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.