I am really not sure which is more difficult – knowing how to start writing a blog – and to find people who may wish to read it….or to decide one week that it would be cool to open a ‘pop-up’ cafe and on the advice of a friend, who says – ‘just do it’ to literally start it 5 days later!
So, today, I found myself hauling ingredients out of the back of my car, that had just moments earlier been emptied of bulging school bags along with my boys, suffering from Mondayitis. I aimed for 9am – in the door of a cafe, that to date I had only frequented for impressive coffees and luscious food. Due to it’s open plan nature, I had chatted to the Chef/Owner on plenty of occasions and we didn’t even really discuss my plan. It was more of a case of – look here are the keys – get them cut and rock up on a Monday when I am closed. So that is pretty much what I did.
It took a while to hunt about for the light switches. The premises is an old butchers shop, so things are not quite where you may expect them to be. I sorted out the gas, and managed to turn on the dishwasher so at least I knew I could get cooking and cleaning. Obviously, the regular chef doesn’t use the back flues on the hob though. I realised this as I set the plastic wrapped condiments alight when I lit several flues at once. It vaguely crossed my mind as I blew with as much breath as I could muster, that it would have been useful to have had a little tour, to cover off on some health and safety issues before I was handed this cafe. What was I thinking? That I could just waltz in and do the job? Mark has a lot of faith in me and I am now determined not to let him down. Miraculously, my blowing worked, but I hastily re-organised the potential fire hazards before proceeding. Thankfully, having just worked for a day in the cafe, I realise that this extraordinary chef will have no time at all to be following my blog – I actually wonder how he finds the energy to run the place for 6 days in a row – and always a smile for everyone.
It took hours to get my food sorted. It was amazing – well I thought so anyway! It was all cooked from scratch – no pre-prep and all organic and fresh and everything done by hand. It all sounds perfect really. Just how you want your food to be prepared. But, really it is not sustainable. How can this be done? Thankfully, I only had to serve 7 customers. Well, 9 if you count the butchers who got some to take-away. And, if you count the shop owners who happily drooled over my complimentary nibbles, then I guess I really served 14 people. Oh, and the waitress took home dinner for 4 people – and so did I. So really I guess I cooked for 22 people. Phew. That was HUGE.
And I handed out flyers. I had to – because I had them printed and it seemed a waste not to hand them out. And a couple of people came and asked for some to pop in their shops. Someone also told me that they had had a phone call about my food already and that they would be in next Monday. Next Monday? Really? Oh yes, I guess I will be back. I handed out the flyers so I need to be. I can’t let people down. I will need to be in before 9am though. That was a mistake. At least now I know where the front cafe light switch is. It was lovely that today’s customers weren’t threatened by the dark – but it would have been useful if they had been able to see what they were eating. Perhaps, also an open sign at the front will assist for next week.
Let’s see. You need to start somewhere. In my case, I just needed to start!