Kitchen and Bar, New Business, Uncategorized

Trying To Make All of the People Happy All of the Time…Good Luck

So, three jobs, one hot sauce business and a project to open my own establishment.  First off, working for three very distinctive personalities, following their very different rules AND keeping them all happy.  Believe this – these factors are not that problematic.   All I need are the clear and concise rules.  I pretty much know how to work within ‘undefined territory’.  Believe it or not, there is much gray area within my work walls.  This usually makes for a pretty ‘eventful’ shift.  If I treat a specific situation one way & a co-worker does something completely different with the same circumstances, I’ll usually hear about it from my customers.  I pride myself on being skillful while accommodating my customers, so for the most part, they are happy.  Fabulous – I got that covered.

One thing I’ve learned throughout the years, consistency is one of the many major keys to success.  Whether it’s how I make a drink, hot sauce, a dish or my demeanor, it’s all about uniformity with pizzazz.  I’ve been doing it for 25 years and I’ve trained people, but it’s hard to find people cut out to do just this.  So, needless to say, while I am serving my customers in my own establishment, I’ll do what comes naturally.  Is this trainable behavior?  Yes.  I just need the right people to work with.  Challenging, absolutely.  Exciting? You bet your ass!

Meanwhile, there is so much to do before we even get to that point.  For instance, the bathrooms have been ripped out, so we have to build new facilities.  They have to be within the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) code.  This, I have no problem with.  Especially because we are going to offer discounted rates for active and veteran Military Personnel.  The problem lies within the space we have to build the washrooms in; it’s not big enough to accommodate ADA code.  So…we now have to open up an original brick wall that was built in 1910 to make a new Mens room entrance.  Making all of the people happy…It’s what I do best, so this should be a piece of cake. Right?  All I have to say is thank God for Glen!


Unofficial Beginnings

Starting and growing a new hot sauce company, trying to buy a building to start my very own bar/restaurant and working for three other establishments – how many fires can one person have burning?  A WHOLE LOT!!  Let me start at the beginning…

My name is Valerie.  Twenty five years ago at the tender age of 19 (you do the math) I started tending bar.  I’ve had a blast – and I still am.  In 2003, I started making hot sauce out of the garden in my yard.  Unbeknownst to me, I was on my way to starting my own Buffalo NY based hot sauce company.  After 7 years of tapping into my bar patrons as a casual test mark, I finally launched HeadStone Heat “Your New Favorite Hot Sauce!” 

As most of us know, owning anything comes with mega responsibilities.  Marketing, budgeting, sales, state licensing – just to name a few – along with retaining gainful employment.  I NEED TO CONSOLIDATE!!  I’ve had an ongoing business plan for owning my own eating/drinking emporium for at least 8 years now.  I was missing two things – capital and guts.  After scrimping and saving, me and my partner in life and business, Glen, are ready to dive in.  He can build and fix anything and I’ve got the rest covered.

It’s winter in Buffalo.  Holidays have just ended and we just got hit with our first blizzard since 1993.  Under the peaceful blanket of snow all is sleepy and serene.  Ah, but you just watch me.  I’m about to explode!