If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know pretty much the whole story, every gritty detail, every bit of cornmeal stuck up under my fingernails, every knuckle blow from the oven floors, every little problem we’ve encountered, and I’m compelled to keep this online journal and compile the information, the story. Some day I’m going to look back and hopefully be able to answer the question in this week’s title. Why did I ever decide to do this, and by this I mean open up a retail location?
Seven weeks into it and I definitely do not have the answer. In fact, more questions keep popping up, as do the responsibilities, the bills, and the amount of work it takes to even run a simple little shop with no tables, no seats, just good eats handed out over a really nice looking redwood counter top. I can’t imagine what running a proper double or triple digit seat capacity establishment would be like. I’m not sure I could handle that, yet.
But I’m not just running a to-go counter, and as the cold and rainy days of winter fade into the distance, I’m remembering what it is we do quite well, cater. All over the bay area, and to some extent northern California with two ovens on trailers. We’ve booked our first Mega destination wedding in Arcata this summer, along with another wedding in Big Sur, and already a dozen street festivals and fairs happening right here in Oakland. This side of the business went “dark” so to speak, after a record setting 28 mobile events in 31 days last October, the rest of our year was pretty slow. How convenient was it that I found the ailing Roma Pizza ready to sell at the end of that run? Very. That kept us busy all right.
Now, March 5th, and the email-request machine has been turned back on at full power, quote requests are coming in from all directions across multiple computer interfaces, the iPad, the iPhone, the Laptops. Press people are also contacting us now that we’ve been stationary and open for over 6 weeks. Word is getting out. These are all good things I need to stay on top of as the boss.
The Doughjo is sustaining itself and gaining popularity with the community. My crews are solid and they can keep the lights on while I run around crazy. The inside decor is pretty much done, new handmade custom chalkboard menus are almost finished. I’m starting to turn my attention to the facade treatments. New vinyl stickers have been made, along with brand new outdoor signs in the Final production stages, being generated by our friends at Fast signs Oakland. I’m getting ready to do some much needed painting, just in time for Spring.
Come April, I won’t have time for such luxuries, I’ll be leading catering shifts in the field ah-gain, slingin pies, gettin flour in my eyes, and having a good time doin it. I’m looking forward to getting back out on the streets, so watch out bay Area, the big black van and the 7000 lb. pizza beast is firing up once again for an amazing festival season. We hope to see you soon out there or in here, at 4166 MacArthur Blvd. Let’s hope they update the Street view after I get the new signage up…