Monday, August 31, 2009

A Persian Wedding at the Hawthorne Hotel

This past weekend we were fortunate to be able to assist a couple to be married here in the Hawthorne Hotel in the customs and traditions of a Persian Wedding.

Here are the photos that I took of the elements that were used in the ceremony here:

If you go to this website that I found, you will be able to learn much more about these traditions:

I hope you enjoy learning more about these traditions, which I found to be delightful!


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ August 31 through September 6, 2009

Monday , August 31 ~~ Turkmenistan and Maryland
Tuesday , September 1 ~~ Tuvalu and Massachusetts
Wednesday , September 2 ~~ Uganda and Michigan
Thursday , September 3 ~~ Ukraine and Micronesia
Friday , September 4 ~~ United Arab Emirates and Minnesota
Saturday , September 5 ~~ United Kingdom and Mississippi
Sunday , September 6 ~~ United States of America and Missouri

No special requests this week. Do let us know if you have a special request by calling us at 978-825-4322.

I hope to see you here.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cinema Salem's Line-up of Films for the Week

With the weather forecasted to be rainy starting this evening, and all day Saturday, I thought you might be interested in some movies that sound like a great way to spend a time like this. Here is the line-up from Cinema Salem, our locally owned and operated movie theater here in Salem that has everything just right, as far as I'm concerned.

What is "just right" about Cinema Salem? For me, it's the great little cafe, that offers me a delightful cup of tea instead of a sugary drink with my movie. (Even when the cafe is closed, I can still get the tea at the concession stand!) It's the real butter on their popcorn. It's the three first-run movies, coupled with an interesting 'small' film, such as a foreign film, or lesser-known movie that I can't really see anyplace else around here. It's the fact that it is only one block away from the Hawthorne Hotel, and that I can walk here from my house. But, if I need to drive (maybe when it's really pouring or snowy, or whatever) I can park in the parking garage and not even have to go out outside to get into the theater. And last but hardly least, it is the very reasonable pricing for everything including my ticket.

By the way, we do include Cinema Salem in our Salem Insider's Package, which is a great and terrific package that is unlike any other package you have ever seen a hotel offer. For more information on that, go to

I hope to see you here (or there.)



Now Playing: The Hurt Locker (R); Inglourious Basterds (R); Shorts (PG); GI Joe (PG-13); and Lake Tahoe (NR)

Opening today at CinemaSalem is THE HURT LOCKER (R), boasting a 97% rating on Synopsis: In the summer of 2004, Sergeant J.T. Sanborn and Specialist Owen Eldridge of Bravo Company are at the volatile center of the Iraq war, part of a small counterforce specifically trained to handle the homemade bombs, or Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), that account for more than half of American hostile deaths and have killed thousands of Iraqis. A high-pressure, high- stakes assignment, the job leaves no room for mistakes, as they learn when they lose their team leader on a mission.

Listen to the LA Times about HURT LOCKER: "Overwhelmingly tense, overflowing with crackling verisimilitude, it's both the film about the war in Iraq that we've been waiting for and the kind of unqualified triumph that's been long expected from director Kathryn Bigelow." And the Washington Post: "The Hurt Locker is about Iraq in the same way that Paths of Glory was about World War I or Full Metal Jacket was about Vietnam -- which is to say, utterly and not at all. The Hurt Locker is a great movie, period."

THE HURT LOCKER (R-130 minutes) will screen on Friday and Saturday at (12:30), (4:00), 7:00, and 9:40; Sunday at (12:30), (4:00) and 7:00; and Monday- Thursday at (4:00) and 7:00.
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (R) is Quentin Tarantino's gritty, comic fantasy about a group of Jewish-American soldiers known as "The Basterds" who are chosen specifically to spread fear throughout the Third Reich by brutally killing Nazis. Who loves it? The Dallas Morning News: "Scenes like the showdown in the tavern and the movie-premiere finale are as imaginative, energetic and, in their own weird, brutal way, beautiful as cinema gets." And the Village Voice: "Energetic, inventive, swaggering fun, Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds is a consummate Hollywood entertainment -- rich in fantasy and blithely amoral."

