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Today and all week long, it is the soft Grand Opening of David's Garden Seeds® Farm Store out in the country, on our farm. We have saved our money and worked long and hard to buy our store and our other business buildings. Soon the rest of the business will move from San Antonio, but today we open our seed store!
Once we get the store stocked completely and do some radio advertising in the area, we will have our real grand opening, but for now, it is open and locals who used to shop at our store in San Antonio are happy. We have had several drop in who have moved to Atascosa County in the past year.
We closed our store in San Antonio back in March due to coronavirus when the mayor said we could not have more than ten people in any room. The seed orders hit us hard so we needed to hire a lot of part time temporary workers to help us ship out ten thousand orders. The orders kept pouring in. So we packed up our two room store and used those spaces plus my office to house additional workers.
Since then, many on social media and in real life have asked us when we would open back up. We told them we will be having a soft grand opening as soon as the new store out on our farm is ready. We had set backs with getting the building ready and we had to get all of those seed orders shipped before we could do anything else.
Originally, we were shooting for an opening date of May 1 and then June 1, but those dates flew by without the work getting done. Now, we know it is June 15, 2020 for sure for a grand opening date.
At 9:15am, our first customers drove up! They waved from the truck and said they follow our blog. Such a friendly couple from San Antonio and they just got a house here in Atascosa County and are in the process of moving in.
Our first customers bought all plants from our greenhouse--lemon balm, bell peppers, chili pequin, a papaya tree, common sage, white sage, and rosemary. Thank you so much for being our first customers!
We had several other customers so I would call our first day of being open out here a grand opening success!
Lucy (our dog) has some allergies again causing her to itch her skin with her teeth and break it open. We thought she was having another liver problem but I just got off the phone with the vet and it is allergies this time. She is putting Lucy on two new medicines. Our son, Matt, took her to the vet for us. Thank you Matt!
I got my early morning chores done and headed over to the store for the grand opening. On the way, my overflowing Apache dumpster greeted me with a pile of trash on the ground next to it, plus papers blowing all over the property.
I called the company again this morning. The lady told me that David had already called and the driver was on his way. She said whether or not the driver picked the trash up on Friday, that we would still have the same amount of trash. What? So I told her that if he had picked it up, the trash would not be in a pile on the ground next to the dumpster and blowing around the property. She said she was unaware of that. (How? Did you not listen to me on Friday or on Saturday when I called?) She then told me the driver would let us reload and dump it twice. How thoughtful since this is his fault for skipping over us on Friday.
Believe it or not, just before 9am, the driver showed
up and finally dumped the dumpster. Then our guys reloaded it and he dumped it again. Will he actually show up this coming
Friday or will it be next Monday? I am glad he showed up right before our grand opening started.
Lucy (our dog) has some allergies again causing her to itch her skin with her teeth and break it open. We thought she was having another liver problem but I just got off the phone with the vet and it is allergies this time. She is putting Lucy on two new pills and a new spray. Our son, Matt, took her to the vet for us. Thank you Matt!
Now we noticed that all of the hair has been bitten off of Ethel's tail in a two inch area. I started using Lucy's new spray there. I have been giving Ethel allergy pills. I wonder what is out here that they start biting themselves so much. There are a lot of strange weeds and bugs. We are working on getting the property in better shape. So many stickers and weeds, so little time!
Today, we did not have any customers at the store. I guess Tuesday is not a good day for a grand opening. It is just as well because David and I had to travel a few hours away to look at a rabbit farm. David wants to get meat rabbits and put them close to the chicken coop. We looked at a rabbit barn that has over 2200 rabbits in it. It was clean and fascinating. We will be buying our rabbits at this farm, but not until our rabbit shed gets here. It was supposed to be delivered last week, but it is still not here.
We called and the shed lady said she did not know why because it shows it is ready. This is the same company who is building our business buildings. Our fourth building has not yet been started and it was ordered and paid for at the same time that our second and third buildings were. The lady said it would be about ten weeks before we get our bathroom/kitchen building. Swell. So we will have to order some more portable toilets because the team is moving out soon.
