Weeks of blur have passed. We're seeing through the fog and REALLY getting organised. Owning a cafe is nothing like you imagine before you open. Each day is tiring, because you're not only preparing, cooking and baking food, but you have to put your 'business brain' on, and think of the patrons. What they would like to eat, what they would like to see, how they would like to feel in YOUR establishment. Because really, without customers, the business wouldn't be. It is truly a service, and one that demands a theatre in it's own right. It doesn't matter what is going on behind the scenes; - as long as the whole, complete experience is 'just right', there lies the reality of it all.
There have been a few evenings, when the Machinist and I, when all is quiet and clean and scrubbed and packed and swept and mopped, - sit and reflect on all that has transpired. We tell each other "...we're cafe owners...did you ever THINK this would be?"
And yes, - it's true.
We pinch ourselves....
We are truly grateful and excited and challenged yet rearing to continue and develop and grow. The whole experience is so emotionally packed, that you feel like one of the stars on awards night....
"I'd like to thank so-and-so and so-and-so" and "...we're amazed..." and "...it's been an awesome journey..."
The Machinist and I are the pie-makers and bakers. We mix and roll and fill pie pallets and cover them with rough puff pastry. Our black aprons are lightly dusted with plain and baker's flour. We do a happy dance when we see the pie tops rise like souffle's through the window of the trusty old pie oven. We also do a lot of high fives, but the tone of the kitchen can change in a minute, resembling a kitchen akin to Ramsey's, if things go wrong.
Sometimes, the girls pop their heads in and ask "...can you keep it down in here. We have customers..."
We. Have. Customers.
This weekend is the 'Easter' weekend and we are expecting a lot of passing motorists. Fish pie is on the menu: a seafood marinara filling boasting a piped mash 'hat', which we will serve with mesclun salad and a wedge from a BIG FAT LEMON. I will also make some fruit flans and apple pies - nice and plump and runny.
Right now, though, there is a multitude of ordering to be done, and if I don't fall asleep at the computer, bobbing forward and cracking my head on the screen, I hope to do some paperwork, too.
Oops! There goes my floppy head!