It's been a long time since I posted on here, I got tied up in a new idea and it just snowballed from there and I now, strangely, own a small fast casual restaurant
I wanted to post something on here about my experiences and to give people, especially us creative types, some hope in what you believe is a good idea. It started last year, I was stuck in the "30 something" rut as many of you on here have discussed and was constantly sketching, brainstorming and talking about grand ideas I had to anyone who would listen so I could break out of the POP/Retail design work I seemed to be lodged into. Sure, some of them were terrible and many of my friends and family would roll their eyes at another of my crazy ideas.
But one idea stuck and no matter how many people I talked to about it, not one of them thought it was a bad idea... including my wife who is my harshest critic sometimes. And so Rashers - North America's only bacon sandwich shop was born.
Having come to Canada from the UK, I knew the bacon in North America wasn't the only kind of bacon you could get and now living in Toronto, they have a uniquely Canadian bacon called peameal (wet brine cured and rolled in cornmeal if anyone is interested). After talking about it with someone I shared an office with we decided we'd look into it further.
With my experience in branding and retail design and his experience running his own international business we thought we'd make a good partnership (it also helped that he's lived in London and Dublin and his wife is Irish).
After a long time hunting for the right space, we found something that was relatively close to where we both live in an up and coming popular area of Toronto. We did some thorough research into the industry, spoke to as many people as possible and eventually hired a consultant chef to advise us on the menu. Our business plan outlined everything we wanted to do and when presented to the bank their first words were "Did you guys ever work at a bank ?" because we had nailed everything down so well.
We did the branding ourselves and the store interior... we even did most of the renovations in the store to keep costs down. The only things we let the experts do was the extraction system, gas line work and electrical. We opened with very little fanfare last Thursday and we have been swamped ever since... we even ran out of bacon on Sunday
It's still early days but we have been overwhelmed with the local support we have received and buzz we have managed to create just using Facebook and Twitter (we still don't even have a proper website)
Here's some pictures of the rough interior design I did... when you are your own client it doesn't need to be too polished
I've also attached some pictures that a local magazine took on the day we opened.
My main reason for telling you my story is to really show that even though some of us get pigeon holed into certain areas of design work... the opportunities are simply endless for creative types and sometimes in forms you could never have imagined.