Geppetto’s Log - Stardate 122821.1
Perfect Timing and Generosity
So, yesterday… a friend called. Her neighborhood wanted to place an order for delivery. One person paid with credit card. All would pitch in cash as gratuity for the delivery driver.
“So… Don’t send your husband! She said, We want the gratuity to go to the driver.”
Well, with the ice and snow… and a shortage of delivery drivers… we were down to my husband and his FWD pickup for delivery.
I explained further…
When Roger and I deliver… gratuity goes directly to our kitchen staff. I assured her… anything given would make it to the right folks.
As a result of my friend’s call… and the generosity of their neighborhood… each one of last night’s kitchen team received this hand written thank you note and $50 for their effort with the order!
Post Christmas… the timing could not have been more perfect. The looks of total surprise were priceless. Sheer gratitude rolled through the restaurant like a wave of joy and hope.
There are some pretty incredible people in this world… so thoughtful and generous. Blessings upon blessings to those who seek to be a blessing to others!
Geppetto’s Log - Stardate 122621.1
Merry Day After Christmas from Geppetto’s!
I wonder… does it snow in space?
We are open for dine in… takeout… and somewhat limited delivery. If you live in the hills… perhaps another day.
We were in early this morning. Fresh and delicious Minestrone and Alfredo are here for you. The oven is hot and ready to crank out yummy Chicago Style pizza!
I so enjoy the peace and quiet snow brings. Stay put if you can. If you do venture out… be careful.
Our closing hours will be determined by the hour. Driver safety is paramount. Call for takeout and/or delivery!
Geppetto’s Log Startdate 121821.1
Good and Evil
Our crew survived a week without Chef Alonzo! (Thanks mostly to Esther for taking on the focaccia bread. It turned out great!) We celebrated yesterday with thirty tacos from Azuls Taco House! All were fed and I got to see our dear friend, Tino. We had a great visit about family, friends and Salem. I left with a hug, awesome tacos and a warm heart.
The rest of the evening was packed with deliveries, dine in and takeout. So many good people… but for two.
I’m sure they knew what they were doing long before they arrived. They ate and drank well… to the tune of $75… they sat and visited for a very long time. They then made their way to the bar. Then they left… without paying. If I judged by appearance… they could afford to pay… but get off on stealing. Bleh.
The way I see it… we are on this planet for a for a relatively short amount of time. How we live while we are here matters in the encore. We can use our gifts for good or evil and the choice is ours.
Roger didn’t want me to write about this because, he said, it sounds negative. I respectfully disagree. I believe we have to be aware of what can happen. We have to walk with eyes open. We need to be conscious of how our own actions impact others.
The young couple stole from us and made the server feel like crap. I assured her their bad juju belongs only to them.
Here’s the even better part…
I learned of their crime while visiting with another couple of guests. They reacted by handing over Geppetto’s gift cards to help cover the loss.
There is a lot of good going on in Salem. Hang on to the good. God will handle the riff raff when the time comes. Good prevails!
Geppetto’s Log - Stardate 120921.1
Black Rock in Space
It was nowhere near my bucket list to own a restaurant. For one month I trained and took copious notes. On June 1, 2017 I rolled out of bed at 4:30am. My husband headed to Clackamas to his full time paying job which supported our household. At the same time… I climbed into my little car and set out for my first day of restaurant ownership.
Feeling the need for a lift… I decided drive-thru coffee would be a good place to start; nothing fancy just a single shot Americano, plain and simple. The Dutch Bros and Starbucks lines were way too long. I was a little nervous about starting my new life all by myself and needed coffee fast. I wondered, would I remember the alarm code, the recipes, the processes and procedures for the pizza dough and focaccia bread? What would the list for Cash and Carry be? When does Sysco come and why does it cost so much to have laundry service? These things were my job now. No one else would be around to help. I thanked God for Chef Alonzo who came on two weeks prior. I knew he’d be there and that gave me hope. I just needed to learn how to delegate and enlist help. Geppetto’s staff stayed on but I had to find a way to lead.
I mustered strength and forged ahead. I prayed, God, I know you are with me. I’ve just got to pull my big girl pants up and do this! Please, grant me strength… and probably a ton of grace.
A little further up the road stood the Black Rock Coffee shop. The line wasn’t crazy long so I pulled in behind a couple of cars. God knew where I needed to be that day. The woman inside was cool… like really cool. She was conversational and genuine. To me, her tattoos were cool too and showed commitment. I thought to myself, I’ll bet she knows all about hard work. I mean… she was probably up hours before me and still manages to smile and share positively encouraging words with every car. She didn’t know it then but seeing her daily gave me courage to face challenges I never dreamed I’d face.
The grand re-opening after the fire closure felt like a giant corner rounded. Without realizing it… I had weaned myself… for one reason or another… of the need for my Black Rock morning pep rallies. With time I learned to make coffee here at Geppetto’s. It’s pretty good, just a plain black cup of coffee worth drinking.
I was genuinely surprised a couple of weeks ago when the phone rang and a familiar voice came from the other end of the line.
“Hey, Julie, this is Stephanie from Black Rock. We are wondering if Geppetto’s might be able to accommodate our staff for a Holiday party on any Monday or Tuesday in December.”
“Stephanie! It’s so good to hear your voice.” With joy in my heart I quickly replied, “Of course!”
“Stephanie, I continued, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this call. I don’t think you know how much I needed you in those mornings early on.”
We may never know how our actions impact the lives of others. How we operate makes a difference. When we listen… ask questions… and offer encouragement… we plant hope. Thank you, Stephanie. Thank you, Team Black Rock. You will remain on my gratitude list for life.
Just goes to show you… we can lift each other up or tear each other down. We can use our words for good or evil. Sometimes it’s a choice. Sometimes people are just born to do what is right… they don’t have to choose and great things happen.
Geppetto’s Log 120421.1
A Stellar Experience
I realize it’s not Salem… but it is local and small business.
A hunt for space junk brought us to the heart of Independence. Our collateral experience made for great food and an encounter of the restaurateurial kind.
The service was sweet, the atmosphere cozy. The food was well presented, fresh and delicious.
And then… Roger asked if we could speak with the owner. I admit… I was disappointed.
Noooo! I thought. We need to get back to work. We don’t have time for introductions and conversation! With food for fuel on board… I was ready for one of two things… either the next round of craziness at the restaurant or a nap in the truck on the ride back to Salem.
A short time later… Owners, Jorge and Maria graciously broke away from their work for a visit. Our meeting was truly a pleasure.
Time spent with fellow restaurateurs is a little like informal group therapy. You can just see it in the eyes… beyond casual conversations… that we can all relate… food and labor costs are killing you and training, to no avail, cuts deep.
Regardless… there is much to be thankful for.
Jorge and Maria at The Pink House remain… dedicated to their menu and determined not to fail. They are weathering the storm just as we are.
If we play it right… we will all come out of this chapter… better for the experience. It’s what we do must do as people… in business or not; assess by the minute, maneuver, adapt, morph and shift while giving others plenty of room to do the same. You may think it… but you’re never alone. Reach out. Share your thoughts, your faith, your hopes and dreams. Focus on your favorite things. Hang on. Let it go… and for “goodness” sake… find the funny.
TEL: (503) 378-1271
Sunday - Thursday 11:30am - 8:30pm
Friday & Saturday 11:30am - 9:30pm
616 Lancaster Dr NE | Salem, OR 97301