Sunday, 9 November 2014

2014-11-09 Green Light

Friday was a big day for ojo's we recieved our official green light sticker for the Wilson Street Farmers Market, and permission to produce and sell from our brand new Ojo commissary kitchen it was worth celebrating.

For the last 6 months we have stayed close to home with the food truck, we have stuck it out at our out of the way little spot by Soldaats and the Ancaster Fairgrounds.  Our lunch crowd has not been huge, people are having difficulty finding our driveway, but we hold faith that they will and one day our little. out of the way place for local produce  duck fat fries and locally procurred meats will be the go to for families in search of a locovore family friendly meal, where the kids can play outside, and you can pick up some local fare to go at the same time.  We are almost there.  And then comes winter, snowy dark days are coming soon, and already at the Wilson Street Market it is dark in our west end Ancaster location.  

There are no street lights from the business park to the Ancaster Fairgrounds, our stretch of Wilson Street is dark at 4:30 you can barely see our driveway.  We need lights we need to light the place up, street lights, and sidewalks are in order, we look closed even when we are not.  

Each time we pass a hurdle it seems we meet the next one, building a business from scratch takes time and patience, I can now clearly see the value in purchasing an existing business.  However the business we wanted to create did not exist, and we are lucky to have had the time and patience to endure the process.  It is hard to envision the the end result when you are just coming out of the starting gate.  Our business plan has changed as we feel out the the things that work and the things that do not the main thing we have stayed true to our mission and purpose and I like that a lot.

We are now a fully certified mobile kitchen, fully certified commissary kitchen, and Farmers Market, and while the city still has it out for us with regards to zoning we feel confident that logic will prevail cause in my humble opinion zoning is a racket.  

Zoning, while some may argue that it serves a useful purpose in civil society by allowing and restricting the business that can operate at any given address.  I think that it is too much govenment.  If a land owner or business chooses to conduct a business that does not interfere with the rights or liberties of others and is accepted by the neighborhood, and has a valid business license and meets all the health and safety requirements why would the Municipal govt actively try to prevent the said business from operating.  The Pearl Company Theatre is a prime example of bad zoning policy.

I used to feel special thinking that some how our little business was being singled out, and after a year of dealing with the city and ranting to anyone that will lend an ear, I have found that we are but one of many small business's that continue to face red tape with the city of Hamilton and the zoning dept.  But maybe it is not just the city of Hamilton it is just a function of govt that is fundamentally broken a system that enables the rich to get richer and small business to suffer.

Properties with low value zoning also have a low value price.  Zoning changes take years, and often, those in the know, the inner circles of those making the zoning changes, can buy up and sit on properties.  If you are lucky enough to be sitting on a property that is destined for a zoning change, its a wind fall for sellers,  if you are a long term investor with time to spare now is time to invest in Ancaster west properties, cause just like the Pearl Company, our zone is set to change to Retail, and that will solve our connundrum we hope.

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