March 1, 1996
We've had our battles and, for now, all is quiet. Here's part of our story and the status:
Kitchen: About 9 years ago, rather than each of us bringing our own lunch to work (imagine what our packed refrigerator at the store looked like!), we decided to cook a common meal for lunch. It was easy and great, but soon the customers saw what was going on and wanted some too. So we started a small (6 tables) tearoom serving cookies, scones and soup in the upstairs kitchen. Our customers loved it as it was "like going to Grandma's kitchen". Soon, the government stepped in and we would have to spend $50,000 to make it "to code" which would have ruined the atmosphere (more like going to Grandma's bathroom rather than her kitchen). After much harassment and criminal threats, with much heartache, we closed it down. In many ways, it cut the heart out of the store.
Candy Counter: We had a wonderful old-fashioned candy counter downstairs that people loved. It was a simple setup with us scooping the delicious candy for the customers. The Health Department wanted 3 sinks (we never did understand why 3), a mop closet tiled upstairs (the area around the candy counter downstairs is carpeted), etc. We tried jumping through some of their bureaucratic hoops, but it was fruitless, so we lost most of the "character" and wonderful chocolate aroma by switching to wrapped candy.
Piecemakers Inn: We had an opportunity to buy, rather than rent, the buildings we are in. Due to customer requests, we opened a "Bed and Breakfast" for our visitors. We converted an office to a cozy place to stay while taking classes or visiting. Well, guess what? You can't do anything that simple. So we had to close it down.