The past few months were meant for family, restoration and some time to reflect on the year ahead. The cafe closed on 12th January for light maintenance and redecoration and we hit the road heading North. A few hours later we found out that emergency repairs were needed on the cafe involving replacing the joists across half of the building.
Builders were brought in, the kitchen and bar emptied and our beautiful cafe was torn apart. I felt like I'd lost a limb. Although we had time away I was faced with the overwhelming project of rebuilding the dream underscored with a nagging uncertainty of when we would open our doors again.
Half term came and went and at the lowest points I had to remind myself that The Obstacle is the Way and that there would be a silver lining to what was a very challenging situation. At the moments when I wanted to walk away, the thing that kept me going was getting my team their jobs back and the attitude and support of the team themselves. They carried me when I didn't know what the next step was.
Who knew that chefs and baristas were so brilliant in a crisis or that a team could be 10 times more than the sum of it's individual parts? We reopened 8 days after the deadline thanks to everyone pulling together to climb the mountain of cleaning, sorting and rececoration.
Behind the scenes we still have work to do but the cafe is open and it feels fresher, brighter and better than before. Whether that's because of the mammoth clean or simply because the team has fought to be back and we have done it together, who knows. But I do know that we work and communicate together better than before and that the smaller daily challenges don't seem like such a big deal anymore.
In terms of me, I'm tired and I didn't do as much chilling out as planned before the season begins. But I've done a lot of thinking and a change is as good as a holiday! I want the cafe more than ever now and still have lots of ideas for the year ahead. Most of all I have a deep sense of pride for the team and the business that we've built.