So, I had to sit in the parking lot of my poor old store today to hand out paychecks to my prior employees. It was actually pretty sad for me...no, I definitely won't miss 90% of my employees. But that old store has some pretty good memories attached to it. I started working at this particular store in 1999 as an assistant manager; my restaurant manager at that time was SO good, saw my potential and trained me to be a restaurant manager as well. After I was there for about 4 months, Dave told me that he would be leaving to pursue other avenues...and asked me if I wanted to be the "Big Cheese"...yeah, he used that phrase. I said definitely, and the ball started rolling. By the beginning of 2000, it was my store to run, and we did AWESOME. The first year was tough, getting a great team assembled, but before I knew it, my efforts had all paid off. We were exceeding company expectations and receiving bonus checks every quarter. It was so amazing. Then, the store was running so well that I got a little bored...and the company asked me to transfer out to Iowa to help with their newly acquired Ames store. Yeah, that's another post in itself but had I said NO, who knows if I would have met Adam! It was just all meant to be.
Long story short, Iowa just wasn't for me (sorry Iowans!) and I asked the company if I could come back....I had heard that my store in Wisconsin had an opening again and wanted so much to return to what was my little Taco Bell family! I came back to a huge mess...the two store managers who had run the store in the 15 months I was gone let the building go to pieces. It's an old store...the building itself is like 30+ years old. But it was just not maintained in my absence. This was in late 2004...the company started seriously talking about rebuilding. I was thrilled...I had always been put in charge of old stores (AMES!!) and was excited at the idea of having a brand new store to call my own. It was put off....and put off.....and still put off. And then, it became a reality...we closed our doors on May 30th...never to open this old store again.
The store will be rebuilt...projected opening date is October 1st, 2007. And guess what? I won't be the "Big Cheese". Adam has a wonderful opportunity to move up in his company, and that will require our relocation to Green Bay, WI. I am really excited about this because it means that I most likely will not have to work full time...still will need to work until we get some things in order (like my car paid off) but I will have so much more time to be a mommy and wife. No more 50 hours work weeks! (or 60 or 70 for that matter...although, I haven't worked 70 hours since I was pregnant...). But this also means I won't get my new store...it was what I wanted from my "Taco Bell career"...and even though I'm OK with it, I'm still a little sad. It's the end of an era for that store...and it's the end of an era for me. I told my boss yesterday that I wouldn't be here in October to open the new store. I'm replaceable...I know this. But ** sigh** it's just strange. I'm OK with it though...just a little nostalgic I guess!
So here's a few more pics of the closing...just for your "enjoyment" I guess!
just a side shot of my little old Taco Bell!
Our old menu board....not too many choices now!
The main dining room...full of boxes on moving day!
So there it is folks...the end of Taco Bell...I'm hoping I'll get some footage when they decide to demolish it, which I'll post for you too!