“Money can’t buy happiness”, “Money makes the world go round”, “Mo Money, Mo Problems”… we’ve all heard the sayings before… Money is considered both evil and necessary… but when it comes to making your own small business work and grow, it’s usually more necessary than it is evil… and evil is such a strong word…. Paper cuts, hangnails, and bubblegum stuck to plates… these things are evil.. money is not.

Not impressed.

Not impressed.


So when the ADP Small Business Grant Contest came across our desk providing the opportunity to receive a bursary of $10,000 for the Justamere Cafe and Bistro, Eileen, Mark and I couldn’t pass up the chance! There are so many ways that we could use that money to make our restaurant better, we’d be silly not to enter the contest! So we put on our thinking caps and came up with the answer to the 3 questions required to enter the contest:


1. What does your business do and why are you passionate about your business?
2. What challenges has your business faced?
3. How would you invest $10,000?

The questions were quite easy to answer. The first has always been evident to Eileen and Mark, and that’s that the community is where their passion stems from. The second was also quickly thought of, as struggles often are… and the third, well, who doesn’t have a huge wish list of things that could be done to improve their life or business.

That last question is where the fun came though… while Mark was quick to name off improvements that the kitchen needed, and Eileen was quick to name renovations that could be made to the dining room, I was more reflective and imagined the great possibilities of…




So come with me now my friends, and take a trip in your imagination to a magical place, a place of dreams, possibilities, and bacon… a place that is a restaurant… and that restaurant is the Justamere… and we just won $10,000!! ….

Just imagine….

 1. New Cars for all the Staff!!
As anyone who reads this blog knows, we take a lot of pride in our staff… and a happy staff is a hard working staff! So the first thing I’d do would be to get everyone to pick out a brand new car! They could have whichever kind they liked… then they’d really know just how much they meant to us! Now we have 11 staff… so that’s 11 cars… which, if my math is right, should leave us enough money left over for my next purchase….

2. An Elevator in the Dining Room!!
What fun! Can you imagine?? Bored waiting for food? Interested in some fresh air? Pop in the Ol’ Jmere glass elevator and take her for a rip! No Willy Wonka or Charlie in here… jus the sweet smell of you breakfast cooking and a trip straight to the top of the town!

3. A Ball Pit!!
If I know how to spend money… and I think I do, there should still be quite a chunk left of that $10,000 to spend. So my next investment to make the Justamere better would be to turn one of the adjoining function rooms into a giant ball pit!! Servers, cooks, and guests alike could blow off some steam in this intelligent addition! I’d even make sure some of the balls contained a few surprises… Coconut curry mussels while you romp anyone?

4A Table Side Chocolate Fountain Service!!
I’m really excited about this one! With what I assumed would be roughly a thousand dollars left over from the grant we’d hire a special staff of about 10, and they’d wear all brown and go table to table with a chocolate fountain! What’s not to like? Your kids are going to go NUTS! We’d treat them like kings and call them all “Chocla-meres”!!

*Sigh*… just imagine the possibilities… Not quite what Eileen and Mark had in mind I’m sure, but a girl can dream can’t she? I just really think I made the best of that $10,000 though and stretched it to the limits!


But in all seriousness, new cars and ball pits aside, this is an amazing opportunity to better ourselves and the Justamere. The ADP is doing a wonderful thing by helping small businesses grow, and while the prize is ultimately the money, the contest is a great lesson in itself. It teaches the importance of keeping your passion in perspective while keeping in mind past struggles and future goals. No business could progress by abandoning where they’ve come from in pursuit of where they’re headed… and while a glass elevator would certainly be amazing and attract some customers, it brings us far from our ultimate goals and clouds our inspiration… What we really need is new kitchen equipment, so that Mark and his wonderful staff can continue to serve great food to lovely people… because that is our goal, and it always has been. It’s where we came from and it’s where we’re headed… and maybe, just MAYBE someday a person in a brown uniform will serve you from a table side chocolate fountain at your local Justamere Cafe.

So please vote for us! You can do it everyday and we would be your friends forever if you did! You can vote by clicking on the link below: