I have taken surveys, asked everyone what they would like to see at Karma and I am compiling a list of everything and putting it on a calendar! I figure if enough people show up for each event or activity, then I will know it is something valid and I will keep it. Most everything will be free-if there is a fee, it will be on the calendar and not very much. I want these events to be for everyone and most are just "get together" types anyway! So, look for the Calendar spot (it is empty today) and see what you would like to do! A reminder Drew from Deju blue will be playing Saturday from 7-9 and India and Keith will be playing Friday night 7-9. Please come out and support our musicians and Karma, of course!!! Hope to see you all today (or sometime soon!). Hugs,, Lorna Remember, Karma is available for a small fee or free with a meal purchase (from each person of a medium group) for times we are not open. We seat 66 and can handle showers, dinners, group meetings, etc. Just call and book with Lorna (me!!) 919-563-1939. We are closed Sundays and Monday afternoons.
We have been trying to get some people to come out to Karma and help us get some music going. We love music and with everything going on, our search for affordable good entertainers got put on the back burner!! We have had some help-thanks to everyone especially Nikki, who has booked and will book musicians for us. This week we will have Keith and India. We are looking forward to Justin Johnson (Nikki's boyfriend, who is wonderful on guitar!!), Be the Moon (who are great and we can't wait for them to return), Doc Branch, Drew from Deju Blue, and more! Hopefully, we will fill up our weekends and our lives with wonderful music. If you like music and you have a suggestion, let us know. I am hoping Ian will play for us one weekend, but you know teenage boys!!!
Thank you to everyone who came out this past weekend! We had a wonderful surprise- Elliott from Be the Moon came and played for us on Friday night and on Saturday we had The Boys from Carolina. Such a wonderful weekend with such great talent!!! Let's keep it going!!! Hugs to everyone, Lorna
Lately, I have received many kind thank you notes. From a family member who appreciated our kind gestures during the loss of a loved one, the school dance team we held a 10 percent night for, the group we donated dozens of cookies to for a charity event (Breast Cancer-close to our hearts in many ways) and many more. When I have days where the cash register does not meet the expenditures-most, in our new business as we learn and grow-I start to ask myself -WHY? Why did I want to start a business where I was warned little money, if any would ever be made; why do I get up every morning and work until I am exhausted for..no money (yes, there is no salary for the Haralalkas-just bills!!), and so forth and so on Then, I open a letter and I remember! It was not about getting rich (not gonna happen!) or the glory of owning a business (if there is such glory, in this business)-It was about people! Making new friends, having a place to go where everyone is welcome, enjoying the fellowship of all who come in to spend time with us. Yes, who would not like to make money (and hopefully, someday we will make a little) but isn't life about the people we meet and the friends we make along the way? We love our new friends and hope we can continue to grow and always remember why we started Karma. I really do believe doing good rebounds (or I would not have coined it for our logo!!). So, everyone be kind to each other and visit us soon. Hugs, Lorna
Kindness doesn't always have to be spoken, it can be performed in acts that really do not include your standard idea of communication. This week a little negativity in a lot of areas was creeping into my life. I was letting others, whose general dissatisfaction with their lot in life, color my general rosy outlook grey! Then, some kind people and their actions cleared my mind and I am seeing rainbows and sunshine again.
