I always enjoy hearing about how and why people ended up in the business that they are in. So, I thought I would share a little bit about why I chose this crazy career path.
I had started working in coffee shops and restaurants in high school and continued to use them to support the financial end of achieving a higher education. In the service industry, there was a built-in support network that was different from any other job I had. I got to meet and work alongside so many different people, learn their stories, and share mine.
In college, I spent long hours scheming with friends about owning my own place, drawing up plans, logos, tossing about various ideas from coffee shops to bars to bed and breakfasts (when I should have been studying for finals or writing papers).
But the reality of starting something always seemed to slip by me. I wasn’t exactly sure where to begin. Dreaming about steaming hot cups of coffee and developing menus didn’t give me any knowledge of the business side of things. Suddenly, I wasn’t in my 20’s anymore – I had graduated, was married, had two young kids, worked for the State. Life had moved in a different direction – away from the service industry. I began to think that creating a café was just a daydream.
Then, we moved up to the mountains and I saw a little sign in the bottom corner of a window in this older, rustic, roadside café; for sale it read. I pointed it out the almost hidden sign to my husband and we wandered inside to check it out and that was the beginning of a dream realized.
There was an entire wall of windows overlooking the creek, a cool rustic bar, speakeasy-type booths…I knew, then and there, that this was the location, this was the PLACE! We reached out to our real estate agent the next day. Our lives were about to jump onto a roller coaster that we couldn’t have fully grasped at the time.
Varyu – our last name means, ‘Little Blackbird’ in Hungarian and hence – The Blackbird Cafe.… It’s been a journey – filled with all of the trials, tribulations, highs and lows, that one goes through when they take the very scary plunge (or leap of faith to phrase it a little lighter) into the world of restaurant ownership. I love my job. I love the people that come to my restaurant and enjoy the space we have created. I love my staff – I am honored to know such cool people in different places through their journey in life.
I consider the Blackbird a second home and the people who work and frequent it as a part of my family. Perhaps this sounds cheesy or cliché – but one of the reasons I so desperately wanted a café of my own was because of the relationships I had formed with people from working in restaurants. I met people who loved and supported me – didn’t care what college I went to, who my parents were, what part of town I was from. They wanted to know if I was a hard worker, a good team member, and a kind human to the people around me.
These were values I believed in and wanted to spend my career working on. These are the values I am always working on and sharing with my staff. Thanks for checking out my monologue!
We look forward to seeing you at the Bird soon.
Terry Varyu – Owner Operator of Blackbird Cafe