I've learned a lot about operating a business this year, as well. One, if you find out an employee is trying to hack into your bank account, you can safely assume they've stolen before. Let them go. Immediately, and don't take them back just because you have a big heart and consider them a friend. Real friends don't hack into other people's bank accounts. Two, keep your menu fresh, especially if you have a very small one. People don't like to eat the same thing everyday (usually) and by keeping the menu exciting, your customers will be excited, too. Three, follow up with your customers. People won't usually say anything bad about your food to you unless you ask. It's better to know from the horse's mouth instead of through hearsay that someone didn't like the sauce you put on your zoodle pasta, or that your falafel missed the mark. It never hurts to take criticisms and improve. Plus, offering a free meal costs a lot less than losing other potential customers. And finally, the biggest thing I can take away from this past year: If you find something you're great at, and it helps make your corner of the world a better place, then do it.
Their are quite a few people who've made this journey bearable this year while fighting for my pumpkin. I owe so much to my partners and general manager, who've encouraged me when all I wanted to do was curl up under the covers and cry. I believe in both luck and fate, determination and hard work. I got so many hesitant looks from friends and family when I said I wanted to open a raw vegan establishment. Now, I know that I chose well. With the plant-based movement growing exponentially and doctors even starting to get on board, In the Raw came in at a perfect time. I just wanted to do something bold, something that would cause enough positive exposure so that when I did have to go to court for my baby, no judge could possibly deny me. What I've taken away from this past year, though, is that there is a huge population out there that needs our food and drink. We've slowly changed minds about eating plant-based, and we aren't stopping. There is nothing more awesome than someone who's been eating your food for a few months to come and thank you for saving their lives or health, or for a self-proclaimed meat and potatoes eater to light up with one bite of your sandwich. Knowing you're doing something right--that's a great feeling.
So, we soon won't be delivering because school is starting back at Gospel Light and we'll need to clear out. We're considering some pop-ups, or tea parties to showcase our wellness teas, and maybe to look for another kitchen to work from. All are options, but for me, I'm just ready to get this building open. We've found an avenue to finish the renovation, and we're just waiting to close on the deal which will be this Friday. It will then take another two months probably to get open, but I'm okay with that. I've got a lot of behind-the-scenes planning to take care of during this transition. This time, when we open our doors, I don't want it to feel like a circus.... Okay, maybe I do a little, but circuses can be fun.
Until next time, Eat Raw, Live Long!