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Another One Of The Better Tallahassee Restaurants Goes "Belly-Up"....Aparently

The Front Porch Restaurant. Can't pay its bills! Can't pay its employees who say if payment isn't forth-coming by tomorrow, they'll quit and walk out! I was told this earlier today, and assume it's true. The Restaurant has owed me for 306 pounds of grits since the 1st of November, AND CAN'T PAY!

This is the 2nd big Tallahassee restaurant to fail in the last 6-8 months. The Mockingbird was the other, and its employees lost about $20,000. in lost wages I'm told! These "failures" are wrong anyway you look at it! It amounts to stealing from employees and vendors! From here on out my business dealings with restaurants will be on a CASH BASIS ONLY!

Replies

  • micci_manmicci_man Posts: 15,001 AG
    I agree with pay when they get the goods. That's how many do and I understand wanting to make a relationship with them that you can trust. I don't get in town much or that part anyway. how long have they been in business? Never heard of either. Hope it works out for ya with them Rich. I really do.
    Common Sense can't be bought, taught or gifted, yet it is one of the few things in life that is free, and most refuse to even attempt to possess it. - Miguel Cervantes
  • eddiejoeeddiejoe Posts: 602 Officer
    Runner
    Sorry about your loss. IMO, the Porch has always been half way there - never one of the best. Good location. It somehow never clicked.
    EJ
  • illinoisfishermanillinoisfisherman Posts: 5,547 Admiral
    "From here on out my business dealings with restaurants will be on a CASH BASIS ONLY!"

    Restaurants have historically been bad payers around here. Tradesmen are always getting burned by them. Cash before they walk out the door is the standard practice with restaurants.

    wish you good luck with that deal
  • JKPJKP Posts: 3,211 Captain
    eddiejoe wrote: »
    Runner
    Sorry about your loss. IMO, the Porch has always been half way there - never one of the best. Good location. It somehow never clicked.
    EJ

    Yep. Tried it twice and the meal didn't live up to the bill.

    Surprising that they can't make it on the bar business alone. Lots of the Tallahassee crowd that pretends to have $ and likes to be seen by others seemed to like the bar.
  • omegafooomegafoo Posts: 3,127 Captain
    Yep - restaurants are payment upon delivery. Pretty sure my folks have to pay for most of their stuff when delivered. Very little runs on an account.

    Hate to hear you're out that much. 300lbs is a lot of $ in grits you'll have to write off as a loss. I'll continue to talk you up around the office. Hands down you've got the best grits I've put in my mouth - EVER. Not sure Micci and our lease members believed me until I cooked a pound of it at the camp this year. I won't buy any sort of quick grits anymore. Bumpy Road Farm Grits only!
  • Old DogOld Dog Posts: 560 Officer
    Is there a web site where one might get access to those grits?
    od
  • JFSJFS Posts: 115 Officer
    Old Dog wrote: »
    Is there a web site where one might get access to those grits?
    od

    I'd still like to order some...!
  • omegafooomegafoo Posts: 3,127 Captain
    I think he's only got them available at one store here in town or at the farmers markets here on timberland and - the other escapes me.

    Seems rich needs to think about setting up an e-commerce site and boost his sales!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  • SaltygatorvetSaltygatorvet Posts: 5,807 Admiral
    JFS wrote: »
    I'd still like to order some...!

    X2. Trying to get to the farmers market, but it almost always occurs during fishing time for me.
    You should have been here yesterday
  • micci_manmicci_man Posts: 15,001 AG
    Foo is right, those grits are AWESOME!!!
    Common Sense can't be bought, taught or gifted, yet it is one of the few things in life that is free, and most refuse to even attempt to possess it. - Miguel Cervantes
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Posts: 2,235 Captain
    Thank you all for your interest in my grits and the comments about the quality!
    I have one little problem, and after looking into it, I know that it would take almost $50,000. to overcome!

    I'm set up, under state law as a "Cottage Industry" because I don't have a "Certified Kitchen" to grind my corn. That's where the $$ comes in. Even the state health dept. inspector who came to inspect my facility said it was dumb and stupid to require a certified kitchen, that what I was doing was far safer than growing and processing vegetables for sale at farmer's markets which requires no certification. But, as he pointed out, he couldn't tell me that "officially".

    Also under the Cottage Industry Law I cannot advertise or sell or even quote prices on the internet! Can you figure this one out? :hairraiser

    But I'll tell you what.....I'm gonna break the law and post it anyway!

    I do mail boxes of grits both by USPS and UPS, and to date I've sent boxes to 19 states and prepared orders to be taken to Australia, New Zealand, Scotland and Germany. (Can't mail food materials to foreign countries....federal and foreign laws involved). {Recently had a request from a restaurant in Copenhagen, Denmark.. how it found out about Bumpy Road Farm Grits I don't know!}

    For mail orders I charge $4.00 a pound for grits and $3.00 per 1.5 lb bag of cornmeal plus shipping costs which will run about 2/3rds of the cost of the products. I have a 3 pound minimum order to make it worth my time. It's expensive to ship!

