Someone asked me yesterday (apparently, I looked pretty tired) if I was still glad I had opened a cafe. The answer is yes. Like any new business owner (especially one who is like a fish out of water), I have struggles, set backs (losing lots of food to the power outage was not great :( , and times I feel extremely exhausted. However, the good times always outweigh the bad times. Whenever I am told how much someone enjoyed their food; someone tells me "Mebane needed a place like this"; or a customer gives me a hug upon leaving because they were "so happy" during their time at Karma; I realize how fortunate I am. "You have the best coffee", "This food is out of this world", "We came from Raleigh to eat here again", and "Where did you find such great chefs"-are all music to my ears!!! We are lucky!! We have wonderful customers, great chefs, and this week TWICE -my lot was so full at lunch time, I had no place to park, after I came back from an errand (a good problem to have!). So, yes I am tired, but I have made lots of new friends, reconnected with some old ones, and being tired because you are busy is not at all a bad problem to have. Anything worth while entails lots of work, patience and a sense of humor (when you come by, ask me about the "smoothie explosion" or going around in circles at the coffee roasters, only to find out I had driven a half hour around the same area!! Both happened in the same day!! our smoothie mix is awesome, but I did not want to smell like a peach all day!!! The company promises they will pack it better next time, since the entire box fell apart and all over me-I was already late for the roaster appointment, got lost... you get it!!). So what is the Most Important Part of Karma (Since the heading states that, I better fill you in)? People!! The people I get to work with everyday, like Sherry, who puts her heart into everything she bakes. She takes such pride in all her creations. One of the staff asked about a "day old pastry shelf"-Sherry responded "if it is not good enough to sell for the regular price, we need to discard it! We don't sell second rate things!" Sherry will stay and work for hours making things to perfection and when we have staff cancel, she will never leave me alone with the problem, she just stays and does her magic (I love you Sherry!!). Paul has been here from the start and he is an awesome chef and a great friend. Who else in a small town like Mebane has two chefs from the best culinary school in the country? Paul's cheese cake is so popular that we have people waiting for him to make it (everyone tells me it is 10 times better than the famous brand one) -the same with Sherry's brownies. Their soups are the same way!!! Made...gone!Our customers and friends are equally important (most are "customer friends" now!)-we love seeing people enjoy our food, relaxing and visiting with each other and with us. Many of our customers have become our friends and that to me is most excellent. Carolyn, who comes in with her wonderful husband all the time (oh my gosh, how sweet was it for him to go home and get me an elixir for my swollen feet!! It works, (he is a doctor) and I feel better!! You are both beyond awesome); Tom who comes every day to visit and have a bite to eat; Margo, my new dear friend; Mary, who brings her sweet granddaughter in for a treat; Paul, who is still the mayor of 4 square and my best evening coffee customer; and Lee, who we have missed this week (he has been away, but Jennifer, my awesome hairdresser and his wife has had several of her turkey wraps), Lauren, who comes in for her vanilla latte and brings her girls in for lunch (so cute!!), Dixie and the Wednesday Lunch Group, Pat and the Mayor...I could go on, but I love all our customers and their great spirits and encouragement!