IB will play Friday and Saturday at (12:15), (3:30), 6:45 and 9:50; Sunday at (12:15), (3:30) and 6:45; and Monday-Thursday at (3:30) and 6:45.

SHORTS (PG) is the latest from Robert Rodriguez, the genius behind the SPY KIDS trilogy. Here a synopsis: In the suburb of Black Falls, where all the houses look the same and everyone works for BLACK BOX Unlimited Worldwide Industries Incorporated, Mr. Black's BLACK BOX is the ultimate communication and do-it-all gadget that's sweeping the nation. Other than keeping his parents employed, however, Mr. Black's BLACK BOX has done nothing for 11-year-old Toe Thompson, who just wants to make a few friends, until a mysterious rainbow-colored rock falls from the sky, hits him in the head and changes everything. Britain's Channel Four Films gives it the thumbs-up: "Although it's a film that's constructed around wish-fulfilment gone awry and a series of madcap chases, Shorts also has a heart. Rodriguez's best kids film yet." Sky Movies agrees: "Kids will love this because it speaks directly to them, never patronises with crass product placement and also sends out a rather touching message that what really matters are friends."

The perfect rainy day family film, Shorts will screen Friday through Sunday at (12:00), (2:00), (4:15) and 6:30; and Monday-Thursday at (4:15) and 6:30.

GI JOE is back, just at 8:30 pm on Friday and Saturday. Synopsis: An elite military unit comprised of special operatives known as G.I. Joe, takes on an evil organization led by a notorious arms dealer. Sounds promising, doesn't it? No? Well, take a peek at the British critical consensus: "It's big, it's dumb and its cast won't be winning any acting awards, but for all that, the film delivers a two-hour blast of fun sure to delight the kid in all of us," writes the Daily Mirror, and ViewLondon adds: "A hugely enjoyable action- adventure with superb effects, exciting action sequences, likeable characters and a neat line in techno-gadgetry."
GI Joe will screen Friday and Saturday at 8:30 in the evening.

In the Screening Room this week is another Film Movement gem, LAKE TAHOE (NR-80 minutes). Here's the synopsis: Former music video director Fernando Eimbcke continues to hone his feature film career with this drama concerning a 14-year-old boy who makes the transition from childhood to adulthood while attempting to repair an irreplaceable gift. The final gift that Juan ever received from his father was a car. Now Juan has crashed that car, and he's determined to get it in working order again. As Juan searches the city for car parts, he gradually begins to realize that the decisions he makes over the course of this one day could profoundly affect him for the rest of his life.

And here's the critical acclaim, starting with the NYC Film Guru: "A simply complex, intelligent and quietly absorbing drama with just the right blend of humor, tenderness and cinéma vérité realism." And the NY Post adds: "With Lake Tahoe, Mexican filmmaker Fernando Eimbcke proves himself adept at turning a blank screen into a work of art."

LAKE TAHOE will screen on Friday and Saturday at (11:45 AM), (2:35), (5:00), 7:20 and 9:20; Sunday at (11:45 AM), (2:35), (5:00) and 7:20; Monday-Wednesday at (5:00) and 7:20; and Thursday at (5:00 PM).

There's only one show on Thursday because it's French Film Night in the Screening Room, hosted by Club Richelieu of Salem!

Thanks for supporting CinemaSalem!

A Guest's Perspective on Their Recent Stay

Yesterday when I got to work, this lovely email was waiting for me. What a nice way to start the day!

Dear Juli,

My husband and I stayed at the Hawthorne Hotel last weekend, August 22- August 24, 2009 . I just wanted to commend all the staff for yet another wonderful weekend at the Hawthorne .

My husband and I try to get down to Salem , MA two or three times a year. We keep coming back to Salem primarily due to the Hawthorne Hotel as well as the history of the city. We always have such a wonderful stay there.