    The secret of my grits/cornmeal is that I use only old varieties of heirloom corn grown around my home up in the Southern Appalachians of extreme North Georgia/Western N.C. Old school buddies grow it for me, pesticide free (but not certified organic) and I go up home and get it by the truck-load. It's a mix of heirloom (GMO and GLUTEN FREE) white, yellow and Cherokee corn. Makes excellent grits, cornmeal and "other" corn products, but I ain't selling any of THAT!
  • micci_manmicci_man Posts: 15,001 AG
    I didn't cook the ones I ate but I think foo let them soak in water for a long time before cooking them. I'm sure he'll chime in.
    Common Sense can't be bought, taught or gifted, yet it is one of the few things in life that is free, and most refuse to even attempt to possess it. - Miguel Cervantes
  • omegafooomegafoo Posts: 3,127 Captain
    I let them soak all day. Skimmed the top and then cooked until done. Salt to taste. I think I did 1C grits to 4C of water. It takes about 45 minutes to an hour to cook.
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Posts: 2,235 Captain
    Omega is pretty well pinging on target I think. My Grandma who reared me would sometimes soak grits all night and put the pot on to boil early in the morning. You don't have to soak 'em, however. Simply put the pot on to simmer-not boil-for 45-60 minutes, 4 to 1 water, and salt to taste. A friend who teaches a cooking school will simmer the grits for 40 minutes at a 3 to 1 ratio of water to grits, then in the last 20 minutes add a cup of whole milk. They're good that way!

    Another thing that I'm going to try.....
    Back when I was a kid (I'm 76 now :hairraiser) my granddad made whiskey and sold it in bulk to a distributor in Clayton, Georgia. He would soak about 20% of the corn grains used in spring water for 3-4 days till it sprouted about 3/4ths inch then spread it out to dry before coarse grinding for fermentation in the buck barrels. My grandma always made him grind some of this sprouted/dried grain for grits claiming that it was better for your body. I don't remember the difference in taste, but I bet there is. I'm going to try this soon and see if it tastes different.....I may be sitting on a goldmine and not know it!

    Tell you what.... I'll make somebody a deal! I have 2-3 really high-end flintlock rifles I want to advertise for sale, and I need 5-6 really good photos of each showing characteristics, etc. If you can make high quality close-up photos of details, engraving etc, and are within 50-75 miles of me, we can work out a trade and I'll pay you in corn products that I process. Anyone?
  • omegafooomegafoo Posts: 3,127 Captain
    Lol. Rich, You forgot so soon. I'm your huckleberry for the last guns you wanted photographed. ;) let me know what you want to sell and I'll schedule a time to get you some photos. I've got a really nice external flash to help light things up these days. And, depending on the $, I might take one off your hands :)
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Posts: 2,235 Captain
    OK, it's a deal! You set the time for me to be there and I'll come with one of the rifles to get a start. Just about any time except Saturday from 8AM to 3PM will work for me. That's when I'm at the Market. I'll pay you with either cash or grits or a combination....your call!

    The rifles that I have, 2 and possibly 3, are high-end exact duplicates of original flintlocks from the 3rd quarter of the 1700's. These are all hand made by one of the best rifle makers of modern times, and will go for a premium.
  • fsuwxmanfsuwxman Posts: 1,290 Officer
    Can't say I'm surprised about the porch. Place was awful IMHO. Sorry to hear you're likely going to take a loss.

    Your grits, as I've said before, are the best I've ever had.

    I make them with evaporated milk and chicken stock and then stir in some fresh grated cheese of choice at the very end. Can't be beat.
    2015 FS Northwest Forum NASCAR Champion
  • VitzVitz Posts: 82 Deckhand
    On Tuesday, I picked up a bag at Southern Seafood. Can't wait to give them a try this weekend.
  • BeachRum1962BeachRum1962 Posts: 162 Officer
    The Front Porch Restaurant. Can't pay its bills! Can't pay its employees who say if payment isn't forth-coming by tomorrow, they'll quit and walk out! I was told this earlier today, and assume it's true. The Restaurant has owed me for 306 pounds of grits since the 1st of November, AND CAN'T PAY!

    This is the 2nd big Tallahassee restaurant to fail in the last 6-8 months. The Mockingbird was the other, and its employees lost about $20,000. in lost wages I'm told! These "failures" are wrong anyway you look at it! It amounts to stealing from employees and vendors! From here on out my business dealings with restaurants will be on a CASH BASIS ONLY!

    Sorry about your situation but the Front Porch is still open as of today. Wife and I are attending a friend's birthday function tonight with a band and all. Invites went out a couple of weeks ago and I was wondering if we would get a cancellation notice. We'll fit right in though, we like to pretend to have $ and mingle in the crowd that loves being seen by others ;)
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Posts: 2,235 Captain
    Yes, the restaurant is still open. I was there last night to pick up partial payment of that owed to me for past deliveries, and to the owner's credit they are trying to meet their financial obligations to vendors....with a lot of difficulty, however. I really hope that it works out for them. Don't know any of the owners, but I do know several of the kitchen workers, and they're all a fine bunch of young folks. Their head chef is a precious little gal with a young family, and it's people like this that I hate to see hurt in these business deals.

