The Birth of the Panini Shop

It started with a text message.

“What about a Panini shop?” My husband wrote. “We could bake fresh bread and make signature sandwiches and specialize in Panini’s.”

The idea sounded solid to me, but who am I to say? I’ve been known to think that an impulsive move to another province with nothing more than an oversized purse and a pack of cigarettes is a “solid” idea. The notion made me reflect on all of the amazing adventures I have had in my life. From finding friends and work in far-from-home cities to raising my babes with a man I can only describe as my best friend.

So when the thought of opening up a small sandwich shop was proposed, it took me about a millisecond to hop on board. How could I say no to an adventure I had yet to experience?

That evening Jamie and I hashed out some raw details of our plan. We talked about the fun stuff. Like menu ideas and themes for the place—all the while remembering that this is all hypothetical. It very well could be just another fruitless pipedream. The sad thing is as adults we’ve all had enough rampant fantasies to realize that no idea can be taken too seriously…Well, that is, until it can.

Months passed while the idea of the Panini shop sat idly in the backs of our brains. Of course we had everyday life to contend with so sometimes weeks would go by without us uttering a mention of the concept.

Sometimes in this life, in order to get our aspirations in motion a change is needed. Whether it is a shift in thought process or tangible movement to get the proverbial ball rolling.

One particular day I found myself thinking about mine and Jamie’s friend Scott and more so the location where he lived. He had gone to school in Lethbridge and now was living there quite comfortably. He was always talking about how charming the city was and when I thought about it almost everyone who I spoke to had lovely things to say about the Southern Albertan metropolis.

Now, I’m not a big believer in “signs from above” but this is weird guys, you’ve got to admit: that same day when Jamie got home from work the first words out of his mouth were, “You know I’ve been thinking and maybe we should check out Lethbridge to start up the shop.”


Six months later I sit in our home in the city of Lethbridge typing fondly about how my family and I came to be in this place.

It was a miasma of real estate ventures, packing, planning and saying farewell in the months after. I still sometimes wonder how I made it out with all of my hair intact and a smile on my face. At the time it may have been the most stressful few months we’ve ever powered through—and I’m sure our nearest and dearest can attest to that claim. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, thank God for the good people in our life!

But all that is over and done with now. The new house has been made homey. Jamie is finally finished commuting back and forth between there and here and we’ve all settled into Lethbridge living quite perfectly.

Now it’s time for the scary part. The opening a business part. The taking the risk of our lives and laying it all out on the line part.

I didn’t realize I would have so many fears and worries when it came to my role in this endeavour of ours. It is a huge learning curve, something that will probably take some getting used to. Me going back to work: what does that mean for our family unit? How will the kids react to both Jamie and I working full time? Will we fall easily into our new-fangled roles of business owners? The idea is foreign and terrifying.

The reality of it all is quickly approaching. The bay has been leased, and renovations are in the midst. Soon The Hot Wire Panini’s grand opening will be upon us and life as we know it will change forevermore. It is almost as though the emotions of it all are too much for me to handle all at once. I have to think about it in pieces so not to overwhelm myself.

As I sit here and think in pieces about the beginning of our new life and how we got here my phone beeps telling me I have a text message.

As if he read my current thoughts, Jamie texts me, “Stop stressing, I love you and The Hot Wire is going to be amazing because it’s ours.” He’s right. I grab a beer and decide to join my husband in his man-cave garage for a celebratory toast.  Soon my fear is replaced by excitement and once again the Browns are onto the next thrilling chapter in this journey called life.



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