a new phase

July 29, 2010 |  Category:   the biz

We’re starting a new phase here with the business. It won’t really mean anything to you, the customer, and that’s the best case scenario that we can imagine, but it will mean a big change in the way Mark works and our family life is scheduled. Last Wednesday we received a call that the restaurant where Mark has baked for nearly 2 years was closing. Did we ever think it was a possibility? Yes. Did we think it would happen at this time? Were we prepared? No. In 2 days we would lose our kitchen.

Obviously we didn’t want to shut the business down. We can’t afford to.

There’s a real lack of commercial kitchen space in NYC – the 2 that we knew of in Brooklyn have closed down recently. But we remained calm. It’s like we had no more energy to expend towards negativity after all that’s happened this year. We wasted no time in making some calls and we’re starting to cobble together a solution that while is not ideal, convenient or permanent, will hopefully work. One new kitchen in Brooklyn landed quite serendipitously from an empathetic colleague who suffered through a similar experience (we’ll reveal more as soon as Mark settles in) and the other kitchen is an old familiar one where Mark has worked for the past 7 years, the first 5 as an Executive Pastry Chef and the last 2 years as a 1 day a week consultant. The great thing about the restaurant kitchen is the multiple large convection ovens and huge kitchen space. Mark will be able to get a lot done. The not-so-great thing is that he’ll have to go in on off hours which means that at 2:30am this morning, he’ll wake up to drive to the Upper East Side, do his shift and then work an additional full shift at the restaurant.

As Mark went to sleep tonight at 9pm, we joked that he’d be waking up to get ready to go to work right about the time that I’d probably go to sleep at my normal bedtime. Sooo weird. But we’re hopeful that this new arrangement will work. We don’t know yet how it’ll affect the schedule with the kids and school and childcare for when I’m working on client projects (the old kitchen was conveniently located 6 blocks from our apartment and 3 block from Mia’s school). There are other changes happening too as we’ll also be saying goodbye to our PT nanny of 6 years in a few weeks. This is all new territory. We’ll have to see how it shakes out.

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  • Una July 29, 2010 at 2:10 am

    Continue to be hopeful. I am confident that things will work out for you guys somehow.

  • Lara Sopchak July 29, 2010 at 2:15 am

    Oh, goodness.

  • Roos July 29, 2010 at 2:49 am

    Life is for the brave! Good luck for all 4 of you with this new schedule!

  • Lecia July 29, 2010 at 2:59 am

    Wow. I’m impressed you’ve pulled together a solution so quickly – you are a force of nature. I’m really sorry this happened – what a year.

  • Eri July 29, 2010 at 5:02 am

    I’m sorry to hear of the loss and the changes that you all will be going through…totally sucks…hang in there during this period of transition!

  • Renee Alam July 29, 2010 at 7:21 am

    Everything has a way of working out it if you keep going for what you want.Just remember that things may not go the way you would like them but that can only mean that it wasn’t the best way for you…. whatever is the best,will happen… you’ll see. 🙂 It will all work out for you and your family… it might be hard at times, but it could always be worse than that. the 2 of you are pretty smart together so I have no doubt the both of you will figure out a decent schedule with the girls.It may be tough but this could be a short,temporary thing.

  • Lisa July 29, 2010 at 9:56 am

    I’ve followed and enjoyed your blog for awhile now and this post has inspired my first comment. I can tell you from experience that every seemingly unfortunate event is just life nudging you in a different direction – one that will more than likely benefit your family and your business. In my business, every rejection has forced me to take a different path, one that I might never have taken otherwise. Looking back, I can honestly say that I am just as grateful for the “failures” in my business as I am for the successes, because they have helped it to evolve into something better than I could have hoped for and rejection has forced me to take leaps of faith I might never have had the guts to take if given the chance to think about it. I predict great things for you guys – best of luck and be brave!

  • dee July 29, 2010 at 9:58 am

    I am once again amazed and impressed by your ability to handle change and uncertainty….and still manage to brighten our days with your photos.

  • bronwyn July 29, 2010 at 10:03 am

    How stressful. It’s nice to hear that you’re making it work. You new schedule sounds a bit like my family’s schedule. I get up between 3:30-4am and my husband usually goes to bed well after 2am. A few months ago, he had a lot of deadlines and didn’t get home from work until 5:15am. I catch the bus at 5:20am. Obviously, I can’t leave my daughter until he gets home. It was a close call. I’ve done this schedule for 5 years. It’s hard, but you get used to it. Still, I can’t really imagine getting up at 2:30. Hopefully, he won’t have to do this too many days a week. Good luck!

