Because many businesses in San Jose rely on the crowds hockey games bring, the NHL is bringing down not only the hearts of fans, but also the San Jose natives themselves. My photojournalism professor assigned the class to find those people affected and to portray them through multimedia.
My partners, Michelle and Alysa, initially chose Little Chef Counter. I found Little Chef Counter while walking around San Pedro Square (more like they found me… all the workers yelled “good morning” at once while I was passing by.) However, what we discovered was that they— despite their NHL-dependent location— are flourishing.
Little Chef Counter opened this year in January and, although Robert and Steven admitted most restaurants don’t last for more than six months, they assured they were ready for whatever’s thrown at them… including the lockout.
As you can see, this was not under my photojournalism professor’s criteria. We needed a suffering business, not an impermeable one. My professor said this was a no-go so I decided to share this story with you guys instead.
In my last interview with Robert, I asked him how his business thrives despite the lockout. He said they didn’t plan for the lockout to happen or anything but they knew that they shouldn’t depend on any factors other than creating quality food and service for decent pricing. Little Chef has three avenues to rely on— the “counter,” food truck, and catering— not the NHL.
I also asked him what advice he has for other entrepreneurs and what advice was given to him as a young one himself. Robert said he got several advice here and there but he pick-and-chose what to take and what to take “with a grain of salt.” He believed in only taking the advice that wouldn’t take away the character or signature away from Little Chef but would make it grow.
Little does the Little Chef know, his interview was advice within itself.
When pursuing your dream— whatever it may be— be prepared for whatever’s thrown at you, stay humble, and remain true to what makes you you.
P.s. Try their poutine.