Tuesday, March 29, 2011

When Your Dreams Come True

Every kid dreams of what they are going to be when they are older, some dream of being a doctor or an fireman, maybe a ballerina or astronaut. I dreamt about being a doctor, a primatologist, an Olympian gymnast, and I always hoped one day I would own a pizzeria. I never thought my dream of owning a pizza restaurant would come so soon, but it has, and it is has certainly sent me flying. I prepared myself for the work, for the employee troubles, for dissatisfied customers, but I never anticipated how hard it would be to not work during operating hours. Its my baby, how can I leave. I remember when my daughter was only a couple months old, I never wanted to let her out of my sight. Now, the restaurant is like my child, and she is the only thing that can pull me away from Girasole.I am truly happy with how well the restaurant is doing. I have high expectations for the quality of food Girasole serves, and I am pleased with the progress my employees have made in mastering the art of pizza. Wood fired pizza has a longer learning curve then most pizza. Understanding the hot spots of the oven, timing each turn to ensure the pizza is cooked evenly, and figuring out the best way to stretch the dough to achieve the perfect balance of thin crust and a doughy center, all take time. When I see a pizza that looks soggy or burnt, I never hesitate to have the employee make a new one. If a pizza does make it a customer that is not satisfactory, I encourage them (or you) to send it back, and I will gladly have a new one made. It is the only way they will learn and improve, and it is important that all pizzas served are held to the standards I set.
Everything can't be perfect though, of course we have had to deal with all of our refrigeration units breaking, being sent the wrong ingredients, the price of produce skyrocketing, no mixed greens and arugula due to freezing in the south, firing inadequate employees, weathered wood, and unpleasant drunk beggars, all in only two months. I can officially say, I have learned A LOT! I don't know what I would do if it wasn't for my best friend and business partner, who shoulders all the weight equally with me. We have only grown closer and realized how important each of our talents are.
I like to take every day as a learning experience, not only for me but my employees as well. A restaurant is never done improving, it can always be better. Every review I read on the Internet, I listen and take it to heart. Some of the them have enlightened me to problems with the service staff that I would never had known about. Some reviews help me improve on a certain menu item and the number of unacceptable pizzas being served. A handful are pointless and cruel, and have taught me that there are some customers who simply do not want to enjoy themselves and will never be pleased. All in all I have learned a lot, but not nearly enough. But through all the trials and triumphs, at the end of the day I can say my dreams have started to come true and I am very happy. So the next question in life is: what do you do once you realize your dreams are coming true? You work harder!
(Katharine's Country Pizza. Don't forget Girasole for breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays. Menu features two breakfast pizzas, french toast squwers, and build-your-own potato fusion!)

With that said, Girasole is adding a new appetizer menu, hopefully starting this week. Happy Hour from 4-5 starts this Wednesday the 30th of March. Very soon, both our hours and menu will be changing to embrace the changing of the seasons. With summer comes later hours and fresh tomatoes!!!! Obviously, I am very excited about tomatoes, along with many other fresh produce that will be available to us soon. The last of the exciting news is probably the best of all, starting in the beginning of June, we will be back out at Kruger's Farm Thursday-Sundays! We are also hoping to purchase a second mobile oven before summer for catering and events! Let the work begin...