Friday, July 31, 2009

Feelin' the love

I was talking to a friend last night about the blog, and she was asking how often I update it. "Well, it all depends, usually not much unless I have some news or something is happening." Then I went on to tell her a slew of little things that are on the horizon, and even though they're not necessarily anything all that big, I woke up this morning wondering why the hell I hadn't been updating them here? Point being, I'm not great at updating but I'm now making a vested effort to be better about it.

Last week I had a quick, fruitful meeting with Peter of Poco Wine Room. Last year I met with him simply to get his story about starting up a new small business, which he was happy to share. Little did I know there was a great relationship opportunity right under my nose; Peter is incredibly sweet, down to earth, and has been very excited about what I'm doing. He also does an excellent job with Poco, I have found his rotating wine selections to be consistently impressive, and it's clear that he loves what he's doing. So a month or so ago, when it became clear that I wasn't going to be opening shop for yet a few more months at the least, I propositioned him to partner with me in co-hosting some wine and cheese pairings at the bar. It's a real win-win situation; I get to do what I love, talk about cheese to a group of food lovers, and at the same time get my name out there before I've opened shop. Peter gets to do what he loves, talk about wine and bring more customers into his space. We both agreed it's a real no-brainer. So with that we have slated the first cheese and wine pairing event to take place on Thursday, September 17th. Naturally details to come as we get closer to the date.

In the meantime, I'm getting ridiculously jazzed for the American Cheese Society conference next week in Austin, TX. I was originally going to wait to attend this annual event until next year, when it will be held in Seattle, but this year's even focuses on retail and I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to gain even more knowledge before I take the big plunge. There I'll be soaking up the advice of experts from all around the country on retail strategies, affinage, serving and pairing, the list goes on. Not to mention getting to taste hundreds of cheeses! I'm also tickled pink to meet many of the personalities I've become familiar with on twitter in person. Nothing gets me going like being surrounded by a bunch of fellow cheese geeks.

Upon my return home, I'll be getting down to the nitty-gritty of finalizing my SBA loan, crossing t's and dotting i's with my lawyer, and hopefully by September I'll be hitting the ground running. It's all happening so fast, yet at the same time I'm way off my original schedule, which is something I've come to learn is completely ok. Yesterday I had a long conversation with one of my mentors and biggest supporters, my incredible mother in law, and I had to revel a little at the arc this journey has taken that I never could have predicted. Probably the best piece of advice I got in the beginning was from a fellow small business owner, who gravely warned me against getting stuck on anything specific in terms of how this would all come to fruition. I took his advice to heart, and it has kept me open and flexible to all of these amazing opportunities that in one way are far from me actually opening the shop, but at the same time are moving me towards my goal of eventually owning a business that will succeed and sustain because of the foundation I'm building now. It's already one wild ride...

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