Behind The Spoon // Where We Are, Where We've Been, Where We're Going
We opened Mike & Dave's just a few months ago, and it has been quite the adventure. We wanted to give you guys a bit more access to us: a view of our mission, our goals, our process, and what it's like opening a new business. Ya know, a look "Behind the Spoon".
We spent some time reflecting on the past few months and what we're excited about in the future.
On opening the shop:
Dave: It has been surreal. I would be making myself the same product we serve at the store regardless of having this business because I love it. It is really a dream come true to meet our customers and see people excited that we offer a product that suits their dietary needs/tastes/restrictions.
Mike: Opening the shop has been one of the biggest challenge of my life thus far. You start off with a plan and goal in mind and hope that it will be easily implemented, but we definitely encountered our fair share of hurdles along the way. We started our journey in November of 2016 and had a goal of raising money, sourcing the perfect location and opening by Summer of 2017. Between finding the right location, constructing everything in-store, and opening the store, we had stalls at every turn. While we had hoped to open in August 2017, we ended up opening in October 2017. While this was certainly not what we had planned, we learned from our mistakes and I feel we are better equipped and more flexible for the inevitable challenges in the future. And, I am looking forward to the challenge :)
Dave: My favorite moment was the very first events we did. People loved our product! We always knew we had something but it wasn't until we got that first validation from strangers that my nerves subsided.
Mike: I have to agree with Dave that my favorite moments throughout this process have been all of the catering events we worked. One after the other, we had validation from all different types of people. Hearing people rave about the product helped justify all the hard work that Dave and I put into building this concept. Also, each new event that we sourced came from a previous event worked. The satisfaction of having customers like us enough to invite us to another event was very rewarding.
The Most Difficult Moments:
Dave: The most difficult moments have been all the little things. You think you need "A,B,C" done in order to take the next step, but you actually have to do "C,A,B,E,D". Finding out which "to do" item needed to be prioritized over another was very difficult and often resulted in us having to repeat steps at times. Last minute things go wrong all the time and require immediate and full attention. Cutting workouts short or even missing them entirely is hard for me. But, when you have a business, it becomes your baby. Your personal life often takes a back seat. I always had the ability to compartmentalize work. That doesn't exist anymore.
Mike: The most difficult part has been staying calm while constantly adapting and dealing with challenges that pop up. There were so many unforeseen challenges that could very well have meant the end of us pursuing our goal. These hurdles just kept popping up. Keeping our heads down and taking one step forward was the hardest part. We would take three steps forward only to be pushed back six steps. But, we were able to plow through and get to where we are today.
Favorite Menu Item:
Dave: My favorite swirl changes every month. Pumpkin Pie is my baby but I often catch myself craving Cherry Pie with almond butter or a custom banana base blend. All swirls have different utility to me. Some swirls are my pre-workout energy boosts while others are the perfect comfort food. All the menu items are my babies! I can't pick a favorite :)
Mike: The Raspberry Cheesecake! Growing up, I loved eating cheesecake. However, there was a point where I stalled with my weight and couldn't eat the same indulgences and maintain my diet. Now, I can eat something that tastes exactly the same but is much better for my body.
Goals for 2018:
Dave:In 2018, I would like to help more people who struggle with maintaining a healthy diet. Whether their goal is to lean out or get stronger, I love meeting people who have struggled with the same things Mike and I have.
I would like to form more partnerships with like-minded brands and incorporate their product as ingredients in our creations. We have already partnered with a lot of healthy-alternative companies (shout-out to Anke!!) but I would like to see that grow. I want our customer to know we will always try to bring them the best products available. There is so much crap out there hidden behind the "healthy" label that it is so difficult to filter through all the options. I believe that we can be an establishment that serves as a filter for our customers.
Mike:In 2018, I hope to help empower as many customers as I can with great tasting, healthy food options. I want to educate more customers on what it truly means to live a healthy lifestyle and eat in a healthy way. Its not about being perfect, but rather about balance. I also hope to expand the Mike & Dave's message and product through pop-up and/or events around the city.
We hope you'll join us in 2018! Come spoon with us.