This past Saturday, July 23, was amazing for me.  I was able to successfully launch Mrs. Dorsey’s Kitchen at the Dekalb Market.

I found out about this venue from a student in my WIBO class, and from there I sent emails on a weekly basis, begging to be a vendor at their market.  When I was invited to register with the Dekalb Market as a vendor, reality began to sink in.  I never actually expected to start my business like this.  I never thought another, BETTER, Brooklyn based farmers market would open up…but it did!

Originally I was signed up for only a booth (with just a tent and four tables).  It was not until Thursday before the event, when I received a call from the coordinator, asking me if I would be interested in one of the steel containers.  She liked my concept and thought I would be a perfect substitute for the other restaurant that could not attend. When she told me the news, I was doing the Running Man at my cubicle!

Many opportunities are lining up for me and it’s hard to believe:I was able to introduce Mrs. Dorsey’s Kitchen in one of the prime locations, on the Opening Day of the Dekalb Market…in a HEATWAVE!  I had a great team of support, that helped me chase this dream…we did it!  And my back still hurts.  Business was flowing so much, I contemplated stopping the show around 3pm, but decided to push through the heat and complete this mission.  Working this event not knowing how many people to forecast, we were still able to stick together, and make sure we had a successful launch.

A book that inspired me to pursue this dream, The Alchemist, mentions that “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”  The people that came to see me just to cheer me on and offer any resources they have, were definitely forces of the universe.   One of the most significant encounters that day was meeting a father and his young daughter; he wanted to learn more about the Dekalb Market and my concept, and that’s when he revealed he’s the actual owner of the Alchemist Lounge in Brooklyn,NY.  After great conversation, he offered his commercial-grade kitchen for any prep work that I may need to further my progress with Mrs. Dorsey’s Kitchen.

You don’t have to read the book to know that there are signs in our journey of life that lead us to great opportunities.  When you see these signs, that’s when you walk out on faith and take another step closer to your dreams.   I’m very excited for these opportunities coming my way, but at the same time it’s important to stay grounded and prepared for unforeseen events.

So how did I do on my launch at the Dekalb Market?

– I broke even.

– I started a business in a heatwave

– I had the best team, this side of the Milky Way

– I listened to my customers: They wanted to see non-pork options on the menu, so I added Turks and Queso to the menu for the first time, and it was one of the top sold items.

– Pop’s Original sold the most at 41%, with the A.B.C at 18% and Turks and Queso at 17%

– Received great feedback.  People loved the sandwiches — especially the Turks and Queso.  On the other hand we need to work on our timing. Being that it was our first day, we will only get better in that aspect, as well with even better menu options.

I’ve learned a lot so far, and I am very excited to take my learning this upcoming Saturday, and do even better than before.