DATE: Sometime in August 2018?
Zach and I were searching the inter webs for a clinic job. Who wouldn’t want no call, no weekends!? UHHH my fiancé AND me for that fact. Every weekend together, pure bliss….(but wait lol). SO after applying to a few midwest clinics, one being Cedar Rapids, IA… I mean why would we look down south for warm weather? That’s just silly. But ODDLY enough, our fingers and searches lead us to Iowa. A good halfway point to my new loved city of Milwaukee, WI and ‘home’ Sioux City, IA — we thought what the HEY — APPLY!
DATE: Sometime in September??
Zach got a call from the clinic in Cedar Rapids, IA. yada yada yada, he interviewed, they loved him, OF COURSE yada yada he can’t start right away, one more contract in Duluth, MN… Did he get the Cedar Job?
DATE: SEPT 25th 2018??
ZACH GOT THE CEDAR JOB!!! We celebrated with a proper wine, paused, laughed, holy crap! We’re doing this!
DATE: SEPT 25th, 2018 at MIDNIGHT
Fear sat in. WHAT THE F*(& am I going to do in Cedar Rapids!? Farmers Market seasonal…it IS HY-VEE mecca, could demo and push more sales that way… no sleep. OMG. What have we done.
DATE: OCT 16th, 2018
A TRIP TO NEW YORK! I always apply to food based events to either pitch or attend. This particular event sent applications onto sponsors. I had received an email a month prior that a company in Canada was interested in Gnarly Pepper and would like me to do a private pitch downtown New York and be their guest at the Foodbytes event. YES YES YES all the YES’s! I booked a flight, stayed with my dearest childhood friend and Pitched! This trip TRULY opened my eyes to to many possibilities of Gnarly Pepper and allowed me to hone in on my main goal for the future of Gnarly Pepper and what I want it to become.
DATE: OCT 20th-ish, 2018
Per-usual, I got distracted from my routine of emails, submissions and random ass real estate searches and decided to see what restaurants Cedar Rapids, IA REeallllly had to offer. Being the foodie that I am, it was VERY important. I was pleased with many discoveries and passed by a market, NEWBO CITY MARKET. ::OMG — A MARKET! The milwaukee market made my heart sing! Maybe this would make my heart sing!?:: I continued into my search, checked out the vendors, Facebook crept and so forth… I was smiling…BIG TIME.
DATE: OCT 26th, 2018
A vendor at the market, Dumpling Darling was leaving. I caught the notification via Facebook because I became a fan, obvi. My brain began to race, why would they leave? They seem like a great company, oh no! The market is bad, I need to know more! Therefore, I called up the owner and asked her ‘what’s going down, yo.’
Turned out that the Market treated them SO WELL for the past TWO years that they’ve decided to focus on their OTHER TWO LOCATIONS! STAMP MY FOREHEAD IM IN. Leslie of Dumpling Darling was so nice, letting me understand the in’s and out’s as a vendor, not a seller. I then applied and waaiitteeeddddd!
DATE: OCT 28th, 2018
I received an email back! ‘Thank you for your interest yada yada… I was overjoyed! The process was happening! BUT WAIT! This clearly doesn’t guarantee me a spot IN. I began to talk to the universe, picturing me in the market, wearing my apron, being in public with other humans (working from home is tough) I was sending all the signals. I knew I wanted this. I knew it was the perfect fit, and it certainly felt more then than ever, that THIS is where Zach and I were suppose to be.
DATE: NOV 14th, 2018
I made a trip to Cedar Rapids, IA to see the Market, learn more and meet the wonderful Julie. I attended on a closed market day, but when I opened the door I was literally thinking, ‘oh, YEP. This is my home.’ ::Still very much chatting with the universe::
DATE: NOV 20th- DEC 20th, 2018
I worked with Julie of Newbo and Julie of SBDC to get my business plan under way, checked and rechecked along with my layout, menu, cost-of-goods, start-up fees, monthly fees, do I still want to do this fees…
DATE: JAN 10th, 2019
I pitched to the Shopkeeper Committee and shared some samples. At this point, still quite nervous that they could say, no. I never let my thoughts drift south. I continued to look at market space inspiration, recipe inspiration and more to keep my mind and heart from drifting into the sad possibility. It’s great to believe you have something ‘in-the-bag’ but how big is the bag? Is there a hole in the bag? I couldn’t celebrate just yet, but walking in and out of there I still felt at ease. I felt home. So either way at that point, I knew something was going to come of being apart of the community, and it felt good.
DATE: JAN 12th, 2019
BEST SATURDAY EVER. Woke up to an email that said, ‘Hi Sara, You’re in! Congratulations and welcome to the NewBo City Market family.’ YAYAYAYYA Time to start spending da moneeyyyyyyyyyy. And not even that, designing menus, signs, searching for equipment, supplies omg. THE EXCITEMENT AND FEAR WHIP. IT’S REAL and it hit me, HARD. GAME TIME.
DATE: JAN 28th, 2019
I PAID AND SIGNED THE LEASE AGREEMENT!!!
DATE: FEB 1st, 2019
I OFFICIALLY HAVE A GNARLY PEPPER SHOP! We will be serving up pre-made dips, condiments, chicken salad, tuna salad and much much more! We’ll also have our blends for sale. Gnarly Pepper will continue to pump and promote to local grocers, specialty shops, Hy-Vee and many more locations! And feel free to order online and checkout our apparel!
Though the pure bliss of having every weekend off with Zach isn’t possible, this adventure could become the forever bliss we both desire– retiring early – haha! Be on the look out for our official opening date, grand opening, events and more! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.
Be Nice • Be Nourished • Be Gnarly.