So, after ten years we are Closing The Kitchen Table. There, I’ve said it out loud and so it must be true. I know so many of you have been hearing the rumblings of this news for a while and, like so many including us, didn’t believe it would ever happen.
We opened The Kitchen Table almost on a whim, a nuts, hazy, not at all thought through whim. After bumping into the former owners, and having them tell me that they were giving the business up, I suggested that I would might be interested in taking over. Fast forward about six months, and we were deep in negotiations. Fast forward another couple of months, and you’ll find me slumped on the sofa after our first day open, large drink in hand wondering what the hell we had done. And so, ten years later you’ll find me once again, large drink in hand writing a good bye note, wondering if we’ve done the right thing.
The Kitchen Table has been an enormous learning curve. To go from being an employee to an employer in a small business is no mean feat. To have started a business during a not too terribly stable financial climate some might say was fool hardy. Actually some people did say we were being fool hardy. And to say it has all been a breeze would not be telling the whole truth, but its certainly been interesting.
Over the last ten years Tom and I have become part of a community. An amazing community both of business owners, and of the lovely residents of West Hampstead. Our incredibly loyal custom base has been a mix of families, business owners, people who work from home, teachers, babies, dogs, office workers and tourists to mention a few. These amazing people have supported us from day one, and have continued to do so for ten years. During this period of time we’ve watched people graduate, get married, have children, then more children, and in some cases even more children. I’ve made birthday cakes, wedding cakes and retirement cakes. We’ve catered everything from 1st Birthdays to funerals. We both feel like we’ve been privileged to become a part of peoples daily lives, a part of their routine. And we are now lucky enough to call a great many of these people our friends, friends we’ll be able to take away from our time here. Another wonderful part of The Kitchen Table has been the staff. Ten years has brought an eclectic group of job hunters through the door, most of whom we still know, and who continue to come in for a coffee and a catch up. There have been times when I’ve looked over at the big table to see a group of former staff sitting there laughing at something ridiculous one of them has said. I’m not sure what this says about The Kitchen Table, but I’m really glad its been a place people have wanted to come back to.
The Kitchen Table has been fun, but its time for us to start our next adventure. We have loved the last ten years, and will be very sad to say good bye. We want to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for all of your support over the years. Without all of you, the last ten years would have been very dull indeed. We will miss you all terribly. As for what comes next? Having gone though the sale process for almost nine months, we will need to have a few weeks to breathe. We will then re-group and move onto the next phase. All I will say is watch this space.
This Saturday, the 15th of July will be our last weekend, but Tuesday the 18th will be our final day of trading. From about 5pm we will be having good bye drinks, and would love to see you all there. Please do come in and say good bye, even just for a quick hug.
We want to wish the new owners the best of luck, and hope that they manage to gain as much as we have by being a part of West Hampstead.