Let me first say this, “this post will be a fairly long one.” If you have a few minutes to read it, please do. If you have da ability to share it, please do.
I have to say that i’ve had my own challenges to deal with over da last several months. Today was not much different. I don’t want to get into a lot of da details because I don’t wanna bore you, but it was a mess. I ended up working about 1/2 a day today due to these circumstances. On my way to work this afternoon, I decided to get myself some lunch. To put THAT in perspective, I hardly EVER spend money for lunch. Usually it’s pnut butter and honey sammiches. But not today, i needed to “splurge” for my own mental stability. 🙂 So i stopped in a small town here in da area and went to a pizzeria. I had been to this place 1 time before and thoroughly enjoyed da product. I get there today and it was really worth da stop. I totally had my “mess” outta my mind after I got there. Let me break it down for ya. . . .
I get there knowing I wanted calzone to go. Da owner greets me and hands me a cup to grab a beverage. I turned down da cup since I knew this was gonna be a takeout order. He smiles and proceeds to take my order. As he’s getting my order down, he’s polite and engaging as any service person SHOULD be, but this seemed “genuine”. Nah mean? Then he hands the ticket to his staff to knock it out. As he did that, i noticed how happy and eager da team was to get my ticket fired and taken care of. So I walk off to wait for my grub. He says to me “you have some shopping to do here in the strip mall?” I tell him “nah, i don’t.” He says to me, “here have a slice while you wait.” He hands me this niiiiice, fresh slice of hand tossed pizza and then goes back to da kitchen. My belly begins to thank him.
I looked around at this place and thought it was such a cool lil’ “hole in da wall” restaurant. I LOVE “hole in da wall” restaurants. Great food and obviously great service. But there was more there than that. I could feel pride in there. I could feel warmth in there. It was quite refreshing. I then walked over to a sign on his wall. It was some type of sandblasted sign. I liked it. Mike, the owner, begins to tell me about how he got it. Basically, he bought it from a local sign shop. Then started pointing out other things that were all from other LOCAL small businesses. I was sensing a trend.
I talked to Mike a lil’ more. He interested me. He opened his business 5.5 years ago and is hoping for many more. Talking to Mike I sensed that “pride” sensation a lil more. I can tell this man LOVED what he was doing. I can tell he wanted to make money doing his gig, but he also wanted to “give back” to the community in some way. I think he has touched some other folks in da community with his pizzeria. He had a t-shirt that was presented to him by a friend. The t-shirt was for the 5 year anniversary mark of his business.
Mike has also had events for kids to come in and make pizza. He takes da time to show da kids how to knead and toss pizza dough and how to prepare a great pizza. Of course, kids love trying to cook. And he loves to allow them the opportunity to dig into it.
After talking to Mike, I said to myself that I want to do SOMETHING to try to promote his business. I liked what he stood for. A man with a plan to make money, but yet give a lil’ back to enrich others in some way or fashion. I give him credit because opening a business is 1 thing, opening a RESTAURANT is another thing. That’s REALLY risky. A lot of variables in the operation costs that chews into profits. But then I looked in the mirror and realized that I could support businesses like his more. Yep. I’m guilty of feeding into da economic “beast” we have today. That same beast that is putting GOOD BUSINESSES like Market Street Pizza out of business. I am da first to say that I shop at Walmart 98% of da time. Why? Well they’re cheaper. I have 3 hard headed boyz that EAT. So I have to save cash where I can. But on the other hand, I hate that da more people shop da way I do, da more small businesses can fall off. Mike is doing his part. He’s providing a great product, he’s engaging his customers, and even supporting OTHER small businesses. Where do you fit in this scenario? What are you thoughts?
Thank you for takin’ da time to read this post. If you’re in da Cramerton, NC area, check out Market Street Pizza and Subs. And/or tell others about this post.
Peace unto you all.
@antpruitt on twitter