If you’ve been following this crazy adventure of ours for a while you’ll know I love to document it, every step of the way. For me it was always more than just food and drinks, it’s a journey, building, expanding, discovering, learning, etc. and I always wanted to include you guys along this exciting ride.

In the early days, I was religiously writing on the blog. It was therapeutic for me, it gave me a way to look at things from a different angle, reflect on what we were doing as we were doing it. Then I discovered Instagram and took the documenting to this new medium, reconnecting with my previous life as a photographer, often flirting with the maximum character limit. I’m wordy, what can I say.

Anyway, Holybelly got crazy, I was drained, had no juice to write, one café, then padre life started, then HB5, then HB19… let’s just say documenting on the blog gradually moved to the back burner and then off the stove altogether. Which is a shame really, because I still had plenty to talk about, growing as a restaurateur, from a team of 5 to a team of 35, from 1 shop to 2, from doing it all to learning how to delegate, from working “in” the business to working “on” the business, so much to talk about, so much valuable information gathered, collected yet locked in my brain from lack of time, what a waste especially when you know how little is written about our industry from the inside.

Fast forward to a few weeks back. I got an email from Stephen, a writer. He told me he loved HB, had been a long time customer and was offering to help. My first reaction was: “No waaaay bro!” How could someone, that isn’t me, write about something as personal as my journey, Sarah’s and I journey, as young restaurant(s) owners?! It just can’t be done. That’s what I told him.

Then Stephen came to HB19 on the first day it opened and introduced himself, said the offer was still on the table. We shook hands, smiled, but in my head, I was still like “He seems super nice but noooooope.”

Finally, Stephen sent me a last email, a long one, where he broke down his thought process and how he thought he could help us. He told me it was a shame the blog was deserted, told me he could feel my frustration of not being able to document more through my IG posts etc. Anyway, by the time I was done reading his email, I wouldn’t say I was convinced but I went from “never” to “you know what? Maybe this could be cool.” So we agreed to give it a go, for 90 days.

Stephen came for breakfast the next day and we talked for a long time. I did most of the talking actually, Stephen took notes, asked for details every now and then, as I watched him skillfully organize my messy disorganized thoughts into neat columns, topics and sub-topics, it was really cool to watch.

I told Stephen I wanted him to write in his own name. No “we”, no “Holybelly” no pretending to be me, full transparency as always. The way I see it Sarah and the guys and girls in the kitchen take care of the food, Aurelie and her team look after the bar, Anouchka is making sure service is running smoothly, and now Stephen is in charge of telling our story. As simple as that, he’s the words guy on our team. He and I will meet frequently, he’ll hang out around both HBs, talk to the staff also and produce posts for the blog. Super exciting.

As for me, I really enjoy writing and always got stuff to say so that’s also why I wanted Stephen to write in his own name, that way you know who’s behind the keyboard. I’m not going anywhere.

You know people always like to wrap up posts with “watch this space” and then not much happen? Well, we’re going to make sure this doesn’t happen. Right Stephen? As I like to say “leeessssssgooo!”