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Bad News -- Good News! longish

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
The bad news -- On June 6, 2007 I was fired from my job after 10 years of service. I would have to admit that I needed to be fired as my attitude had gone south over certain kitchen and employee issues. I was told I was being fired for comments I made on Chef Talk as well. Seems a fellow employee relayed the comments to my boss. The ironic thing about the day I got fired was that I was going to give my employer my notice and offer to work until they got back from vacation in late July. It was long past time for me and my employer to part ways.

The Good News -- O.K., so now I am without a job and thing are looking pretty gloomy. I got a call from a very good friend that had heard about my firing. She mentioned that she might know someone that is opening a market and deli similar to the one I was working at. She called back in a few days to tell me about a place called The Village Market that was opening in one of the fastest growing areas of Shreveport (LA). She knew the young man that was opening the business and wanted the two of use to get together and talk.

I meet with Stephen on June 12 at the site of The Village Market. Although Stephen is just 25, I sensed that he had "done his homework" in efforts to open and run a successful business. The project had been years in the making and his hard working and planning ever detail was apparent. Stephen gave me the tour of the place which at the time was little more than sheet rock and a concrete floor. He explained his vision for the market and I was extremely impressed with the concept.

After the tour we talked about his business philosophy, what his goals were, and what was the number one priority for his business. From the start he and I were on the same page on every issue that was important to him and those that were important to me. After an hour I was offered the job as head chef and manager of The Village Market. I gladly accepted.

During the preopening Stephen was a delight to work with. He was open to many of my ideas and valued my input in every aspect of opening and operating a deli and market business. He is genuinely appreciative of my input and effort. It a great feeling to know that you efforts are appreciated.

I was asked to begin compiling list for grocery store items, kitchen supplies, dry goods and perishables, developing fully cooked entrées and sides dishes, researching menu ideas for the restaurants (opening in 2 weeks), and everything else that you need to open a market and deli in seven weeks. It is something I have always wanted to do and now that I had the opportunity I was going to make the best of it.

I was given full rein to set up the kitchen and hire staff for the BOH as well as developing the prepared entrées, sides, dips, 12-15 cold deli salads, and developing appetizers, salads, sandwiches and desert menu for the restaurant. Over the next seven weeks I had a ton of things to do and plan. I worked 12 - 14 hours days seven days a week and loved every minute of it! I worked harder in my life but I have NEVER enjoyed it more that I have working with Stephen during the last seven weeks.

During the past two week things really began to fall into place and I could see Stephen's vision. I am so impressed that a 25 year old young man could make his dream and vision come true. I am honored and proud to work with him. It's a new beginning for me and one that I cherish. I really fell that The Village Market is going to be something special.

On Friday August 10, 2007 we opened the doors. The grand opening will be in early September. Here is a link to photos from the finished product -- The Village Market.

Village Market - Now Open! Photo Gallery by Bill Wood at pbase.com

It's a new day and the sun is shinning bright!

Bill
post #2 of 13
Congratulations, how wonderful that you have found such a rewarding challenge.
post #3 of 13
congradulations! There is nothing like positive creative energy!!! time flies and life is good. It was wonderful to read your experience. Good luck with the grand opening.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #4 of 13
Congratulations! That's very exciting, I wish you all the best in your new endeavor!

:chef:
My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
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My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
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post #5 of 13
Now that cloud really had a silver lining! Congrats!! and Good Luck :)

DC
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #6 of 13
Good for you nightcook, the place looks great, you'll do great with the change.
post #7 of 13
yay, you go !
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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post #8 of 13
Congrats and Enjoy your new job. Keep on Smiling and Be Happy.

MG
post #9 of 13
Congrats and that sounds good. Are you going to be doing any breads? What about soups? What will be your signature sandwhich?
Bigsimp:smoking:
post #10 of 13
Nightcook, I know you must be very busy, but can you private message me sometime inthe next few weeks? Your PM function is turned off so I can't PM you. I have some questions for you. Thanks.
post #11 of 13
well done nightcook. Gd to know someone appreciates you eh! We all need to shake the cobwebs off now and again and leave our safety zone. It's the only way to reach our potential. Best of luck in the future
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks all for the kind words and encouragement. I have to admit though on Saturday afternoon the past 6 weeks caught up with me. Now I know how those runners feel when they "hit the wall." LOL A couple of nice glasses of merlot and a long night's sleep had me feeling much better the next day.

The restaurant part of our business wasn't planned to open for another week but the owner asked if we could be ready Friday for a few friends coming in for lunch. I wasn't as prepared as I would liked but my kitchen crew came though big time and everyone one, about 30 folks, all left happy and impressed.

There were just a few minor glitches due to my lack of experience on working and setting up a line. All my experience comes for doing catering work. Working a line is a different beast and I have new found admiration for anyone that works one!

We are continuing with our soft opening and will make some minor adjustments to the menu this week before our grand opening on Labor Day weekend. I have a lot a confidence in my kitchen crew and they sure saved my butt on Friday! I let everyone of them know how much I appreciated their hard work and experience. I see things getting into a routine within the next week or so.

We are still experimenting on a signature sandwich. Right now with have five salads, nine sandwiches and five poboys on the menu with a few deserts. We are doing a entree and soup of the day as well. It's all pretty basic right now but I see our menu becoming more refined and upscale.

Thanks again and I'm sure I have a bunch of question to ask in the next few weeks.

Bill
post #13 of 13

Good Luck

Good Luck to you Bill. Although I don't know you but I can feel the excitement in you and your team. Wish the best of luck and success for you & your team.

:chef:
MG
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