Excerpted, with permission, from the Stansberry Digest

In June 2016, the Jordan native and former Google executive opened Tawla in the Mission District neighborhood of San Francisco. Hashem dreamed of building a full-service restaurant that served her own interpretations of Middle Eastern favorites. Going in, she knew it would be a challenge. But, as Hashem told local news website Mission Local just before Tawla opened: "I'm in it for the long haul."

Initially, the restaurant exceeded her expectations. It became an instant hit.

In August 2016, the San Francisco Chronicle dubbed Tawla "the Mediterranean restaurant that S.F. needed." And about seven weeks later, Mission Local raved that Hashem "had the foresight... to make sure her opening and the weeks that followed were flawless."

Running Tawla quickly turned into a nightmare. The restaurant soon experienced major staffing problems. As I (Bill McGilton) explained to my Stansberry's Big Trade subscribers back in July.

Hashem did her best to pay competitive wages. She subsidized employee meals and commuting costs. She even imposed a 20% service charge on Tawla patrons in lieu of tips. (By law, tips could only be paid to the waitstaff. The service charge could be paid out to the kitchen as well.) But Tawla's waitstaff – who averaged $38 an hour, or the equivalent of $70,000 to $80,000 a year – saw the service charge as taking money out of their pockets.

Now, I know what you're probably thinking: $80,000 a year for waiting tables seems like a lot. Keep in mind, though, we're talking about San Francisco – the monthly rent on a one-bedroom apartment in the city cost an average of nearly $3,500 last year. That's $42,000 a year for one of the most basic housing arrangements.

In other words, Tawla's employees needed to spend more than half of their income on rent. They had a "housing-cost burden" – when 30% or more of a person's income is spent on housing – at roughly twice the amount the U.S. government considers to be normal. At their income levels, most of Tawla's highest-paid waitstaff couldn't afford more than $2,000 per month in rent. For example, a long-tenured line cook who averaged $24 an hour (around $50,000 per year) couldn't afford an apartment for his large family. Instead, he moved from place to place with his wife and four kids, sleeping on friends' couches.

Hashem eventually switched to a hybrid model for her staff. This new model included tipping and a reduced 6% service charge. The tips allowed Tawla's waitstaff to collect more income, while the smaller service charge still allowed the restaurant to supplement its

kitchen staff. With the move, the servers' pay increased to around $45 an hour (or roughly $90,000 per year). Hashem thought the change was agood compromise for everyone involved.

Tawla's staff was always hunting for better job opportunities. Turnover was high. Only three of the restaurant's original 25 staff members remained at the end of last year. Hashem told online magazine The Bold Italic in February that the massive turnover rate in the industry crushes many restaurants – particularly in San Francisco. As she wrote:

"The situation in this industry has created a mercenary frenzy whereby everyone is running around trying to maximize what they're able to make per hour. According to culinary hiring service Instawork, annual turnover in the restaurant business in San Francisco has reached as high as 90%, and operators pay about $3,000 to rehire and train a new hourly employee. For context, the national restaurant industry turnover was a little over 70% during the last two years."

"From our experience, the associated cost of turnover for an employee who left came in at about $2,600–$3,200. This cost included sourcing a new employee, training them until they were able to be independent contributors and paying any overtime associated with another staff member covering the labor shortage. In total, our business saw a 10% increase in labor costs due to turnover alone."

Tawla served its final meal of puffy house pita bread and mezze Mediterranean snack platters last December. Hashem's culinary endeavor only survived two and a half years.

The thing is, this story isn't isolated to San Francisco...

The restaurant industry has always been a tough business to succeed in. It's a challenge to own and staff restaurants whether you're in New York City or Wichita, Kansas. And nowadays, these businesses face even harsher realities.With the unemployment rate near a record low, it's getting even harder for restaurants to find, train, and retain workers.

The pay across the industry is typically low. And of course, simply paying higher wages would drive up costs... which would drive up menu prices... which would drive out patrons.

Most restaurants have no choice but to try to adapt to the changing times in the country. They must figure out how to cut costs – while keeping the same level of quality – in order to remain attractive to American consumers.

If they can't do that, they're doomed to suffer the same fate as Tawla. Whether we're talking about the smallest hole-in-the-wall joints in your area or the biggest national chains, one thing is clear...things will soon get much worse for the restaurant industry.

read more at StansberryResearch.com

Certified Organic,
Washington Grown and Milled Farro & Wheat

Winthrop, WA - This spring, when the bluebirds show back up from their southern winter migration, Bluebird Grain Farms will start its seventeenth year of production by planting their own saved, certified organic, seed into Methow Valley fields. By fall, that crop will be showing up on store shelves as a variety of milled flours and whole grain, USDA certified organic, bagged products. Grain production is not new to the Methow River region by any account as the isolated valley is in a good grain-growing climate – growing organically has a much shorter history.

Bluebird's operations, owned by Sam and Brooke Lucy, are located off Rendezvous Road which includes their first granary – a four compartment wooden structure designed by Sam and local architect, Doug Potter, around several large, recycled beams that were acquired just for the granary. They have since added five metal granaries at the main headquarters and one in the Twin Lakes area. About 200 acres of leased fields produce about 45 bushels per acre of their Einka® wheat (einkorn) and 60 to 70 bushels per acre of Emmer, both also commonly called farro.

Bluebird’s two signature grains, emmer farro (the original hard wheat) and einkorn farro (the original soft wheat), are the earliest documented wheat cultivated long ago by humans in the Fertile Crescent. They are both high in protein and a digestible gluten, and both are chock full of trace minerals and vitamins. Emmer has a robust nutty flavor and rugged texture, and einkorn has a mild nutty flavor, softer texture, and a quicker cooking time. In addition to sourdough breads, both emmer and einkorn shine in soups, pilafs, risottos, and grain salads. Bluebird mills both grains into fresh whole grain flour right at the granary. The Lucys also mill Pasayten Hard White and Methow Hard Red wheat and Heritage Dark Northern Rye.

