Its 4:45am, and sleep feels like a luxury at this point in the process of opening our new restaurant.  When the baby needs attention, even in the middle of the night, somebody has to get up and take care of it. When both of our kids were born, we were fortunate to have lots of help; grandparents, neighbors and other friends would pitch in to help with miscellaneous duties.  The strength derived from this support became extremely helpful when the going got tough

And the going has gotten tough in this opening week.  The stress is starting to mount.  The nerves are fraying at the edges. Sleep deprivation is taking its toll, but the team is holding together and gathering the fortitude necessary to keep pressing toward the goal of creating a place of hospitality of which we all can be proud.


Joe Martin serves as our GM.  Joe started with us at bread&cup from Day One, helping in both the front and back of the house.  I first met Joe when I was working in a commercial kitchen in the days before bread&cup opened in 2006.  After two days of working with Joe, I came home and told Karen that if we indeed can get this restaurant open, I want to hire Joe.  He has an ability to predict what needs to happen next.  His quiet work ethic commands the respect of his coworkers and employees and I am most fortunate to have him on our team

jake and kev

Jake Kester serves as our Bar Manager and has put together our beverage program out of a deep fascination with cocktails and their history.  I got to learn more about this interest during our many keno sessions in Denton.  I found that Jake and I shared the same value for simplicity and quality, and that people that mix drinks should be referred to as bartenders, and an Old Fashioned made with rum is never to be called an Old Fashioned.  Jake recently became a new dad, so he is fully and personally acquainted with the analogy I use to compare childbirth to launching a restaurant.


Luke Shinn, my son, works as our Assistant Manager, doing all the odd jobs that need to get done but never really get noticed.  Working with family is challenging, especially being both dad and boss, but the reward of watching my son grow through the daily challenges he faces is compensation that money cannot even approximate.    As his dad, I know him intimately, both strengths and weaknesses, as he does with me.  The foundation I see developing under his feet during this exhausting season of business make a dad deeply proud.

I never forget that holding  the position as leader entails both responsibility and privilege.  Commitment toward those who follow is paramount, for they are the ones that will, in turn, execute the vision and serve the guest.

Its your turn to get up…

One thought on “Its your turn to get up…

  • October 24, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    We dropped by J&J for the first time Wednesday night and, though our expectations were very high given our experiences at bread&cup, we were still blown away with the whole experience. Incredible staff, friendly service, wonderful food. You know, there’s something old and familiar about this brand-new place that invites one in and makes one feel right at home. This is in no small way because of the team you’ve assembled. They form a foundation that, from a customer’s perspective, makes the restaurant feel rock-solid and natural, even though we know it’s in its earliest days. Congratulations to you and your team on a job well done, chef.

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