While we were gone, the same building company delivered our carport. They set it up, blocking the backdoor gate to get into the yard from the driveway. Fortunately, our son, Matthew, was here, watching the store and looking out for us. He made them move the carport so now the very end of the driveway is not covered, but at least we can get in and out of the fenced yard.
Around 4pm, UPS delivered shelving units and, of course, all of our employees had already gone home. I was in the store and David was in his office. After he left, a large FedEx truck with a rude driver backed in with two air conditioners for the third building. He told David he had to leave them at the gate. (There was no way that we could get them into the complex by ourselves.) So David told him that he should be able to back right into our large parking lot and drop them there. He said he could not do it. David then asked the driver if he was a brand new truck driver. This made the driver upset so he backed in and dropped them off right in the middle of the parking lot. At least they were inside the gate.
Good Wednesday morning! The chicks were fighting when I went out at 6:30am to feed and water them. It seems that one found a large feather and she would not let it out of her beak, even to eat because everyone wanted it. They were all fighting instead of just eating. I should have had the camera with me but I did not. Today is their birthday; they turned seven weeks old!
A little while later, Matthew found our first watermelon out in the garden! It is pretty big. I cannot wait to taste it at lunch. I am in the store working and we have a lot of people, including two sets of contractor teams out here working on the new building and building steps, etc. It is noisy.
Lucy is doing much better with her new medicines and sprays. Ethel's tail seems to be healing. Annabelle and Kitty are just fine.
We are getting a refrigeration unit for the store today to keep cold drinks to purchase as well as our farm fresh eggs that we will start getting in the fall. We figure with 24 chicks and two guineas, we will have plenty of eggs so we can sell some. I will also stock some snacks because it is a long drive out from the big city. Later, I want to add an ice cream freezer and a coffee bar.
It is cloudy and a bit cooler than yesterday at this time with a nice breeze this morning.
Now it is 5pm and it is hot and humid and sunny.
I think when we finally get our store fully stocked and we advertise on the radio about our new location, that we will have a large grand opening. Hopefully, we will be ready for that in August, just in time for fall gardening here in south central Texas.
One of our Instagram followers came by and introduced herself. We had a nice visit. She used to live by the shop in San Antonio and now lives out here. It was a pleasure to visit with her and her three young children. I have already met several who are so supportive on social media so it makes my day fun to meet everyone.
Our dumpster is full and starting to overflow already. With so many contractors here and so many deliveries, there is a lot of trash everyday.
It is now after 5pm and the refrigeration unit still has not arrived. All of our workers have gone home. I wonder if they will deliver it now that it is just the two of us here.
They did not deliver it...
Matthew picked a lot of things out of the garden including more corn. He shucked it and I cut off all of the parts with nasty worms and things. The ears are ready for eating or blanching.
Good morning and happy Thursday. It is already hot and humid out there. I just had to write a huge check for another contractor who has been putting our new buildings together. He will install the air conditioners today in the third building and he should be through. Then we just have to put down the linoleum in the building and we will be ready for our business to start moving in.
I am sure our guys will be happy to get out of San Antonio. Yesterday, a judge decided that businesses that provide goods and services to customers must require employees and customers to wear masks all day long. We stopped providing goods to customers back in March. Plus the governor said they cannot do this but that doesn't stop them. If you need to shop without a mask, get out of Bexar County and shop.
Our guys went through our once-again-overflowing dumpster and flattened all of the boxes to make everything fit in it. We will be okay IF Apache comes tomorrow like they are supposed to, but if they skip us again like last Friday, I cannot fit one more trash bag in there. Only time will tell. You just cannot depend on them.
So some parts of our two new buildings did not have working electricity. David called them last week. They sent one of their electricians out today. He fixed both buildings but had to take down some of the sheet rock. Now we have to have our contractor come out and put up more sheet rock, float and tape, texture, and paint so we still cannot put the floor and floorboards down in the newer building. They took out a whole wall in building number two plus part of another.
