Exactly five years ago, on October 1st, 2007, Irene, my wife, and me, raised the metal blinds of the store ‘El Placer del Picante‘ (The Pleasure of Spicy), in the heart of the Chamberí neighborhood, a small deli that was supported by a strong Internet presence. At the same time, it raised many new hopes, new expectations were created and new experiences were added to our lives, and, from a professional point of view, we started the most exciting of adventures.
Five years later, after having taken down the business, we could not do anything but feel very proud and satisfied with the job done, the team that we formed and, in particular, Irene should feel tremendously fulfilled at having known the very details of running a business, from hiring personnel accompanied by our daughter of a few weeks, to the hard negotiation of selling the business. An arduous task, which she did tirelessly and which confirmed her status as a born fighter.
We learned many things, but the most important was to value and admire entrepreneurs in our country, who have to protect their employee salaries, honor commitments to the client and also have no choice but to fight against the rich and powerful, helplessly watching as the competition stays open 24 hours a day destroying the small fighter, watching how taxes, social security, rates, various obligations and the plan for occupational risks reduce net income. It would be important to show employees everything there is behind a company, so that they can have a little more appreciation for the work of the entrepreneur, in short, about the person who hired them and is paying a net salary that, in reality, is double in the eyes of the tax collector, which means, in practice for the contractor.
On the other hand, it was a pleasant surprise to know that in Madrid, through their entrepreneur program, you can get all of the advice, help, inspiration and encouragement possible. It was also a joy, and is, to find disciplined and committed professionals, who wanted to become part of the project from the beginning, as is the case with Antonio and his whole Dalkom, team, a highly recommended company from a technology standpoint. Likewise, the two employees who worked for us, showed that in spite of having little experience in the industry, they were able to tackle everything, to learn how to manage an e-commerce structure and celebrated the arrival of each Internet order almost as much as we did.
Today, there are still active links to what was the store was, such as Salir.com, 11870, Gastronomia&Cia and TopMadrid among others, add to that press clippings that we saved from ABC, El Mundo, La Guía del Ocio, Emprendedors or Clara, and not to mention Television appearances on Telecinco, Mundo TV, Esmadrid.tv and Telemadrid, of which you can find the clip posted on Youtube:
In April 2008, we were named ‘Tienda del mes’ por la Guía Campsa (‘Store of the Month’ by the Guía Campsa) A success that can be added to the many and unforgettable moments.
A highly positive experience, that we will repeat for sure, and highly recommended for all those business theorists that give opinions without having rolled up their sleeves, or for those that are glued to the chair of a big corporation looking for the least amount of risk without appreciating the effort of the business that hired them.
Many thanks to all those who supported us, especially to those who passed by the shop, to those who recommended enhancements, to the clients, to the suppliers, in short, to everyone, thank you very much.