Let’s check in for our last serving of Tuck Shop Take Away Tuesday. Clinton and Karina’s shop has now been open for a week and this last piece is definitly their most raw and frank. See what it’s like when their dream finally becomes a reality.
I am exhausted, really exhausted and it’s no surprise. The first week of Tuck Shop Take Away has been the most difficult, emotional and fulfilling week yet. How on earth do those 3 things even go together?!
We opened the doors at 11am last Tuesday after the most restless night sleep ever and running around all morning seeing to the last few things which seemed to be minor and easy but after wrestling with the laminator for nearly 30 minutes to print off the sweets cabinet tags I came close to melt down. I was shaking, felt sick and smiling for my staff whilst calmly telling them what to do all at the same time.
We had a bunch of people start gathering at the door at about 10.45am, we couldn’t believe it. The time came and we both went over to unlock and slide open the door for the first time ever! They piled in and it was truly amazing having so many customers in our shop.
The rest of day one was a blur, I do remember one thing, we were busy, very busy. People had been waiting quite a while it seems for the black plastic to come off the windows and step inside to see what we had created and we were so relieved and ecstatic when everyone who commented on it was blown away by it.
We collapsed on the couch at about 11.30pm and cracked open a bottle of champagne to celebrate our first day and realised it was the first thing we had consumed all day. Needless to say it went straight to our heads…..
We spent every night from then on up until the crack of dawn, closing the shop, cleaning, tidying, restocking, cashing up, checking stock and placing orders plus everything else we were now responsible for. I was in the kitchen every night doing prep for the next day as we were going through lettuce and beef patty’s quicker than we could slice and shape them. We were up until at least midnight every night.
We had an extremely tough middle of the week when things came particularly unstuck with us thinking we would be able to do this whilst also being parents. We were so busy in the shop I had no choice but to go down and cook when I wasn’t supposed to be, I was supposed to be with the kids. One of the biggest emotional decisions was that we would do our best to be successful business owners but also be present for our two kids and the first week had me in tears when it went very pear shaped. We had to call in reinforcements and had a dear friend step in and help out with them and we have made plans for the first few weeks if not months to ensure we can be as present as we need to be in the shop and the kids are also being taken care of. We came to the decision that we need to see we get the shop off to the best start possible and the only way to achieve it is to be as hands on as possible. Things will align later on and our plan to always have one of us with the kids and the other in the shop will happen, we will make sure of it.
The biggest highlight has to be the response we have had from our customers. To receive such positive feedback and have someone realise how much this means to us just by looking at “the love that has been put into the place” really makes it all worthwhile and our blood, sweat and tears have finally paid off. So many excited people have walked through the door, scanning the room with beaming smiles on their faces, taking in the details and reading the menu with oohs, ahhs and wows. The intention of being different and standing out is being received so well.
So the beginning of the next chapter of our lives has begun. To think we will be living what we have worked so hard for from here on in is unbelievable, I still have to pinch myself. There will be lows, there will be highs but hopefully more of the latter!
We have realised our dreams and created our own destiny and I never thought I’d be sitting here typing this. I hope our story goes to show that no matter what, if you set your mind to something you can do it, you just have to roll up your sleeves and go for it! I used to be the one sitting there reading someone else’s story about having a dream, diving in and going for it and now here I am.
I hope you have enjoyed following our journey as much as I have enjoyed sharing it.
For now it’s good bye, thank you and see you at Tuck Shop Take Away.
Tuck Shop Take Away – 273 Hawthorn Road, Caulfield North (corner of Glen Eira Road), Victoria.