There was a man named Papi. He lived a simple life. He had no wife or kids. He spent most of his time running a small restaurant called Little Purple Cafe. It sold breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu featured dishes from all over the world. Purple Cafe was famously known for its naan bread and hummus, crepes, Korean BBQ, curry, and its flan.
Papi was raised by two people who loved traveling the world. His mother and father loved to indulge in all the cultures the world had to offer, and that’s what he grew up in. As he got older, he began to appreciate culture as much as his parents did. His specialty was food. He felt that food was a great way to learn about people. The spices and ingredients used in food told you what region that person came from and how they utilized the area to make their native dish.
After his parents passed, he dedicated his life to globe-trotting. There was not a region he did not visit. He learned many customs and gained several languages that he spoke very well. He did this to carry on their legacy along with the fact that he enjoyed going to new places and fully immersing in new environments.
After his prime years of life, age caught up with him and he was not able to travel as much. He settled in a small town in Italy. He chose this area because it was the last place he had traveled to before his parents had passed. Two years after he settled, he opened his cafe. It gained popularity quickly because it was the only food spot that cooked just about every dish, and every dish was quality. He imported many of the ingredients he used.
Papi was not the only one who ran his restaurant. His nephews, Joey and Pablo, helped him run the store. Joey and Pablo would cook while Papi handled the register out front. You could smell their shop from miles up the block. They began cooking every morning at 6 a.m. The savory aroma of sweetbreads and meats was in the air. They also served up a mean Cuban coffee in the early hours.
A crowd of people would swarm the shop. They all rushed up to the glass case to see what baked goods lay there. Scones, bagels, sweetbreads, french toast, muffins, English cookies, and churros were the usual goodies in the morning. Eggs, pancakes, and different hams were also side options to choose from. On the table to the right of the glass case were different spreads, syrups, and kinds of butter to choose from.
After the breakfast rush, the crowd dissipated but returned for lunch and dinner. Papi and the boys barely took breaks during the days. The customer was their top priority.
There was not much seating inside the restaurant, only a table or two could fit. However, there was plenty of seating outside. Papi even had a nice terrace out back where he let guests lounge. You could even reserve the area on special occasions. It overlooked a beautiful view. The ocean was right under it with green mountains in the distance.
When the day was done, Papi and the boys would spend an hour or two cleaning up the kitchen and dining area. When everything was tip top and clean, they would go to the floor above the shop where they lived. They would crack beers and reminisce on the day. Cooking and time together were all they needed. They were content.
The sun would go down, and another day of cooking was ahead of them.
Check back next month for Part II of A Rich Man.