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So, here we are embarking on a new adventure. It's one thing to have a hobby, to have a cottage industry, it's another to take it to the retail level...but here we go. In November, Charley and I signed our lease and were handed the keys. The dream of Gimme Some Sugar and Charley's Angles Photography became real...
The contractor search began and we soon realized it wasn't going to be an easy or fun process; two years of back to back hurricanes, many contractors were tied up with bigger jobs. In the meantime, we decided to keep our excitement and momentum going by putting our touch on the interior...first up, painting a brick wall.
Have you ever started a project and then wondered what the heck did I get myself into?! Yep, me too! Thankfully, I had a couple people telling me "keep going, just keep going." They were right, the more we did, the better it looked. It took just over a month, but we finally finished the brick wall and we LOVE it! We have received so many compliments on it, people cannot believe we painted it!
With the brick wall finished, it was time to turn our focus to the gallery wall. Saint Augustine is rich in history, I mean how could it not be as our Nation's Oldest City?! Let me correct that, our Nation's Oldest Continuously Inhabited European City. The Downtown District is so beautiful; walking downtown is not only a favorite pastime of ours (and where we got engaged), but also a favorite place for Charley to photograph; between the architecture and the bay front, it really is a photographer's playground.
So they say "Rome wasn't built in a day," and neither is Gimme Some Sugar, but it has also been said "Success is steady progress towards one's personal goals." Finally, we found a contractor and things are starting to move; base cabinets built and counter tops have arrived!
After months of dreaming, waiting, planning, waiting, searching, and more waiting, construction kicked off with a fury of activity. Erik, our contractor, said when things start rolling, it will go fast and he was right! On March 6, 2018 framing for the kitchen began and the electricians began working their magic...
Equipment began arriving, thank God reinforcements were on site and others who showed up at the drop of a hat. Seriously, a big shout out to Erik, Ray, Kendall, Scott, James, Zack, and Charley for getting that fridge inside. Special shout out to Butterfield Art Gallery for allowing us to come through their gallery...thankfully their doors were 3 inches wider!
Can you say "Controlled Chaos?!" Fortunately, it didn't last long. The kitchen really started taking shape once the drywall went up. Two faux beams were installed to support the required drop ceiling over the serving area. And look at that chandelier, isn't it the coolest?!
March 23-25, 2018 FRP goes up on the kitchen walls, drop ceilings are framed and panels are installed. The guys surprised me with having the kitchen equipment all set up when I got there. Excitement is building as the plans on paper come to life.
Next came venting...the single most annoying part of this whole process...besides the endless search for a contractor. It was quite an ordeal but fortunately we found someone to navigate the city codes, the 1923 building, and fire marshall requirements, whew! On April 6th the final element of construction began...the plumbing, including the sinks and ice maker. What resembled a dust storm in the Sahara, was actually 8 inches of concrete being cut to install our drain, grease trap, and sump pump.
Now the fun stuff...the plan was to give the shop an industrial/rustic feel. We nailed the brick wall, the contractor did a great job on the faux beam. Now to tie it all together. The original plan was to use real wood to finish the outside of the kitchen, but it proved to be costly, not only money wise but in the amount of time it would take to sand, seal, and stain it all...a trip to Home Depot led us to the flooring department where we decided to give vinyl wood plank flooring a shot. I really wanted a plank look so decided to run a permanent marker along the edges in the hopes it would outline and accent each plank...Voila! It was perfect!!! Yes, I know, it was crazy, but Hello, did you miss the part about there being 1,821 painted bricks on the wall?
April 27th, popped into the shop late at night to drop off something and was pleasantly surprised to find our gorgeous bakery case had been delivered and installed. Sam did a wonderful job on making my request a reality. April 30th, Pepsi installed our foundation machine...I cannot even begin to tell you how awesome dealing with Pepsi has been. Aiming for a May 4th opening, we pulled some late nights cleaning and adding last minute details to make it perfectly reflect each of our visions...Nailed It!
May 4, 2018...Grand Opening! We did it!
It took a village and we are ever so grateful to our village people:
Les Thomas, Architect
St. Augustine Builders
Stone House Kitchens
Roto Rooter Plumbing
Boyd Capital Group
1st National Bank of Tom Bean
and the many friends and family who lent a hand in helping to make two dreams possible. We hope to make you proud and look forward to seeing old friends and entertaining strangers in the hopes they become new friends.
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