I had so many people ask for the next instalment of my ‘Why We Started Alowishus‘ blog post. To be very honest, I didn’t think too many people would be interested in reading something I’d blogged. I have never been more wrong in my life (except for when I thought we’d be quiet in that first week of opening).
The first time the original blog post went out on social media, we had a record number of hits on our website.
More recently, we posted the story again and I have since received many requests to continue telling the story of how we got started and also where the name ‘Alowishus’ came from.
I’ve been asked to speak on many occasions to fellow business owners, peers and students on various topics. It doesn’t matter what I’ve been called to speak about, in the Q&A sessions at the end, I’m always asked without exception, “How did you come up with the name, Alowishus Delicious?”.
So, where did the name come from?
I really truly wish I had an amazing story to tell you about discovering the name. And I really truly wish I could tell you it was my idea…
However, it wasn’t.
My strengths don’t come in the form of amazing ideas or creativity. My strengths come in my ability to push through, work hard, compartmentalise my life and systemise the back-end of things.
Sometime in early June 2011, Mike came home from work and told me he had a name for the sandwich bar (that’s what we used to call it before we opened).
He explained a few points to me:
- It had to be a better name than McPhee’s Cafe
- It needed to start with the letter A, so it came at the top in directories and lists of similar businesses
- He wanted something that was quirky and catchy
- Something that said it was a café or food business without using the words coffee or café
- No coffee bean puns or play on words involving tea or coffee were allowed either
“Ok, so what is it”, I asked?
“ALOWISHUS DELICIOUS” (we didn’t have the spelling at that stage).
I immediately loved it!
I said to Mike, “We rarely agree on things, so why don’t we we just run with it?”
So, for the next several days we mucked around with the spelling. ‘ALOWISHIOUS’ was on the cards, but then we settled on ‘ALOWISHUS DELICIOUS’ and on the 23rd June 2011, I officially registered the business name. This was six long months before we even opened our doors.
Next, we needed a logo. I suggested green, with red as the secondary colour, along with a leafy flourish and the two words, one on top of the other. I shared my idea with Mike and he said that was basically what he had in mind. (Possibly, he was just trying to bolster my confidence to come up with good ideas.)
BUT again we agreed and we just ran with it.
We then enlisted the help of a good friend, Roxanne, who now runs her own graphic design company – 44 Creative. We explained our concept and she got to work and came up with a few designs. We liked them, but they didn’t immediately grab us.
We had actually already decided on the one we would go with, when Rox said she just wanted to make a couple more little changes.
You even helped us choose, when we asked for your opinion on Facebook in September 2011. Here’s the original post.
What she sent through is still in use today and WE LOVE IT! We’ve ditched the red and changed the green a little. And these days the Alowishus ‘A’ (as it is now known) has become widely recognised in Bundy and Maryborough. In more recent branding & marketing activities, we have simplified it even further and been using black and white versions of our logos.
The Alowishus ‘A’ is also featured on our reusable coffee cups which we recently introduced to help reduce waste. We are constantly looking for ways to reduce our footprint and do everything we can to contribute to a cleaner environment. You can read more about it in our post about War On Waste – 10 Things Alowishus Delicious Is Doing For The Environment.
We opened with a team of five, plus Mike’s brother, who helped us set up the coffee machine and was baristaring for us in the very first week. Two of those team members are still with us seven years on. Another one has gone on to open his own café in Bargara (many of you will know Matt from The Journey) and the fourth completed her uni degree a couple of years ago and became a school teacher (she’s currently expecting her first bub).
So much has happened over the years and our team has grown from 5 to over 60 (including our Maryborough Store and Bert’s, our most recent venture). It’s mind blowing in so many ways. I really wish I had kept a diary of all the amazing ‘God’ moments that have happened throughout the Alowishus journey, as there have really been so so many.
Writing this post, I’ve been going through old photos of our progress, and of our team members past and present. It’s been a fun afternoon reminiscing. Stay tuned for the next instalment (but don’t hold your breath, it could take me another year to write it).
Thank you so much for your support and for being a part of our success.