Our contractor just finished up everything this morning and we paid him an obscene five digit before the decimal amount. Now we have to do it all over again. So our guys won't be moving the business out here next week because of this. It is very upsetting how many setbacks we keep having.
The electrician from the building company told us it is his fault that the electricity did not work in these buildings and that they will pay us back after we have the walls repaired.
Seven weeks ago today, we got our 26 chicks, including two guineas. They are getting so big.
Our guys have started hanging up wall grids for the seeds in the seed building.
Interestingly, the refrigeration unit we were supposed to receive yesterday for our Grand Opening still has not been delivered and it is after 5pm. I just called David and he said it is on its way. Yesterday, they tried to deliver it to San Antonio, only they don't have an FM 2504 in San Antonio.
Day four of our Grand Opening was not very eventful. We did not have one customer today but I was able to get a lot done on the computer. We still had workers and delivery people in here several times today. Remember, this is only a soft Grand Opening of our store. We will have the real Grand Opening by August when everything is ready instead of just having a few things up now. It will be easier on me during the real Grand Opening as I won't be stuck in here for nine hours a day. There will be other people so I can go eat lunch or take a break without having to hurry back.
Around 5:15pm, a large semi showed up with the refrigerator. The guy said that someone else took it to San Antonio to be delivered both yesterday and today but they could not find FM 2504 in San Antonio. So they called this driver back to come pick it up and bring it out to us. These huge deliveries always seem to arrive here after all of our help has gone home.
Good morning and Happy Friday! Great news! At 8:51 this morning, Apache trash showed up and dumped our overflowing dumpster! Yay! Of course, I was there to get a shot from my front deck!
Today is Juneteenth, the day we celebrate the freeing of slaves in the United States. You don't hear anything about it up north. In fact, I never heard of it all until we were visiting my mother in law when our kids were small. She announced that it was Juneteenth and she and David discussed it over coffee. I couldn't believe I didn't learn this in school up north. My wall calendar says it is "Emancipation Day". I think that is how I learned it but here in Texas, everyone says Juneteenth.
One of our team members, Phil, just came from the San Antonio office and brought me a bunch of seed collection sets for the store that they put together this week. So I will be pricing and hanging them up for our customers.
One of our newest team members moved out here effective today and is set up right now in the seed building with David. In fact, he is sitting at my desk from the San Antonio office since I now have a pull out desk in the store.
You will notice the wall behind him has been torn out thanks to the electrician from the company that built the buildings we have. Today, our contractor was supposed to come and repair two walls in two buildings because electricity did not work. Unfortunately he called saying he could not make it in due to a serious illness in the family. So we won't get our buildings completed this week like we had hoped.
This afternoon, our next door neighbor came with his tractor with a front end loader, picked up the 500 pound commercial fridge and placed it up on the store deck. Then six guys tilted and laid it down. They finally got it inside and put together. The company shorted us one metal bracket for a shelf so we cannot use one shelf until they send us another. We cannot plug it in for 24 hours since it was not kept upright but it is 85 inches tall, too tall for our door. It looks good.
This morning I went to the store and started filling website orders. Then two couples came in almost at the same time to buy seeds. We were all talking and in walked David, his father, his brother, his sister and her husband, here for a barbecue for Father's Day. His family does not live around here. I had three sales and then Matthew came to relieve me so I could eat some steak. His other brother had to work and his other sister called to say she was sick. We had a nice time.
After they all left, I went back to filling website orders until my legs hurt so I came back to the house, cleaned up, and then went in the pool. At 7pm, we watched Svengoolie.
This morning, we were up early, feeding animals and getting chores done. We went to church and found out that some area churches had closed again due to coronavirus but others were still having service. We had service at our church.
Then we drove an hour to San Antonio to pick up some more things from the office.We spent the afternoon doing various chores and getting ready for work in the morning.
Happy Father's Day, everyone!
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