It seems logical that that this section should start out this way. I will say as I begin writing this that I anticipate it will be one of the less interesting pieces in this section, but let’s see how it develops.
I opened my first food place in 1991 with one of my college roommates. Although he had some experience as a front of the house manager, we were “seat of the pants guys” with this new adventure. And as most partnerships go, this one went. He got out early and I was free to make all the decisions and mistakes without a counterargument.
Most of the content that you will find in this section is based on my perceptions of what happened over the next twenty plus years. Included in this will be the opening up a second and different food operation, the people encountered over the years, the lessons learned, and the craziness witnessed and often experienced.
The second place was developed with a collection of information gathered from the mistakes and successes of the first two decades. I had hoped that it would be a template for a few more outlets and would be the next stage of my career.
After opening the second place I faced a few major changes in the partnership earlier than anticipated (again) and my health started to show signs of fatigue and stress. Although a theme starts to emerge here, I carried on. My customers would ask me how things were going and my standard response was “Pretty well, but I think the two places are in cahoots and are trying to kill me.” Another example of my clairvoyance. I should have listened to myself.
I have been documenting the details of that part of my life in another outlet but I will tell you that my unattended (and unknown) blood pressure problems caused my kidneys to fail (feel free to read all the health related stories at caringbridge.org\johnvito). This caused me to close the long standing place and try to hold onto the new one. That didn’t work well with my treatments 3 days a week.
In addition to closing the stores my health issues have caused me to be very cautious about my diet. They have also given me the time to pursue cooking food that may not always be profitable in a business setting. I have the time to experiment at home and to cook for friends. All the while I have been recalling the antics of my own behavior and that of those around me, and here I will try to entertain you with the high (and often low) points of those stories.
After reading through this piece I can say with a great deal of confidence that the rest of the stories will be much better in content. I cannot guarantee they will be better in structure but I will work on that part.