Tuesday, July 20, 2010
We emailed Gene within the next few days and said we were very interested, but there were a few things that needed to happen before we could commit, primarily writing an extensive business plan and securing funding. This with our vast knowledge of writing business plans and securing funds. Within a month we had our business plan done and were ready to look for investors, but our first choice was to get an SBA loan from Whidbey Island Bank and with a lot of help from Lauren Pool and Anne Bobinac we secured our loan. In the meantime we had to finish some major renovations to our home in Seattle, sell it, and find a home on Whidbey Island. Many friends came together to help us finish the remodel, we put our house on the market and it sold within the first week thanks to the best realtors in the world (my mom and dad), and thanks to Anne Muniz we found this great house right away. Things kept falling into place very nicely. But still I kept thinking, WHAT ARE WE DOING??? Luckily it was so crazy and the ball was rolling so quickly and there was no way of stopping to think about it. Luckily.
Fast forward to June 28th, 2006. Our first day of business. Our training had more or less consisted of having our new employees spend a week helping us put the restaurant together...assembling the tables and chairs, stocking the wine, setting up the bar and oh yeah... "that's the computer system and this is our menu and that's your first table." Things were VERY bumpy that first summer to say the least, well that whole first year, actually pretty bumpy for the first 2 years. But we built up a regular and awesome local clientelle...customers who supported us, believed in us and kept us going. At the very tip top of that list is Bob French and Bernita Sanstad...the most supportive and positive people I've ever met. They, along with many others, kept our heads above the water and kept us going with continual positive encouragement. I started to list our regulars to express our deepest gratitude. The list is never ending, but I became fearful I'd forget someone and decided that it wasn't a smart thing to do.
So now for the thing that has really allowed us to continue on: our staff. We are so thankful to them for their tireless and sometimes thankless work.
We feel so fortunate for the quality people who have decided to make Prima their restaurant family. We have been extremely lucky in retaining many of our crew for long periods of time...which really helps in creating the consistency we strive for.
All in all, the past 4 years have been completely and utterly amazing. There is nothing more I want in life than to continue raising our family in this beautiful place and serving up tasty meals to our fabulous customers.