This past weekend was particularly special because we went to Salem to celebrate my husband’s birthday. I would like to compliment the staff in Nathaniel’s who assisted with obtaining a cake for us to celebrate privately. I’m afraid that I requested a birthday cake on short notice (Saturday before we arrived) and the staff were very accommodating in providing it.

We are so impressed with the professionalism of all the staff at the hotel. They also make our stay so pleasant because everyone is so friendly and helpful.

Again, my compliments to you and your hotel for the wonderful service, great food and spectacular atmosphere. We will certainly be visiting again soon (hopefully in November for Thanksgiving.).



Friday, August 28, 2009

This Weekend's Wine-Tasting Menu in Nathaniel's

Each Friday, Saturday and Sunday night we offer a three-course menu that the chefs of the Hawthorne Hotel put together for you. These menus may be purchased with or without the wines that are paired with each course.

Three-Course Wine Pairing Menu
First Course
Mozzarella and Tiny Tomato Salad
julienned prosciutto, arugula pesto
Frei Brothers Chardonnay, Russian River Valley
Top Sirloin Steak au Poivre
peppercorn demi-glace, au gratin potatoes, grilled asparagus

McWilliams, Cabernet Sauvignon, South Eastern Australia
Warm Butter-Toasted Pound Cake
strawberry-rhubarb compote,
vanilla ice cream, crystallized ginger

Codorniu Cava Brut, Spain
Three-Courses, Forty Dollars
With Wine Tasting Flight, Forty-eight Dollars
These are offered for dinner in Nathaniel's. For reservations call 978-825-4311

Something to do for FREE

This morning when I was watching the news, there was an article about things you can do for free with your family, for some vacation fun. It immediately reminded me of one of the best things I think you can do for free around here.

There is a National Park Service site a couple of towns south of Salem, in Saugus, Massachusetts, called the Saugus Iron Works. Here is the link to their website:

Sometimes when things are free, you kind of get what you pay for. However, that is absolutely not the case with the Saugus Iron Works. It is a great archaeological site that tells an important part of the story of the founding of this country. As I said to my daughter, there was no Home Depot when the settlers got to this country. They had to figure out how to make their own tools, and this helps to fill in the gaps in the story.

I really hope you take the opportunity to visit this great site when you are visiting the North Shore of Massachusetts. It is both terrific, and FREE!! Things don't get much better than that.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Some More Historic Home Markers

I like the one above because it reminds me that there was a gentler time when people would call themselves a Gentleman, and that was sufficient.

These markers are such a delightful part of Salem, Ma. I hope you have a chance to walk our historic neighborhoods and experience them for yourselves.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Stop the Clock!!!

Starting today, we are offering an Express Lunch Special everyday in our Tavern Restaurant.

The Express Special will be served within 7 minutes of your order, or the Special is on us! Today I tried it out, and I set the stopwatch function on my iPhone when the server took our order. When she delivered it, I pressed the STOP button, and you can see the results -- four minutes and 35.9 seconds!

What was even more impressive was how good the special was. Today it was a mixed green salad with grilled chicken breast, seasonal fresh berries including raspberries, strawberries and blueberries, and fresh chevre (goat cheese), and walnuts, served with a side of balsamic vinaigrette dressing. It was outstanding, and not only delicious, but very, very healthy as well.

I hope you will join us for lunch soon in the Tavern -- where you can dine well, and very quickly.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Beautiful Flowers at Two Weddings

Since I love flowers, I had to take photos of these lovely flower arrangements. Both weddings took place this weekend, and it appears that the involved parties enjoyed the same sorts of colors. I love the use of the hydrangeas as a holder for the roses and orchids.

The bride's 'throw away' bouquet.

I hope you enjoy these photos of flowers as well. I just wish computers had some way to transmit the lovely fragrances of some of these flowers.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Do you like to EAT?

If you like to eat, stay tuned, because we have a very special announcement coming. That is all I can say right now.



Do you love to EAT??

Did you read about a certain airline that was offering an "all-you-can-fly" deal for a month. National press everywhere, all touting this special deal. Well, we have something better than that All-You-Can-Fly Deal!

