Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bloomy's Goes Hollywood

I’ve received exactly three inquiries as to when the next Bloomy’s blog is coming out, and I’m here to say BOOM BABY! The Rhino and I are back and ready to rock!!
After my first (only) covert op/sleuthing experience a few weekends past, I spent some time bragging to the Rhino and showing him my awesome shifty eye capability/invisibility skills (if I smoosh myself close enough to the wall, I swear no one can see me!). Then he decided to show me up by doing a covert op of his own! Better sunglasses and everything! Our (technically MY) super sweet anonymous friend is currently finishing the sleuthing portion of the Bloomy’s get-off-the-ground plan, and I must say we make a pretty awesome top secret family.

PS - I’m so excited to share our NEW and IMPROVED Bloomy’s business plan of action but the Rhino won’t let me yet. So I have to cap my enthusiasm and make you guys wait until I get the official thumbs up. To pique your interest in the meantime, I will give you a clue: We’ve split the Bloomy’s plan in half! In half!
I know what you’re thinking – “what?!” – but it’s true! The single-phase plan is now a dual-phase plan, and I’m so excited about it that my heart rate hasn’t dropped under 100 bpm since the Rhino brought it to my attention last week (while we were fishing, after which he dropped a boat on my good hand. But that’s a story for another time). Thank you to the collective creative genius team (a.k.a Rhino and his boss) who came up with this slamazing idea! Now I’m frantically attempting to gather Phase One data before the state government shuts down. If only someone would return my numerous phone calls and/or repeated voice mail messages…. <sigh>. Come on government workers!! It’s not Friday yet!

In any case, the Rhino and I decided to take the next step in our relationship and do something we’ve never ever done before… ROAD TRIP!!!! To Princeton. More specifically, to a place we like to call A to Z Restaurant Equipment which is basically comprised of rows and rows and lanes and miles of restaurant equipment as far as the eye can see (see pic below for documented proof of the Rhino showcasing his clipboard holding and note taking skills).

    Photo Op: Rhino looks important with clipboard.

The Rhino made a new BFF (sorry Ron) called Kent who downloaded (uploaded? I’m not good at computers…) a bunch of info into the Rhino’s brain and made us a custom designed list of everything we need to start our awesome Bloomy’s diner. PS - If anyone ever needs hundreds of plastic multi-colored serving trays, a shopping cart, or a 70 pound industrial strength potato masher, Kent’s your guy. We left with an invoice worth $46K and a new appreciation for all restaurant owners. Thanks Kent for your three hours of assistance! Smell ya later!

I am so psyched to say that, after this week of hard work and wading through thousands of piles of restaurant equipment, our business plan is just about complete! And if that’s not enough, I got my first official piece of junk mail addressed to Bloomy’s Roast Beef. Yesss! Even the mailman knows about Bloomy’s now!
Next steps? Dust off the calculator, check under all of our seat cushions for random change and figure out just how we’re going to pull together enough dollars to get Phase One off the ground... or should I say… on the ground. Another clue!
Stay tuned for next time when – let’s be real – I’ll probably spill the Phase One beans regardless of whether or not it's appropriate, and the Rhino and I just might be well on our way to Hollywood to purchase an integral piece of the new and improved Bloomy’s Roast Beef!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Stakeout Situation

Some of you may be wondering why there was no update last week on our progress with Bloomy’s, and I have a really easy and disappointing response for you: because we didn’t do a damn thing. The Rhino was on his slamazing non-Canadian Canadian fishing adventure and I was busy keeping the house from falling apart, working on my sunburn, and fulfilling random demands as required by my day job. I did learn something very important and life changing while the Rhino was away though, and that is this: mowing the lawn totally bites! Oh my gosh it sucks so bad. Worst experience of my life.

Ok moving on.

This past Saturday, I decided to launch a covert op which enabled me to put on my Nancy Drew sunglasses and become a top secret sleuth between the hours of 11am and 1:30pm. I unfortunately can’t reveal much about the covert op (hence the “covert” part) or what I was sleuthing, but it did involve the following things: a dark vehicle, a clipboard, a semi-abandoned parking lot, and a pair of shifty eyes (I may or may not have practiced my shifty eyes in the mirror beforehand). I quickly learned that stakeout situations are not nearly as fun as they look in movies, especially seeing as I was flying solo and didn’t have my partner in crime to stake out with me. But, alas, I did obtain valuable information that I immediately dispatched to the Rhino and will totally utilize for the Bloomy’s Business Plan. And I felt super cool too. Pretty much like a combination of Veronica Mars and … that really old lady from Murder She Wrote.

