In the early ‘90's, I took one of life’s detours and purchased a coffee shop/café which came with a curio shop. It was located in a delightful, though ramshackle, 1920's cottage.
The Cottage was open at breakfast and lunch time. Coffee drinks, muffins, sandwiches, homemade soup, and quiches were the specialties. At that time, any neighborhood with espresso and lattes available considered itself lucky.
Although the previous owner was not particularly focused on the pristine elements of the Cottage, I felt that a squeaky clean environment was an absolute. After purchasing the small business, I closed for a couple of weeks in order to refurbish and clean.
Immediately I went to work!
Colorful paint was applied, carpets were cleaned, floors were scrubbed, the kitchen was sanitized, new tablecloths decked glass topped tables, and merchandise was arranged into charming vignettes.
Many nights found my teenage kids and me working late into the night. I was determined to change the image of my little café. Everyone involved in the enterprise was aware of my mandate that the Cottage was to be clean and sanitary at all times.
Finally the day came to reopen. The Cottage shone with the radiance of a new bride. My kids, their friends, my mother, and even my grandparents were on hand to make certain the community felt a warm handshake had been extended.
Moving busily through the crowd, I made certain all was running smoothly. Every once in a while, I would slip into the kitchen to sip my lunch out of styrofoam cup.
During a break in the action, my oldest son pulled me aside and whispered gently, “Mom, you have a dollop of split pea soup hanging off the end of your nose.” Big oops!!
Oh well, as they say, the café must go on! And, it did.