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Guest post by Karen Rorie, Söntés Event Coordinator

I recently left Söntés for a few months to work for a national non-profit organization. Before I accepted the other job, I thought through all the usual points of old job vs. new job. On paper, the new job looked good, but in reality, not so much. It turns out there was one important factor that I didn’t think of, and it was really missing in the new job: local connections. This organization does great work, but on a different scale. I was promoting events in Poughkeepsie, not the Peace Plaza. There were no local farmers, musicians or artists, no friends and neighbors stopping by, no community right outside my door. I felt isolated even though I was still living and working in Rochester.

I quickly realized that working in your own community and doing things that improve life locally is a really, really important factor in job satisfaction. And local connection is something that Sontes does really, really well. In this vibrant community, Söntés showcases the best of the best. From locally produced food created after a trip to the Farmers Market, to the local musicians playing in the lounge on Saturday night, to the regular customers, Söntés is the epicenter of what’s good in Rochester.

Tessa kept me up to date on the restaurant happenings. But hearing about what was going on wasn’t nearly as fun as experiencing it first hand. “You’re a restaurant person now,” Tessa laughed. “We’ve ruined you!”

I am a restaurant person. I didn’t see that one coming three years ago when I first started working at Söntés, but I am. But more importantly, I’m a Rochester person.  As I sat at my new job, interacting via email with people I would never actually meet, I wondered what I was thinking when I chose to leave. How could I have so drastically underestimated the importance of community connections?! Certainly I care about what happens in other parts of the country. I know people all over, and I love to visit distant cities. But I love to come home. And I love to be part of the fabric of my community, working to make Rochester more liveable, more fun and more vibrant. That’s what Söntés does.

Luckily for me, I had the chance to come back. So here I am, back in the office, listening to the Thursdays on First crowd outside my window, taking reservations, planning events, and making my community just a little bit better every day. It’s good to be home!