In other news, we’re official! Bloomy’s I mean, not the Rhino and me (psych!). The Secretary of State has personally reserved Bloomy’s Roast Beef for us and no one else can take it! Ta da!

Now that we are official (well, at least semi-official) and incredibly important, I have been working on my professional presentation via wearing faux pearl earrings from Target and saying such things as “what a unique perspective on the emerging business market in Turkey.”

Speaking of Turkey… the Rhino and I need to get our butts back in the Bloomy’s Test Kitchen and actually do some work this week. We decided to expand our sweet menu options by adding classics such as tots and but were halted by a severe disagreement over the potential juicy goodness of sandwiches topped with coleslaw. Any insight into this matter would be appreciated. After we made up, the Rhino was struck by a wicked “Why did we not think of this before?!” idea to add a Bloomy’s twist on a Midwestern favorite that readers just might have to eat to believe.

Stay tuned to the future adventures of two crazy cats who are just starting to figure things out in the delicious world of roast beef.

Until next time! 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I dream of beef….

I have some bad news. The Rhino and I have spent zero time in the Bloomy’s test kitchen this week and all of our time doing lame yard work and getting the Rhino somewhat ready for his upcoming Canadian fishing adventure (which did include the creation of some SLAMAZING CHILI complete with chocolate! Seriously the best chili ever. It rocked my socks off.).

Picture: Sock rocking chili

My lack of spatial relation skills (which I refer to as “spatial” while doing robot arms) resulted in the accidental death of a portion of our lawn because I sprayed it with weed killer, and if anyone knows how to severely damage thousands of baby maple trees I would really like to hear about that.

In any case, the lack of Bloomy’s cooking going on made me experience Bloomy beef withdrawals to such an extent that yesterday I just had to eat a burger the size of my head. And fries. The resulting food monster in my belly was completely uncomfortable but totally worth it. Thank you Wildfire for providing me with an awesome dining experience. I hope one day to do the same for you.

Anyway, since my job with Bloomy’s is to be the PROJECT CHAMPION (read: NAG),  I gently reminded the Rhino over the weekend that we really needed to get some work done on our business plan. So I started researching equipment and miscellaneous things I found on the Internet while the Rhino worked some magic using Excel and math. We didn’t get very far… partly due to our collective ADD slash spring fever and partly because I failed my job as the PROJECT CHAMPION (nag). However, I did come to the awful realization that the MN Food Code is 165 pages long!!!!  This realization resulted in the following reaction:

(1) “What the…?!”
(2) Slam fist on table
(4) Place head in hands
(5) “For realz?!?”
(6) Heavy Sigh

I started reading one of the sections which I will summarize here: “this thing must comply with these 7 chapters, and these 11 statutes and these 17 federal regulations, blah blah etcetera.” (For a non-summarized version, you can go to Exciting Reading Material Found Here). Um… what? Weren’t we talking about the proper use of wiping cloths? Because I could say that in about one sentence: Don’t use a dirty wiping cloth to wipe up stuff. DONE! <Another Heavy Sigh> I knew that the Paralegal degree I got in 2008 and never used would eventually come back to haunt me.

Also, the Rhino and I had our first VERY IMPORTANT MILESTONE yesterday which consisted of a mediumly productive conference call with a banker about a bank loan. As this was our first call with a bank about getting a loan, I became quite nervous and experienced a mini whack attack* complete with palpitating heart and sweats (not meat sweats – this was before I ate the jumbo burger). I learned during this call that my experience as a Subway sandwich artist for one day 14 years ago is kind of embarrassing and not something I really want to talk about with a banker. However, due to the Rhino’s very eloquent wordsmithing, we were able to circumnavigate that issue and gain some very valuable business information. In addition, I discovered via my credit report that I have many credit cards I never knew I had (I heart free money!) and that I lost points for not having any collateral of any kind. Doesn’t dating someone who has collateral count for something? Apparently not. Plus I’ve had about 10 different addresses in the last 7 years. Oops!

In short, we got almost nothing done except learn about all the work we have left to do. So I’m off to have another whack attack* and to dream about the next time I can sink my teeth into some yummy Bloomy’s roast beef.

*Whack attack (n): A nervous episode. Usually includes a loud outburst and/or panicky eyes.