Happy New Year! The holidays have come and gone and 2021 is upon us. It’s been a while since our last newsletter and update, so time to catch you up and boy do I have some news!
We’re back open after our 6th annual Winter Break and I, as well as the entire GK crew, had a nice relaxing break. As you know the restaurant business is incredibly demanding, so when we have this time it really gives us a chance to reflect.
I started Garden Kitchen almost six years ago, and while I had plenty of restaurant industry experience, I had never cooked professionally (let alone call myself a chef!), never owned a restaurant, and was otherwise ill prepared to create Garden Kitchen. Through hard work, my “failure isn’t an option” attitude, and I suppose a bit of stubborn intuition, I created what is in my humble opinion the special, intimate, neighborhood oriented restaurant you now know. Persevering through the challenges of Covid was the star topper, and I am so incredibly proud of my staff and thankful for my LOYAL LOYAL customers to have kept us going. Garden Kitchen is a success story, and I could not be happier for everything I have created, accomplished and experienced.
Covid brought us many so many issues and so much uncertainty, however we pivoted and we thrived. There were days that I didn’t know how I was going to work another minute, along with needing to continuously adapt to the ever changing guidelines. Through it all we kept our employees full time, and were able to give much needed raises during a pandemic. YOU, our amazing customers, supported us through the toughest of times, while restaurants were closing around us, I was hiring. If you are reading this and you have supported Garden Kitchen at any time, I thank you SO MUCH for your business. It is your support that has kept me going (not just during the pandemic) and allowed me to create a very special place for you to dine, relax, and become a friend.
The New Year has brought changes I wasn’t ready for, but I’ve now realized how very much they were needed. So where do I start?
On January 7th I turned 43, where did all the time go? On January 8th I found out the landlord was selling the property (I’m keeping my lease!). I was already looking to hire a new dishwasher, and just days later our Sous Chef gave notice to transition to a new position at a different restaurant. And it’s not just this – keeping the kitchen staffed has been an ongoing issue for some time, bordering on unbearable, and quite frankly I haven’t found the help I need to continue. Not to mention that through the forced slowdown of Covid life, it became clear that I’ve also been neglecting myself in trade for living my dream.
Which leads to this: Sunday, February 14th Valentine’s Day will be the last day of service as you know it. This is not an end though, rather a change of direction to allow me to continue pursuing my passion in a different capacity and at a different speed. There will still be more Coral (chef), Holly & Lauren (service staff) and Megan (Sommelier).
With the New Year pointing clearly in one direction, I had to listen to the divine guidance. After Valentine’s, Garden Kitchen will close temporarily Feb 15th- Feb 28th while I re-prioritize my work schedule and attempt to recover some life balance. It pains me to close a viable, operating business, but unfortunately along with the extreme success of Garden Kitchen has also come way too much work to handle on my own. As they say, I’ve created a Monster!
My goal for Garden Kitchen moving forward is to resume March 1st, but with a much slower pace of restaurant life and a different model of business. I absolutely love cooking and entertaining, so that’s where I will put my focus. I love supporting local farms, educating the public about how important it is to buy and eat local, and I want to continue spreading that information.
Initially I’ll be focusing on:
- – Putting together custom “Locavore” Farm Boxes available on a membership basis
- – Creating 3- and 5-course meals for pick up along with Farmers Fridge orders
- – Intimate, Chef hosted, reservation only dinners and private events, as well as the comeback of our famous Wine Dinners, Farm Dinners & Guest Chef Pop Ups
- – Wine club members, don’t worry! Wine Club will continue with its own special perks!
With sincere gratitude, I appreciate your support in building and living my dream, and I thank each and every one of you for being a very special part of it. As I begin this new path in an attempt to reclaim some of my time and life, I hope you will continue to follow. I am very excited about my future goals, and hope you choose to be a part of them.
We hope to be open (depending on county mandates) for dine-in service February 11th-14th for our “change is good” party and Valentine’s. Please call the restaurant at 619-431-5755 if you’d like to get on the wait list for a potential dine-in reservation.
Email me with any questions, concerns, thoughts, or just to say you understand. All our social media will stay intact and we’ll be sure to keep you updated.
With Love & Gratitude,
Coral (owner/ chef/ friend)