Last summer I received a few e-mails from people asking me every question on earth about ‘How did I build Passion and its concept?’ They wanted all the tips, strategies and advice from me about how to open their own café ‘similar’ to Passion, or with the ‘same’ concept.
Hmmm….How do you answer that? Well, first of all I didn’t answer those e-mails as they arrived in the middle of the summer when I didn’t know where my head or ass was as I was working so damn hard!
I was like: ‘You want to know how I do it? Come and do my shift three days in a row and let’s see if you’ll still be interested’!
So how did I do it? Obviously in a very different way than anyone else would do it, as at the end of the day we are all different. For starters, I began with no strategy whatsoever or much experience in what I was doing, or at least I thought I had. This is why I feel strange giving other people advice and strategies on how to open a place. Strategy? What’s that?!
The beginning was messy. I learnt as I went along. I learnt through mistakes and observed what was working and what was not.
I never stopped growing or losing my passion. I just kept going, with my head through the wall sometimes. You have to be ready to do that.
I constantly invest, not just in the café, but in myself too, with knowledge of nutrition, new food, drinks and products.
The café after a while started to grow. So did I.
It also never occurred to me that I was building a business with a concept. When people start telling me that Passion has a nice and unique concept, I was like ‘what’? Passion has a concept?!
Building this concept has been and still is hard work. It’s a never ending building process, at least in my case.
Building the business has meant me sacrificing my health quite a bit, my relationships, my friendships, it has taken years of my life that could have been a bit more careless and enjoyable, but instead were filled with hard work, stress, pain, disappointment in people and so on.
It is all really nice now and when people say lucky you, I can only smile at them and go yeah right!
If you could only see the movie that will show you what it took to get where Passion café where it is today, you would probably say ‘o.k. I see now and I think I’ll go and do something else!’
If I do encourage you to do it I will be sentencing you to working really hard, physically and emotionally. Because I know too well what it takes. But if you are not afraid of hard work and are ready to sacrifice lots of things (forget about social hours!) then this business is for you. Ask anyone in Ibiza if they ever see me on party scene and the answer ten out of ten will be NO. Not because I don’t like to go out and party. I’m just too focused on my business and delivering, I cannot ‘afford’ to party.
But again, this is my story. If you are financially stable, can open a restaurant and have someone run the whole show for you then social hours will not be sacrificed. And if you are financially comfortable you probably didn’t send an e-mail to me asking me how to open an organic cafe!
There is no a problem in opening and running your restaurant, café or any business for that matter, the problem is only a measure of how bad you really want it and what is the driving force for you to do it. If it’s making money only, forget it. If it is for show off only, forget it. It may work for a while but eventually it will come back and hunt you down.
You have to do it because it is your passion, because you want to create something amazing, because you want to do your best. It has to come from your gut. This is my case and this is why I don’t mind hard work, as I’m on a mission. And I love to create.
I get bored out of my mind doing the same thing all the time.
There is so much talk especially here in Ibiza of who has the best this and who has the best that. Which place has the best burger, paella or milkshake? I think this is ridiculous because we all have different tastes. What can be the best salad for me it might not be for you. One place’s menu can be my idea of heaven and your idea of hell. What can be the best shake for you can be the crap shake for me (very possibly, knowing me! My shake standards are ridiculously high)
I’m not interested in being the best in anything, I only want to be my own best and doing things in the best way I can.
And this is the best advice I can give you.
Other advice I can give you, let your standards go up, do not relax and let them slide. Customers cannot be fooled. Eventually you will start losing some business.
Be original, have something different that you can perfect so much that no one can copy or have the same as you. As I say about Passion, often imitated, never duplicated. Your business is your creation. If you put your mind and soul into it selflessly no one will ever be able to copy it, because no one can copy you. You’re unique. So will your business be.
Build a team of like minded people. We have our Passion boxes that have to be ticked in order to get employment with us.
Give some things for free if you can. Build an online audience. Write a blog. Give people recipes. Print a small newsletter. My Passion is only a small café but look at this magazine we give out to people for free. The cost of making it doesn’t align with our ‘small’ business. I do it because I want to, because I have the desire to share good information, to inspire people. It’s my pleasure. It is my passion.
Wishing you the best of luck with your venture! Yes, it is hard work but if you really, really want it, it is worth it. Do it passionately! Do it with love!
Ready to serve you and inspire you. Yours truly, Miss Love