Congratulations? Condolences? We aren’t quite sure yet, but we do know that with big change comes a hefty t-chart filled with pros and cons and a plethora of new opportunities. As we step into our next chapter with a shift in ownership, we are celebrating a partnership that has been the primary driving force in the creation and development of the Spicy Radish. Shannon, along with her husband Paul are taking on full ownership of the restaurant, while Lauren, the creative powerhouse behind forming the Spicy Radish customer service culture and fine tuned brand, moves on to pursue new ventures and a deeper family rooting.
Late one night in October of 2011, we, Lauren and Shannon, found ourselves ranting over the mediocrity of our local restaurants and the recognition of the demand for something fresh and good in the area. Both having attended Whitemouth school, we grew up knowing one another, but being a couple years apart in age hadn’t really formed a friendship. We were both settling in the area after completing college diplomas in different fields and had worked for other small businesses for a short time. That late night conversation was casual and fleeting and dismissed as small talk for months. Until that is, that the chance to rent the restaurant space at the Domo station in Elma cropped up, then that conversation was illuminated and became the catalyst in forming a partnership that would rise up to create something pretty darn cool in our community and for our own career track.
Over the course of 7+ years we have established and developed the Spicy Radish, and could not have come as far as we have without one another and the strong support network surrounding each of us. We have endured great adversity and challenge both internally and from external forces. Those hurdles have only served to make us stronger and to start bigger and better initiatives! In the early days we would often joke about playing business, much as a child plays house, we have long since dropped that running joke, we have grown up a lot together through this journey and would not change a thing.
Heated arguments over which glasses to buy hardly began to condition us for the major business decisions that we came to face together. Although the displacement of our first location in Elma seemed devastating at the time, and tested the strength of our business and partnership, it has been one of the most formative changes that made way for growth and forced us to face some very tough questions and commitments together.
Left to our own devices, we think we would have high fived on a job well done for 2 years providing a cool restaurant, and then went our separate ways. Our community wasn’t about to let that happen. Rather than asking what will you do now? They asked, where are you re-opening? What do you need? How can we help? Here’s some great options for you! And there was serious follow through on all fronts, the encouragement, sweat equity, loans and goodwill poured upon us from our family, friends and community were the only way we got to re-opening in Whitemouth. Wow, we are always blown away when we reflect on those times.
We had opportunities to re-locate to other towns that would have provided a larger market base and greater financial stability, but Whitemouth was the spot. Call it a commitment to our hometown, or just plain stubbornness and wanting to be able to walk to work, either way, we don’t regret our decision for a second!
Our opening in Whitemouth happened to coincide very closely with Shannon’s son Hudson starting kindergarten and Lauren having her first child. Mom duty and boss duty sometimes got tangled up, but sure didn’t slow us down.
Fast forward nearly 5 years and an extremely satisfying journey in Whitemouth, we’ve reached our next great hurdle. As our personal lives have progressed in very different directions, the challenges and opportunities that lay in front of us as business owners and plain old humans have opened up this chance for change in ownership. We are both excited for this change and what it provides us. Our decision to part ways has been mutual and positive. Although no longer an owner of the Spicy Radish business, Lauren will forever be a founding partner, source of wisdom and support and the one who made darn sure we served awesome coffee!
Lauren has left a precious mark on the Spicy Radish and the people who have passed through our doors. Behind the scenes, we will never forget the family sing alongs, outrageous nicknames, fart jokes and that beaming smile. Fingers crossed that she’ll stay within arms reach and share a healthy dose of her glow with us for years to come.