Cross-roads and Croissants…

Hey all,

So I’ve been talking, with some friends and family lately about my long-term plan of opening up my own Coffee-house/bake-shop.  I came to this humble dream after working as a Barista in Anchorage in the mid-90’s and the owner of the small downtown coffee shop was running it into the ground.

It was after her attempts at after hours micromanaging (she had a day job while the shop was open so she would come in at night and leave dozens of sticky-notes all over the place questioning pretty much everything we and the manager did) drove the manager to quit.  Becky ~hack, ptui~ had the employee’s making pastry and supplie orders and doing other parts of the managerial stuff for the shop.  I had a few epiphanies that Summer…

First that I could run a business!  This was a rather radical notion to me at that point in my life because as much as I liked hanging out in coffee houses I hadn’t really thought about being more than a barista until then, I actually had a rather low self-esteem…heck, sometimes I still do.

Second, my Father was amazingly supportive of this idea.  He actually offered to buy this failing business for me if I thought I could really make a go of it!  (We ended up deciding against this because that crazy woman wanted way more than a failling business was worth)

Becky decided to fire me because I came down with pneumonia and left work early a couple of days without reaching her for permission.  He day job was as some sort of youth counselor and she could regularly not be reached at work, but i should have called her for permission.  I had the satisfaction of learning that the business failed and Becky was forced into bankruptcy… I know I shouldn’t be glad about that, but I am.  Sorry folks, it is not always sweetness and light here at Chrysalis.

Anyway, life happened for the next decade or so as I wandered away from and back towards this dream.

When the Big Guy first moved back to Florida after a tumultuous time in Alaska, the orginal plan was that I would persue my Associates in Small Business Management and visit him and move down with him later.  My dad surprised us both, and several other folks, by offering me the money to get established down in Florida and for me to go to School down here.

So off to the Orlando Culinary Academy I went.   I got my A.S. in Le Cordon Bleu Restaurant and Hospitality Management.  I’ve done a lot of studying and a lot of learning and growth in the 2 years I was there (would have been less, but I had to retake Wines 2.).

On of the things that was underlined for me is that I am a lot more capable and educated and knowledgable and expereinced in many areas than I had ever previously given myself credit for.   I felt a bit of a draw to Human Resources work and put the idea of my Coffee Shop on the back burner figuring I could work in the Restaurant/Hospitality industry for a few years and eventually go for the dream of ‘my coffee-house’.

The thing is, despite some of my best efforts, I find myself working the same type of barely above minimum wage jobs that I have been working for the last 20 years.

I am ready for, and capable of, a heck of a lot more.  I am also beginning to suspect that if I don’t get off my butt and try to do this now I never shall.  So I am.  I am hunting down and actively recreating my old coffee-house notebook.

(I still can’t decide whether to really go for it and have the Coffee House/Bake Shop also feature the Internet cafe and Independent/Used Bookstore from the get go or to add these things over time)

I am going to keep posting here, and writing my column, and writing in general… it’s something that enlivens my mind and feeds my spirit.  I am also going to keep trying to involve myself in the Pagan community.

I am also going to be working on business plans, and marketing plans, and menu’s, and recipes, and costing those recipes, and the million other things that go into creating a business.   I realize now may seem like a daft time to start such a project, but things will eventually take a new course and I believe they will get better; so why not take advantage of the time I have now so I am ready for the up-turn in the economy?

I shall be contemplating, and praying, and writing, and blogging about these things in the future…

Just thought I should give out a heads up!



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