A LinkedIn post by my husband…
The most amazing transformation I have ever witnessed.
From accounts, money management, and at one time, ethnographer like me, to running a vegetarian restaurant.
It’s not that I didn’t think she had it in her. It’s just that I didn’t know it was possible at age 48 to change direction so radically and dramatically.
Someone who took her MBA at Imperial College London (so she wouldn’t have to go home and get married off), worked at JWT and BMP before working together with Everydaylives, to suddenly deciding that she wanted to take her home cooking, ‘out there’.
She turned her talk into walk.
I have spent my life talking up ideas I have never followed through. She didn’t even talk about it that much. She found a venue and transformed the former dress shop into a cafe/restaurant.
Before my eyes, she turned from someone who managed myself and toddlers, to managing builders and decorators to, today, managing 5 people (one full time) serving up to 20 diners at a time.
I discovered that she didn’t need experience up front. The environment and staff she employed taught her to become a ‘restaurant owner’ – a label she hates. I’m a home cook! She tells me. I cook everything the same day and when I run out, I run out. I buy all of my ingredients the same morning. I make my own spices. Which is why I prefer customers to let me know up front when they want to come here and eat.
She’s not kidding. I have seen her apologetically turn people away when she has run out of everything. But they seem to take it well and always come back – with a reservation. Mostly because they heard about her through word of mouth and are curious to understand what she’s all about.
She dived into her role not so much fearlessly, but with the ability to manage customer numbers by not advertising or even having a sign to begin with. She dived into her role not with determination to succeed but with the ability to buffer/time to allow her to not to fail (she had a 12 month ‘walk away’ clause in her lease).
When I walk into her restaurant, I’m an outsider, amazed that I woke up with the owner that morning. Staff working, V cooking, customers laughing, chatting between bites and sips. I’m an outsider but I know the owner. I am in love with her. She’s the first and foremost the mother of our three children.
And it all came out of nowhere. All because, aged 48, she decided it was now or never.
Siamack Salari (My husband)