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The NOMA effect.

As someone who never got to experience NOMA, I am selfishly heartbroken to watch it close its doors. Granted, I might still be able to make it since it isn't closing for another 2 years, but nonetheless, it's tough watching something that has taken so much work come to a final date.

As a business owner, who walked into this industry at a time when it was undergoing so many (cultural) changes, my heart goes out to Chef Redzepi, or anyone else for that matter who was simply focused on trying to make this industry better. Even if the word "better" became subjective as to what it meant for the greater good of the industry.

It is easy to lose sight of NOMA's greatness when you read all of the negative stories regardless of whether they are true or simply being retold out of context. Most people don't really think about the foundation that us (owners and Chefs) inherited from our predecessors. Many of us who respect and dare I say idolize the work of Chef Redzepi take inspiration from all of the work that goes into creating the world's greatest restaurant. Always focused on the things that have made it what it is; the food and the experience, often overlooking what was generally accepted as "industry" norms when operating at the highest level. NOMA has given many in our industry some incredible things to aspire to, as an optimist, I like to believe that its greatest gift is the one it has just given us by closing its doors and citing its reasons for why. Ultimately, the model that our predecessors and many of my contemporaries have used to build these magnificent restaurants is, and always has been one that is unsustainable. As someone who spends a lot of his time white-boarding formulas and equations trying to understand the most equitable way of running a successful operation, I can tell you first hand that the math won't work if the people and their own ambitions do not align. Republica & Co. is standing because Olivia and I have sacrificed a lot to get to this point. If we were hourly employees, this type of commitment would be considered "unhealthy" by society's standards. We make these decisions.

When I take a step back I see the same drive, determination, and hunger for something greater than money from many of the people around me. This is what has gotten us here.

A group of like minded professionals who are willing to put in the 13-14 hour days if I was to ask it of them.

I do not, and yet many of them do it anyway. I could go down a long list of people who make this work.

Who CHOOSE to be a part of this team.

Of this story.

Of this fraternity. We all make choices, and often sacrifices.

Personally, if I had to walk away from it all right now, it would feel like a greater sacrifice than spending the next 6 months logging in 15 hours a day. But hey, ask me again in 6 months.

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