Friday, Saturday and Sunday of last week we trained our staff everyday and sweated bullets over inspections, and getting minor details completed as we drew closer to our "big day". Planning for VIP night is a complete ramp up of activity in every way. We had three or 4 people from Papa Murphy's corporate every day helping us "get ready".
Everyday I would walk into the store with a sense of aw. I couldn't believe it. I have walked into Papa Murphy's stores a million times. But it was never "ours". When I looked around, it seemed surreal. But it was, and I had the scares to prove it! (So to speak) I had left the store late on Sunday night. There was still a ton of work to be done. Signs that needed to be hung, pipes that needed to be laid, trim that needed to be put up. The list was not small, and I ended up convincing myself that if it didn't all get done, it would be "okay".
Monday morning I walked into the store to Christmas morning. It was all done. Our contractor walked passed me (we were lucky enough to find an LDS contractor who has done business here in Temecula for over 20 years) and I looked at our Papa Murphy's coordinator, and she said, "He stayed here all night." I knew it. I could tell by everything that was done, that was NOT done when I left at 8 p.m. on Sunday night.
I started to cry. Because I felt loved, by him, by Heavenly Father, by everyone who has loved and supported us through everything we have gone through for the past three years. My dreams, OUR dreams had been realized. And it was a miracle. He walked past me, and started to giggle at my mini break down, thinking it was just my stress said, "It's okay! Cry it out! It will make you feel better!" Little did he know it had more to do with his dedication, love, and support than anything else. He, an LDS BISHOP, had stayed all night, on a Sunday night to help us live out our dream. I will love him and his family for sacrificing him forever.
On Tuesday, we realized that there was nothing else we could do to open our store. The fire department had come to a halt with us and told us we could go no further. We came up with our "plan B" and decided to pass out pizzas to all the people who had slated to come that day out of our trailer in the parking lot. We handed out over 600 pizzas. People were kind, supportive, excited, and probably only 10% of the people there had ever even TRIED a Papa Murphy's pizza before. I was amazed by their willingness to 'step outside their comfort zone', but then again, it WAS a free pizza. My facebook page numbers doubled in a night, and when Peter and I went home that night, we were exhausted, but happy. We still had the hurdle of not being able to open ahead of us, but we weren't ready to give up yet. We had the hum of adrenaline still pumping in our veins. I didn't know how I was going to do it again, the next day, but I knew it wouldn't be quite as intense as the first day since our coupon had "technically" expired.
By the end of day two, on Wednesday, we knew we would not be opening permanently due to the issues with the building. We knew we would be losing several hundreds of dollars in produce, meat and cheese because of it, but we had to close the doors anyway. The hardest part is the phone ringing off the hook, and people coming to the door, looking like lost puppies, not knowing why we won't open the door. Peter had to go to the store for a couple hours yesterday to hand out paychecks to employees, and gave out over 20 coupons to people he had to turn away.
It is frustrating, but we still feel blessed. We know that when we will open our doors, people will be standing there, and we are excited about that. And grateful. The support we received from our ward, and surrounding members was astounding. Like nothing I have ever experienced in any other place I have lived. And that, in and of itself, is answer enough that "this is the right place."