Monday, September 1, 2008

Instant Karma

So, most of you know that I used to own a restaurant called the Jersey Devil Cafe, in Medford, NJ. It was an adorable place, fantastic food, great atmosphere, phenomenal coffee & espresso, and good people.

My business partner and I had a falling out in February of 2004, and that was the last time I was in that cafe. It was a hard road to travel after leaving the cafe, because it had been my life for so long. Nearly 2 years to the day after my business partner threw me out - I brought my son home from the hospital. I was always a believer that things happen for a reason, and when I brought my son home, I was happy to understand the reason why the whole ordeal with being thrown out of the cafe happened. I could not have been a complete, dedicated mother that I am today - and run the cafe. It was one or the other.

I am also a believer in Karma. What goes around really does come around - and usually 10 fold. I put my life into that cafe, and every touch of it. I hand painted every table, my artwork was on the walls. We came up with an entire menu from scratch, secret recipes, specialties, the whole 9 yards, same as the drink menu. When I say I put my whole heart into it, I really did. We would work most days from open to close, as early as 6 to as late as midnight some days. There were days that we were understaffed, and I would be busing, waitress, and cooking at the same time, but ya know - we managed and the town loved us for it.

In Feb of 2004, my business partner locked me out. Lots of dirty, underhanded happenings went on from there. It's not my place to take revenge, or even judge. A time comes in everyone's life when you have to meet your maker and explain yourself, and I am sure that's not an experience she's prepared to have. Until then, there's Karma. What goes around comes around - you get back what you put out. You've all heard the old sayings - and they're true.

A few days ago my old cafe caught fire, it apparently burned up the wall and onto the second floor where my old business partner still has her offices. Her office took the worst damage from what I hear. The reality of the situation is, that if I had still had my cafe there this would not have happened. I was so paranoid about fire, especially after having experienced one myself in High School - I was meticulous about keeping my machines perfect, not overloading any plugs, etc. You could say I am OCD about fire safety, and rightly so.

Now, I still live walking distance from this building. My husband is a firefighter, and when I heard the pager go off for a building (fire) at Main & Union Streets, my heart sank. Despite the buildings current inhabitants - I loved that building. That building had a spirit (more than one, literally and figuratively) it had history in those walls, including my own history but it dated back so much further than that. The building was majestic and a beautiful focal point in town. It's historic, over 200 years old, the building will be missed by many. As sad as it was to loose Margie, my dear old neighbor last year - and Frank Salicondro, the music man of Medford, who passed away also - I'm glad they weren't here to see it go, it would have broken their hearts.

Frank had saved the Stagecoach building years ago, when it had been abandoned and someone wanted to buy it and put a Dairy Queen in there. He fell in love with the historical aspect of the building and he saved it, opened his own restaurant/diner for a while, had his music enterprises on the second floor - concerts on the 2nd story porch, it was just beautiful. So for that I am so sad that the building burned. On the other hand, with someone like my ex business partner, what I see is Karma. What goes around comes around, it always seems to find a way, almost like it's fate or destiny.

But ya know, all the crap she put me through - and I was 19, 20, 21 and 22 years old when all this was going on? Young? Yes, absolutely. Too trusting? Probably. Naive or Weak? - no way. In the end, all that bs happened for a reason, and now I know just how capable and strong I am. No more monsters under my bed :P


  1. How sad, it looks like a gorgegous building. I too believe in karma, I'm just waiting for it to come around for a few people who sadly derserve theirs.

  2. oh, it will come around, it's just a matter of time and waiting.

    I don't wish any bad on anybody, but that doesn't mean I can't smile when they get their karma back at them!

  3. Abbie, I found your blog b/c I googled Frank Salicondro. I played violin for him from '75 until I graduated from HS in '85. You mentioned the concerts on the 2nd floor balcony - I PLAYED in them! We also had numerous rehearsals & lessons upstairs. I was saddened to hear about the loss of the building and the sale of Culture Hall (an old silent movie theater), where we spent much time also. I wish you the best with your son (I'm the mother of 4 boys, myself) and in getting over that episode in your life.