Saturday, November 24, 2007

On the final stretch now...

...this time next week NaBloPoMo will be over. I know I will be happy not to feel I have to turn up here every day, but I want to continue to enjoy arriving at the page and sharing my world with you. The connections I have made from this experience so far, the new friendships developing, are an unexpected and entirely welcome bonus.

My brain is fizzling and popping with the fermentation of a plan; the possibilities unfolding at the moment are suggesting a way to realise a long-held dream.

Here in the village we live in, there is only a general store, a garage, and a little bric-a-brac/secondhand store in what was once the butcher's. The lady who is running this store has had enough, and plans to have closed the store by the New Year.

I know the rental on this little store is very cheap, and I know that this village, this area, is crying out for a little coffee house - the sort with quirky little tables and comfy chairs, a wall of books, piles of magazines, fabulous coffee, and the smell of fresh baking lingering in the air. A place to meet, greet, eat and bleat... ;) Just across the road from the preschool and the park; just down the street from the post office, on a popular tourist route, and fifteen minutes from our major regional centre - the location is perfect. There is nothing similar for at least 15 minutes drive in any direction, and there is certainly a cachement of consumers who would be thrilled to have such a place on their doorstep, not to mention the tourist buses. (Plus there is one seventeen-house development going up round the corner, and the spectre of another larger one, more unwelcome, still to be decided. The village is about to grow exponentially.) The building is not ideal, but will work for start-up - it will need money spent on it to make it licensing-compliant.

Money is something I don't have, but what I do have is just about everything else: a vision, passion, experience (in business management and hospitality, plus Cafe Appreciation 101), community connections. It's those connections which a friend reminded me of this morning, as I mused out loud about this idea. "Go to the community and find shareholders", he said, as if it was a perfectly reasonable idea - and the more I thought about it, it was.

So I have the beginnings of a plan. I've spent the afternoon pulling down licensing requirements and business plan templates from the ether. I'm going to plug in the facts, pull together a plan and start canvassing some of the people of my community. This is an idea with legs and life - I can see the potential here, not just for myself and my dream, but for the community. I can see how we could create something that we can enjoy and share and ultimately profit from when we are ready to move in new directions.

It may all end up pie in the sky, but right now it tastes sweet.


tiff said...

Oh, it sounds wonderful!
In our small town we have a pub and another pub. LOL.
I think a coffee house sounds fantastic.
I hope your dreams come true

Cecily said...

Sounds great... I love coffee. I would visit if I was in the area for sure. I just might not be in the area very often. :(

mountainmama said...

Thanks for your encouragement - I'm still really torn, because it is a long-held dream, but I really wonder if I'm biting off more than I can chew without having much capital of my own to do it. It's a big ask, and a major leap of faith, to expect others to invest in my dream.

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