Returning to a restaurant where you had to wait (due to a new found business-yipee!) a while for your food; taking time to make sure that everyone knows how much you enjoyed your dinner-the same one that took longer than giving birth to your first child (and we all know how long that USUALLY takes-I thought my son was going to have to go to college inside my womb), and a leaving a nice tip for the waitress (even though she was so busy your drink refills were few and she forgot your salad) all are unspoken acts of kindness. Such exceptional signs that someone acknowledges the growing pains a new restaurant goes through, and instead of criticizing, shows understanding and even praise for what IS right (not bragging, but we do have great food and we try to always be nice). Just the act of returning alone (especially as so many people did yesterday) after a day when it was hard to find a seat, you had to wait unusually long for your food, etc) shows kindness and acceptance. So, thank you to everyone who arrived on one of our busiest day and showed us such compassion. Everyone was wonderful!!! Not a single person complained, and many wonderful customers were helping each other. It warmed my heart to see people give each other menus from our stack, help clear aways plates (although you all know I never expect you to do that)-all the time laughing and having fun. I felt the Karma was filled with exactly that-good Karma. While I have taken steps to insure we have more waitress and more kitchen staff in the future, I will always remember the day when everyone came together and helped us out and no one complained. They complimented and returned the next day!!! Thanks to all of my Karma friends and customers for reminding me why I do what I do. Your kind word and actions keep me motivated on a day to day basis to insure things at Karma keep improving and that our "Good Karma" keeps circling. Doing good DOES rebound. Hugs to all, Lorna
If you can't say anything nice; don't say it. If you can't help someone; don't hinder them. Don't criticize. If you feel your life is not great; don't try and make someone else's worse. Smile, compliment, cheer up, encourage, praise, help out, lift up!!! Make someone's day better by the things YOU DON'T Do and THE THINGS YOU DO!!! HUGS TO ALL, Lorna
We are friendly and guarantee you will leave satisfied.
Chef Sherry is an awesome chef-fresh, house made food daily-no frozen or pre made food.
We love the Mebane Farmer's Market and other local fresh places to obtain our wonderful produce
We use antibiotic free-organic food whenever possible
Chef Sherry is an awesome pastry chef!!
Ann and Lorna are wonderful waitresses (okay, just one is and it isn't me!! I love you and will try hard to be an awesome waitress!)
We don't use frozen precooked foods! As often as possible, we buy fresh and local
Our coffee is wonderfully roasted locally-fair trade and organic
We have free WIFI
We have an outside eating area
OKAY YOU ALL KNOW I AM WORDY-SO THERE ARE MANY MORE TOP TEN THINGS TO COME---just not tonight..because I said 10 and......
Lately, I am not sure what to post here! I hear so many conflicting opinions: "don't be so personal", "don't write anything negative", "don't share your opinion on social topics", "don't try and be funny" (not trying, I just do funny things), "if you or Karma are having a bad day, keep it to yourself" (sorry, I have never been one to keep things inside~) and on and on from my staff,friends and family. So many people, so many opinions-my head is spinning! So, what SHOULD I write about (and since I like to write, I will do it here or somewhere else anyway). This is what people need to know-my mind is swimming with tons of information I want to share-parts of my life. Lots of STUFF! STUFF I want to tell people, STUFF I want to share with my friends, and just plain STUFF in general. I assume that everyone who comes to read my blog is my friend or a friend in the making, so I want to share this STUFF with them. Is it earth shattering or really important? Probably not! Is it something everyone is dying to know? Probably not! I just feel the need to write and share with people in a harmless and hopefully, at times, helpful manner. Sometimes it can be helpful to me (letting my friends know we need support when starting a new business; so they will support us more), and sometimes it can be helpful to someone else (sharing something I had learned along life's travels-sometimes we don't think of STUFF until someone else experiences it and shares). I do share our Karma news and such (which I guess, no one has a problem with-having a wonderful new soup, employee or pastry holds no controversy). It is just, again my own STUFF people are finding fault with (sharing restaurant stats, vacation stories, sharing my life lessons). So, if this is not what you want to see here-let me know!!! I will be glad to post only Karma's specials, what is happening at Karma (the bands coming, etc) and nothing else here. That will be very easy. Just let me know what you think!
