Friday, July 24, 2015

A Season in the Life of an Entrepreneur...

Running a small business is not as easy as it looks.  Brian and I are the founders, owners, operators, sales people, marketing, PR, web design, branding team, creative, accountants, bakers, makers, labelers and janitors.  That is a lot of balls in the air on any given day.  Caffeine is a very good thing - our go-go juice.  Every once in a while, one or two balls are taken out of rotation and it can throw off the flow.  This season, we've had the rotation interrupted by Mother Nature.

Each year we participate in our local outdoor farm markets.  On Saturdays, he attends the Bloomington Market and I attend the Peoria Riverfront Market.  The start of market season was a challenge due to the number of storms that occurred on Saturday mornings.  The rain, wind gusts and potential severe threat makes for a tough outdoor market.  The more severe of a forecast, we don't take the risk to attend.

Plus, we've had SO much rain that we've had flooding to contend with - most notably in Peoria.  In fact, Peoria Riverfront Market has moved to two different locations this season to try to escape the rising flood waters.  The City of Peoria even built a flood wall at the cost of $$$$, to help Riverfront businesses.  The water was/is relentless.

The great news is that our incredible local market customers seek out the market and show up - rain or shine - no matter where we are moved - no matter the set-up.  I don't know if they realize how truly magnificent this is and how truly appreciated they are for supporting local farmers during this trying time and local businesses like JAVA & Co.  Wow, they are awesome!  I mean it.  Awesome!!

JAVA & Co. has hit a small snag in the market transportation area as my car has been at the mechanics for a few weeks.  The good news, they've pinpointed the problem and the part is being shipped out to a specialty shop to be fixed - expected part return is 10 business days - and then it has to be installed and tested.  Hoping for the best outcome.  We are a two car family and now that we are down one vehicle, I've had to miss weeks at the Peoria Riverfront Markets and will be missing more.  I've spent the time with Brian at the Bloomington Farm Market and meeting new customers; and catching up on chores around the house.  The personal chores are always the last on the list as the business always comes first.  Could this be considered a blessing in disguise?  Maybe. Jury is still out.

There are some things that are just out of one's control - flooding, storms, mysterious car repair.  This is a time for reflection.  One day at a time.  Sometimes you can't do everything you want to...even with a strong cup of coffee (or two), but I keep moving forward and the coffee keeps me sane.  : )

Follow us on Facebook and if you are in the Peoria area, I hope to see you real soon!

Jamie Knoll
JAVA & Co.
Small Batch Recipes

Oh yes, and lately, I may be adding a little something-something to my coffee and TiRUMisu coffee syrup (TiRUMisu martini).  wink wink  ; )