Unfortunately, I found myself in the middle of a funeral yesterday. Culinary style.
I wasn’t invited. I just stopped in hoping to buy a loaf of bread. But instead of being greeted by one of the cashier’s at The Skyhawk Village Market, in
I am familiar with funerals of similar passing. I began my culinary career by purchasing a grocery store. And, the outcome was the same. With the exception that I bought it with my then partner, now wife Kranston, renovated it, repositioned it, happily read about it within the pages of Time Magazine, lost a fortune, used it as a springboard for other culinary ventures and closed it all within one year.
The owner’s of Skyhawk where not as fortunate. They continued to breathe life and funding into the space for over three years before finally pulling the plug on the operation last week.
It’s sad when a food business closes.Naturally, the other food competitors in the neighborhood overcome that sadness rapidly once their businesses absorb the displaced customers. And, the Skyhawk locaton, according to rumors, reports, and notices on the door will be quickly filled with a new business. The owner of that food business wil assumes they have a better formula than the last operators. So for them, the failure of others offers hope for their future.
Closures and failures are a fundamental part of day to day culinary life. We expect and often watch with frolicking anticipation for poorly misplaced operations to fold. I’ll be the first to admit it: hen an inexperienced restaurant owner with limited capital and lesser means opens experienced restaurant owners often project amongst themselves the demise of a visiting neighbor. And, as a consumer, I look forward to worn seldom busy, poor quality restaurants to fail so fresh blood can pump creativity into the space and location.
None of these scenarios were true with Skyhawk. I am too familiar with the surgical steps one takes in order to nurture a market from infancy to successful adulthood. And the Skyhawk team did everything they could to turn the ship around.
Soon after they opened, they realized their prepared food case was too large for the traffic and clientele. They remodeled a section of the market and put in tables. They eventually added a wood burning pizza over. They created a wine bar. They roasted Rocky Juniors. They did everything feasibly related to food that would increase exposure and cash flow.
They served Brunch on Sundays and held barbecues on Friday night. They even hosted a few mid week evening suppers in hopes of attracting a loyal following to support their venture.
The end came suddenly. They did everything right. The stores layout was attractive, their food was above average, and their quality was exceptional.
Yesterday, one of the managers was carrying folding tables out of the store and packing up her truck. She explained the economy wasn’t on their side. She related how hard everyone worked. She spoke about how sad some of the neighbors and customers were.
When I asked what her plans were she said she was going home to rest, relax, and get her life back.
Sometimes that seems to be the ultimate reward for professional foodies.