with supplies
purchased with the $1,500 Costco Cash card she had won in the photo contest.
The journeys came about because Sytsma had become a board member of the
Gwaimen Center, a grassroots organization in her hometown of Wheaton, Illinois.
She became a member of the Gwaimen Center after inviting a speaker to address the
freshman composition class she teaches at Elmhurst College. “After hearing what she had
to say, I knew I could no longer deal with AIDs at arm’s length,” Sytsma told me.
The invitation to the speaker was made because Sytsma has aimed at moving her class
assignments away from the passive toward the active in a program she refers to as “Writing
for Change.” Students are asked to choose a subject of mutual concern about which they
all will write during the year. This past year they chose AIDS.
“I never imagined I would be going to Africa as a result of teaching freshman English
at a small college in Illinois,” Sytsma told me during our conversation.
Which leads to this thought: The prizes we most cherish and the greatest gifts we
have to offer sometimes may be found on paths we never dreamed we would take. C
David W. Fuller