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Have not posted in a long while but some of you may remember that on June 6 of 2007 I was fired from job of ten years. Several months later I started my new job as general manager of the Village Market. We started out wanting to be a market deli with a small restaurant. Oh, the best laid plans and how they do change!!! Pardon if my thoughts seem a bit at random.

Five chefs, 19 kitchen staff workers, one fire suppression system set off, a Friday lunch when no one showed up to work, a case of felony theft, and 365 days later we were named one of the best new restaurants in the Shreveport-Bossier area by S/B Magazine!

I've learned I lot this past year about the restaurant business. How to be a line cook, how to be a chef, how to control my amazing ability to get extremely ticked off, how to prepare dishes that I thought I would never cook, and how to put together a team that can handle anything that is thrown at us. I've also learned to be a better boss and manager while learning a lot about myself.

I'll leave out a lot of details but of the five chefs we hired (still have one)only one was not fired. One was fired because he just wasn't worth a flip, one was fired because he was a constant pain in you-know-where (and not a good cook either, even though he had been at it for 30 years), one was fired for ruining 2 5-gallon pots of gumbo and the theft of $750 of filets. Our first chef quit after a month on the job and I'm not including the chef that only worked one day! All that in the first five months!

I started out as a General Manager. I'm still the General Manager, but by necessity and because I got tired of firing chefs, I spend a lot of shifts in the kitchen. With only one part-time chef (works 3 nights a week), I started working every station in the kitchen. Most nights I work the grill or float where ever I'm needed. Otherwise I spend time cooking soups, gumbos, specials, deli salads, and preparing take-home entrées. I try my best not to expo as I have a great dislike for the position but realize it is the most important and stressful job in the kitchen. Everyone runs for cover when I have to expo, lol!

A kitchen crew of three covers all shifts now except on Friday night when we have four and a dish washer. We are badly in need of another expo and line cook. Most of my guys work at least 2 double shifts a week. In two weeks we will also be open on Sundays for lunch. The crew I have now is by far the best crew I've had and will do anything I ask. They make my job a lot easier. In fact at one point I was ready to throw in the towel. After firing every kitchen crew member except my part-time chef, we were able to pur together the crew we have now. They are the reason I've kept my sanity!

We are now a full fledged restaurant that originally seated about 35. We now can accommodate 65. We have daily lunch and dinner specials, offer gumbo and soup of day, and have expanded out dinner menu to include more appetizers and a fish of the day. I am surprised to say is going over much better than I thought. We are getting known for our daily specials, salads, hamburgers and steaks. Our business has seen a steady increase without any advertising. That will change next week when a mailer goes out to every house hold in our zip code. And with the addition of opening for Sunday lunch our business can only grow. My concern now is adding a few more kitchen staff and not working my present crew to death.

On a personal note I have always wanted to open and run a business like this to see if "I could cut the mustard" as the old-timers say. I've still got a lot to accomplish and learn. I also have a owner that has trust and faith in what I'm doing and truly appreciates my efforts and that of my staff.

Yea, it's one year later. Year two - bring it on!!! :beer: