Watching the Vine

March 24, 2016 at 12:05 pm (niles, thoughts) (, , )

Running a  small business is  difficult.   I  watched Annie , Margo  and  the  rest of  the crew create  a successful  restaurant and  I  learned a  few  things.

Connect.  I  don’t  mean ‘make connections’ in  the business  glad-hand way,  but  truly  connect.  Talk to  the people  in  the neighborhood.  Tell them  what  you  are  thinking ,  what  you  want  to  do , what issues  you are facing and how you  want to  deal  with  them.

At  one point,  the Vine took reservations.  But this was  actually blocking  business.        The  restaurant could be almost  empty,  but  they  couldn’t seat anyone – because reservations were headed  in.  Annie  talked to  a  lot of people before she stopped  taking reservations and  the transition went  smoothly

Let  people  help.   in the case  of  the Vine – painting , tables , etc wouldn’t be  there without  help.  And it  is  another way  to  connect , of course.   A  little  community  ownership never  hurts.

Be  open, frank.   I  know   a bunch  about the financing of restaurants now.   I  know  why  Salmon is a  big  feature on  the menu.  I can  tell you  all about  the restaurant advantages to  kegged  wine.  Annie’s  openness about  the business  side of  things,  made  it  really  easy to be frank  in  return.

Love it.  No  matter  what  you do – some days are  just  drudgery.  Yes,  Annie loves  food.   but she  also  loves the restaurant.   There has always been  pride and pleasure  in  her voice when  she  talks about  The Vine.

Thank You

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march 18th 2013

March 18, 2013 at 6:47 pm (thoughts, Uncategorized) ()

Exactly one month from my 50th Birthday. I was reminded of this yesterday. It is interesting , because it does not feel particularly significant. When I was a kid, I though 50 was old, but I am long past that now. The most significant thing about this age seems to be that I have friends that are 30+ years older and 30+ years younger.

It is however, a zero birthday – so a good time to reflect. and a good time to think about where I want to go.

There isn’t a lot I want to change. I have a job a like, a great husband. I live in a great neighborhood and a beautiful place. I have a lot of friends of all kinds. I have more fun. Despite diabetes and asthma – I’m in good health. I stick to plans , but I can flex more than before.

So which way is forward?

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local business – small business

October 26, 2012 at 1:56 pm (niles, thoughts) (, , , , , , , )

Do  you  support  local  business?  Where do  you  shop? As much  as I can,  more  and more of my  shopping goes local or small business.   Not all , because if you look at  my blog I do get ebooks from  amazon . ( no local  book store ! boo!) But when I  can  , I  spend  my money in local  and small  businesses.

I  have a few  reasons why. The first is that local businesses  are responsive. My  local  small grocery  store ( Mr. Mikey’s) is always asking if there are  things  they  should carry .  Recently  they  added a small produce section.  Our local  glass bead  maker made beads inspired by a local customer/friend.   And The Niles Pie Company is always interested in feedback.

The second, local business support the local community. A number of the local business have been involved in helping support the Niles Plaza concerts. Both with money(thank you, Iron Dog ) and with time ( Thanks, Wayne). The local business also support each other . The Niles Pie Company recently had a party for their kickstarter at the Vine.

I  support local  businesses by  shopping at them.   I  also  spread  the word about them – and we also  help.  My  DH  has  helped  with  a  number of projects for  local  business by  donating his computer expertise, and  his woodworking  skills.,  and  sharing  his  music. And  we  help  by  donating Money.   As I  said above,  the Niles Pie company  has a kickstarter going on.  A kickstarter is away  for a business to  raise  money . People donate  money  and receive something ( a  service or  goods) in return.   A donation to  the Niles Pie Kickstarter is a gift  to the owner, a gift  to  you ( pie!) , and  a gift to  the community (  expansion  means  hiring people) .

Niles Pie  is  not  the first Kickstarter I’ve  been  involved  in .  I  do  think it its  a  great place  to start ( I like  Pie)  .  However, there are a lot  of small ( and local )  businesses you can  support.   Explore kickstarter and see what a little bit of your money can do. It is fun to watch the donations come in and then to see the progress of a project.

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April 1, 2011 at 5:50 pm (thoughts) (, , )

A  couple  of  years  ago  we  made  a  floor  for  our  dining  room – from  a  tree.   We  also  put  down a  slate  floor  in the kitchen  ourselves.  And  then we  took  apart  a  fire place  and  hauled bricks  down  the street to  make a  patio(  we didn’t  build  the  patio  ourselves) .  I  couldn’t  explain to anyone  why  we  did it .  But  I  just  looked  at  a  Ted Talk  by  Mike  Rowe ( dirty  jobs) about  work.  Meaning  labour.  And it  explains  things.  There is a certain  satisfaction in  work.   My dad has  said  this (  and  done  it ) .  My  Dh  lives  it. and  I get  it.

Watch  him.  He is entertaining and his conclusion are something my  DH  and  I  have  been  talking  about.

No  embedding –  here is  the  link

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February 17, 2011 at 10:56 pm (books, fitness, thoughts) ()

I  had  never heard of  parkour  until  I  started  the book  I  am  reading now I wasn’t  sure  how  real it  was .   It  is real .  I would  call it  urban  survival  running.

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the great american foot race

February 11, 2011 at 7:36 pm (thoughts) ()

otherwise known as the bunion derby. I hear about this as I am contemplating the 3 day walk for breast cancer

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