Telling it straight ……

So,  in a nutshell – here it is…. the BIG secret, everything you thought you knew, validation of all of your assumptions (wink, wink) …. owning a restaurant is a sure fire way to make it to the Millionaire Club….. There it is…….The LIE … Wait – What? Yeah – that’s right- it’s not true.  Two things are for sure when you are buying (I’m not even an actual owner yet ) a full service, full-time, small town restaurant.  You will work the hardest work ever  – truly work your mind to the max & your feet/hands to the bones – AND you will often look at your bank account and wonder – What.The.Heck.?   When people say or expect that owning (buying) a restaurant means that you suddenly have plenty of $$$ and must be loaded financially –   Well, that may be one of the most laughable untruths  ever….. at least if we’re talking about MY restaurant – or most likely many small, family owned, newly opened or newly purchased restaurants in a Delta town.  Luckily, I never expected to become “rich” and most certainly not a millionaire.

If I stated our monthly expenses, you’d call “BullMess” on me.  It’s unbelievable.  I am saying UNBELIVEABLE.  I MEAN unbelievable.

Let me get to my point.  Between 2013 and 2016, our vendor, food & supply costs alone have increased $78k – That’s seventy eight thousand dollars, y’all.   WOW!  That number does not include increased utilities, payroll adjustments, unexpected repairs, work comp insurance increases, total failure of equipment, failed grease traps & outside pipes, roof and building repairs, etc. etc etc. we are JUST talking about food & supply costs.    2012 was a partial year and 2017 isn’t over yet.  I wanted whole years and real numbers.  I demanded it.  I needed to be convinced……more on that in a minute.

In 2014 we rolled out new menu inserts with a whopping $1 dollar increase in our steak prices.   For the next THREE YEARS,  everything continued to rise – our lettuce, seafood, beef, pork, chicken, fruit, dairy – paper products – you name it – everything.  I fought Peter tooth & nail on changing menu prices.  I refused – I threatened – I screamed (a lot) – I cried (even more) – I said words a lady shouldn’t say.  I would NOT increase our prices again.  Despite the rising costs – Despite our bank account – Despite that it had been almost 3 full years since any increase at all.   No matter that our bank account was embarrassingly low and we sometimes had to ask vendors to “hold our check”….  No matter all of that – I wouldn’t hear of it.  I wouldn’t do it.  Just.  NO.  The reality of the stress it put between us was mounting and it was about to peak.

In early to mid 2017 my stubbornness and obvious subpar business sense caught up with me and SLAPPED me right in the face.  We called the banker, called in an analyst, met with vendors, consulted with current or past restaurant owners and tried to find the problem – and most importantly, A REMEDY.   It was obvious to everyone except me.  We HAD to increase our prices.  Food expenses aren’t falling (the vendors pay more too), the utilities are still in the thousands and climbing, the bank note is still very much due every month, payroll MUST be met and the expenses are still rapidly rolling in, more and more and more.

So here we are, In late 2017, we rolled out beautiful new menus that I personally laid out in design, printed,  stuffed, and yes, we were forced to increase some prices.  It wasn’t easy for me to swallow, but it happened – it will likely happen again in the future years and the next time, without so much drama and production. In order to stay in business and do what we do, we have to raise prices when necessary.

This chaotic, amazing, wonderful, business is a daily challenge and I’m up for it completely and thankfully.  It’s absolutely some of the hardest work you can imagine and I mean – very low glamour – straight up hard work.  I value everyone’s dollar that is earned and spent with us.  I respect your hard work.   I want you to get your “every single dollars worth” at Sherman’s,  in your meal and in your experience.

You have my word that I’ll never, and I DO MEAN EVER, sacrifice the quality of my food products or the kitchen staff who prepares your meals. You also have my word that I WILL keep pushing, working hard and serving the Sherman’s customers to the very best of my ability – along with my amazing staff and crew.

