Thoughts on starting and running a small business

Antler

There’s a handful of restaurants that Andrew and I like to go to when we feel like a delicious dinner, nice service and a relaxed atmosphere. Antler is a small restaurant that is on this list.

Last week when we went to Antler, I took a dozen mini cupcakes for the kitchen – not because we’d spoken to the owner or knew the wait staff by name and not to promote PGB cupcakes in the west end haha – but more in the nature of, “Hi from one small business to another.”

So it was a big surprise that we read about Antler in today’s Globe & Mail of all places!

How it has been picketed by animal rights protesters resulting in the owner carving up a deer haunch (it is a game-focused place) in the front window!

Oh my gosh, such drama in the ‘hood!

I won’t go into the details because if you’re interested, it turns out the article ran in every newspaper and is even being discussed in Houston – so a quick web search will tell you all about it.

I only mention it here because I felt so frustrated. I try to keep this blog focused on the positive aspects of running a business or at least a constructive view about the challenges but for some reason, this felt over the top.

Without having ever talked to the owner, based on my own experience, I know the guy is facing increasing ingredient costs, higher rents and salaries and the ongoing challenge of every single business to stay in the black.

I thought of a phrase I first heard from my son Ted, “you do you”: be a vegan and  be a protestor – but I think one’s approach always matters in life. Even protests need to be fair and putting a big sign that says, “Murder” in front of a small business carrying on legal activities on Dundas Street isn’t.

 

 

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