I've lost all my life. Like really lost. I am a trusting person, and I think it makes me a target for people to take advantage. I finally found something I was passionate about, that helped not only me but so many who used our food and drink to heal themselves; and here I stand about to lose once again. There was a huge struggle to get the food truck off the ground. My freedom and my child's both hung in the balance, and somehow out of sheer will and help from my friends, we managed to open our doors. There was nothing scarier than the first week we were open. We were trying out a brand new cuisine option in a city that had never been able to support even one vegetarian restaurant--who was I to think that an entirely plant-based menu would even come close to making it in Hot Springs? I believed in it, though. Eating raw had saved me from deep depression and I knew my purpose was to bring a real cold-pressed juice bar and vegan establishment to the public. Still, that first week we were open, I was just waiting for someone to blast our food on Facebook or Yelp. It didn't happen. Every week, we gained more and more five star reviews, and I finally saw hope that we could take this concept and run with it.
An opportunity arose, before I was truly ready, to move into a brick-and-mortar in late December 2017. I was offered a great deal on a building in the most burgeoning district of Hot Springs National Park. I would have been crazy to not take it, and so I did. I knew I didn't have the capital to get it off the ground, but soon several people decided that we really did need In the Raw in a brick-and-mortar, and we were able to put a down payment on the property and start working.
The first couple of months, construction was delayed over and over, and finally, my current contractor stepped in and got to work. In eight weeks, we were able to transform a building that was long overdue for some love and attention. We were at the finish line, or so we thought. As it turns out, now after rewiring the building, the plumbing will also need at least a $10,000 overhaul. Which will also take probably about a month to get approved first through the state, and then the city. I now see why the barriers to entry of opening a restaurant are so difficult to overcome. It isn't hard to understand why people say the American dream is over.
Even so, I am holding out hope that in the next four days, I can find the financing I need to make this happen. It has been a constant struggle, and I've felt up to almost every challenge, but at this point, I really do need some angel investor or a big loan to come through by someone who sees the value in what we do and help. If that doesn't happen, I see almost no way out of this except to lose....again. But this time in my life, I don't just lose my dream. I will probably forever lose my little boy because I'll spend the next ten years digging out of debt and not be able to continue to afford to fight for him. That's the hardest part to deal with.
Yes, this is depressing, but the world is full of problems that don't get solved and people walking around, beaten down by life and its circumstances. I've been there before, and within a month, I could very likely be there again. I'd been taught not to cry or I'd get something to cry about, so I try not to think of these things that kill me inside, but the truth is, the stress is overwhelming, and I just wish I could cry to release some of it. I'm sure it's coming. Hopefully, though, they will be tears of joy finally, and not tears of sadness.
Until Next Time, Eat Raw Live Long.