Happy March Friends!

What better way to welcome March than with this rainy weather in Charlotte ;)…. at least it’s not freezing cold, so I am gladly accepting this rainy day! Yesterday the kids and I surprised my husband at his office with balloons and a cake in honor of the business’ 5 year anniversary. It was actually last Wednesday February 20th, which was when I planned on doing our little surprise but the meeting they were supposed to have, didn’t actually happen. Today was their big ops (operations) review meeting they have quarterly (I think its quarterly).  All of the GM’s, AM’s and KM’s (general managers, assistant managers & kitchen managers) and some others such as district managers etc get together to discuss….. operations! The district manager is actually a brand new position and it’s so crazy to think that there are enough restaurants to actually have a “district manager”!!!

So 5 years ago (2013) around this time I was very pregnant with a due date of March 20th (our wedding anniversary). We were stressed, pretty much broke, trying to make ends meet with one paycheck which was mine at the time. We knew it would go down to no paycheck once I went into labor! We had just built and bought our new home in November 2011 when we were doing well. And then here we were not knowing how we were going to get by with a newborn baby and no paychecks for a while until I was able to get back to work. On top of that – a brand new business we had put everything on the line for. I remember feeling nervous about whether or not this restaurant may or may not work. I knew that I trusted my husband and I truly believed that he was so great at operating a restaurant. (He used to run his father’s restaurant) He’s been in the restaurant business since he was 11 years old! He actually didn’t want to end up in a restaurant. He graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in business in hopes to get away from the restaurant life and family business. But God had other plans for him 🙂

pausing for a bragging moment : Can I add that he graduated with Magna Cum Laude honor!!!  (kept his 4.0 and above all 4 years)

Anyways, I had seen him first hand how well he was at running his father’s restaurant and that dedication. But even with all my trusts in him, knowing that this wasn’t a restaurant with your typical known or popular foods on the menu made me have some doubts.  It was a Peruvian Rotisserie restaurant! Many people I’ve met in my life don’t even know where Peru is or what language is spoken. {for the record – it’s in South America & we speak spanish 😉 } That I will say was my biggest fear. I always felt that once people tried how delicious Peruvian food is, they would like it. But would it be too ethnic for people to try?

Long story short, he partnered up with Bruno a Peruvian chef and a long time friend he met many years ago while they worked together at my father in law’s restaurant. Together they created Viva Chicken. That first year was so hard on all of us! Bruno and Randy (my husband) literally worked every single day with NO days off for the first 6 month’s straight. Open to close! I dont know how they did it but they did! I was too busy learning how to be a mom and nursing my little one once she was born on March 28th of 2013 that year that it was almost like I was too preoccupied with my own little mommy job and he was preoccupied with this new business venture that honestly, I have no idea how we made it work as a married couple. But we did!

There were so many hard times specifically in the year of 2012 in prepping for this new business venture and so many setbacks we encountered. Lots of disappointing moments over and over again. At times we felt that maybe this wasn’t meant to be or that it may be a sign from God to not keep going forward. We certainly didn’t plan on opening a business so close to the time of when we would also become new parents. The plan was to open fall of 2012. But after all the set backs we were kept waiting… so much WAITING! It was some tough hard times. I didn’t have anyone super close to me who I could confide in at the time. But what we DID have – was the most amazing support for our church we were attending during those times! Having that community was so important. I will never forget all the prayers and support from those church members and friends, including our pastor /friend at the time. Sadly, that church is no longer and that community split up leaving us all to find a new church home.

Looking back on it it’s so amazing because God’s timing couldn’t have been more perfect!! I didn’t realize it at the time. But it’s almost like that church was created specifically for us during those hard times…. That season of life when we needed to lean on Him and trust in Him while we were in a period of waiting.

That church was a new church starting out, unfortunately it didn’t work out (not for reasons you may assume in which it was in need of members). We met new people who prayed with us, for us and really held us up and who are also original first customers or Viva Chicken!

Fast forward 5 years later and Viva Chicken is still around (PTL). I truly believe with all my heart that it is God’s work through Randy, Bruno, all the other owners, and the overall viva team. I am so grateful to have partnered with the people we have to continue to help Viva Chicken grow. It’s just another sign that God is still watching over and showing us how faithful He is.

So today my kids and I (they are 2 and 4) walked in their meeting with a big 5 balloon and a cake that I thought may be enough for all those guys, but it definitely was not! I guess I had not realized 7 locations now makes for a much bigger operations review meeting!! I felt silly, walking in with a small cake with a overly large group of people! There was certainly more positions there from behind the scenes that do Viva Chicken work, besides the GM’s KM’s etc.

Below you will see some pictures of yesterday. Unfortunetly, Bruno is on vacation so he is not pictured :/ But the big group picture its so crazy to see how many jobs Viva has created. We are truly blessed! Oh – and excuse my kids faces ha! They felt super shy walking into a room with all those people sitting in the longest table they’ve ever seen LOL!

 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for  your support in Viva and also for reading this silly blog!

Cinthya