GringoPost | Ecuador: Mike's Meats - An update and a heartfelt apology

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Mike's Meats - An update and a heartfelt apology

To all our friends, clients and patrons:

Often so much is lost in text, so much can be misunderstood or misinterpreted. Having stated that, I'll do my very best to explain in a clear and concise way. It breaks my heart to have to share with you the closing of Mike's Meats Artisanal Marketplace, tomorrow, January 31, 2020.

I understand that this will catch some by surprise, others not as much because I've shared with some what has transpired recently, as I tend to wear my feelings on my shirt sleeves and believe in complete honesty and transparency.

My greatest fear in life has always been to disappoint others and I feel, that in closing, I may be disappointing many of our very loyal friends and clients whom have enjoyed what we've had to offer. To all those whom I will be disappointing, I couldn't be more sorry. However, It's been a true pleasure to serve you.

Now, for my attempt at some kind of explanation....

My intention on opening our market was as follows; I believed that I could help some people who were in dire need of help. Many of whom are Venezuelan refugees who barely had a roof over their head with no real means to earn a living. Additionally, a way to offer something new to both the Cuencano and expat community here in Cuenca. To contribute in other forms as well, helping various charities and foundations through our events and contributions.

To be candid, my hubris got the better of me. I imagined that doing business here was similar to that in the US. I could not have been more mistaken.

- Our culture is different, at least in the manner in which we conduct business.

- The language barrier presents quite a challenge. The laws in Ecuador are extremely different, especially as it relates to the labor laws.

- Our fine Ecuadorian competitors have significant advantages in that they are both vertically integrated, resulting in substantially lower costs and, consequently, are able to offer a similar products at substantially lower costs, with greater variety, than can we. Not to mention their expertise in the aforementioned points.

I have always accepted full responsibility for my actions and choices, as well as any blame. The buck stops with me. Consequently, even though I had unretired to start this venture, and as a result, will lose a very substantial sum, the decision I've made was mine and I completely accept the consequences.

To be brutally candid, I have committed many errors, beginning with the notion that we could somehow manage to break-even within the first six months. An ambitious assumption, but one that I believed was possible. However, our overhead is enormous and, since we opened almost eight months ago, we have not nearly come close to doing so. All this despite our very loyal clients and fans patronizing our shop frequently. Unfortunately, the expat community only represents about 1% of the population here in Cuenca, while the other 99% were not aware of our existence nor product offering, even though we spent quite a sum in the attempt to market to that segment.

Without getting into the specific details, all that can be said is that this venture has been quite an experience, the learning curve extremely steep with many challenges and obstacles, but I know in my heart, we gave it our best. If I thought that there was ANY other option, I would certainly be willing to continue to invest all my time, capital and energy into our little shop, but given the circumstances in which we now find ourselves, I sincerely feel, as hard as it is to accept, that this was the only decision I could make.

I make this decision with a very heavy heart, feeling that I will disappoint many...and I *hate* to disappoint.

I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive my error in judgement, knowing that, since the first day, our intentions were good and that we did our very best to please. It truly has been a privilege to serve you and to get to know each and every one of you.

Please accept my heartfelt apology for any disappointment I may have caused.

Thank you, in advance, for your understanding and all your support and patronage. It's always been greatly appreciated. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Front corner of Parque de la Madre on 12 de Abril y Federico Malo, next to the military hospital. Tomorrow, Friday, January 31, 2020. 6 PM

Mike Roth: 095 890 0983