There’s a huge gap on happenings of life lately on this page, but that’s because every time I’ve written about it, my emotions got the better of me and in this case, it’s probably something for me to keep in my private archives rather than publicly posting about. Although I’m always happy to share the reality and highlight the fact that social media is generally merely just that: the highlights, in this instance, I’m keeping it tucked away.
So, instead of reflecting on the ups and downs of 2021 so far, I’m going to acknowledge the fact that there have been some very low lows and I’ve been through the hardest time of my life, but I’ve also had some very high highs and those are what I’m here to share.
I stopped in my tracks yesterday after stating that, despite my whole coffee shop being full of customers, it felt bizarrely quiet. People had to leave because we had no tables, but nobody was running around frantically and service was seamlessly smooth. There wasn’t the usual frantic lunch rush but every seat was taken. It was fulfilling to see and better knowing that everything was completely under control.
I looked at my wrist and realised that it was because it wasn’t quite midday yet.
12 o’clock hit and there it was, the orders came in from all angles and I started serving up plates of smashed avocado and scrambled eggs like there was no tomorrow. The lunch rush lasted for about an hour and a half and then the calm resumed. It was a good day, but after the busiest weekend we’ve had since opening, it felt quiet.
Single-handedly, I served 108 covers on Saturday for breakfast, brunch and/or lunch and the front of house team served up 217 hot drinks. It was chaos, but one that gave us all a buzz like no other. I run on adrenaline in those moments and am truly happiest in the kitchen. Although it is a simple menu with minimal cooking, the satisfaction of serving up plates of food to paying punters is definitely second to none.
A year ago, I left the yacht I’d been working on to truly pursue my dream. I didn’t know what lay around the corner, as nobody did during “Covid times” and more lockdowns followed. We could never have anticipated what was going to happen, but we could control how we handled the curveballs that were thrown at us.
That entailed turning a walk-in chiller and a messy storage area into an outdoor garden, allowing space for 5 additional tables and consequentially 18 more covers. It’s a space I absolutely adore, covered with PVC roofing, walled with quirky fencing and completed with a hand-sprayed jellyfish mural.
Eighteen crazy months after opening our little coffee shop, we have gone through a myriad of changes, jumped over countless hurdles and adapted in a way we never anticipated, but have managed to create something that people seem to love.
“More than a coffee shop but a community” are the words a local business owner relayed to me the other day, saying that a client of his had described The Deli as exactly that and my heart almost burst with pride. Serving my food to people is my favourite thing, but the personal relationships I’ve developed in a new town, in the hardest of times will stand out forever as the pinnacle of what I’m doing.
An ever-growing team that have my back and the support of so many regular customers has pulled me through the darkest of days.
I couldn’t be more grateful if I tried and although the sun dips behind the clouds some days, the rays of light that working brings to me cannot be taken away.
Today, my friends, I am really fucking proud of what I’ve created and just giving myself a public pat on the back for following my heart, chasing my dreams and standing tall when I felt like curling up in a ball.
Life isn’t always perfectly runny yolks and the idyllic avocado, but successfully turning a vision into reality is a feeling that can’t be compared.
I urge you to listen to your heart, no matter how difficult it may seem. You only get one chance, so reach for the stars and remember that even if you miss, you’ll land on the moon.
All my light, love and lucky charms.