The biggest nightmare I've had from the beginning of deciding to open In the Raw Test Kitchen & Juice Bar was the possibility of not being able to pay staff. I literally lose a lot of much needed sleep with worry over it. Our food is very labor intensive, and there is no way I could hold down the truck on my own (without some pretty angry guests at 45-minute wait times if I tried). That nightmare was realized on Wednesday when I was looking at a bank account that was $400 in the hole and payroll the very same day. Much to my surprise, the majority of my staff offered to just keep working anyway, because they each said they believed in this company, me, and the vision I have for our business. They told me that we're helping people; and even if I just catch up to payroll with giving out a little cash from the register each day, they know we will grow and they want to be a part of In the Raw's future. You can imagine my relief and a sense of pride I felt at words such as these.
In the meantime, I am pushing along, improving portion sizes while still working towards keeping food costs down. We've been creating some amazing limited-time juices, desserts, and blenders that are so original and tasty that I get a thrill every time I try them. With Kris on the Juice Bar; Chad as our Patissier; Danielle owning the line; Bryn killing it with the morning cleaning and prepping everything we need; and Megan rocking the dishes and being the team's cheerleader, I just can't imagine ever losing even one of them. So, I will carry on and spread the good message of plant-based living in a raw food context and hope it keeps catching on here in Hot Springs.
This week, we've got some amazing jackfruit that I spent a couple of hours prepping for a new blender. We've improved two of our recipes, making them bigger to satisfy the hearty eaters. Also, our second tent and new tables came in, so we've got an even nicer ambience and extra work area for our Patissier and server station. And finally, I can see now that the love that we put into our food isn't going to diminish. In fact, I know it's only going to get more intense.
Until next time, Eat Raw, Live Long!