A seed is sown
Well I can now confirm that starting a new business isn’t easy.
After months of planning, buying kitchen equipment, having our homes packed full of 2nd hand furniture that we have slowly been refurbishing… we opened! The day before opening we had friends and family in to sample our wares and put us to the test, and the result was overwhelmingly positive. We went home that night tired and wondering how we would cope the next day if we had a rush and barely able to sleep in anticipation for the following day.
Day one. We opened, not to a fan fair but to the roller shutter going up outside the gym at 5.45am and us entering our cafe ready to serve our first member of THE PUBLIC.
About an hour of so later we were delighted to have our first customer, a charming man who enthused about our freshly made juice. Having met customer number one and chatted to him for a while we turned to each other with smiles and said, ‘Do you know, I think this is going to work.’
As the day progressed we were disappointed to find that customer number one made up a large percentage of our customers for that day and by 10pm that evening we had taken about £40, we decided not to spend the time breaking down how much of that might be profit. We also wondered how we could have been so busy and worked so hard when we had so few customers, but I guess we were learning the ropes.
So we have now had just over a week of being open. We have had a few potential customers, disappointed about our lack of animal products, turn away, but on the whole the feedback we have had couldn’t have been better. It means an awful lot to hear “Wow” when someone tastes your cake or to have other people just pop in to browse through our menu in anticipation of returning as they have heard from others how great our food is. On a personal level it has also been lovely to get to know some of our customers a bit better and we have been moved to tears at times by customers who have been generous enough to share their personal stories with us.
So on the whole it’s been a good week. Given that we are a vegan cafe hidden away in a gym, where people are traditionally obsessed with meat protein, that we don’t even have a sign up yet and we haven’t advertised or announced ourselves on social media, it’s a wonder really that we have had any customers, but we have. So thank you customers and people of Formby for your support and encouragement. Maybe now we’ve dipped our toe in we will be ready to announce ourselves to the world.
The seed of Plant Vegan Cafe has been sown. It has spent it’s first week hidden in warm fertile ground and is getting ready to sprout.