So I had about a week and a half off this year around Christmas. My initial plans were to do the family things one normally does around Christmas time, and there was plenty of that… visits with the parents and in-laws, dinners and whatnot. Too much food as usual, but that’s what the exercise bike is for. So the 21st was my last working day, and is customary for me, the beginnings of a cold started to settle in. I think my remedy for colds is to work, seems like whenever I take time off, a cold settles in to ruin it.

Aside from a few bouts of Skyrim with my daughter, the major distraction (of what I thought I’d be spending my time studying for my RHCE and RHCSA tests) was helping my wife and sister-in-law setup a new catering/cafeteria company. Here in Edmonton we have a city-owned recreation facility called the ACT Rec Centre where you can go swimming, rent rooms for various occasions, and so forth. The fellow who ran the cafeteria there decided to retire from it, so the city opened up a call for bids to take over the cafeteria and on-site catering. This is actually a really sweet deal, as it’s a contract with the city so there is no huge upfront cost in leasing a building or anything like that. It’s a small settings, so perfectly reasonable to have 2-3 people working in there at a time, so no huge staffing costs either. So my wife put together a bid package for her and her sister earlier in December and found out they won the bid on Dec 23rd.

Up to that point, everything was provisional on the contract being awarded. No company was established, nothing. There was no point to invest all the costs of setting up business if there was no contract to run, because setting up something else would be ridiculously expensive. So once we knew the bid was awarded, the race was on. The city wanted them up and running by January 3rd (ha!).

Anyways, to make a long story short, as soon as businesses opened, there was no time for studying and hardly any time for Skyrim . It was getting everything together to incorporate the business, getting into the facility to do cleaning (to start completely fresh), and so on. I, of course, was tasked with setting up the web site which needed to be done so that they had somewhere to point prospective clients for catering.

I’m happy to say that went live last night, and my only responsibilities from this point forward is to apply elbow grease and help with the cleaning and organizing.

I’ve been running my own consulting business since 2000, and I must say, starting a food services business is a heck of a lot more work than setting up a consultancy business! What an insane amount of work this has been for the last month (and especially the last two weeks), but already some catering gigs are coming in and hopefully they’ll all be up and running next week. It’ll be an interesting change of pace for us in 2012.

I’ll be dealing with their business at arm’s length… it’s their business after all. I’m just an investor and a sometime under-paid grunt. Possibly I’ll be helping out on weekends, but we’ll see how that pans out. My wife has taken to this as a fish to water though, and I think they’re going to do extremely well.

Congratulations, Sunshine Sisters Cafe! What a way to start the new year!

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