Serving Berthoud – Jessica Hermanovitch
Our little town, a spot that an unknowing observer would scroll past without scant interest when using the maps app on their phone, has people from across the country. Each of their unique stories on how they got here and how they have become our neighbors and our friends part of the charm of Berthoud.
Jessica Hermanovitch – if you are reading this you probably know her from Berthoud’s own Log Cabin Liquors – is one of our friends.
She traveled 1,721 miles from Bethlehem, Penn., located in the eastern part of the Keystone State roughly equidistant from Philly and the Big Apple. Yet Jessica’s soothing demeanor and quiet genuineness is the antithesis of the brashness so often assumed of East Coast transplants.
“I love working there. I love the people; I love working in this town. A lot of people, I think, look forward to seeing us,” Jessica said. “I’ve created a lot of relationships; I always say I have a lot of moms out here, a lot of dads out here, a lot of big brothers.”
Just over five years ago, almost on a whim, ready to make a change in her life and chart a new course, she packed two bags filled with a handful of clothes and personal belongings, “mementos mostly,” as she described, and landed in Berthoud, renting space in a home owned by a resident she met through a mutual friend.
Arriving in the summer of 2016, she worked briefly at Hays Market before, in Oct. 2016, she joined the crew at Log Cabin, where she is quickly approaching her five-year anniversary. Her position at Log Cabin is all-encompassing, filling the role not only of clerk and cashier but handling the ordering, purchasing, stocking, helping with pricing and, most importantly, making friends.
Her role at Log Cabin might not be one that most easily comes to mind when folks think of someone who is close to ubiquitously known, but Jessica’s daily interactions with Berthoud residents and those passing through town almost assuredly bring her into contact with more people, from more diverse backgrounds, “people from every walk of life,” in her words, than even Mayor Will Karspeck, Sergeant Jim Anderson or us at the Surveyor.
Jessica says she is on a first-name basis with “at least” 100 people and knows “five or six or seven or eight” times more than that by their faces. “I think I probably know at least a third of the town,” she said with her adorable laugh, “A lot of people who I know, I know by their usual orders even when I don’t know their names.”
The relationships she has established in town are deep and far-ranging. She has been invited to birthday parties and Berthoud Day BBQs. Jessica says Berthoud folks will bring her food from their holiday dinners and cook-outs (Christmas Day is the only day of the year that Log Cabin is closed) knowing she is often at work while everyone else is enjoying the kinship and camaraderie of family and friends. She has helped jump-start cars, changed flat tires and served drive-thru customers clad only in their pajamas, and on a few occasions, less than that.
“We’re big advocates of squirt guns,” she said, remarking they always have a few on hand and love to tease their regular customers with a friendly spritz of water during hot days – after putting one to use, she was answered with a glimpse at the bare derriere of a regular customer, in friendly jest, of course – and she always candy at the ready for the smattering of Berthoud youngsters who cruise by on their bikes, skateboards and scooters.
The drive-thru customers are the most interesting, Jessica explained, stating that cars and trucks are not the only modes of transportation to the local liquor store as some arrive on horseback, in wheelchairs, in RVs, bicycles, tricycles, and, of course, on foot. Some drive through the drive thru in the wrong direction. Customers frequently come through with their pets, where the box of Milk Bones kept on the shelf near the cash register comes in handy.
“The drive-thru became extremely popular during quarantine, it was interesting experience, I think it came off as a bad thing, but I think for a lot of people it was a needed break,” she explained of last spring, when cars would be lined up onto Mountain Ave. at 9 a.m. Drive-thru or walk-in, Jessica said she will know the regulars not only by their names and faces, but knows customers based upon the car in which they arrive, sometimes only by its sound.
Jessica said the job can, at times, be overwhelming. She often is running two registers and helping multiple customers simultaneously, “Sometimes you feel like you’re being tugged in all different directions or like a pinball bouncing around, but, for as stressful as it can be it’s extremely rewarding, this is such a tight-knit community, it’s a rewarding spot to be in.”
The stressful parts of the job, however, are part of the charm. Getting to know each regular customers tastes and preferences is a part of getting to know them as people, and it enhances the community connection, she said.
“Keep Berthoud the tight-knit community that it is, Berthoud is a very loving, a very helpful, a very resourceful community, I like to do what I can to break the ice, break the barriers, I’m surprised on a weekly basis over there,” Jessica said. “I like my job so much because we have a lot of people who come just to talk to us, just to vent, just to get out of the house and it’s nice to know we are a safe area for people, I feel like a lot of people trust us.”
The charm of Berthoud indeed.
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