Hi everyone, Lauren here. As I sit here in my office it's hard to believe a year has passed. The days were long and sometimes hard, at least in the beginning. After time things smoothed out, but I don't think I can ever say the work that we do is easy. 

What started as a dream, and then a long-term goal, became a reality. I am amazed everyday by this beautiful building that we call ours, the amazing team that we have built, the unbelievable quality of our bread and the loyal and lovely regular customers that we have. We would not be where we are today without these things. THANK YOU - yes, YOU. Thank you for reading, thank you for coming to eat, thank you for supporting us. We hope it will continue for many years to come.

With that said, here are some old photos and a few memories from our journey:

In the summer of 2015 we finally had a concrete pad with some metal beams going up. So excited to see movement -- we were behind schedule from the get-go because of all the heavy rain we had that spring that prevented concrete from being poured. 

In the summer of 2015 we finally had a concrete pad with some metal beams going up. So excited to see movement -- we were behind schedule from the get-go because of all the heavy rain we had that spring that prevented concrete from being poured. 

The space for our walk-in cooler and freezer. Finally had a chance to see, in person, how big this space would be! 

The space for our walk-in cooler and freezer. Finally had a chance to see, in person, how big this space would be! 

Many of you may not know the story behind this brick. It's the original brick from our Harrison store - the entire outside of their building is done with this brick. There was about a pallet left and we thought it would be a neat tribute to use it on a wall inside our store. 

Many of you may not know the story behind this brick. It's the original brick from our Harrison store - the entire outside of their building is done with this brick. There was about a pallet left and we thought it would be a neat tribute to use it on a wall inside our store. 

Our wood wall in the private dining room is one of our absolute favorite features of our building. We know you guys love it, too. It's fun to see all the selfies in front of this wall that pop up on social media. Here's the beginning stages -- our contractors listened to our vision for this wall and then they just nailed it. Also, fun fact: this wood came from the farm owned by our neighbor's just down the sidewalk - Ann (of Ann's Performing Arts Center) and her husband, Dave. 

Our wood wall in the private dining room is one of our absolute favorite features of our building. We know you guys love it, too. It's fun to see all the selfies in front of this wall that pop up on social media. Here's the beginning stages -- our contractors listened to our vision for this wall and then they just nailed it. Also, fun fact: this wood came from the farm owned by our neighbor's just down the sidewalk - Ann (of Ann's Performing Arts Center) and her husband, Dave. 

This is our grain mill - a 20" meal-master from Meadow's Mills - that we had in storage for a few years. The guys from D. Cloud came out to restore it and did the heavy lifting so we didn't have to! 

This is our grain mill - a 20" meal-master from Meadow's Mills - that we had in storage for a few years. The guys from D. Cloud came out to restore it and did the heavy lifting so we didn't have to! 

...and here's the workhorse. Our 30-pan Baxter Oven, that came to us from Michigan. This monster was one of the more stressful parts of opening. The shipping of it kept getting delayed and we only had a small window of time to get it installed and start test-baking in it before we opened. We finally got it on December 30th, 2015 and the amazing team from Ozarks Food Equipment came to install it. It was insane to watch this process happen - the oven was literally built into the space and came in peice by peice through our side door. 

...and here's the workhorse. Our 30-pan Baxter Oven, that came to us from Michigan. This monster was one of the more stressful parts of opening. The shipping of it kept getting delayed and we only had a small window of time to get it installed and start test-baking in it before we opened. We finally got it on December 30th, 2015 and the amazing team from Ozarks Food Equipment came to install it. It was insane to watch this process happen - the oven was literally built into the space and came in peice by peice through our side door. 

The time came to start interviewing and hiring... 

The time came to start interviewing and hiring... 

...so we conducted about 75 interviews on site, while our contractors worked around us, without any heat. It was an experience, that's for sure! 

...so we conducted about 75 interviews on site, while our contractors worked around us, without any heat. It was an experience, that's for sure! 

KY3 came out to do a "progress report" on our building. That was cool - we're grateful to KY3 for giving us lots of good press during our opening. 

KY3 came out to do a "progress report" on our building. That was cool - we're grateful to KY3 for giving us lots of good press during our opening. 

Those copper bar tops you see in two spots in our store were brought in in pieces by our contractors. And they were really heavy! This part was a little nerve-wracking. The guys over at Billings did most of our millwork. Shout out to Cory, pictured on the far Right in this photo. 

Those copper bar tops you see in two spots in our store were brought in in pieces by our contractors. And they were really heavy! This part was a little nerve-wracking. The guys over at Billings did most of our millwork. Shout out to Cory, pictured on the far Right in this photo. 

On January 12 we finally passed all of our building inspections and were granted our Certificate of Occupancy. This was one of the biggest waves of relief I've ever felt in my life.

On January 12 we finally passed all of our building inspections and were granted our Certificate of Occupancy. This was one of the biggest waves of relief I've ever felt in my life.

Two of our bakers came in to sand down and refinish our bakers table. This beauty is 10 feet long and weighs right around 1000 lbs. It took 8 guys to carry it into the space. 

