Thursday, May 27, 2010


Five years ago last night, we pulled an all-nighter.

It was our 41st day straight of painting, hooking up computers, installing shelves, getting a seemingly endless number of permits, ordering products, entering inventory into the computer.

We were almost ready except for putting up shelf tags -- on 2500 items. Chip's family helped us, spending hours studying tiny labels and looking for their corresponding products. We sent them home at midnight and kept plugging away at it, hour after hour. At 6 a.m., I walked over to the California wine aisle and found Chip sprawled on the floor, sound asleep.

There was no ceremonial moment when we said, okay, we're ready, let's open. In fact, we forgot to lock the door and someone came in.

"Are you open?"

We looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders and so it began.

The business plan we wrote had a five-year exit strategy. I thought surely the way our lives go, this, our 5th anniversary, would be the day we would hear the loan was approved.

Sure enough, about four o'clock my phone rang. Caller ID said it was the buyers' broker.

There was news from SBA, but it was not approval.

"SBA wants all the paperwork changed to show the name of the buyers' corporation."

We looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders and so it continues.

Happy 5th Anniversary, wine shop.

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