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My wife and I started a fresh meal delivery service (member's business build thread?)

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    My wife and I started a fresh meal delivery service (member's business build thread?)

    In mid-march, the TV show I was working on was ending and my wife quit her job as a chef because they weren't treating her well enough. That next week, shit went downhill fast. My whole industry crashed and burned (it's JUST now starting to get back going, I've had a grand total of 2 weeks of work since March), and she was denied unemployment because she left voluntarily, but nobody was hiring (shocker!)

    Around that same time, a good friend and sometime-employer's fridge gave out, so we started taking him some leftovers from food she was already making. My wife makes AMAZING food, something that those of you that are friends with me on Facebook probably already know. She has been cooking for 15 years, studied in France, and has several of the top restaurants in St. Louis on her resume. It only took a couple of these dropoffs for my friend, Tom, to tell us that we should be doing this professionally. With delivery demand booming, we agreed with him and got to work. 2 days later we had a logo, a plan, and a name: Ding Dong Dish.

    We started cooking meals out of our apartment kitchen on April 1, and today marks 6 months going. in that 6 months, we've sold and delivered nearly 700 meals, fed 65 different customers, and started to make a name for ourselves. We sell one set meal per day, with a different menu every week. Today was homemade Lasagna and tomorrow is some amazingly thick Pork Chops. Our meals are $15 monday-Thursday, and $20 or more on Friday, plus $5 per delivery.

    Unfortunately, working out of a standard residence isn't exactly legal in the eyes of the health department. A month or two into all this, we found a commercial kitchen to move into and go legit. This was a restaurant kitchen that wasn't getting used in a sports bar that had temporarily shut down. This place was an absolute mess. The current owner had never used it, and the previous owner had left it a mess...5 years before. We borrowed a friend's power washer and used it for an entire week, scrubbing the walls, the appliances, the floors, and everything else covered in grease and grime. We got that place looking good and did some upgrades/updates to it, and even after some procrastination, we got the place ready to be inspected by the health department.

    Unfortunately, we didn't have a lease with the owner (he was "letting" us get the place ready without paying rent) and he sold it to his neighbor 2 weeks ago, two days before we were planning on taking everything to the health department for our inspection and license.

    That's where some good news comes in. Through some local Facebook groups, we found an awesome space in one of the highest end areas of St Louis, Clayton. It's directly across from the county courthouse and among a BUNCH of law offices, banks, corporate buildings, and other white collar shit. It's way more expensive than we were planning, and 4 times as much as the kitchen we were renovating, but the prime location and walk-in, grab-and-go lunch and dinner business should more than make up for it.

    I know this has been a long read, but from here on, I'm going to keep updating this thread with our progress.

    If you're interested, our facebook page is www.facebook.com/dingdongdish. Our website will go live once we officially open.

    Click for my Member's Ride Thread
    Originally posted by Stephen Fry
    'It's now very common to hear people say, "I'm rather offended by that", as if that gives them certain rights. It's no more than a whine. It has no meaning, it has no purpose, it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. "I'm offended by that." Well, so fucking what?' —Stephen Fry
    Eye Level Media - Commercial & Automotive Photography: www.EyeLevelSTL.com

    #2
    Not really long per se, but moreso short to medium length and to the point in my opinion. However, it's a solid two minute read which can be described or summed up using a bunch of words synonomous with grit, moxie, and hustler!

    Without getting all extra, I say keep grinding so you can look back after the smoke clears in a few years and say, "_______________________________ (fill in the blank with something positive based on hindsight success)."


    Make it happen.
    The Lord watches over me!

    "...they did the bowties, I did the ascots, as much as I have, I'm still reppin' the have nots..."

    - So Raspy

    Comment


      #3
      this is fire. what's the end goal, just make some money in the meantime, or really set something up and hire employees/cooks eventually?


      - 1993 Accord LX - White sedan (sold)
      - 1993 Accord EX - White sedan (wrecked)
      - 1991 Accord EX - White sedan (sold)
      - 1990 Accord EX - Grey sedan (sold)
      - 1993 Accord EX - White sedan (sold)
      - 1992 Accord EX - White coupe (sold)
      - 1993 Accord EX - Grey coupe (stolen)
      - 1993 Accord SE - Gold coupe (sold)
      Current cars:
      - 2005 Subaru Legacy GT Wagon - Daily driver
      - 2004 Chevrolet Express AWD - Camper conversion

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Straight Success View Post
        Not really long per se, but moreso short to medium length and to the point in my opinion. However, it's a solid two minute read which can be described or summed up using a bunch of words synonomous with grit, moxie, and hustler!

        Without getting all extra, I say keep grinding so you can look back after the smoke clears in a few years and say, "_______________________________ (fill in the blank with something positive based on hindsight success)."


        Make it happen.
        Thanks man! It felt like a longer one than it was when I was writing it, mostly because I'm more used to making facebook posts than forum threads anymore. I'm already very proud of how far we've come, but it's just getting better. I can't wait to get everything finished, though.


