Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Our To-Do List is Having Babies

Every day seems busier than the last and the list of things to do just gets bigger and bigger. I did mention that over the weekend we sat down and wrote out a honey-do list and divided it up, presumably to conquer though it seems like it takes 15 phone calls and or e-mails just to finish one item. And I don’t know about you, but I LOVE crossing things off a list, but now it seems like it’s a different kind of system, for example:

check = has been completed, well mostly, as far as I can take it, or to my satisfaction (this is not as good as a line drawn through the item)

x= Addressed but not completed

o = address later you are too busy right now

Then of course after re-typing the list so it was legible, I’ve still made little notes all over it.

Let us share with you our experiences over the last couple of days.

We have a phone number, yes I know it’s exciting, it’s a Google voice number so that people can call us and it’s forwarded to whatever phone and you can see the actual list of your phone calls online just like you would access e-mail. Problem being when someone calls the PCW number and it’s forwarded to my phone, I don’t know if they are calling me or the business so either I have to answer all strange numbers, “Portland’s Culinary Workshop how can I help you?!” or I say “yo whazzup” and get busted for un-professionalism (I don’t really answer the phone like that but you know what I mean).

After spending four some odd hours trying to put together a decent looking marketing postcard I wisely gave up and sent it to my graphic designer telling him to make it look “less messed up (well it wasn’t as nice as that). Hopefully he’ll fix that because I hate looking messed up, it doesn’t help with the professional image.

We have contacted the city planners to find out about occupancy issues. For some reason we keep getting the statement that our occupancy doesn’t have to do with the space we are in, but what kind of business we are running. Does anyone know about this? Because they should take a look at the Roseland Theater I thought I was going to have a Final Destination moment there while everyone in the balcony was jumping up and down. Anyway we are looking into it.

I called three different commercial building inspectors (the websites for guys are general awful) trying to find out what we needed as far as an inspection. Because we are getting a (modified) gross lease, building inspectors would be expensive and redundant since the lessor is responsible for roof, walls, exterior, etc. but since what we are concerned about is the heating unit, electrical and plumping they ALL said get those guys in individually, it’ll be cheaper. We have an electrician coming Friday. I wasn’t going to torture my wonderful amazing electrician friend from Corvallis to drive all the way up here for that, but I do reserve the right to call him (and pay him) later for other genius electrical services.

We called the landlord about 3 times and e-mailed him a couple more times, either he’s an angel or he’s totally pissed, we can’t tell yet.

We had already opened up a bank account with Umqua a long while ago since they have a very good reputation of supporting local businesses, but since they aren’t national and don’t provide small business credit cards we opened an additional account with Wells Fargo just in case we expand nationally and to make sure we have a place to go for credit if we need it. If. Big IF. It took about 45 minutes out of my morning but I did get a pony, so it’s all good.

My partner contacted multiple hood contractors to see if we could get them into the space before the end of the week. Really if we can’t get a hood in there for a reasonable price, it’ll be a deal breaker. Right now for an 8 foot hood with side venting we are looking at $10,000 smackers. Why am I telling you this? It’s common knowledge, anyone in the restaurant biz will tell you the hood is the most expensive thing, and for 10 Gs we are probably getting off easy, though it takes a chunk of our investment. So we are willing to go for it, but damn it’s scary and we wish we had our third backer in the bag before January.

So the hood people are coming on Thursday and Friday morning to give us estimates, along with the electrician on Friday.

I sent off the request for the application to the OLCC. How messed up is it that you have to request an application?? Anyway you can’t apply for a permit until you have signed a lease or purchased a place so we hope to have it all filled out and ready to drop in the mail the second that happens. Generally it take 60-90 days for the application to be processed and if you don’t cross every t and dot every I it comes back to you and you have to start over. That would be why the bright neon colored signs on business doors that are in the midst of applying. Thankfully Oregon is cheap but we make up for it in paperwork.

I contacted my rep at FSA to get the list of equipment that we would like to sell retail. I have still to go through that catalog, it’s an online tome.

We were told we were under the jurisdiction of the USDA since we didn’t fall under the Health Department, so I called the USDA and told them what we were up to and what license did we need to apply for. Guess what? We are exempt from the Health Dept. and the USDA. Huh great for us, I know we are going to have the up most standards of sanitation, sketchy though for all those other places. Hmmmm..Choose us we’re clean!

We also contacted our Webmaster extraordinaire to see if we can set up some kind of pay method as we are being inundated with requests for gift certificates, we will totally honor all gift certificates no matter what, and if people want to give us money before we are open based on faith, I’ll take it because I know we will honor it. But only if we get the space, if it falls through for some reason I don’t know how soon it would be till we find another. I’ll let you know as soon as that happens.

Oh did you know that you can go to Portland Maps and pick a location and find For FREE all the permits that have been granted by the city for any work on any property? Handy info!

Ok I could tell you about all the back and forth we’ve been having with people looking at the lease, but we sent it to a lawyer and I’ll leave it at that. Whew I hope you all are learning something from this!!

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