It's 9 a.m. on game day. In less than eight hours, the University of Oregon Ducks are slated to battle the Ohio State University Buckeyes in the inaugural College Football Championship. Based on the steady flow of customers, it's pretty obvious that Jiffy Market Wine & Deli in South Eugene is a beacon for many area Duck fans.
Between game predictions and silent nods acknowledging support for the green and yellow, owner Joe Robertson is at the center of it all in his familiar position behind the counter. This connection to community is a big reason why Robertson and Jiffy Market have thrived since 1963, when his parents first started the business.
In addition to an extensive selection of beer, wine, coffee and delicious deli items (such as a larger-than-life club sandwich), community connection is also a big reason why Robertson has supported social services providers in the area for approximately the past 20 years. His involvement with ShelterCare started a little more than a year ago, when a representative from the agency's Supported Employment Program (SEP) visited his store.
Now, Jiffy Market is an established partner for the agency's efforts to help clients find part-time work and independence — important pieces in the recovery process.
"We've done a lot of work with nonprofits," Robertson said.
ShelterCare clients have helped the local business with a variety of tasks, such as pricing items and dusting shelves.
The program works for everyone involved, he said. "I think it gives folks a sense of being involved and contributing."
Thank you, Jiffy Market, for being our partner! And "Go Ducks!"