Do you dream of the modern day mom and pop shop fantasy? You know – working with your family (or your best friends) in the cutest little corner storefront, getting the chance to do real good on a real local level, natural light illuminating your counter, creations, or wares?
Well, Sara Kaplan and Matt Runkle have created this reality for themselves. When you look through the store windows of their urban corner grocery, Native Roots Market, you see locally-sourced produce, farm-direct meat, and thoughtfully-curated pantry staples – not to mention a spice bar (Matt’s “baby” in particular) that is unrivaled by anyone around and instantly creates raving fans. All combined, it’s an intentionally holistic experience that they’ve created and continue to grow together.
It makes quite the pretty picture. A true modern day entrepreneurial fairytale. But keeping it all in the family isn’t just storytime magic – it’s hard work. So we asked Matt and Sara to tell us the best parts and the hardest parts of being partners in life, and in business.
When asked, what are the best parts and worst parts of working side-by-side with your spouse, Sara and Matt gave us same-but-different answers, which are fitting since their passions are on the same page – but their styles are distinctly different. (Note: we didn’t let Sara and Matt see each other’s answers until, well... now... so that’s always fun, too. Feel like we’re stirring the pot a little. Hee, hee.)
Sara’s Answer: THE BEST PART of working with my husband? Getting to spend a lot of time together. THE HARDEST PART? Getting to spend a lot of time together.
Matt and I are really passionate about the same things – good food, building community,and sustainability. Sometimes it's hard to turn off work-mode and focus on family time, especially since we live & work in the same building. Though we are passionate about the same things and have the same goals, Matt & I have very different work styles and we tend to not actually well together. But like you & Kathleen, our strengths complement each other. Neither of us could do what we do without the other one.
- - -
Matt’s Answer: THE BEST PART of working with my family is two-fold. One, I get to be with my child all the time and watching her grow up is worth more than... well, it's priceless.
The second part is knowing my partner in a business sense. It's easier to steer the company as a whole because we often have the same direction overall. The various "discussions" are intensely packed with information. We both read about our industry and are well versed in it. This leads to a better more refined experience for our customers.
THE HARDEST PART is, it never stops. It becomes all-encompassing – even overwhelming. A large number of people get to clock out and put on a different hat. We don't get that choice, this is simply who we are and what we do, it is the fabric of our work and life. They say a farmer is tied to the land. I now have a deeper appreciation of that statement.
- - - - - -
What’s your modern day mom and pop shop fantasy? Is your town in desperate need of some close-knit business spirit – or do creative entrepreneurs run rampant? Share with us on Facebook!