    I hope they can continue....but last night at 7PM there was only one couple having dinner. 'Course it was Monday night and things are always slow on Mondays.
  • eddiejoeeddiejoe Posts: 602 Officer
    Something has been wrong with the place for quite a while. They have a lot of advantages: a nice building with outside seating in a good location, and plenty of parking. They seem to have flubbed every opportunity so far, beginning with insisting on valet parking when the lot is large, and often nearly empty. Despite what you say about staff, I have found staff there to be pleasant but poorly trained, and the food is sometimes fair, sometimes really poor, while prices are high. This is normally a sign of bad management, and if the cooking is bad, a poorly trained chef as well. The "precious little gal" might be a fine person, but she ain't cooking good food, especially for the prices.

    Restaurants are a tough business. The good survive and stay good to stay in business, the poorly managed close, often cheating suppliers, wait staff, and sometimes even customers.

    EJ
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Posts: 2,235 Captain
    It seems that Tallahassee has more than its share of poorly managed restaurants, but I'm not all that knowlegable of the business. Maybe I'm off-base in thinking this. Do other major population centers have this same problem? I don't understand why lending institutions will continue to front the money to start up and run a restaurant!
  • eddiejoeeddiejoe Posts: 602 Officer
    It seems that Tallahassee has more than its share of poorly managed restaurants, but I'm not all that knowlegable of the business. Maybe I'm off-base in thinking this. Do other major population centers have this same problem? I don't understand why lending institutions will continue to front the money to start up and run a restaurant!

    I'm certainly no expert. I have worked in a restaurant (and in a yacht club), and have eaten out many times as a consumer. What I meant by "tough" is that succeeding isn't easy, no matter if you try hard. A person needs to have experience, and to keep sharp. IMO Tallahassee has a number of good restaurants, a few excellent ones, and a lot of mediocre to poor versions. Seems typical to me, and I am grateful for the good ones being here. Getting money to start a new one is difficult, and banks look at those loans long and hard, or so I hear.

    I appreciate local folks taking a risk and starting a business, so I tend to go to those over any chain, which I normally avoid like the plague. As a college town, Tallahassee has more than typical numbers of hamburger joints, pizza joints, and bars. Now we are also getting brew pubs.

    Today I ate lunch at Kool Beanz, one of the best spots in Tallahassee, for the umpteenth time. Always good, always innovative, fair prices, so there are excellent choices around.

    Luck,

    EJ
  • CynicalCynical Posts: 274 Deckhand
    eddiejoe wrote: »
    Something has been wrong with the place for quite a while. They have a lot of advantages: a nice building with outside seating in a good location, and plenty of parking. They seem to have flubbed every opportunity so far, beginning with insisting on valet parking when the lot is large, and often nearly empty. Despite what you say about staff, I have found staff there to be pleasant but poorly trained, and the food is sometimes fair, sometimes really poor, while prices are high. This is normally a sign of bad management, and if the cooking is bad, a poorly trained chef as well. The "precious little gal" might be a fine person, but she ain't cooking good food, especially for the prices.

    Restaurants are a tough business. The good survive and stay good to stay in business, the poorly managed close, often cheating suppliers, wait staff, and sometimes even customers.

    EJ

    Taste and preparation is a very personal matter. What you think is awful might be delicious to others. A particular presentation or preparation might offend your senses but to others could be perfect.

    I've never been to the place but I can understand how people differ in their preferences. One person might make woodsrunner's grits more creamy than the next gal, and one customer might like them that way or prefer the less cream, less butter version.
  • trout069trout069 Posts: 5,844 Admiral
    What Cynical stated.peoples taste differ a whole lot.5 of us could go eat at a very high end place and get 5 different views on meal.there are many places i would like to eat at here in Atlanta,but I know I wouldn't like half the meal.that is just me.wanted to go do shotgun supper club ,that my sister and friend do in thomasville,but some things on menu,i just do not eat.do not like wasting food or the ticket for someone who would really enjoy the whole meal.granted i could splurge and go eat a high end meal,order it the way i wanted,get it that way,but,the chief came up with it and it probaly would not taste as good.requiring valet parking does not make 1 a high end eating place.sorry to be all over on this,but those i meant at BIL,know i have the build of 1 who likes to eat and enjoy a adult beverage.and right now the ATL has some excellent dining places.
  • SAENoleSAENole Posts: 11,477 AG
    Absentee owner, perhaps?
    Warning Level 2
  • eddiejoeeddiejoe Posts: 602 Officer
    Of course. But, you have to have more yeas than nays to stay in business. Check the parking lots to make a guess. A full one means you are hitting the right "taste" for your market. Front Porch lot can hold maybe 100 cars, but yesterday lunchtime there were maybe a half dozen.
    Great location and building, poor management.
    Also, read the online reviews. Same deal.
  • illinoisfishermanillinoisfisherman Posts: 5,547 Admiral
    Years ago there was statistics out that said 90% of new restaurants fail within the first year...... main reason was underfunding as I understood. To open a restaurant and have a chance around here the rule of thumb is:

    You need to open without debt and have enough cash reserves to keep the doors open for 2 years without making a nickel.
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