A Year In The Life of A Growing Business


A Year In The Life of A Growing Business

It’s been a year. Oh, what a year. A year ago we (and by “we”, I mean Brooke and I) had our grand opening party at our new space on North Ave. People ate brownies and meatballs and cheers-ed with hot chocolate. Friends caught up and kids snuck another cheese ball. My pseudo older brother stopped in and an old, old friend of my parents came in to tell me they would have been so proud. While they missed the main action, my girls got to see mama in her element. Man, it was a great day.

Fast forward a couple weeks to when Brilliant DPI put the logos in the window. Within days, business doubled. We added another driver and two more kitchen helpers and still it was hard to keep up.

We added new recipes, forgot whole dishes, and talked for hours while chopping carrots. (Fun fact: did you know you can turn out eggplant parm for 20 in about 30 minutes if you have four people on the case? Don’t ask how we know that.)

We hired an intern that didn’t really work out. Same with a couple of drivers. I learned that “you sound human, want to come in for a trial?” probably isn’t the most professional way to end an interview and Brooke remembered how to be the kitchen general we need.Working in the North Ave KitchenI had to let go of my favorite Canadian in order to make this a truly local business. Had to turn away business from outlying counties for that same reason. Dreamed that this becomes a chain and we can employ and feed everyone.

Went to a conference in New York where I was intimidated by every. single. person. Attended other events where I felt like I could have run the show. Still was inspired by all.

We cooked in a freezing kitchen. Nervously delivered food when it was pretty hot out. Played Tetris with bags in hopes of only making one trip. Cheered out loud every time we finished packing and there was no extra food still on the fridge shelves.

Friends at the Real Good Life kitchen

We met so many interesting humans, from customers to the guy manning the Clicklist section of the Tosa Metro Market. Learned that we served in times of healing, new babies, kitchen renovations, and accountants’ stressful tax seasons.

We have served moms, dads, grandmas, uncles, businesswomen kicking ass, widowers taking care of themselves. Businesses treating their customers and employees. Grandmas taking care of their daughters and new grandbabies from afar. What an honor.

A couple weeks ago when it was bitterly cold out and the mail shut down and school was closed, the whole team showed up with smiles on their faces (and hats and scarves and three shirts) to make your food and ensure it got to you in a timely fashion. I spent the next five days thinking “are they crazy? Why did they care so much – it’s only food!” But you guys, it’s not.

We’ve got a family going on here. The immediate family of my staff and regular customers and extended, of all y’all that come and go. Each and every one of you have made this past year (and the 15 months before that) one of the best of my life. Perhaps the most stressful, too, but hey, that’s how family works. We are more full because of each other (and the chocolate chip cookies). We are better because of each other.

Since the fine folks of TRGL came in when it was -20, I’m not going to ask them to come in on another Saturday to celebrate our anniversary. Instead, pick your favorite beverage and join us in a virtual celebration this week. Today, I am grateful for YOU! Salud!

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