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

Permalink Leave a Comment

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.

Permalink 3 Comments


March 5, 2012 at 4:49 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

On Facebook,  I  talk  about going to the Vine  a lot,  espcially  on  every other  Wednesday .   That  is  my  day  off (  which  menas  work  every other  Satuday )  and I  try  to  go  down  for  Happy  hour.  Sometimes , there  are  10  or  12  of  us , but last  week , on  Bonus  Thursday ,  there  were  only  three  of  us.  While hnaging  with  my  friends  C  and C ,  I finally understood why  it  is something I  enjoy  so  much.  It  isn’t  the  wine and food ( though that  is  good !); it  is  the conversation.   The  conversation is  not intense, or earth  shattering , but  that is what is going on .  Yes,  we  all have  phones and yes  there might be a facebook  messages — or picutres  of food  and wine  sent to working spouses  and friends , but  mostly it is  just conversation. 

We  all have  families , work  to  do  (  yes painting  counts ), and our  time  is  limited.  so  we talk  about stuff. and  some other stuff ,  and then  some more. 

I  like  these  long  meandering conversations  and  I  value  them.

Permalink 2 Comments

3/50 project

November 20, 2011 at 9:55 am (domestic life, food, fun, niles, politics) (, , , , , , , , , )

So It is all about local business . It turns out that for every 100.00 spent in a local independent store 68.00 comes back to the community – only 43.00 if you spend it in a chain and well, nothing if it is online. ( there are some intersting exeptions to this)

The project info can be found here. it looks like brick and motar counts in the project because of commercial property tax. What this site is asking you to do is think of 3 independent brick and motar business and commit to spending 50.00 dollars out of you budget at them – instead of at a chain.

I have a few quibbles with this. But only because it doesn’t count a home based business like Pamela’s Soap or an online delivery business like Nile Pie . However , because they don’t have commercial property taxes – they don’t fit the model. But if you read through the 3/50 project site – they aren’t against such business – they just don’t fit the strict model.

Now I actually do spend at money at local business. the big grocery stores, clothing stores, and hardware stores that I use are chains. Sadly, book buying is mostly on line – but if I am near a bookstore – I buy.

I’ve read a few post about not buying for the holidays – but I think supporting the local independent businesses is a better idea.

So some local favorites:

Corrie Glass
Mr Mikey’s – hey i just found out they deliver!
th e Vine in Niles
the Nile Cafe
Bronco Billy’s ( small local chain)
kiowa rose
Picnic sandwich bistro

I’m  wondering  if  I  can  make  a bigger  list,  by  thinking  about it a  little  more

Permalink 1 Comment