Sunday, October 21, 2012

Almost One Year!!!!

I can't believe we've been open almost one year! The first year of owning a restaurant is legendarily difficult; the vast majority of restaurants don't make it one year... even really good ones like Cuba Linda. I know there are things I need to deal with... like the accountant we hired that we never heard from again (we need to get a new one). And paying sales tax for last year (I am paying penalties now because it is two months late). And renewing my liquor license on the 31st (pricey). And a million things like that....

BUT... we've been loved and embraced by the local community, to a level I would have never hoped or imagined possible. Martinez is an amazing town. My kind of town. I feel like we've gotten into a great rhythm with our landlord and developed amazing relationships with local compatriots like Jim Blair from Creek Monkey and Ashley and Irash from Barrel Aged. I don't think I could love what I do more. My mornings with Janet and days with Wendy are full of fun and happy chatter. My collaboration with Sean is enriching and exciting. I am getting into a good grove with my wholesale clients. All of the extra business (wholesale, catering etc) is what will eventually make it so I can bring home a paycheck. And it continues to grow in a sustainable way.

I feel like I am growing more mature in my role as La Patrona. Advice to people thinking about opening up their own restaurant? Don't expect to make money the first year, even if you are busy, even if your product is priced well, even if you have cheap rent. You are building your business. If you can't be ok not making money for a year, don't get started. That is the primary reason most restaurants fails. We are busy, rent is cheap, my overhead is low... I am still not bringing home a paycheck (but I will be soon ). I will pay off my few friends/family who loaned me money soon I hope as well. 

We will do something special for the week of our one year anniversary but honestly, I just feel so good about making it this far. I know there will be many many challenges going forward, but this is a great mental milestone. I am constantly amazing by how different the reality is from what my original expectation was... but in so many ways it is so much more rewarding and amazing than I expected it to be. It is a lot like having a child... I think you don't really understand how much you will fall in love until you see the reality vs "in theory". All of the complicated little pieces. I wonder what the year ahead has in store for us? I feel like my wings get stronger as time goes on and I find my comfort zone and build confidence that I can DO this.


  1. Wow--congratulations! After all the problems you had before you opened, I wasn't sure things were going to work out. I'm glad they did.