Jerry: How did Nan and you get along during the process?
Ben: Quite frankly, I could never have done this without what Nan brought to the table. Except for one time, we worked together very well. But we simply couldn’t agree on the menu. For example, I wanted to serve three kinds of hot dogs, and Nan didn’t want to serve any. It got to be pretty hairy.
Jerry: So how did you resolve it?
Ben: I suggested to Nan that we have two separate menus: Ben’s and Nan’s. She surprised me by saying, “That’s probably the best idea you’ve had in your life!”
Jerry: And you do have two different menus today. Which one has the most sales?
Ben: Nan’s. Most of our customers are women. They especially like her turkey Panini.
Jerry: There’s a saying that if you find a job you love, you will never work another day in your life. Does that describe you?
Ben: Absolutely. The hours are extremely long, but I don’t think about that. I just enjoy being there and doing what I am doing.
Jerry: Artisan recently celebrated its one-year anniversary, and you are already expanding. Isn’t it a bit early for that?
Ben: We thought so, but when a vacancy appeared adjacent to our restaurant, the San Diego-based mall owner flew out to see us. He liked what we had done and had taken note of the favorable reviews we were receiving on www.yelp.com. He wanted us to expand and offered to help.
Jerry: When will you open the new space, and how will it look?
Ben: With booths and soft lighting, it will have a cozy ambience. When it opens in about three weeks, we will introduce an expanded menu. Keep checking www.artisancoffeebistro.com for the latest information, to include a firm opening date.