I was born into the crazy Rill businesses. My mother, Ninon Wheatley (originally Ninon Rill), has owned three different “Rill” businesses over the course of my life. As a child she owned and operated a grocery store in Thorp, Washington. As I grew older she expanded. She added a deli to the store the year I was born, Rill Specialty Foods when I was 4 and Rill Adventures when I was 5.
These three businesses were my playground. I kept myself busy during the summer months blowing up rafts and annoying outdoor enthusiasts. During the winter months I would front face shelves or stock the cooler for fun. As I grew into my early teens work became less fun and ‘soups’ became my chore.
One time when I was 13 or 14 I remember being called home from a friends because I didn’t finish my labeling before I left. After throwing a tantrum that I’m sure would make a 5 year old blush I finally caved.
I walked the two blocks back to the store and started to label Thorpellini Tortellini. Neither myself nor anyone else has ever labeled so quick since. I finished my 40 cases of Tortellini in 40 minutes flat. 1 case every minute, 12 soups every case.
Today, January 2014, I still work at the many Rill businesses. I no longer see my job as a chore or even as fun as I once did but I have continued to enjoy improving my mothers businesses. I have been the production manager for Rill Specialty Foods since I was 18 years old, 5 years now. In that time I have become proud of the products we produce and I’m excited to watch Rill Foods from afar in the years to come.
I took my last class from Central Washington University in Fall 2013 and will graduate with degrees in Spanish, Political Science and Nonprofit Administration in Spring 2014. I’ve decided to leave the cozy town that I grew up in to fulfill the gnawing wanderlust in my gut and an unquenchable desire to dance.
Over the last few years I personally guaranteed the products that came from our facility, in the coming years I can rest assured, and so can you, that my mother will not let the Rill legacy slip.