July 22nd, 2012 by ~ 2 Comments

What a difference five years makes

I would assume it would seem like a normal day to anyone who visited our restaurant today. You experienced the same food, and especially same bread.  This is important to me because it was anything but normal.  Here’s the back story.

We had a miscommuncation with the person filling in for our regular baker.  At six AM when my morning cook showed up, there was no bread.  But it ended up being no problem at all because the staff, led by Melissa, stepped up to the plate and started the baking shift, right alongside doing the regular morning breakfast prep and service.  Bread came out a little late, but the work got done, much to my pleasure and happiness.

Contrast this day to days like it five years ago, when we were new and staff was uncertain about their place and duties. Many mornings I would wonder if it all would get done or if something would get overlooked, undercooked, forgotten, or burned.  When we opened the restaurant I was inexperienced in understanding the number of details and components required to make a menu work on a daily basis.  Two months in I swore I had made the biggest mistake of my life.  Through the fog of fatigue I could not see that the main issue at stake was getting everyone on board and helping them see what I saw in my mind’s eye and knowing how to execute that vision.

On my way in to work today, I checked my phone and that was when I first heard the message that we didn’t have bread.  Looking at the time of the message, I saw that the call came in two hours earlier.  I assumed if nothing had been figured out by now, I would deal with it when I arrived.  Imagine my delight when I arrived at work and saw the scene.  I’ve seldom been happier with my team in five years.

Owning a business is more than simply making a living as your own boss.  Its all the other aspects of the journey that bring you joy.  Its the pleasure of the daily tasks and those you labor with.  It’s the customers you serve and the location in which you find yourself.  It’s the reward of harvesting the fruits of your labor.  Its days like today, where you feel so completely honored to have people who care about matters as much as you do.

2 Responses

  1. Brett says:

    Congrats! One measure of a successful leader is when things go great without you. You have passed the dreaded “five year” mark for a restaurant even with Karen’s battle with cancer. We pray for you guys and wish we could make it there more often.

  2. Nadine Fricke says:

    I took your bread making class this past winter. I am proud to say that the yeast is still living and giving pleasure to many neighbors and friends. I have a large garden and many herbs so the herbs are a constant companion in the bread. Thank you for opening my eyes to the ease of sourdough bread making. I am going to try it as a pizza dough this week. I have a Big Green Egg so it will be a smoked pizza.

    I didn’t know if you were familiar with the website wwww.saltworks.com. They sell bulk and retail salts, many smoked. Much cheaper than the Savory Spice and the quality is excellent. I just placed a large order of different salts. They have the Alderwood smoked which I have already been enjoying. It is yummy and I have several people hooked on it. They are offering free shipping till the end of December and so far their service has been great. Pennies per ounce when ordered in bulk. I hope you check it out and can expand your salt condiment offering at the restaurant.

    Thanks again,

    Nadine Fricke