Hindsight is 20/20

Sometimes I try to imagine what our second year of trade would have been like if there hadn’t been a global pandemic. Business brings a lot of self-doubt and uncertainty at the best of times, and it’s quite easy to imagine that you might have had just as hard a year if there hadn’t been massive swings in trade or government grants to keep you going. 

There isn’t much point in dwelling on it though, because it happened, we dealt with it, I almost lost my mind but I’ve managed to find it again and I’m feeling very que sera sera and living for the future now. There’s a brilliant podcast I listen to called How to Fail by Elizabeth Day, where she interviews incredibly talented people about what they consider to be their three greatest failures in life (I spend all my baking days listening to podcasts, usually about murders, it makes for some awkward chats when my suppliers come with deliveries). There’s an excellent pandemic episode with Alain de Botton from the School of Life, where he talks about how catastrophising can actually help us to put things in perspective. Confronting the darkest possibilities makes us more able to see that what we’re worrying about really isn’t as bad as we think. What if my business fails? Then my staff and I will have to get new jobs. We’ll lose a ton of our savings, but you can always make more money. We won’t be homeless because we deliberately arrange our finances to survive on one salary (pretty essential if you run a business). Some people will probably feel happy and smug about it, but they’re the kind of garbage people it’s not worth worrying about anyway. So, the worst may happen, but that is always a possibility if you pursue your dreams. 

We had to think about why we started the cafe in the first place, and consider whether those reasons were still valid. We wanted to create a place that had really freshly roasted, delicious coffee, a strong design aesthetic, was community-focussed and had excellent service. We also wanted to make excellent bread, cakes and lunches for people with the best fresh ingredients which all too often bypass East Ayrshire and go straight to Glasgow, despite our county producing a disproportionate amount of great food. All those reasons are still valid, and we have lots of exciting ideas up our sleeve for this year, so we’re channelling Tame Impala and we’re just going to Let It Happen and give it our best shot. Things can only get better from here…

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