I am amazed at the amount of work that goes into opening a business. Aside from establishing the brand, systems and processes, finding excellent employees and acquiring inventory, just getting the store physically ready to open requires more work than one person can perform in the amount of time given, and, if help were hired, probably more expense than the business case could easily carry. F. Oliver’s has been extremely fortunate to benefit from “donated” labor on both large and small scales.

My husband, Eric, has to burn vacation this year owing to a new non-carryover policy at his company. While he easily could have spent his vacation time at Bristol Mountain skiing or going south to start the golf season early, he spent his time instead working at F. Oliver’s. More specifically he built (beautiful!) work tables and a portable wall, he fabricated and mounted room dividers and doors, assembled shelves, installed molding and door returns, painted, and even configured computer systems. Those of you who know him know that he does high quality work, regardless of where or by whom it will be seen. To him, “a job worth doing is worth doing well.” Every bit of what he’s done is done completely and beautifully, free of charge, and has taken hours and hours of hard work. No complaining, no grandstanding; he just gets the job done. His father even painted for two full days to help out!

Another behind the scenes worker is the property’s landlord, Mike Yarger. Truly the landlord doesn’t have to take part in renovations at all, and most prefer not to. Mike is different. When we learned that we needed to install a 3-bay sink and pull up some old, very grody carpeting, he found a solid sink at a great price and installed it. He not only pulled up the carpet, but used some tiles originally purchased for his home to install a beautiful Mediterranean tile floor in the storage and dishwashing room. When we learned that the furnace wasn’t operating as efficiently as it could, Mike installed heating vents and air returns that will result in higher comfort and lower utility bills for the F. Oliver’s team. Additionally, he’s installed a hand-washing sink, the infamous grease trap, and electrical outlets where required.

What I find interesting is that this work most likely won’t be noticed and admired by the public. But it does make the store operate a whole lot better and make it more attractive; in short the store will be a much nicer place to work. The work is out of sight, but far from out of mind as it will be noticed every single day behind the scenes and will help us to work better and more efficiently out front.

So, this post is a small but very sincere recognition of all the generously donated hard work that’s taken place behind the scenes. Thank you, thank you, thank you.