Speaking of the kitchen staff – We have the best of the best – we couldn’t do what we do without their knowledge and hard work ethic.  I do not send them home when we are having a pitifully slow lunch or supper.  I do not cheat them on hours. I do not micro manage them.  To watch them work as a team and in great unison is remarkable and impressive in every way.   They are not perfect but they are professionals at what they do – they work hard and they deserve praise – but praise won’t pay their bills – so we do what we can every single shift to keep customers happy and coming in the doors, to be able to pay them – all of them – even when we are so very stinky slow that we know that the shift may end up being “a wash”, we pay them. We love and appreciate them greatly.

You may see plenty of new faces in our serving/waitress staff.  Please just Love us anyway. We are trying. Those ladies bust it and that job is certainly not meant for everyone.  I’d challenge just about anyone to keep up with them during a busy Friday or Saturday night – or really any lunch shift – or heck – anytime.   It’s mind blowing. They work ALOT. I demand a lot of them and I do it on behalf of our customers.  I can’t possibly explain how difficult the staffing is for this position so I will not even try – just please trust me that I am always working to find hard working, conscientious,  pleasant, capable, fast moving, drug free, honest people to serve you table side.

I could write a book on our daily lives and it would no doubt be SUPER interesting and quite eye opening.

So, The next time you want a quote on chicken tenders to feed 100 friends at a party (this is a strictly hypothetical scenario) and we quote you a number that makes you squeal tires to the nearest Walmart to price compare their frozen bag of pre-breaded tenders….. think about this.  We are not a multi billion dollar industry.  Compare our product and time.  We are talking, hand cut, hand battered, deliciously seasoned – real chicken.  It’s deep fried by someone who hand sifted & seasoned the flour – after someone else changed or strained the gallons of fryer grease.   We are using labor time and electricity and gas and food supplies.  The ranch and honey mustard dipping sauces , yes – all homemade – more labor costs, supplies, etc.  The container we put the chicken in costs us. The container we put the dressing in costs us.  The paper we line the container with…. it costs us, too.  We do all the work and there are many players in place to make it happen. You are asking for the convenience to order, pick it up, and serve. Prepare to pay for the convenience. IF we just charged ONLY what it costs us, we could not possibly ever pay a bill or a bank note or the other several thousands of dollars that we pay out each month. This is a business.  We pray we get to stay in business for many more years but we can’t do it without appropriate income.

Thank you for believing in us.  Thank you for being our customers and for second chances if needed.  We will soon celebrate 5 full years in business.  We are so very honored!

Many thanks for reading my mini-book❤️🙈
Love, Allison

Sherman’s In the Beginning

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Charles & Rosalea Sherman opened Sherman’s Grocery Store in 1947 on the corner of South Main Street and Reed Road.  While it originally opened as a neighborhood grocery and meat market, they also provided their customers with delicious desserts, charge accounts and home delivery service.

In the late 1950’s Charles Sherman Sr. opened a deli in the rear of the store, which once served as the small apartment where he and Rosalea lived.   In 1970, Charles, Jr. returned from college to the family business, ran the deli and assisted his father in managing the grocery store.

Charles, Jr. and his wife then bought the grocery and deli from his parents in 1978. In October of 1984, Charles, Jr. decided to change the family business into a full-time lunch and dinner restaurant.  In June of 1985, Sherman’s Restaurant was born, with his family’s blessing.

In 2012, Charles, Jr. decided to retire for more time to spend with family and especially his 3 grandchildren.  He sold the restaurant to a local family,  Peter & Allison Nimrod.  Peter, a civil engineer and Allison, a business owner are both long time residents of Greenville where they are raising their three children.

