Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Dream Deferred

“There is no telling how many miles you will have to run while chasing a dream.” --Anonymous

Hey folks – first off, sorry it’s been so long since we’ve published a post. There has been a lot going on personally and professionally but we promise to do a better job of keeping you guys in the loop moving forward.

So August, 13th was my last day in Boston. That’s right, as planned I left my old firm to move down to Philadelphia to officially immerse myself in this next phase of the journey. For those keeping track the plan was to leave Advent and then hopefully in a couple of months be up and running with our first store on Temple University’s campus… well that was the plan. Unfortunately, as I’ve come to learn the hard way, seldom do things go according to plan :)

A bit of history, on June 8th we signed the lease for an awesome retail spot on Temple’s campus. Signing that 50-page legal agreement that I had spent countless hours reviewing was exhilarating and terrifying. We were prepared to take the next step. Unfortunately as it turns out, the landlord had different plans. As you may remember from the last post, the spot is an existing restaurant and we were assured delivery of the space within 30 days. A month passed and we were told that the eviction process was taking more time than expected but that we would get the space very soon. We waited patiently but a month later the landlord finally conceded that they weren’t going to give us the space. It turns out the tenant had cured their lease by paying up the money they owed and our lease was void.

I was devastated to say the least. I received this news one week before I was leaving Advent to move down to Philly full-time. Imagine the worst setback you’ve ever faced… you probably cried… well that’s how I felt. I’m a man so it’s hard to confess in a public forum that I cried, but I’ll admit there were a few tears running down my cheeks after that phone call. When you’re starting a business all you have is your hope, dreams and aspirations. Every time I closed my eyes I dreamed of our first store at that space… I imagined being the next big thing on Temple’s campus and Saffron Grill becoming the go-to spot for students. In a heartbeat the dream vanished.

I learned a lot from this experience. For one, I realized that you can’t trust everyone in the real estate business. I should have realized that something was off when the landlord never sent me a countersigned copy of the lease document nor cashed in my security deposit! I also learned that you can’t put all your eggs in one basket. As soon as we had signed this lease, we stopped searching for other properties assuming everything would work out just fine. This set our timeline back a few months as we had to start from scratch… again.

Nevertheless, I knew I had to continue to push forward and get over this hurdle. I held onto my faith that everything happens for a reason and channeled all my energy towards finding a new space. Time was of the essence now that I was leaving the Advent payroll. My broker and I have since been on the prowl and soon enough we’re going to make something happen!


1 comment:

  1. I feel your pain in this guys, but I'm glad you're not letting it keep you down. Pretty much every major, worthwhile endeavor I've seen develop from the ground up, with my own eyes, has had major setbacks along the way. I've come to see them as a natural and perhaps even necessary part of the process, as much as they suck!