I just have to say one more thing (come on, you knew I would!)-Life is to short to pick people apart, talk about them behind their back or just in general, make them feel miserable. Why ruin someone's day you supposedly care about? Why not try encouraging others, lifting them up and point out their strengths, rather than dwelling on their imperfections? Why not make someone's day a little better, instead of a little worse? Why not work on yourself instead of wanting others to conform to your standards? My goal for today is to avoid negativity and only allow good thoughts! I am not going to let anyone bring me down as I bring others up. I am going to see good in everyone I meet and if I find an opportunity to give someone a compliment, I will do it! If you are walking around with a storm cloud over your head and a mouthful of negativity ready to take aim-Don't come to Karma today!!! I need to see rainbows, sunshine and angels flying around-I need all the positive energy the world has to offer. Who doesn't?! Hugs, Lorna
I have to admit it-sometimes I am quick to judge people. Not a good trait at all, but I am honest. Today, a couple came in for lunch and every question I asked them they answered impatiently. As I read them our specials menu, the man interrupted said "Okay, that is enough, come back in a minute". "Okay", I was thinking "Maybe I won't come back at all, maybe I will tell you to go jump in the lake. Maybe, just maybe, I will go in the back and sit down and pretend I forgot about you." However, business is business and I do need to please ALL my customers, not just the 99.9% that I really like. So, I put on my happiest face, served their food with little ado and patiently waited for them to leave (or fall of the face of the earth, which ever came first-either was fine with me). Finally, they were ready to pay their bill (YES!!). As the man, paid his bill he and his wife told me how much they enjoyed the food, loved the place and gave me a large tip (which I passed on to my waitress-she works hard and I don't keep tips-one of my many rules for Karma! Owners can't keep tips---EVER-staff, charity; tips go anywhere but not to me.) They smiled and left. Okay, to say I was surprised was putting it mildly. For the entire 30 minutes they were at Karma, I was fuming silently, with a smile, but fuming. They were actually really nice, probably wanted peace and quiet (and if you know me, I can talk forever without taking a breathe and I am anything but quiet) and didn't need me to expound on the menu at our restaurant,extoll the virtues of our wonderful chefs, tell them what my favorite thing on the menu was (which, I had previously told my staff NOT to do, but this was me and...okay, I was wrong!! I should have been short, sweet and to the point),what lovely pastries we had, etc. etc. They just wanted to eat in peace and quiet. So, to make a long story short, I learned another lesson along the way to being a business owner-not everyone wants to be my new best friend (this, is sad, I know), hear me praise my chefs' culinary attributes, or have a long conversation with me. That doesn't make them rude or mean------it makes them nuts!! (okay, you know I am kidding!). Honestly, everyone is different and when I realized the truth, I was in the wrong. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and in the manner that makes them feel comfortable. They were very nice people looking for a good place to eat, not out to make new friends. Luckily, I held my tongue, was pleasant and they will be back (they said very soon!). Who was wrong-I was, and even though I am ancient (just ask my kids), every day, I learn a new lesson. This one is "don't judge to quickly, react even slower, and give people a chance" (okay, and maybe "don't talk so much"-but I have been working on that one for 58 years!!). Lesson learned and on to practice being less talkative (can you practice that?--HELP!!!). Have a wonderful Sunday!!! Remember DOING GOOD REBOUNDS!!!! Hugs, Lorna
Thursday was one of the best days we have ever had. Thanks to everyone who came in, sent people in (you know who you are-we love you!!) with their glowing recommendations. However, (not going to lie) yesterday was one of the slowest days we have ever had! I was so excited on Thursday-everyone left telling me what wonderful food we had; that they would tell everyone about us; they had a great time (and so did I- I loved our "funny story telling people"-they had me in stitches); everyone left happy!!! Yesterday, we had a few of our wonderful regular guest. We are so thankful to the loyal people we have (many of whom come in at least once a day) and I so enjoy getting to see everyone.
