On the day before our planned Grand Opening, my mechanic, one of my employees, and I brought Grubman (my pet name for our 1967 Chevy Grumman food truck) from way out in the boondocks to the city to make sure it was running properly and the brakes were going to work well. On the way, Grubman ran out of gas once, overheated once, and we learned the blinkers don't work anymore and the tires are shot. What should have been a 30-minute trip turned into a 3-hour trek; and did I mention that this old vehicle did not come with standard air-conditioning? For the record, though, the engine purrs like a dream (not bad for a 50-year-old), and the brakes are finally fixed. This lengthy journey in 90+ degree weather and the whizzing around town before that to make sure we had everything we needed for our grand opening were just too much for my health. The migraine started in the late afternoon Thursday, and 12 hours later, I considered going to the hospital because I could have sworn little elves were sawing my head in half. Six hours after that, and somehow I also had developed what I thought was the flu, but it turns out I had suffered from mild heatstroke. So, no grand opening. I wanted to cry, but instead I decided the best option was to spend a few days resting so I could get back on my feet and try, try again.
On Sunday morning, my crew, with no promise of any pay, took it upon themselves to make sure they were all at the truck, doing some detail painting and other things that I felt we could hold off on until we were open for a few weeks and had some revenue coming in. Then again, for the following two days after that, they've been out there for at least eight hours each day, sprucing up the truck more than I had dreamed possible, just to make it super-swaggy and awesome. I look at the pics I took when I first bought the truck a couple of months ago, and I can hardly believe it is the same vehicle. I already loved this crew of misfits when I hired them, but like a momma hen, I swell with pride at the accomplishments I have seen these last few days from this fine group of individuals who've proven their loyalty and commitment to In the Raw Test Kitchen & Juice Bar. Sure, we've had some ups and downs, and I can see where personalities might clash when we're all sweating our butts off in the heat of the day with no shade in sight. The big picture, though, is that even in the most uncomfortable of circumstances, these guys and girls can all work together without flying off the handle; and together we've created a food truck that I am so proud to call "Ours".
So, here we are on Tuesday evening. I haven't regained my voice yet, but there are glimpses of it here and there tonight, so I am now feeling a road to recovery, not just in physical health, but in spirit. I know that several people were disappointed that we didn't pull through with our big plans, but somehow now those dreaded words "best laid plans...." don't bother me now. Things happen, and sometimes those things can't be helped. Or maybe the things that happen to mess up your best laid plans are the very things that make you realize that your best laid plans don't compare to a entire team's "best laid change-of-plans". I'm truly understanding that things worth having are definitely worth the wait. When our guests try our food finally, I believe they, too, will understand what I'm talking about.
Until Very Soon, Eat Raw, Live Long!