  • Annie July 29, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Change is good.
    You’ll do great. You are brave and strong.
    Best of luck in this new and exciting chapter.
    Can wait to see what happens next.

  • jan July 29, 2010 at 11:14 am

    just when you think you can’t work any harder, suddenly you’re forced to a new level. you will both rise to it b/c you don’t know any other way. take comfort in your downtime so you can keep the mojo going when you have to be ‘on.’ sorry it happened this way, tho…seriously not fun.

  • julie July 29, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    wow! lot’s of change for you and your sweet family. god throws us curve balls sometimes, but it is never more than we can handle. best of luck with the business and the new space. i move to the city in two weeks…if you ever need two extra hands i’d be more than happy to help out. good luck!

  • Nani July 29, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    So many changes, but it looks like you are finding alternatives as quickly as a road block pops up. I hope you continue to do well and everything is only up from here.

  • alexandra July 29, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    oh, i wish you all the best! and i am sure this change came for a good reason that you are not probably able to see yet, but will see soon. *

  • Michelle July 29, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Could this be the push that brings you to opening your own store?

  • Michelle from Holley & Gill July 29, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Jenna, Mark,

    Life will throw things at us for the most bizarre of reasons. Our instincts do gives us signs and so when we are thrown into the thick of it all, and because the insight was there, if doesn’t seem as insurmountable.

    Although not as suitable of a situation, I am sure you will both thrive and give this new direction a go.

    Good luck and know you are both inspiring individuals, inspiring as a couple and the most important, inspiring as parents.


  • Susan July 29, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    It’s amazing (scary, stressful) how one phone call can change the direction of your path. That happened to me last week. Although your situation is not ideal, who knows…it may bring about bigger and better things to come. I’m sorry it is a stressful time for you both, but you seem to have a healthy & positive perspective.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Chantale July 29, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Just reading the comments from all these people was uplifting in and of itself! I have to agree with all of them. Even through your ups and downs, Jenna, you and Mark are like a very acrobatic cat, able to tumble through the air and always landing on your feet in the end. Quite gracefully I might add. Good luck, stay strong.

  • Amor July 29, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    I’m glad to know that you are continually being positive inspite the bumps. I hope Mark will have all the energy for this. haha..
    I’ve been a lurker and now wanting you to know that I am rooting for you on these changes you will have to undergo.

    Greetings from the Tropics 🙂

  • Chai Ling July 30, 2010 at 2:21 am

    Hang touch, Jenna! what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger ^_^

  • Chai Ling July 30, 2010 at 2:21 am

    correction – hang tough, i meant.

  • Anna @ D16 July 30, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Wow, Jenna…you weren’t kidding. That is a really big deal. No matter how much you had it in the back of your heads that this could someday happen, I’m sure it was still a huge shock.

    I’m exhausted just thinking about the amount of stamina that you’re both going to need to have in order to pull this off, but…you can do it. And I really do think that this will lead to something else eventually. Something very good and very positive.

    And hey, if all else fails, you can become a paralegal! (I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist. 😀 )

  • mina July 30, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    You guys are formidable.

  • Karen July 30, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    NOOOOOOOO!!!! Are you serious??? Wow…I think you must have sensed this coming. I’m sorry and hope that, when the dust settles, everyone is happy and peaceful with where they are. I’ll be thinking of you guys. Take care and tell Mark to sleep quickly!

  • Elaineganmaclaine July 31, 2010 at 12:24 am

    Been a reader for 2 months now and I’m sure your toughness will sort it all out soon.
    Anything can happen to anyones career nowadays. I watched 70% of my colleagues being made redundant recently and some had a huge pay cut! And I was an inch close to being jobless too! But there’s always a purpose to our circumstances…

    So hang on and ride through the waves!

  • scentual soundtracks August 1, 2010 at 8:46 am

    A closed door means something better on the horizon, IMO. Although the new situation is not ideal, I believe that something will work out for you. Sometimes doors shut because we need to be pushed to a new level, and that has happened so many times in my life. In the moment I was not so happy, but looking back, I’m very grateful. Wishing you all the very best.