* I am also including a link to a separate page chronicling what my spiritual journey has been for the past 3 months. If you have an interest in reading that you can link to it here.
One of the biggest hurdles in getting things ready for a big national TV appearance was finding commercial kitchen space to make marshmallows in bulk and in their own space. After learning that we'd be on the show, we started exploring all of our options. There was a chance we could sub-lease some space from a cheese spread company but we would have to work around their production hours. Not the best choice. Our next option was renting a store front location with a commercial kitchen already available (since we don't have the funds to start from scratch.) It was an OK idea but in the end we just didn't want that kind of financial commitment. After mulling over so many factors, so many scenarios (even considering selling our house to rent a location), we came back to an idea we had explored over 6 months ago.
*Flashback: over 6 months ago*
A little over 6 months ago we were in the same boat. Looking for a commercial kitchen space but not out of need...rather out of curiosity. I browsed the listings on Craigslist and my eyes landed on a listing for a small country store on a road Mike and I were familiar with. We knew this store. It was charming...we were excited. We called and set up a time to come and look at the space. We confirmed the road name with the owner of the store and headed out. We pulled in and let the boys out to throw the football in the big field next to the sweet country store, nestled in amongst hundreds of acres of grass fed cattle farmland. An hour passed and we wondered if we had been ditched. The owner called wondering where we were at? We wondered where SHE was at? What we then realized was that we were at the wrong country store...oops. We went to look at hers and it just wasn't a good fit for us. We drove away disappointed and yet we couldn't stop thinking about that first country store we had driven to. So we did what any investigative person does, we Googled it. And after some digging around we figured out who the owner was. We called him and to our excitement the store was not being used anymore. He agreed to show it to us although he hadn't considered renting it at the time. The owner, who's family owns the cattle farm which has been in the family since the land grant days, showed us the store which was once the old post office. We fell in love. What was really amazing was this man, whom we had never met, had children that attend the same small private school our son does ~ which is pretty crazy since the school was a good 30 minute drive away (far for us small town folks ;)
We went home and dreamed up high and lofty dreams for the space. We met with the owner and his family and they dreamt along with us. It was going to be great! But the timing wasn't right. Mike didn't feel peace about embarking on a marshmallow enterprise/ new business idea I had at that time. It was heartbreaking for me. But I trusted his judgement and backed down.
*Flashback over...back to present day*
While sitting at our 12 year anniversary dinner, and still pondering commercial kitchen space, I asked Mike what he thought about inquiring about the old country store again. He gave the green light and we called. To our surprise, it was not only still available but the owners had been so enthused about the possibility of something great happening there that they had the entire place overhauled. The old pine floors from the post office were refinished, old beams in the rafters were installed, new paint, new plumbing and electrical, new windows and it went from being a rather drab little country store to an absolutely stunning space.
We now have a key to that stunning space. We just moved things into that stunning space today. That stunning space, which for now will be the home of The Marshmallows Company and all the craziness that will ensue after the show airs, will someday soon also become “The Homestead”.
If all goes well, by summertime The Homestead will be in full swing with coffee, baked good and simple wholesome lunches each day, bluegrass concerts on the lawn on occasional evenings and many great classes on all things homesteading like raising hens, cheese making, quilting, banjo and mandolin, basket making and all things of that sort.
This whole Suze Orman Show opportunity has really, as I said before, just fallen in our lap. Finding the perfect little spot for The Marshmallows Company has too, fallen in our lap. The time that Mike has had in these past 2 months to work on all of this wasn't by chance either. I wake up each morning in awe of the path that has opened up for us and the peace that we feel following it. But to be very honest, its still as scary as heck! This is by far the biggest leap of faith we have taken yet as a family. The lines between excitement, joy, worry, anxiety and uncertainty are so blurred sometimes and come and go depending on the day or time.
There is the fear of failure. It is such a leap to really go for a life dream and not know if it will succeed or fail. But we have confidence that we are moving in the direction God would have us move...He has been paving the way for years~ we can see that clearly.
So there it is...in a nutshell (yes, the extended version would take a few hours and a pot of coffee or a bottle of wine depending on the time of day.) Even though we are moving forward with The Marshmallows Company with Canaan and The Homestead we don't come from wealthy families nor have a stockpile of savings (unfortunately). We're hopeful we can make a go of it without Mike going back to a “normal” job but we aren't confident that he won't have to. He's still looking and interviewing and if the right job presented itself we'd have to figure that out when the time came.
Please help us spread the word around the web about Canaan's Suze Orman appearance! I'll be putting a nifty little poster of sorts on here in a couple of days that you can grab and post on your blog or facebook page if you feel so inclined.
Thanks everyone for the encouragement, the emails, the calls and the comments. I love having you all to share this journey with.