Well, I’ve got 30 years in the restaurant business. I guess in the beginning I figured if I’m going to stay in this I have to kind of dream big. I started looking for a brick and mortar 10 years ago and it took that much time to find the right building in the North-Hampton area.
I work and live in North Hampton…
I’m close to home here. I know this was a successful restaurant establishment in the past so I decided to take that chance. I figured at my age now, I don’t want to wait too much longer to start the restaurant business.
A food truck was initially something I was quite a bit interested in because I wanted to start my business small. I didn’t want to start too big in the beginning, both for what I can handle physically and mentally and also financially. The food truck didn’t work out the way I was anticipating. I decided to start looking for a brick and mortar location instead and possibly doing a food truck in the future.
Another reason I wanted to start small is something I could completely control on my own. I have more serving experience than I have cooking experience but I have a good amount of both. With this space as soon as I saw it I decided this would be something I could handle on my own if I had to, absolutely had to. There were many, many days and weeks when I have had to run this place completely by myself.
Being a restaurant owner is very stressful, I would never suggest that for anybody but it did help me prove to myself what I can handle and what I can do well. The fruits of my labor are becoming evident now. A lot of positive feedback from the community, a lot of people very happy I’m here and doing what I’m doing.
I do all the shopping, I do almost all the prepping, all the cooking. I’m too small yet to get food trucks purveyors in so I do all the shopping on my own. Two or three grocery-type spots here in the area that I utilize and I’m going almost every day, almost every day.
Millenials, Millenials, Millenials…
With the Real Estate market so hot right now in STL City…a lot of Millenials are moving into the area.
There are … I started doing my breakfast beginning of January. It brought in a completely different clientele than I’d had the previous year. The first two weeks I was here 80% of the people that came through here were new customers, I couldn’t believe it.
Word of mouth & social media is where it’s at…
Breakfast was the winner for me, big time. Word of mouth is everything, social media is everything. You can’t do without those two these days, you just can’t do it.
I’m proud of what I’m doing here. I’ve already grown to a point where I’m starting to think about maybe looking for a little larger spot but I don’t want to move too far away from where I am now, I think it’s dangerous if a restaurant moves too far away, that’s basically meaning they have to start over again and I’m not ready to do that at all. Yeah, always looking up, always looking bigger for sure.
Outside looking in, you’re perfecting your model right now, right? You’re getting your nuts and bolts together. That is correct, that is correct.
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