Our last day at the Chestnut Street location was a mixed bag of tears, smiles and hugs. A lot of people showed up to say their goodbyes and wish me luck – check out our Instagram feed! I worked the register all day to make sure I got to talk to everyone, which is something I did all of the time when we first opened in 2014. The first two years I got to know a lot of the regulars and I learned so much from them. What did they like to eat? Where were they from? What did they love as a kid? How do they feed their kids? What are the favorite places they’ve been lately? Today it was less about questions and more about just being together. There was so much joy connecting with all of the familiar faces and absorbing the energy around me.
The crew really knocked it out as well. These special people helped me make it all happen – and today they really finished strong. The Almond Butter Sea Salt Cookies and S+S Taco Salads were especially tasty! Michele, Sal, Norma, Cheeto, Paloma, Jerry, Lisa, Christina, Yuri, Alex, Alexander, Lily, and Marla…we laughed a lot, shared a walk down memory lane and tried to make it our best day ever.
There was even a ceremony to remove the sweater from the tree – thanks again Lorna for knitting it for us. The tree sweater, which was Lauren Godfrey’s idea, became how I would describe to people how to find us – just look for the striped tree sweater…it actually worked really well! Michele also decided she wanted to take a bunch of succulents – her girlfriend was nice enough to plant them for us and I definitely wanted those little babes to go to a good home.
The free cookies were a big hit – especially with all of the wonderful instagrammers who came out. Fantastic folks have given us love from the very beginning and today was no exception. I remember when we first opened, things were a little tenuous. A lot of people really didn’t understand what we were and why we were doing it.
One day I trudged through the pouring rain for hours handing out postcards to yoga studios and trying to spread the word. I came back to an empty restaurant and discouraged staff. I went home that night and crawled in bed thinking, “Did I do the right thing by opening this place?” The next day we were closed but I was there working. I woman came by and knocked on the window. I told her we were closed that day and she looked dismayed. “I came all the way from the other side of town to eat,” she said. I felt so badly I made her a milkshake and salad and gave it to her on the house. The next day we had a flood of customers…I couldn’t figure it out. I then realized that on our then lonely IG account she had posted a picture of the food with a sweet quote.
And that was just the beginning of the love…thanks to all of you for showing up and sharing such a transformational day. And thanks for lending your voices, photos, thoughts to helping us move the idea of plantbased, clean food into the hearts of many – the people and planet are better for it. Keep posting and traveling with us at #followthevibration!