Uncertain schedule. Maybe 1st July, maybe 4th July.

There’s a few variables at play for the schedule:

IF I can fix the grey water problem (have parts, need to tear things apart and rebuild. No problem!), and IF I can find a workaround for the propane tank problem (still testing things), then Bistro Breizh will be open tomorrow, 1st July.  Even though I totally forgot to get a cash register float. Bring exact change!

Otherwise, we’ll be opening around lunchtime on Saturday 4 July.

Check here for more scheduling news as events unfold!

That escalated quickly…

So Bistro Breizh managed to open at about 8 am, after numerous delays due to various small issues.

We shut down at 9:30 am due to… a series of complete, unadulterated, unmitigated, extraordinarily thorough set of disasters that started with being unable to refill the propane tank because the bracket seized and we couldn’t remove the tank, and culminating in a leak in the grey water system.  A system that had been stress tested for a week specifically to avoid this problem.

If you showed up hoping for a galette, my most sincere apologies. And if you tell me that you did show up only to be disappointed then your first galette is free. Really.

We hope to re-open on July 4th, which should give us a few days to track down what went wrong and fix it. Permanently. Somehow.

(pre) Opening Announcement

Everything now confirmed. We’ll be opening to the general public in a “pre opening” mode as of Tuesday. “Pre opening mode” means we’ll be testing things out and won’t be as efficient or organized as we plan to be after the Grand Opening, whose date is still to be determined. For fellow geeks think of it as beta testing prior to the official release.

When: starting Tuesday, 30 June 2015 at 07h00

Days: currently planning Tuesday to Saturday, but weekends will be variable depending on event schedules.

Time: 07h00 onwards for now, subject to change with little notice.  Planning to close at 13h00 but will depend on crowds (or lack thereof).

Location: RONA in south Nanaimo on Maki Road! It’s confirmed!  We’ll be in the parking lot opposite their garden centre.

Guessing games and shopping lists

Accumulating ingredients for opening day is really a guessing game.  I have absolutely no idea how much I’m likely to sell.  I’d hate to run out, but I’d also hate to have so much that I have to throw it out if I can’t sell it before it gets past its max storage time.  I’m going to try to order on the low side of my guesses, and hope I can refill the fridge in time for the next day. Another reason to set the hours I have  (07h00 to 13h00, or longer if there’s a lineup), as it gives me time to do that extra bit of shopping at the end of the day.

That said, I found temporary source of grated swiss cheese (close enough to Emmenthal I guess), which should tide me over until I know how big an order to place with my main supplier, which I can’t do until I get my own cheese grater.  Wonderfully delicious sausages ordered from local butcher, along with hams. Hoping I can correctly sharpen the slicer in time.  I’m a little worried about how much buckwheat flour I have left, and with the lead time until I can receive my next order. But if I order now, it really will be a complete guess. So I’m going to wait to see well it sells in the first few days before ordering. Which might mean I’ll need to make an emergency trip to the mainland if I start running out. Oh well, just another start-up cost.

This is quite exciting really. It’s really happening. I’ll be serving galettes as of Tuesday. It’s been a long trip to get here, and the journey has barely started!

Nanaimo Food Truck Festival proposal

Thinking of organizing Nanaimo’s next (first?? maybe? has there been a previous one?) food truck “festival”. I can now legally operate here, so it’s time to really show what “food trucks” (and trailers) can be about. To me, food trucks are a group thing. One truck isn’t enough, we need variety to succeed!

Step one: Determine interest. Exact location will be determined depending on number of trucks or trailers interested. Contact me at festival@bistrobreizh.com if you’re interested. Truck count will determine location, as well as frequency of festival. I will arrange the necessary permission for each truck that contacts me with business name and address.

For reference: step two: determine property most suitable for numbers that have shown interest. Step three: get permission for each food truck from that location. Step four: you lot need to get the Nanaimo portion of your business licenses updated. Step five: set date. Step six. EAT GREAT FOOD!

You must have a business license that covers Nanaimo to participate. They’ll also have to have the permission noted on the business license. That I can’t do for you. I’m hoping that by showing the variety that they’re missing, Nanaimo might speed up its plans for a more food truck friendly bylaw framework. Until then, I’d like to use their “private property” rules to show Nanaimo what it’s missing.

Who is in? Remember, Contact me at festival@bistrobreizh.com if you’re interested.

Hallelujah! We are legal!

So today we finally vanquished the last hurdle. We are officially LEGAL TO GO!  Health authority permit to operate in place, business license in place with site approval, and gas certificate issued. We’ve even spent the time during the delay finding better sources of quality ingredients, so it’s going to be awesome.

So now the only hiccup is making sure RONA still wants us. I think the answer is “yes”, but I need to make sure. However, we have a backup plan in place, and we’ll let everyone know what it is if RONA backs out.

It’s going to take a day or two to order the necessary ingredients, and we’ve been making so many updates to the trailer it’s going to take that same day or two to get everything back ship-shape. So… TUESDAY! 30 June, so I can say I opened “in June” instead of “in July”. Small victories.

Location T.B.D.

Set no dates. Tell no lies.

Remember that lesson I said I’d learned, lesson 2? You’d think that I wouldn’t have forgotten it just a month later, but I did. Did you hear me say “Wednesday” in my last post? Did you laugh? You should have, because due to delays with the metalwork there’s no way that we’ll start tomorrow. Or even the day after.

Back to “we’ll start when we’ll start”. Maybe I’ll learn the “set no dates, tell no lies” lesson this time?

Life’s a gas, gas, gas!

So it looks like the necessary modifications to the propane tank system might be done and installed by end of day Monday, 22 June. Which means, if all goes well, I should be able to open 24 June (Wednesday). There are a number of assumptions in there, namely that yet another inspector doesn’t show up demanding changes, and that the gas inspector can inspect the unit and give me my paperwork on that Tuesday.

In the meantime I’ll be finishing the major deep-clean started earlier by someone I was going to hire but who hasn’t shown up or called for 3 days, so maybe not. Also setting up shelves, stocking things up, and generally getting ready to go. When the trailer gets back I’ll need to re-wire the batteries because they’ll have been moved in order to have enough room for the mounting system.  So hopefully Wednesday 24 June.

That said, I’m not promising anything. Note the use of “should” and “if all goes well”, and other weasel words and phrases meant to save me from my own  hubris!