Sunday, November 28, 2010

Next week is show time...

HACCP's and Business Plan (all three copies) are pretty much done (I think I still need a pickling HACCP flow chart). I just need Stein's resume and I can start pounding the pavement next week for funding. I don't know why this is so terrifying? My credit isn't great, and I can imagine lenders are pretty gun shy at this point in history, so who knows how that is going to go? I suppose THAT is a pretty good reason to feel terrified.

I've done all this work and if I get turned down... I suppose it is all still there for later when times are not so tight. And what if I GET funding? That is way scarier! It means I will be doing the biggest scariest career move of my life.

I keep rolling over the details in my head. I will have to roll out production of charcuterie so I can have a good selection ready to go when we open, but it will all have to be made in the restaurant, since my home kitchen is not a commercial kitchen. I won't have 6 months of curing time to get things ready... if I am lucky I will get 4-6 weeks.

So what kind of salumi can be done in that amount of time to accomodate my needs (muffuleta sandwich, salumi platter, pastrami, etc)

Less than one week lead time:
Smoked Turkey
Smoked Duck
Smoked Chicken
Corned Beef
Hot smoked chorizo
Cured Fish
Smoked Fish

Less than 2 weeks lead time:

4-6 weeks lead time:
Small circumference dry cured sausage

3 months:
Beef middle size salumi

6 months
bung stuffed salumi

So technically I could have a plouoghman's platter of bacon, smoked fish, wiesswurst, pastrami and Spanish style chorizo with pickles... only I am not sure what to do about house made pickles in Jan/Feb... I can do beets, onions and fennel house made and buy decent gherkins already done.

I could also do confit...

I called the fire inspector last week, but have not heard back (not surprised with the holidays upon us)... I am kind of excited ab out the prospect of being able to deep fry... I will add fries, deep fried gnocchi and aranchini to the lunch menu andbeignet to the breakfast menu if I can deep fry.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

New To-do list

  • Write 3 HACCP plans (Cured meats, Smoked Meats, pickled items)
  • Talk to fire inspector about electric smoker and electric fryers
  • Get details on coffee from Weavers
  • Study for ServSafe exam
  • Do my menu project for Nurtition
  • Take final in Meat Fish and Poultry
  • Take final in Supervisory Management
  • Take final in Nutrition


I just sometimes feel like they make it so difficult to start a business that it is a miracle anyone does it.

Last night I hopped in the bath with the food safety booklet that Ghislane brought me (she works for the Napa Health Department) and, not that I am surprised TRULY, I need to write a HACCP plan for smoked, cured or pickled items. I will be doing all three! So I have to write (3!!) HACCP plans.

Here is the template I am using, which my beloved sweetly put in excel form:

And I need to renew my ServSafe certification so I called to see if I could do the online test with a proctor (they have someone watch you take it) and it seems I will have to do the written one, which takes longer to get the results of. And I have to repay for it... which is only $75, but still!

AND... AND... and the fire inspector who does Martinez has a full voicemail box and the other number they gave me is going straight to voicemail, meaning everyone is on vacation for Thanksgiving, so I won't be able to get that thing crossed off my to-do list either.

But the positves are...

I got to chat with Stein yesterday and I think we are on the same page about uniforms (baseball jersey types with "Compass Star" on them and funny sayings). We went to this little Italian style deli in Alameda that seemed quite popular. I was pleasantly surprised to see the tables change over several times while we were sittign there, plus a lot of to-go sandwiches etc. I have my projections based on 40 covers in 4 hours and they easily saw more than that in the hour we were there (which was admittably the lunch hour rush). I also need to add a commerical toaster to my list of stuff I need... I am not sure how I missed that in the first place?

I was really encouraged by the experience because I had the hot pastrami sandwich and it was decent but nothing like mine. I am not sure how they can even make pastrami without imparting that peppery smokey flavor... it really isn't pastrami without that. Stein had the meatball sandwich and I noticed others got that as well, making me more determined than ever to serve my meatball sliders.

Today I am trying not to feel discouraged. It just seems like every time I move forward a bit, there are ten more things I need to do that I was blissfully unaware of just the day before. But my determination to do this thing is, if anything, stronger now than ever. Next week are my final Nutrition Class plus Supervisory management. Then I will just need to finish Cross Cultural Healing and I will be done (with the Culinary Arts Certificate and the Baking and Pastry Certificate), then I just need two online classes next semester to get my Associates Degree in Hospitality Management. Whew.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Opening my own restaurant...

And other feats of hubris and ego...

So I am merely seconds away from begining the funding search.

Essentials Checklist:
  • Fictitious Business Name
  • Home Occupancy Permit
  • Business License
  • State Tax ID Number
  • Federal Tax ID Number
  • Resellers Permit (in the mail)

Business Plan Checklist:

  • Menu
  • Itemized Menu Price Costing
  • Vendor List
  • SWOT
  • Executive Summary
  • Mission Statement "House Cured and Hand Crafted"
  • Weekly Cash Flow Projections
  • Monthly Cash Flow Projections
  • Quarterly Cash Flow Projections
  • Yearly Cash Flow Projections
  • 5 Year Cash Flow Projections
  • Funding Disbursment List
  • Festival Schedule
  • Demographic Information
  • Marketing Plan
  • Employee Information

Now I am contesting a few small things on my credit report and plan to do a couple of small things to improve my credit score and after that... I have the names of two non-profit lenders who do small business loans I will be contacting, plus Gerad from the local Small Business Administration will be looking my stuff over as well. Today the business plan is with Mr. E from school for input etc.

I want to get together with Stein and brainstorm some details like.... what will we wear? Chefs coats? Rugby Shirts? Dress shirt and black pants with a black apron? How do we want to do service? People sit with menus, or do they come up to the counter and order, then we give them a number and they go sit while we prepare the food? What kind of signage would I do? I kind of want a carved wooden sign that looks like one of the old English tavern signs hanging out above the door. Compass Star with a pig, or with a compass star, or both. I have friends who would probably do it for me, I just need to ask.