A New Chapter – The Nimrod’s purchase Sherman’s in 2012

After 28 years of building relationships and owning a successful restaurant, Charles, Jr. decided to retire.  He sold Sherman’s Restaurant to a local family,  Peter & Allison Nimrod.  Peter, a civil engineer and Allison, a business owner are both long time residents  of Greenville where they are raising their three children.  Here is the story, we hope you will enjoy… 5061d4e10dcd9.image shermans

Nimrod’s acquire Sherman’s Restaurant
Published September 24, 2012
Delta Democrat Times

Greenville — Roughly four years ago, Allison Nimrod, managing partner of an ultrasound company, approached Charles Sherman Jr., owner of Sherman’s restaurant, about buying his establishment. Friday, the Nimrods closed the deal on Sherman’s to become its newest owners. At the time, Sherman, who has operated the family-owned business for the past 27 years, said he hadn’t thought about selling the restaurant, but told Nimrod if he did, she’d be the first to know. Earlier this year, Sherman said he began to think about selling the restaurant, and Nimrod’s offer came to mind. “I think it’s very important for the community to have a local couple buy [Sherman’s] that everybody knows who’s lived in Greenville for years,” he said. Allison Nimrod said she started out in the food industry at the age of 15 and has always wanted to work in food service. Working everywhere from Shapley’s to burger joints, she said she knew food was always a passion of hers. “We passed by Sherman’s everyday,” she said. “We are always around town, and I just knew it was a very successful place and a good hometown place where people came to enjoy the food. “There would’ve been no other restaurant that we would’ve even considered.” Allison Nimrod and her husband Peter Nimrod, Mississippi Levee Board chief engineer, began negotiations with Sherman in February to buy the restaurant. Peter Nimrod, who grew up in Greenville, said he remembered when Sherman’s was changed to a restaurant and how it has always been a staple in the community, and they hope to carry on the business the way Sherman has. Although the Nimrods will be its new owners, they said they intend to keep the tradition of Sherman’s going by preserving its current name, menu and hospitality. The Nimrods said they want customers to come in and see the same people they’ve always seen and to receive the same service. “It was always known for fine dining, a casual atmosphere, high quality food and an owner who appreciated you being there,” Peter Nimrod said. The Nimrods said it is important to them to keep the same relationship with the community that Sherman has had all of these years, and they want to make sure everything is done right. “Mr. Sherman will continue on with us for four to six months in every aspect of business,” Allison Nimrod said. Sherman’s, first established in 1947, was opened as a grocery store and meat market in the heart of Greenville by Charles Sherman and his wife, Rosalea Sherman. The restaurant, located on the corner of Main Street and Reed Road, operated as a grocery store for almost 10 years before expanding to a deli. In 1985 Charles Sherman Jr. took over the business after his father became ill and has operated Sherman’s as a restaurant for the past 27 years. “My dad didn’t live to see me get it changed over, and that’s my only regret,” Sherman said. “But I promised him on his deathbed that I would give all the effort that was needed to hopefully make Sherman’s the best restaurant from Greenville to Memphis and Greenville to Jackson. … Hopefully I’ve fulfilled that promise.” Sherman said he’s had a good run with the business but “it’s time to turn it over to a very deserving couple.” Sherman said he wanted to thank all of his supporters, and he hopes that the community will support the Nimrods the same way it has supported him. “My family’s been on this corner for 65 years,” Sherman said. “It’s bittersweet moments for me. … but in the end, it was just time for me to leave.” The Nimrods said they hope to continue the relationship with the community and have every intention of running the restaurant “the successful way that it is right now,” Allison Nimrod said. “It’s a pretty big risk when new people take over a business,” Peter Nimrod said, “but we’re putting our money where our mouth is because we believe in Greenville. “Greenville has better days ahead.”

All Sherman’s customers continue to receive consistent, delicious food prepared with over 70 years of combined kitchen experience, by the same staff they know and trust. We are thankful to continue to serve the patrons of the Ark-La-Ms area as well as many pass through travelers. Through wonderful support and patience, we are looking forward to growing an establishment that is widely recognized as one of the area’s best all-around restaurants. Thank you for dining with us!