The Accidental Restaurateur

how one woman found herself owning a restaurant without really wanting to

In the beginning…

In the beginning there was a copy/fax store across the street from where I lived.


I had never noticed it until a new cafe emerged in it’s place. A well lit, trendy cafe where reading the Sunday paper with a great cup of coffee quickly became a habit.


The cafe was the brainchild of Chef Sevan Abdessian who, having moved back to his home town and looking for a project came across the 1929 building and was inspired. It was a crazy project – opening a cafe in a sleepy little corner of town.


It became a hit.  Of course I had nothing to do with any of this. I was just a girl who lived across the street and loved reading the newspaper. I also loved hanging out in cafes because it’s where I do my best thinking.


Within a couple years, the Chef and I moved in together and had a baby. It was inevitable don’t you think?


Everything happened so gradually and yet so quickly. Seeing Sevan struggle with paperwork, payroll, bills, etc., I offered to help a little bit. A little filing, a little checkbook balancing, nothing big deal. Easy stuff. I certainly never wanted a restaurant or had any interest in getting involved in the food business. EVER. In fact, I have always said I would never go into food and I hated retail.


Within a year I had completely taken over the back end bookkeeping. Within two years I was hiring staff. Within 4 years we had plans to open a new location and within five years I became part owner.


I was now in the retail food business. Never say “never.”

tamark • August 1, 2016

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