I haven't posted in a long time. As a matter of fact, back in December I realized I hadn't posted anything for all of 2022. That depressed me. I loved writing on my blog. I know I walked away from it for awhile because I was always ranting about politics. I still rant about politics but I have tried to limit how much I let it into my life. The level of ignorance and hate was getting to me. It should get to you, but if I'm posting on my blog and sharing it through my social media, most of those people it's going to hit know where I stand, and plenty have muted me or unfollowed me because they disagree or are sick of hearing me be right!
There was also something else going on that took up most of my time.
For the last couple years I have been working at a local coffee shop. Running the kitchen, learning the business, learning how to roast coffee and enjoying it. I fell in love with the place. When I started there, I was doubting myself and my career path and lacking confidence. Working there got me my confidence back. I was enjoying cooking and creating again. Eventually I took on more managerial duties including running the social media. In January I took over as the General Manager as well as being the Chef.
Right off the bat I made some minor changes that made the place more profitable. Sales are up 75%. The owner is very hands off and trusted me to do what was best for the business. Some of this trust was based on what she saw from me as well as my history in the restaurant business. Also, she was looking to retire and was in talks to sell my wife and I the shop. We were really excited about this. I had always wanted to have my own business of some form...
But the last few months taught me something. I don't want to own a business. I have often let my job take too much hold of my life and this job was consuming my life. I was working seven days a week, with no benefits, no vacation time and only getting paid for five days a week. Even if I had a day off I was worried about the shop. I was getting texts or calls asking questions or to come in. I was responding and still updating social media. I was still checking the numbers on an app. When my wife and I started crunching the numbers, what profit is there at the end of each month, It all has to go back into the business for at least the first five if not ten years, to build a cushion for maintenance, cosmetic changes and because we would want to pay the staff what they are worth and get benefits for the staff. Two things not offered by the current owner. It has been all consuming and I'm not happy. This is not the life I want to live...It's not a life at all.
I want to be able to go to work, do my job and do it well, then clock out and not worry the rest of the day and night about work. I started quietly looking for jobs, did some interviews and found one that really felt good. I had three interviews and then was offered the position. I accepted. I will be the Culinary Services Director at a local Retirement/Assisted Living Community, that is owned by a family that has numerous facilities in the U.S. and has been doing this for over 20 years. It's a five day work week, I write my own schedule and get benefits and PTO...and my life back.
This week will be my last at the coffee shop. I am doing my best to set them up with my recipes that have become staples there, as well as stocking them up on the soups, dressings and syrups I make. I care about many of the people there, staff and customers, and want the place to continue on it's upward trajectory.
Once I am officially gone, I'll probably write a post about the Erie coffee shop scene which drives me nuts. There is another shop that gets all the publicity while always being empty and making tiktok's trashing customers and talking about how slow they are. Also in this town, you only get awards, if you pay for the award, so some other places win awards simply because we wouldn't pay for an award. The shop I've been at is the only one that roasts it's own coffee, the rest all buy theirs from one of two larger roasteries. But I've learned most people don't really taste coffee. Yeah, I've become a coffee snob.
I hope to get back to writing somewhat regularly as I have missed this outlet.
Have a week!