Alchemy & Anxiety in a dive bar. A history, a love story.
The restaurant industry, as a rule, does not care much for young dreamers. There is very little room for the hopeless romantics and budding entrepreneurs in a busy restaurant.
We met each other in Saskatoon nearly 10 years ago, fell in love immediately, and wordlessly agreed to someday own a restaurant together. It took us 6 years and 3 cross-country moves to begin openly speaking of "the plan" and a couple more years for "the plan" to reveal itself to us fully.
We hustled the past 10 years with our heads down, quietly soaking up all things restaurant. We worked for some great chefs with lavishly appointed downtown institutions. We worked for some prophetic chef/owners with little 32 seat jewel box restaurants booking tables a month ahead. We worked in some scratch-made-everything kitchens in the back of sleeper, no-hype wine bars that found themselves consistently packed 7 nights a week.
We have also worked at some failing restaurants. We have worked at restaurants that have closed. We have worked for and with some truly awful people that were completely disinterested in food and hospitality.
We navigated those 10 years together. Drank wine and consoled the other after many a rough night on the hot line. Talked about what we would never do in a restaurant and made note of shit we wanted to rip off some day.
Vancouver and Toronto are lovely cities. There is no way we would be in the position to do what we are doing now if it wasn't for years spent in both of them. We met so many lovely people and learned so much. Our hearts were always back in Saskatchewan and after the honeymoon period in a new city wore off we always found ourselves missing the ethereal prairies, largely undisturbed forests, lazy rivers, and salt of the earth people.
So we came back home, set some roots down, and started Caboose Catering. We learned how to renovate, actually enjoyed catering(!!!), looked for locations, dug all the money out of the couch and signed a lease in the old Crazy Cactus location in the Avalon neighbourhood of Saskatoon.
We are the type of people that like to see things from start to finish. We are DIY'ing the lions share of the renos and therefore I presently find myself on scotch & soda #3 and ignoring the faint smell on my clothing from the piss-soaked rotten MDF I spent the day tearing up underneath the urinals in the bathroom.
Hearth. The cozy spot in front of the fire. The home we always came back to.