However, I never realized (being a neophyte in the cafe business) how much it costs to serve food!!! Electricity around $1,000 a month, food $5,000 a month which you need in anticipation of a busy week-if you don't use it-you lose it (or if your freezer, ref rig, or pastry cases go down-all of which have lately) you throw it all away and rebuy, costing you double (and no, it is not wise to report it to your insurance, because guess what!! that goes up if you do, so I DON'T!), staff- another commodity (hate to call people that, but they know I love them) that you have to have plenty of (my children are no longer working for free, only once in a while, so I actually have to pay people, lol) I am guessing at this, as it does vary-around $2,000 and that is on the low side for this month), equipment breaking down, monthly (yes, every month something breaks down-or maybe ten somethings do!!) $300, dumpster $50- you have to have a place for your trash!! Actually that is due to go up to $75, as we need it emptied more often, Coffee (if you have espresso you need lots of coffee stuff) $400, advertising and misc. $200, Water bill - around $80 a month, licenses (averaging them out $100 a month), taxes on the building (which, we would be paying much more for if we rented, so this is a break...I guess...) $200 a month, insurance $100 a month, wine and beer (yes, I like the looks of the labels; the thought of something different and I spend much more than I sell) $400, and I am sure there are tons of things I have forgotten. So, you see folks, just for a small cafe we spend between $8,0000-$10,000 a month to keep it running. Now, here is the even better part-do you know what we bring in....not that amount by far. So, I wonder how long this can go on......Ideas accepted!!! Okay, head up, everything is going to be great (and it will, no matter what!), and off to Karma! IF YOU LIKE US, PLEASE COME VISIT!! Sherry is an awesome chef (and Chef Paul will be in today, too), our food is local and fresh (I have to go visit my Mebane Farmer's Market friends this morning and get some fresh produce for our Karma Kitchen), we support local businesses and love downtown Mebane! I want Karma to be around for years, so please keep supporting us!!! Hugs, Lorna
Yesterday, I was talking with many of my customers, I realized that while they initially came in for food; and I was there to make sure they received the best I could provide in that area, that I was benefiting from the conversation. I have made so many new friends since we opened. Each person has a unique and different story to tell from their travels on this earth. Some are sorrowful, some joyous, and many humorous. I so enjoy getting to visit with everyone and so grateful so many people have shared a some piece of their story with me. Each day I learn something new because someone has taken the time to share with me. The intangible things that friendship brings has surrounded me: the encouragement, support and kindness, sharing of time and advice. Some of our new and wonderful friends we have met on our journey-Caroline and her dear husband eating meals almost every day and sending in their family and friends; Pat and the Mayor, who have been supportive from the start and always send new friends our way; Sarah, who always raves about our food and brings in new people all the time;Margo, who will sit with me as I clean at night and keep me company;Heather, Elizabeth and Judy, who come in daily with their families, Jean and Lacey, who come in daily and lend a listening ear when I need it; Elma, who will come and clean up when she sees I am overwhelmed and tired (okay, some of the last people were my friends before we opened, but who is keeping track), Tom, who comes in every day, Lee and Jennifer (they found food they liked and I got a great new hairdresser-good deal-and yes, I will save you Pot Pie, Lee!), Paul and Ginny, who come in all the time for coffee and treats (Paul you are still the Mayor of Karma!!); Paige and her family; James, Jennifer, Dixie, Alan, Tammy and Tammy (yes, two Tammy's) OKAY, I AM GOING TO STOP HERE!! I just realized I have tons more people to put on this list, so I am saving more for later---just writing this post, I realize how lucky we are!!! There are the tangibles, too: the flowers from Kevin's garden, the flowers, herbs and basket Nancy gave me, the plants from Tammy and Celine, Roosevelt's gift of fresh vegetables, and the gifts from our other Farmer's Market friends, and many more things I am sure I overlooked. Of course, my old friends (list for another time!!) who have been loyal and support us. There are times in a new business when you wonder how long you can survive. Some days are so slow..., but others are great!!! Hopefully, we will keep having great days and with all the wonderful people supporting us, I am sure this will happen. When I said I wanted to have healthier, fresh food, some people told me "all people want is fried and more fried". I think enough of us have shown that to be untrue (although, you all know I love my french fries and steak sandwiches-okay, not plugging (my very friendly and nice) competition, lol)-local, fresh, cooked on site-helps us and the local farmers-one more plug for..... Mebane Farmers!!! We love our Farmer's Market-yes tomorrow is the day I get to see my farmer friends (and the Mebane Running Club!!)-Saturdays at Karma are awesome!!!! Off to work