Two of our bakers came in to sand down and refinish our bakers table. This beauty is 10 feet long and weighs right around 1000 lbs. It took 8 guys to carry it into the space. 

One of the more amazing parts of this journey has been our team. When we started training we had over 50 new staff who were about to start working in a brand new restaurant. I still think about that now – the leap of faith that our staff took on us. On our concept. On our ability to run a successful restaurant so that they could receive a paycheck. I am in awe even now of the amazing employees we have. We’ve retained a lot of original staff, which is incredible. Some of the most successful business owners and entrepreneurs always have one thing in common - they surround themselves with people who are better and smarter than they are. I think we can safely say the same thing. We're so grateful to have the best staff in town (we might be a little biased but I don't think we're far off!) 

On January 11, 2016 we started training. We had about 55 people train and open with us. This was day one of training - orientation day - and we felt a little crazed to have this amazing group of people ready to work with us.

On January 11, 2016 we started training. We had about 55 people train and open with us. This was day one of training - orientation day - and we felt a little crazed to have this amazing group of people ready to work with us.

At the end of training week we did a "Friends & Family" night so we could test out our chops. We had a great turn-out and, though it was a little hectic, it was the best way to get prepared to open. We donated all our proceeds from the evening to Ozarks Food Harvest. This photo was taken right before opening doors for that event. 

At the end of training week we did a "Friends & Family" night so we could test out our chops. We had a great turn-out and, though it was a little hectic, it was the best way to get prepared to open. We donated all our proceeds from the evening to Ozarks Food Harvest. This photo was taken right before opening doors for that event. 

We had contractors in the store finishing up work up until about an hour before we opened on our first day. That was stressful, to say the least. The day of our soft opening we received a call from our head baker at 4AM. He turned on the grain mill and heard a loud popping sound and then all the electricity went out and even after flipping the breakers the electricity did not turn back on. They were in the dark with bread in ovens that had turned off; our Micros computer system was down, we would eventually lose all that bread because it would overproof before we could get the ovens turned back on… We waited until 6AM and called our contractor. That was probably the hardest I’ve ever prayed. I will never forget laying in bed in the dark at 4AM knowing there was nothing we could do and just pleading for God to be merciful on us and let this be an easy fix, whatever the problem was… We arrived at the restaurant around 6:30AM, our contractor and the electricians shortly after. They narrowed it down to a bad fuse and by around 8AM the electricity was back on. The biggest wave of relief I have ever felt rushed over me. We opened for business at 11AM, as planned. 

On January 18 we had a soft open in which we didn't announce anything, we just unlocked the doors from 11am - 3pm and saw what happened. We actually had quite a few people wander inside and they were pleased to see we were open. My aunt Cindy was very first in line that day and gave us our first dollar bill. 

On January 18 we had a soft open in which we didn't announce anything, we just unlocked the doors from 11am - 3pm and saw what happened. We actually had quite a few people wander inside and they were pleased to see we were open. My aunt Cindy was very first in line that day and gave us our first dollar bill. 

January 19 was our official opening date. KY3 came again to do a story on our opening, which was amazing (we've still never seen that story, since we were at the restaurant for about 20 hours that day). 

January 19 was our official opening date. KY3 came again to do a story on our opening, which was amazing (we've still never seen that story, since we were at the restaurant for about 20 hours that day). 

The day of our real opening (January 19) an ice storm was predicted. This is funny only because I actually sarcastically predicted this would happen back in November when we nailed down our opening date. Making the decision to close at 5pm on our first day of being open was super defeating. I went into the bathroom stall and cried (partly from exhaustion, mind you).  Nevertheless, we sent our staff home, closed the doors, went home and got in bed by 8PM. As I sank into my pillow for the first time before midnight in about three weeks I realized this was God, in his infinite kindness, giving us a chance to rest that we wouldn’t have taken had we not been forced. 

After KY3's story aired, the lines started and they didn’t end. We were all running around like chicken’s with our heads cut off (that description has really never been so accurate). We were so grateful for the business while at the same time trying to secretly hide all the issues we were having with equipment. They say it takes a good three months for any new restaurant to get the kinks worked out and BOY is that true. Every day at least three pieces of equipment would break. Our big oven went down two or three times (forcing us to bake bread unconventionally in our deck oven that couldn’t hold nearly as many loaves); our dishwasher literally went down about 18 times; our grain mill; our convection oven; our sinks; our ice maker; our coke machine; our CO2 tank. You name it, we had a problem with it. I am proud of how our staff problem-solved and made things work (in very MacGuyver-ish ways sometimes). 

We are so grateful for our beautiful space that we have called home for a year now. So many amazing people have helped us along the way and we wouldn't be where we are without them. 

We are so grateful for our beautiful space that we have called home for a year now. So many amazing people have helped us along the way and we wouldn't be where we are without them. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank you for reading and for being part of our story. Thank you for your support, for your patience, for your friendship, for your willingness to help us get better. 

All the best,

Lauren & Clif Brown, Owners 

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