Earlier tonight, while my husband and I were eating takeout from our favorite local spot, Osteria, in Marlboro, NJ (Wait, before you say, “You own a meal prep company…,” their food is delicious, and we haven’t been there since the birth of our son in September), he took out his cellphone and began his nightly ritual: scanning and dissecting all relevant social media, Google, e-mails, DMs, and the dreaded Yelp (I know, we should have been enjoying family time, but we are consumed).
A few minutes into the said ritual, Jamie goes, “Oh, man…,” and I immediately pulled the spoon back from our six month’s mouth and yelled, “What?!” Yes, I scared him, he cried, I felt awful, I consoled him, gave him a bit of sweet potatoes, and said, more calmly this time, “What happened, Jamie?”
Before I continue, however, I just want to explain the situation, offer a preface because as I reread my words, I am beginning to think I sound like a psychopath; perhaps, I guess these days, I just might be that (ha-ha-ha, just kidding).
Anyway, we just opened a new location, and I’m dealing with some serious personal stuff (aren’t we all); Jamie’s mom is in-and-out of rehabs and is going to a new one tomorrow, and between stroller walks—I brought the baby to work today—I was feverishly brainstorming how to assess and mitigate some pressing, internal, company issues, all while squeaking Georgie’s giraffe, Sophie; what can I say, she’s a giggler!
Okay, back to Jamie’s, “Oh, man…,” and now you know I’m not crazy either, totally situational! In short, someone complained about our Eggplant Parmesan, causing Jamie to do two things: 1) frantically reread the message; he did this around six times, and 2) “ring the alarm!” He called the general manager, head chef, and other necessary team members, and before you know it, boom, Eggplant Parmesan meeting, bright and early! Crazy, right!? We went from 0 to 100 instantly, causing me to take pause and reflect.
Someone recently told me, “Wow, you’re such a boss!” It made me feel, for lack of a better word, uncomfortable. I don’t see myself as a boss; I’m just a new mom who’s worried about her business and employees; I want to make sure they are happy and well cared for, and I want to preemptively forecast problems on the horizon while attacking other ones in real time, such as the aforementioned eggplant and our current construction in the lobby (sidebar: For anyone wondering about this construction, I’m terribly sorry for the current explosion. Roughly, around a year ago, I thought it would be a great idea to throw a fridge in the lobby; this way if customers forgot to order, they could walk in and pick up one or two meals, WRONG; this is now a full-blown “subsidiary” of Eat Clean Bro (ha-ha-ha-ha), so I have to make it better for everyone; and, The Monmouth County Prosecutors are right down the road, and I absolutely don’t want those folks to be hungry!). So, while I do appreciate, greatly, people asking for advice and applauding my sense of entrepreneurship, I am still—very much so—a work in progress; this is why I take these comments cautiously and never feel entitled to them.
Every day I try to find ways to improve; I try to find ways to be more productive, personally and professionally. It’s hard for me to reflect upon how far I’ve come though; my spirit moves towards the future, always. I want to be a better business owner for all of you, and a better mommy!
I have spent the better part of this decade building Eat Clean Bro, so I know I can grow a business, but do I think I’m the best? Am I ready to give the world tons of advice, inspirational “GIRL BOSS” quotes? To be honest, absolutely not!
Still, I think I can offer some insight. Caring about the details in life, every single day, is what I believe makes us so very special, and while I realize I can’t dwell on every review forever, right now I can, so right now I will!
Being in business is not easy, but at this point in my life, my business is a part of who I am. I’m never going to feel like “I made it,” or “I did it.” For me, we are only as good as our last review.
Next stop, Eggplant Parmesan Meeting!
By Kayla Giovinazzo, Eat Clean Bro's Chief Operating Officer