I remember vividly what it felt like this week three years ago, trying to get all the I’s dotted and T’s crossed in order to get that final approval from the Health Department before we could open. There was nervous tension, but balanced by anticipated excitement. The folks in the building could smell the aroma of bread baking, but we could host no customers quite yet. We were assembling our fledgling staff, trying to present an air of confidence to them while deep inside fending off the butterflies that fluttered from the thought that we had never done this before, and hoping it doesn’t show.
I began writing a blog so I could have a record of the progress, and in my moments of reflection, I went back to read what was going on that first week. Here’s a quote I wrote three days in:
“The last few days have felt like those last miles of the marathon. I knew in my mind that it would be like this, but even so, feet and legs are reminding me of their innocence. Touching the soles of my feet at the end of the day are like pressing on the carotid artery on my neck. I can feel my pulse just as easily from the increased blood flow.
Like the race, there will come the time to stop and sit down. I’ve run enough to know this, and it is this memory that I call on in times like these. The joy of finishing the race is greater than the relief of dropping out, regardless how long it takes to cross that line.
So if I look a little bleary eyed, I’m sure you’ll understand.”
And while in no way do I feel like we have crossed the finish line, there is a sense that something has been completed, something amazing, that demands a bit of revelry.
Looking back from here, my feet don’t curse me with the same profanity and hopefully my eyes don’t look so tired. I don’t have to get up at 4am everyday. I have staff that now lightens the load, and do a better job at it that I would. In 2007, we started with 16 employees. In three years, we’ve doubled that number as I wrote 32 checks last payroll.
I get the occasional, inevitable question from friends asking, “What’s next?” To that I reply that I am using this three year marker to introduce some new changes that I hope will create an even better bread&cup experience for you to enjoy. Here’s what you will notice.
A fresh look.
Three years takes its toll on a physical space, so as a staff we are spending Sunday cleaning, painting and introducing a bit of new décor.Nothing drastic, and everything in keeping with the ‘simple food and drink” theme, which includes reducing visual clutter and use fatigue.
A separate Lunch and Dinner menu
We are attempting to create a different mood in the evening than what we have at noon.Most folks who come in for lunch are looking for a simple meal and need to get back to the office within the hour.We will continue to feature our sandwiches, soups and salads from 11am to 5:30pm, and will transition at that point to our new Dinner menu, which will not include our sandwiches.This will probably upset some of our regulars, but let me explain my rationale.
Everything we serve, we make in house, from scratch, on a daily basis. To do this requires a significant amount of planning and prep work. To an average customer, it may seem like no big deal to slap a sandwich together, but rather it’s the assembly before hand of all those ingredients that takes the most time. If we bought buckets of pre-made pesto and already roasted pork, it might not be such a big deal.
Since we have a small work space and a limited number of hours in the day, we must pare down our options if we are going to present simple, memorable food on a consistent basis.
Believe it or not, we are lowering the prices of some of our items. We are doing so because we can, now that we have a better idea of actual food costs and portion sizes. You will notice it with breakfast, salad, and dessert. Cheap is not equivalent to quality, but we want to provide a better sense of value for the kind of food we offer to you our customer.
We kick everything off next Monday the 2nd with $3 Breakfast Specials all week, plus a $3 Happy Hour from 4pm – close. Wednesday is Local Grower Appreciation Day, where you can meet some of the good folk who grow some of your food. Thursday is Local Brewer Appreciation Day, where we’ve invited some of the brewers who created the locally crafted beers we will be serving.
You can also buy a bread&cup logo glass for $3 and fill it with $3 pints of beer from Empyrean, Thunderhead, Spilker Ales, Lucky Bucket and Modern Monks. We’ll have other logo gear available for purchase.
Thanks for helping us succeed, for telling and bringing in your friends, and for being patient with our learning curve. Here’s to three, and many more.