Friday, January 22, 2010

La Campagne: a celebration of French cheese and wine

Now that holiday madness is behind us, we're ready to rock your tastebuds with another fabulous cheese and wine pairing at Poco Wine Room!

Sunday, February 7th at 5:00 p.m.
Click here for more info and reservations.

Start practicing your accents an francias now fellow cheese lovers, this event is not one to be missed!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Departments of Health, Development and Planning, oh my!

My lord the past few weeks have flown by. I've been very busy setting up accounts with distributors, getting in touch with many of the local cheesemakers I'll be purchasing from individually, making plans for opening parties and other events, and of course, logging many hours at the DPD.

I must say they are incredibly friendly and helpful, and being so ignorant to this whole process of simply acquiring a T.I. permit I've been at their mercy. Of course, it was bound to bite me in the ass sooner or later, and today I'm nursing a nice big wound to my proverbial glutes. Months ago, in an effort to make some sense out of the process so that when the time came I would have at least some idea of how to proceed, I contacted many people at the DPD and the Department of Health. One major issue was whether or not I would need a review by the Health Board in order for my permits to be approved. I was told by a handful of various people in both offices that I would not, since I wasn't preparing food, just cutting and wrapping it for sale. This was an enormous weight off my shoulders, as recent cutbacks in the city have greatly reduced the number of staff appointed to review plans, and now anyone submitting plans for review by the Health Dept. is having to wait 6-8 weeks for turnaround. As you have probably already guessed, today I got the news from the top that I do, in fact, need to submit my plans for this frustrating review, which could potentially push back everything drastically. Thank you Seattle, as a city that is going broke, for making the opportunity to generate local revenue even more difficult than it already is!

In an effort to keep my mind off of this as much as possible and not descend into a complete nervous breakdown, I'm keeping on keeping on. Plans are solidified for another cheese and wine pairing at Poco Wine Room, details to follow very shortly. I'm also filling every nook and cranny in the house with supplies from several runs to various outlet shops and the like. Ultimately I know I'll be thanking myself for taking the time to run these tedious errands when I'm going at breakneck speed in a few months to open shop, but it is still a little disconcerting to shimmy over and around boxes of cheese cutters and cheese paper and cheese signs. At least the cats are enjoying it.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Little Earthquakes

The past few weeks have been INSANE, and I'm just on the cusp of what I consider the two months that all my friends and colleagues will hate me for two months while I lose my mind getting things ready to open the shop.

The frustrating part of where I'm at right now involves a lot of hurry-up-and-wait behavior as I give what information I have to the powers that be and then wait on a steady diet of fingernails until I hear back from them. In reality, it's only a matter of hours, an afternoon or so that I have to spend waiting to hear back from anyone, and for this I am eternally grateful. But at the same time, this time I have that is out of my control is insanely unnerving, and provides way too much time for me to ruminate on the great risk I'm taking with this venture. Naturally the demons creep in and I wonder what on earth am I doing? Is there any way I can really make this work? Somehow I kept these doubts at bay for the year or so building up to this point, and now they are riding passenger seat to me through this part of the wild ride.

Despite my current ridiculous inner turmoil, things are moving forward and every day that passes unveils a tad more excitement for the whole thing. Right now I'm setting up accounts with distributors, making opening inventory lists, shopping around for equipment, generally keeping myself busy. In the meantime, I'm also entertaining more than a few requests for informal interviews from various press forums - I'm starting to feel like a cheeselebrity! I can only hope and assume that the level of excitement I'm getting from local press peeps is indicative of the growing enthusiasm that seems to be spreading in my neighborhood. Vive la fromage!