From around the end of August until the middle of October Bluebird Grain Farms harvests their wheat that is stored in the granaries for the year. “It’s milled freshly on a weekly basis, according to whatever orders come in,” said Sam. “We do everything pretty much to order.”

One of the many things that makes Bluebird Grains unique is their curing and storing process. During most of the long human-wheat history, grain has been stored in wooden granaries where, no matter how tightly constructed, some airflow and breathability allows the grain to cure without becoming damp or moldy. ‘Just-in-time,’ mill-to-order operations keeps Bluebird’s grain moving throughout the granaries and Sam is convinced that the time in the wooden granaries helps to stabilize the wheat prior to milling “Of course, there is no substitute for harvesting at precisely the right moisture level,” he explains, “but, I’m sure the wooden granaries have a positive effect on the end product.” In today’s giant airtight metal granaries, where huge amounts of grain are stored for long periods, the moisture in the grain is contained, and so fumigant

Bluebird Grain Farms


‘bombs’ are utilized to treat the wheat. Some speculate that the recent proliferation of gluten sensitivities may for some sufferers have to do with these toxic fumigants, rather than wheat itself. There is no place for these types of fumigants in an USDA-certified organic operation, nor ever used at Bluebird Grain Farms. Sam and Brooke Lucy have literally built Bluebird Grain Farms "from the ground up." Sam, originally from New Hampshire, grew up in the shadow of Mount Washington, the east coast’s tallest peak at 6,288 feet. Having grown up on a New England beef, lumber and maple sugar farm, the youngest of seven children, and after a stint at the University of Vermont, Sam headed to the west coast to find his calling. He has worked as a dairyman, commercial salmon fisherman, builder, author and ski instructor. However, it was one of his sisters that introduced him to the Methow River valley where he would eventually stake his claim and meet his wife, Brooke.

“In 1992”, according to Sam, “the Methow had quite a different feel than it does today”. Sparsely populated with mostly Vietnam-era veterans and hippies, most of the farms were no longer producing anything but weeds. Sam hitched his wagon to one of the more colorful personalities in the area, bought a tractor that he still operates today, and began contract reclamation of the area’s farmlands bringing them back to fertility. One of the ‘old-timer’ farmers, Tree Beard, is credited with getting Sam started in the grain growing reclamation business. Tree had been growing and milling organic grains for many years and was looking to pass on his knowledge and operations.

Looking back, it was one of the reclamation contracts that introduced Sam to growing emmer that sparked his interest in ancient grains. The emmer grew beautifully in the Methow valley and was easily hulled and milled. With seed stock support from Montana State University, in Moccasin, Montana, Sam was soon filling his granary with a cash crop from the leased parcels that he was cultivating. Sam’s interest in farro grew and he investigated the other softer farro, einkorn, next. Gathering seed stock from Canada and Europe, Sam eventually was able to high grade a marketable einkorn crop after about five seasons.
During those early years, a chance meeting while exercising their dogs brought Brooke and Sam together. Brooke grew up in Wenatchee and was a frequent visitor to the Methow. The two married, became business partners, and began raising their two daughters in their house next to the granary – a true family business.

Each year, as cash-laden, urban speculators bought up farm properties in the Methow valley, more opportunities for leased reclamation acreage developed. This allowed Sam and Brooke to grow their leased holdings into the sizeable operation that it is today – yet miniscule in comparison to the sprawling producers of soft white wheat in the Southeast part of the state. The majority of that wheat is exported throughout the Pacific Rim to become Asian noodles and pastries. Nevertheless, Bluebird is now one of the preeminent producers and processors of organic ancient grains in the United States, preferred by artisan bakers throughout.

Order any of their freshly milled-to-order products on their website, bluebirdgrainfarms.com, or sign up for the Bluebird CSA program, a box filled with grains, freshly milled flours, cereals and even complimentary recipes.

Would you, or someone you know, like relief from trauma-related symptoms? Are you Active Duty Military, Veteran, or First Responder? The Bridge Back Project (BBP) is currently enrolling those who are experiencing trauma-related symptoms. BBP is using Counterstrain manual therapy to help “re-set” the overactive fight or flight response, to “wakeup” the vagus nerve, and treat blood flow into and out of critical structures in the brain that relate to traumatic stress. Research participants will receive free evaluation, treatment and follow-up from local providers. For the initial screening questionnaire and more information visit:


Opportunites to donate to this worthwhile program may also be found on the website.

find more info about counterstrain

Introducing Kitsap Fresh
An online marketplace connecting farm to table in a whole new way. An online farmers market dedicated to Kitsap grown goods. Access at least 20 local farms all from one storefront. Your order is sorted, organized and waiting for you. You can even pay online if you wish. 

est. 1991

est. 1982

Flickr Photos

Ambrose F. Grow

Ambrose Grow and his wife, Amanda, and their family came to Eagle Harbor in 1881. He was a Civil War veteran and came because of the descriptive letters he had read in the New York and Kansas papers telling of the virtues of Bainbridge Island. Selling his large farm in Manhattan, Kansas, he homesteaded 160 acres here along the waterfront. In addition to being a charter member of the Eagle Harbor Congregational Church and the Madrone Schools, he was a prolific correspondent to the happenings in Eagle Harbor and environs.

The Grow Family Homestead

Still stands today
as home to
Harbour Public House
Opened on December 27th, 1991
as the first non-smoking
tavern in the Seattle area.


Parfitt Way Management • 231 Parfitt Way S.W. • Bainbridge Island, WA 98110 • Phone: 206- 842- 0969 • Email: click here