First, money makes a lot of problems go away! I don't mean that in a mafia kind of way! I just mean that if you have enough money leasing and renovating a kitchen is not really a big deal. If you are on a budget, like we are, its a major deal! So if you would like to help make the dream of a vegan restaurant in Cobb County a reality sooner rather than later feel free to chip in a few bucks (or thousands!). And don't forget that when you help Vego you are also helping our charity Full Tummies: Full Hearts. You can donate here. Thanks!
Second, if you have been following our story then you know that we have been on a bit of a roller coaster ride trying to decide if we should invest in our own kitchen space, trying to find one in our budget, trying to negotiate the terms, waiting for the plaza to be sold (3 times), getting to the table, having the closing delayed--and therefore our lease delayed, then finally signing on the line and getting the keys!
Now we are on a new ride, this one is negotiating all the renovations and upgrades that need to be done and getting through the permitting process with the county. No less stressful, and more physically demanding! We are hoping to be permitted by the end of October 2017.
Our new spot is located in the Brookwood Plaza next to the L.A. Fitness off of Austell Rd (and East-West Connector). This plaza has been largely vacant for some time now. Our little spot used to be a Philly Connection about 7 years ago. Needless to say, that means we have our work cut out for us! If you have ever done any kind of renovations I am sure you can imagine all the "little things" that add up to be overwhelming in the process. There are a some big things too...we discovered that the rear wall is only one block thick with no insulation, so that means after being neglected for several years there is moisture getting in and damaging the paint and inner walls. The HVAC system needs to be replaced--thankfully at the owner's expense. And since we haven't had the gas turned on yet we are unsure if the water heater is in good working order.
The delicate balance here is trying to negotiate your budget with your time. I could pay more to get things done faster, and get permitted and back to work faster, or I can save some of that cash (getting bids and waiting for people to be available), protect my operating capital, but be a little slower getting permitted and back on the job.
There are some not-so-fun things to pop up in the permitting process as well. Most fees are not prorated, so if you are getting new permits/licenses in the last quarter of the year you will be paying those fees again in 3 short months. I have heard at least 3 times while submitting paperwork that I have "old" information (that I got from their website), or the information is unclear. Interpreting code is NOT fun, especially when they have their idea of what it means but that is not how the code actually reads. Thankfully David is an architect so he knows the ins and outs of the process and how to get things done. I was going to lose my mind just driving all over to drop the papers off and pay the fees!
In the meantime the truck is on hiatus (between permits), but when we relaunch the truck hopefully it will be just a few short months before we have a neat little place to grab your favorite Vego dish without having to keep track of the truck!