Here it is:

The All-You-Can-Eat promotion debuts at the Hawthorne Hotel

Salem, MA August 21, 2009—For only $599, you can have more fun on the ground than any airline can entice you to have at 30,000 feet, thanks to Hawthorne Hotel’s special limited time All-You-Can-Eat promotion!

We invite our guests to take part in our All-You-Can-Eat event for only $599! Use the special Hawthorne Hotel AYCE identification card as many times as you would like from September 8, 2009 to October 8, 2009 and enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner, Sunday brunch—any and all you choose! Just present the card to your server and have anything on our menu! Please remember, this is similar to a buffet -- no leftovers or to-go food may be removed from the hotel, it is strictly all-you-can eat.

The most important thing I can tell you about our All-You-Can-Eat promotion is "do it right away! The cards are very limited in availability and we will be featuring it on our website, Twitter, Facebook and our Blog.
Hurry before they are gone!”

The All-You-Can-Eat promotion is for a limited time and is first-come first-serve. The cards are not valid for any To Go or Room Service meals, and may only be used by the person to whom the card is issued.. Alcohol, taxes and gratuities are not included.
The cards are non-transferrable.

For questions or to purchase the AYCE card, contact (978) 825-4311 before the cards are sold out! Reservations for the cards will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis, and are limited in availability.

About the Restaurants at the Hawthorne Hotel:
The Tavern is an intimate gathering spot offering casual fare and creative libations. Overlooking the beautiful Salem Common, the Tavern is the perfect spot for lunch, after-work beverages, or fun food fast. Enjoy our flat-screen televisions for major sporting events. Serving continuously from 11 am to 11 pm, seating in the Tavern is available upon arrival.

For an unforgettable dining experience, visitors from all points of the compass enjoy the ambiance, warm hospitality and award-winning seasonal cuisine of Nathaniel’s Restaurant. Our menu offers a range of dishes, including historic items from a bygone era to contemporary, eclectic fare. Nathaniel’s serves dinner nightly from 5pm and offer live Piano Music on Friday, Saturday & Sunday Nights. Our carefully crafted wine menu and scrumptious desserts complete any special occasion. For reservations call 978-825-4311.

The historic Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, Massachusetts provides 93 rooms including 6 suites all individually furnished and tastefully appointed. Since 1925 the Hawthorne Hotel has been the select destination for business and leisure travelers and recognized throughout Salem and the North Shore region as the premiere wedding location. For more information visit:
I hope to see you here!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ August 24 through 30, 2009

Monday , August 24 ~~ Thailand and Illinois
Tuesday , August 25 ~~ Timor Leste and Indiana
Wednesday , August 26 ~~ Togo and Iowa
Thursday , August 27 ~~ Tonga and Kansas
Friday , August 28 ~~ Trinidad and Tobago and Kentucky
Saturday , August 29 ~~ Tunisia and Louisiana
Sunday , August 30 ~~ Turkey and Maine

So far, no special requests for this week. However, this list is always subject to change, so if you are a local tour company, you should check back each morning before announcing with authority which flag we are flying on any particular day.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Flower Boxes for August, at the Hawthorne Hotel

We recently changed out the flowers in our flower boxes, since the cream colored petunias were getting too leggy.

I love these purple petunias, hope you do too!

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Our Special Three-Course Menu for this Weekend

Three-Course Wine Pairing Menu
Nathaniel's Restaurant
August 21 through 23, 2009
First Course
Summer Harvest Risotto
local eggplant, zucchini and blue basil

Frei Brothers Chardonnay, Russian River Valley
Pan-Seared Local Black Cod
steamed littleneck clams, sauce Genovese and asparagus
MacMurray Ranch Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
Homemade Oreo Cheesecake
Godiva Mocha Liqueur

Three-Courses, Forty Dollars
With Wine/Liqueur Tasting Flight, Forty-eight Dollars
Call 978-825-4311 for reservations
Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights
We have a pianist in Nathaniel's each of those nights as well!

Another Raving Fan of Functions at the Hawthorne Hotel

This week we received a lovely email from a client. We thought you would like to read it as well.



