is Permanently Closed.
Thank you to all who supported, loved, experienced and flourished alongside with us. Now, it is time for a new adventure.
I dedicate this to the person who slugged with me in the weeds for years. This is for Robbi Hollister.
The reality of owning a small business is that it is very, very difficult. There are plenty of feelings of passion, service and creativity which continues to drive us into the later nights and early mornings that offset these challenges.
However, the sacrifices that you as the owner take, the sacrifices your employees, your friends and family take lead to stress, anxiety and strips you spiritually of what drove your passion in the first place. It leads to burn out and depression and a major lack of motivation on those rare “days off”.
People will talk about you, compare you, try to dull your flame, use you, and they will view you as a service and not a real person anymore. People do not understand that cost of your product is covering the cost of human work, cost of product, packaging, travel, mental thought, time and energy. I’m often asked “Can’t you just……? Hire more people? Use more sustainable packaging? Deliver to me on Tuesday at Noon? Work every night & weekend? Sell more? Make more? Make different? Cater for 500 people? Can’t you Just….?
People will expect discounts, extra product and free labor. They will compare you to the services of a big chain store. And they will show their disappointment when you cannot help. You do not have the luxury to be upset by public criticism and reviews. I've made a lot of friends a long the way, and certainly lost a few as well. But that is what it takes.
You must think 2 minutes, 2 hours, 2 days, 2 weeks 2 months and even 2 years down the line to plan and prepare for your momentum.
You worry endlessly about keeping up communication, emails, text message, social media pings, and if you forget to respond, do they think you did it on purpose? Disappoint them? Will they return as a customer? You just cannot get back to everyone all the time. The constant interruptions to focus on everything besides what’s in the oven, cuts your productivity in half or more.
The financial burden is enormous. As a small business in the food industry, often you pour your own money into the business as a startup. Then you give all profits back to the business to keep it going. There is no control over operational costs as they fluctuate. Managing inventory has many variances and things to include are spillage, spoilage, equipment malfunction that all lead to losses that cannot be accounted for. The range of expected profit margins BEGIN at 0%. After years of success, you can hope for 3-5% profit margin at best. The cost of running a business while mitigating the rise of food costs seems just unreasonable, yet we do it for the love of the craft.
To be able to move forward with my 3rd brick n'mortar, I am required to pour thousands of dollars into a space that I do not own. I will not be able to take a new piped in hood or electrical wires or new plumbing with me when I leave. It feels crazy to consider.
There is heavy pressure to be prepared with a daily task list for your employees so you don’t waste their time, or your money. You must REMEMBER to order ALL your product in time, defrost what you need to prep in time. If it’s not here, it will not be prepped in time, which means you either buy retail or stay late and do it yourself.
Running a business puts a major strain on your personal life and relationships because there is often no balance. You need to be the president, director, worker, admin, marketing team, accountant and cleaner. All whilst being a present parent, a loving partner, productive member of a household, and a thoughtful friend.
The blessing of a successful business comes in the form of beautiful overwhelm. The ones that fail are an embarrassment and stress on your bank account. It’s all so exhausting. There really is no balance.
I am an artist. Food is my love language and medium. I think about food and what’s in season, what I’m craving, what would intrigue my customers. I LOVE everything about cooking, creating, tasting, balancing, teaching etc. And by God, I'm great at it. But I have decided that I would like to get paid for my skills and experience and work that I built over the last 20 years.
I have enormous pride for my grit, attitude, love, passion and effort I put forth into running Heirloom Cookshop. I learned SO much along the way. I built beautiful relationships and lasting memories. I fulfilled my mission to leave a lasting impression through food and meaningful events. I give thanks to all who have supported me, inspired me and encouraged me.
Now it’s time for a new adventure.