        Originally posted by cp[mike] View Post
        this is fire. what's the end goal, just make some money in the meantime, or really set something up and hire employees/cooks eventually?
        This is our medium goal, with the end being a full high end restaurant run by her. This one is being planned out to be a permanent part of our income, though. The main part of it is me trying to get her out of normal "employment" in the food service industry. Cooks and chefs are hilariously underpaid unless they are the boss. High end places have an air, a gravitas to them, but most of them pay just as bad as Applebees. If I want my wife to make more than $15/hr, I had to do something. If it flops, no real harm done. We sell off the equipment, she goes back to work, and we figure something else out.

        Click for my Member's Ride Thread
        Originally posted by Stephen Fry
        'It's now very common to hear people say, "I'm rather offended by that", as if that gives them certain rights. It's no more than a whine. It has no meaning, it has no purpose, it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. "I'm offended by that." Well, so fucking what?' —Stephen Fry
        Eye Level Media - Commercial & Automotive Photography: www.EyeLevelSTL.com

        Comment


          #5
          Road trip to St. Louis!
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          Comment


            #6
            thats awesome!
            COUPE K24

            Comment


              #7
              We have a meeting with our bank to discuss an SBA loan tomorrow. Wish us luck!

              Click for my Member's Ride Thread
              Originally posted by Stephen Fry
              'It's now very common to hear people say, "I'm rather offended by that", as if that gives them certain rights. It's no more than a whine. It has no meaning, it has no purpose, it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. "I'm offended by that." Well, so fucking what?' —Stephen Fry
              Eye Level Media - Commercial & Automotive Photography: www.EyeLevelSTL.com

              Comment


                #8
                Luck!
                The Lord watches over me!

                "...they did the bowties, I did the ascots, as much as I have, I'm still reppin' the have nots..."

                - So Raspy

                Comment


                  #9
                  Wow, congrats dude! My wife went into business for herself a little over 2 years ago. She is a blogger or "influencer" as some call it. She has come a long way, having just over 100k followers on Instagram.

                  She has worked with lots of major brands such as Thomas Bagels, Wal-mart, Target, Macy's, Shark and a bunch of other shit lol.

                  She did it because she wanted to be a stay at home mom but also be able to do something profitable and she has great marketing and social skills, so she combined everything and took that leap!

                  Kudos on you guys for doing the same.

                  This sounds delish and I believe you did find a perfect spot.

                  Best of luck!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Good Luck!!!
                    http://www.hondanews.com/releases/19...d-introduction

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Well, we didn't get a loan. Unfortunately, we are probably going to have to break down the walk-in, put the kitchen equipment in storage, and walk away from this location.

                      We need to work on our debt and credit as much as possible, and keep building the business until we are in a better position.

                      This fucking sucks.
                      Last edited by steelbluesleepR; 10-20-2020, 10:18 PM.

                      Click for my Member's Ride Thread
                      Originally posted by Stephen Fry
                      'It's now very common to hear people say, "I'm rather offended by that", as if that gives them certain rights. It's no more than a whine. It has no meaning, it has no purpose, it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. "I'm offended by that." Well, so fucking what?' —Stephen Fry
                      Eye Level Media - Commercial & Automotive Photography: www.EyeLevelSTL.com

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by steelbluesleepR View Post
                        Well, we didn't get a loan. Unfortunately, we are probably going to have to break down the walk-in, put the kitchen equipment in storage, and walk away from this location.

                        We need to work on our debt and credit as much as possible, and keep building the business until we are in a better position.

                        This fucking sucks.
                        Don't be discouraged. Did they give you a reason why you didn't get the loan? Is there an opportunity to fix areas that they noted and reapply?

                        There are grants available from USDA for meal service providers. See if you qualify.

                        There may also be grants available from the state of Missouri to provide meals to underserved populations.
                        14 Ford Focus ST - stock(ish) - E30 Tune + Green Filter =

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by steelbluesleepR View Post
                          Well, we didn't get a loan. Unfortunately, we are probably going to have to break down the walk-in, put the kitchen equipment in storage, and walk away from this location.

                          We need to work on our debt and credit as much as possible, and keep building the business until we are in a better position.

                          This fucking sucks.
                          SBO to SBO, look at it as a blessing. I really mean that. Adding debt to already existing debt is . Your second to last sentence is spot on.


                          I did get approve for several loans for my business, and to be honest with you, I didn't take not one of them. I read the promissory notes, even the ones for COVID relief, and was like, nope. Don't want 'em. The reason is, when building, you want to always stay on the side of a solid foundation built on capital and assets, not liabilities. That's what I'm doing. Damn near 80+ percent of what I made in the last year and a half went back into my company. Granted, I haven't reached $1M in capital for a calender year, but I'm only now entering my third year. I had about about $5,000 in initial debt last year, and that was $5,000 too much. I'm not rolling in money like some other SBO I know, but my company is solid on firm ground. I'm sure I'll get to where I need to be. Sh!t, that's all people keep encouraging me to do. They say, "Keep going. Don't stop!" over and over again.

                          Hopefully you find some wisdom in what I typed and not take it as boastful or pompous.

                          #countyourblessings

                          All the best.
                          The Lord watches over me!

                          "...they did the bowties, I did the ascots, as much as I have, I'm still reppin' the have nots..."

                          - So Raspy

                          Comment

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