No One Foresaw Deliciousness

4 Oct

Being an only child in my late elementary years, my life was often solitary.  There were lots of kids my age in the neighborhood, so often I would ask my mother if I could go to a friend’s house, movie, roller skating or to spend the night.  Sometimes, if I was lucky, the answer would be “yes” or “sure”.  Occasionally I would get an “ask your father”, if he happened to be home.

Now this would definitely throw a wrench in my plans.   I just wanted an answer so I could go along my merry way.  Now my father was never a mean guy, but he usually had stuff on his mind – business or technology most likely – so he could  be subject to moods.  So I wouldn’t just barge into his office or the garage and prattle on about my request, who, when what…  Instead, I would hang around for a while, almost doing research.  Was our new “dot matrix” printer acting up?  Was he getting ready for a sales presentation or business trip?  Grumpy?  Hungry?  I was just trying to sense the mood so I could best gauge my timing to lead to the best possible answer.

I knew that if I asked him when the Commodore 64 had just crashed, that it usually didn’t matter what the question was… the answer would be no.  His response seemed so arbitrary in relation to my reality.   Why bother asking when you knew the answer would be “no”, regardless of what the question was?

Seabirds Truck

Now, fast forward about 20 plus years.  So many decisions that I have made in life – getting married, dropping out of grad school, moving north, having 4 kids, attending culinary school – that I am so proud of, would have been met with a resounding “no” if I had asked beforehand.  My strategy – even when I’m not facing grumpiness or uncertainty – is to barge ahead because, to stop and ask means to invite denial.  All I can do is sense the mood and move on with my plans.

Barcelona on the Go Menu

Barcelona on the Go Menu

Blackmarket Bakery represents that confident, barge ahead, “devil-may-care” attitude.  When we started the business, the focus was on starting something, creating a place, a mantra, a brand and some wacky baked goods.  We might not be where we want to yet with the business, but moving along by intuition is the only way I can progress.

Over a month ago I got reminded again about the arbitrary “no” and my efforts to sense the mood.  Through a mutual friend we’ve gotten acquainted with the owners of several local food trucks.  Their DIY approach and guerrilla marketing style fit so well with our own Blackmarket identity that we occasionally encourage them to park in front of our building.  We all benefit – they have a place to park, our obscure location gets an influx of visitors and our followers, my staff & I scarf down incredible food.  I believe it is our mandate as small businesses to help each other, with marketing, connections, shared experiences.

Piaggio on Wheels

The food truck trend is changing the format, expectations and vernacular of “restaurant”.  Obviously both social media tools and the economic downturn have fueled this development.  As we all know, “old school” lunch trucks have been driving around, parking, serving for years and years and will continue.  The difference is that now, food artisans and chefs who may have earlier opened a restaurant are now using the food trucks as a more casual invention to ply their craft.  When people complain about the trucks, I am only reminded of the fact that the truck concept has been around for decades, and only now, with the incredible creativity of the owners, are brick and mortar restaurants concerned.  The only difference seems to be the innovation and quality of the offerings.  No one foresaw deliciousness.

By having trucks here occasionally, we’ve had run-ins with the property management company here in Sky Park Circle.  At this point, however, they don’t have a written policy in place to deal with the new popularity of these mobile restaurants.    The loose verbal guidelines apply some of the time, to some of the businesses here, and I have to confess that we feel singled out for “rule enforcement”.

The compromise now is that we are allowed to have someone park near our space, not in front, without tables or chairs, every other week, but not on a regular basis and only with 1 or 2 weeks advance notice and a copy of the trucks insurance documents sent to the PM.  How’s that for obstreperous?

The Bakery

As much as we embrace the blackmarket approach – “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead” – we still rent here and don’t want to jeopardize our relationship with the management.  So, that is our dilemma.  More on new developments soon.  In the meantime, we are planning a weekend event and hope to have multiple trucks here, which is what we got in trouble about in the first place.  Asking for disaster, or just forging ahead, we shall see…

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2 Responses to “No One Foresaw Deliciousness”

  1. Mahesh October 4, 2010 at 5:09 pm #

    I only know of a sandwich shopt and harry’s deli as ‘restaurant’ in this block. is there any other businesses that are concerned about the trucks… Just curious.

    • blackmarketbakery October 4, 2010 at 5:28 pm #

      There are several other deli’s in Sky Park. Someone had complained about the trucks, but we don’t know who. We just know that is wasn’t Harry. According to him, his business actually improves when the trucks come to Sky Park because it brings more people here. Harry is a big supporter of the trucks and usually buys lunch from them when he’s not too busy to break away!

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