Here I am at the end of the chronicle of my Accidental Business. It has taken me about a year and a half (I started in June of 2010) to describe my journey from my home kitchen to today, and my hope is that my story has entertained, informed, and inspired. Given a thousand chances, I would never have guessed that a simple idea, that just one quiche, would start me on the road to where I find myself today.
Love and Quiches Desserts has become an integral and well-recognized member of the foodservice community. We have earned our place among the giants. As I have demonstrated, that road has not been an easy one.
First, we had to overcome my utter lack of preparation for business ownership. We are still here. Over the years, we weathered a flawed business model, economic recessions, 9/11, key account loss, and other storms, many of which were well beyond our control. We are still here. Each time, we picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off, and moved on; me-- a little smarter, Love and Quiches that much stronger. We are now in a position to overcome almost any obstacle placed in our path, and can use even a bad economy to fuel our growth. People will always have to eat, and, if we operate smartly, a good share of all that can be ours.
We have learned to focus on what we are good at, and we do it well. We stay on message and our market knows they can depend upon us. So here we are, almost forty years later, and we are not done yet. Our organization has developed a sense of urgency to see what comes next. We are now in the second decade of the new century (whoa, that went fast!), a well-oiled machine that is ready for the future. Our walls are once again stretching to their limits. We can grow another 20% or so in this facility, and then, perhaps, we will be in a position to move to our dream facility. We are poised for the next leg of our journey. Stay tuned.
By owning my own business, the weight of responsibility to myself, my family, my organization, and my customers is always there. Like breathing. It will always be there, but the burden has lightened as the years have passed and Love and Quiches has grown. The responsibility is now shared by my children, who now carry top positions in the company, and by all of the talented teams who also share in running the company. I can step back quite a bit without worrying, and let the others bask in the victories.
Business ownership has allowed me to control my own destiny. The many years of grating cheese, rolling dough, schlepping samples, scrubbing floors, suffering burns all up and down my arms, knocking on doors, and on and on, has toughened me. And I needed toughening to fight my way to the position we enjoy today.
Along the way, I hope I have become a good and effective leader. If I have been able to inspire and motivate others to succeed and keep moving the company forward, that will have been my most important accomplishment.
If I had to do it all over again, all of it, both the pain and the glory, would I make that choice? In a heartbeat, I would.
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Where do I go from here? Even though my story is finished, I plan on posting my thoughts now and then on various “of the moment” subjects, so please do look in from time to time. Thank you all for sharing my story, with special thanks to those of you who reached out with (much appreciated) comments. I plan on turning all I have been sharing for the past 18 months into a book, a small business memoir to inspire others who have a good idea, ambition, and a dream.
Until next time...make someone happy —serve them dessert!