Okay, I AM wordy, I love you all and I have to be at Karma in 30 minutes!!! Hugs, Lorna
Lately, we have had a lot of questions (luckily stemming from the fact everyone loves our food-Thank You Sherry, Paul and Jonathan) about where we get our food. So, here is the answer-WE MAKE IT AT KARMA, WE BUY AS MUCH AS WE CAN FROM LOCAL FARMERS (we love farmer's markets, local fruit and veggie farms, we pick our own when possible) IN A NUT SHELL: WE BUY FRESH, LOCAL AND HAVE EVERYTHING MADE IN HOUSE!! You can see, I am really proud of that! We have talented chefs who can make ANYTHING!!! We also have good farmer friends who will sell to us at a fair price and even give us some wonderful things for free (thank you, Roosevelt and our other Mebane Farmer's Market Friends; the wonderful owner of Hawk Hill Blueberries, Katie at the Urban Farmers Market and so many other wonderful farmers). We are blessed to be able to offer good, fresh food locally grown to our Karma friends. So, when you come to Karma, we are giving you the most wonderful things we can find. Locally roasted fair trade organic coffee, whole leaf tea and our own tea blends, freshly baked pastries by Sherry (all made at Karma!!! You can order specialty cakes and goodies with a three day notice. Sherry just made an awesome birthday cake with fresh raspberries and cream for one of our customers-yummy!!! She also did a ton of cake pops for a shower, wonderful morning scones for another party and lots more. We do need notice, though!). Okay, I am always very wordy, but I thought I would answer the question I am asked most often, "Where do you get such wonderful food?". Yes, we do make our own potato salad, cole slaw, soups, etc-WE MAKE EVERYTHING HERE AT KARMA!!! Things in the works-never mind-I will surprise you!!! Karma has lots wonderful of surprises coming your way in the future!! Stay tuned.... Don't ask me... I am going to keep all our secrets until we reveal them...SOON
One of the hardest things I have had to figure out is what hours Karma should be open. Some say early am, since we are a coffee shop, some say lunch and dinner since we are a cafe and so on and so on. We really need to know what people want-it is confusing-lunch is busy, dinner not so much. Saturday morning is busy, but the rest of the week mornings are slow. As a new cafe, it is hard to get everything perfect right away (is anything really ever perfect?), so if anyone has an opinion, let me know. I am still working on afternoon tea (I love tea and have very cute tea pots and cups; if I do say so myself) with scones and tea sandwiches. So much to do yet and we will get everything to come together in a timely fashion. If anyone has a suggestion, let me know. We have several meal suggestions we are working on-coming soon..more hot food! We have many new coffee drinks to choose from-frappe flavors are being added to the menu as we speak. If you can name it; we can make it. Pastries are fresh and wonderful as always-all made in house by our wonderful Sherry. Paul is working up some new and wonderful meal recipes. Jonathan has some great soups up his sleeve (love the corn chowder-made with corn from the Farmer's Market-love having them across the street. Yummy tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and more--Yes, I know I say it all the time but KARMA LOVES THE MEBANE FARMERS MARKET!! Okay, off topic, tired
Lunch time at Karma is wonderful! The hustle and bustle of new and old friends coming to visit. The energy is great and I think we have the staff on point for great service. HOWEVER, evenings at Karma are s-l-o-w. Last evening-NO SALES!! Same great food and more (Sherry mad a wonderful quiche and lots of treats), but no one to sell to. In the last couple of weeks, we have been hit by: the loss of tons of food,due to a power outage; repair bills for equipment needing a fix; the Russians dropping a bomb on us (okay, just seeing if you were paying attention!! This was our childhood fear, if you grew up when I did-at home and school, adults were always preparing us for this event. Luckily, it never happened!), and much more. I have never gotten discouraged...but I am starting to----since lunch is great and dinner is not (thank you to some of our great new friends and customers for keeping some seats filled at dinner-and very nice seats---I mean, people ...they are!). You can see, I haven't lost my sense of humor, but we do need a fix for the evening hours OR we need to become just a lunch time cafe!! HELP>>>>>> Hugs, Lorna
We have lots of plans for the next few weeks -fun activities, lots of new menu items to be introduced by our chefs, and just plan good times. We will be offering a tapas menu for the evening hours, to go with our wine and beer. We have created more coffee and summer drinks for your enjoyment on these hot days. We have teas of all kinds-Chef Sherry has come up with an awesome house chai blend-served hot or cold, or as a latte. My new favorite drink is an mint chocolate freeze-you can have this with or without espresso (so kids can have it too-my friend's little daughter loves it). So, come by and visit-see what is new, along with your old (if you can call two months old, lol) favorites. We love when our friends visit and share part of their day with us! Lorna
WE are having a wonderful summer at Karma-so many fresh fruits and veggies are available to us! How lucky are we to have the Farmer's Market right across the street?! My friend Roosevelt gave us a wonderful large cucumber to make our salads on Saturday (they were yummy), we bought tons of fresh figs, tomatoes, onions, and much more. We have tons of fresh squash, herbs and many other items our friends have brought us from their gardens or their friend's gardens (Elma has given us enough squash to last all month!!). Look forward to many new fruit and salad dishes coming your way from Karma. A lovely light lunch and dessert includes a wonderful salad, Sherry's panna cotta (fresh berries and vanilla bean) and a cold drink. Ask about a slushie for those hot days. See you soon! Hugs, Lorna