Sent: Wednesday, August 19, 2009 11:55 AM
To: Kelly Lilly
Subject: Bridal Shower - August 15, 2009

Dear Kelly,

I have one daughter and wanted her to have a Bridal Shower she would never forget! Thanks to your wonderful staff and beautiful facility, I know I accomplished that goal!! Thank you to everyone who had a part in making the day so special...from the earliest planning stages to the final moments of the event, I could not have asked for anything more!

Again, thank you and your staff. Kelly, you were lovely to work with and made the planning of my shower a sincere pleasure. Every detail was perfect, from the napkins, to the cake table, to the smallest request - all handled without a delay, I did not have to think of a thing! On the day of the shower our event coordinator (I'm embarrassed to say I don't remember her name) and our waiter were attentive, available, and agreeable! All in all, everyone involved in this event was outstanding!

Again, thank you to everyone for making Melissa's Bridal Shower a day we will never forget!




Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hawthorne Hotel History and People

This is Audrey Burns, great granddaughter of Lucretia and William Burns.

Lucretia Burns

Yesterday we were delighted to welcome Audrey and her grandmother to the Hawthorne Hotel. Audrey is a direct descendant of William and Lucretia Burns, who were our first Bride and Groom here at the Hawthorne Hotel when it opened in 1925.

This was not Audrey's first visit to the hotel, but is certainly the first one that she will remember, since she was a tiny one the last time she came here.

Audrey is starting high school in Maine, where she lives, this September, and is sure to be breaking many hearts with her terrific good looks. She is here in Salem to connect with her roots, and enjoy all that Salem has to offer.

Welcome, Audrey, and we hope you enjoy 'coming home' to the Hawthorne Hotel.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Darling Hawthorne Hotel Pet Photo

One of our very regular guests just sent us this photo, which I just had to share with you. We give these plush dog toys to all of our guests who stay with us when they bring their dogs along, and we also sell them in our 'gift shop' and on our website.
I hope you have a special dog in your life like this one.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Surprise! Manuel Pena, You are our Employee of the Month

As you may know, we do the food service for two restaurants and catering at the Peabody Essex Museum. Here you see us greeting our staff member, Manuel Pena, and his supervisor, Brooke O'Keefe, at the gigantic elevator that is our means of getting between floors there. He was totally caught by surprise, as you can see.

Brooke O'Keefe, Manuel Pena and Ken O'Keefe

Manuel with Juli Lederhaus

(L to R) Jennifer Normant, Banquet Chef; Brooke O'Keefe, PEM Chef (her last week); Manuel; Ken O'Keefe, Executive Sous Chef; and Ian Delph, new PEM Chef, replacing Brooke who is leaving to have her first baby.

If you are a long-time follower of this blog, you may recollect that Manuel has been honored as Employee of the Month in the past. Manuel is such a hard-working and dedicated team member, it is hard for us to conceive working without his dedicated presence. He works as though this operation were his, paying close attention to everything, and making us all shine.

Thanks for all you do, Manuel!

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Wedding Anniversary Celebration

Shel and David Tscherne of Marlborough came back to the Hawthorne Hotel on Saturday night to celebrate their seventh wedding anniversary. They had their reception here, and it was the only place they wanted to come to enjoy this special night.

I took their photo and presented it to them in a Hawthorne Hotel anniversary frame. They seemed so pleased to be back with us, and even though it was a bit of a drive for them, they plan to do it again in the future.

Here is what they wrote to me when they got back home:

Hi Juli,

Thank you so much for making an already fabulous evening more special! We were so happy to be celebrating our anniversary (a couple days early) at the Hawthorne! We had so much fun reminiscing about our wedding day and we love that people still refer to it as "The best wedding ever", which it truly was!

August 17, 2002 is a day that we wish could have lasted forever! Everything was fantastic and each detail was impeccably in place! The food was outstanding and the atmosphere magical. There was nothing we would have changed!

We have attached some wedding pictures in case you would like to add them to your blog! We look forward to celebrating many more anniversaries at the Hawthorne!

With Many Thanks,

David and Shel

By the way, if you think it is hot here in Salem right now, this is nothing compared to what it was on August 17, 2002. Evidently that day was a record high that has not been matched in Salem since that date -- it was 104 degrees for the high, and they got married during the daytime! They were oh-so-glad for the air conditioning of the Hawthorne Hotel that day, and very, very pleased that they did not opt for a setting that did not offer that kind of comfort.

If we can help you plan a special event, please call us at 978-825-4358. I hope to see you here.

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ August 17 through 23, 2009

If you pay close attention to these things, you may have noticed that this past Friday we not only changed flags mid-stream, but we were flying a flag that we don't usually fly. You see, a guest requested the flag of Scotland be flown. However, we don't have the flag of Scotland in our rotation, because Scotland is not its own nation, nor is it part of the United Nations. It is part of the United Kingdom, and thus we started the day flying the flag of the UK.

However, we quickly learned that the groom who requested the flag of Scotland be flown was mightily disappointed. So, we went out a bought the flag he wanted us to fly, and had it up on the front of the hotel by midday, thanks in part to a local flag vendor (located just over the bridge in Beverly, Massachusetts -- Hannah-Lore Flags is always our go-to source for flags.)

And this was not the 'classic' or traditional Scottish flag (a blue field with a white diagonal cross), but the older, yellow and red "Lion" flag that he wanted. But yes, our flag source had them both, and we were able to make our guest happy with their help.

My days are never boring, and there are always unique and unusual things that happen my way, in this business called "hospitality."

Monday , August 17 ~~ Suriname and Delaware
Tuesday , August 18 ~~ Swaziland and District of Columbia
Wednesday , August 19 ~~ Switzerland and Florida
Thursday , August 20 ~~ Sweden and Georgia
Friday , August 21 ~~ Syrian Arab Republic and Guam
Saturday , August 22 ~~ Tajikistan and Hawaii
Sunday , August 23 ~~ United Republic of Tanzania and Idaho

I hope you enjoy learning a little bit more about what our days are like here at the Hawthorne Hotel, in Salem, Massachusetts.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Special Wine Dinner ~~ August 14 through 16, 2009

Grilled duck breast with local blackberries, arugula with blackberry vinaigrette, toasted pistachios, Galician crema cheese.

Grilled free-range veal chop with roasted Vidalia onion demi-glace, sauteed rapini and herbed white corn polenta

Poached fresh local peaches, Florentine cookie, peach ice cream and peach syrup. Heavenly summer on a plate.

Each course is paired with an excellent wine choice, so you need only order the complete menu (for only $48 with the wines, or $40 without), sit back, and enjoy yourself.

I hope to see you here.

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Special Menu with Wine Flight in Nathaniel's This Weekend

As I prepared this post, my mouth was watering as I considered this excellent menu, which includes a number of locally-sourced fresh ingredients -- items that are at their peak of freshness and lusciousness right now. We are offering it both with and without a three-glass wine tasting flight. I would highly recommend getting the wines to try with each course.
I definitely plan to come in one day this weekend to try this special menu. It is being offered beginning tonight, Friday, August 14 through Sunday, August 16.
I hope to see you here.

Three-Course Wine Pairing Menu

First Course

Seared Breast of Duck
baby arugula, local blackberries, Galician crèma, toasted pistachios
and blackberry vinaigrette

7 Deadly Zins, Zinfandel, Lodi


Grilled Free-Range Veal Chop
roasted Vidalia onion, demi-glaze, sautéed rapini and herbed white polenta

Martin Codax "Ergo", Rioja, Spain


Roasted Local Peaches
lavender honey, Florentine cookie and peach ice cream

Codorníu Cava Brut, Spain

Three-Courses, Forty Dollars
With Wine Tasting Flight, Forty-eight Dollars

Our customers love us. . . and here is another lovely thank you note

To be able to better view these images, just click on each one and it will get larger.

I hope we can make you into a raving fan, just like these customers.