Out for dinner last night with my friend, Bill, and we were served a pair of exquisite appetizers followed by superb meals. This prompted a discussion with the restaurant owner, Richelle Osborne, about the craft of cooking.

“Our chef, Emil, is a culinary artist,” said Richelle. “He sweats every detail of the meal, from food source to final presentation. Nobody ever meets him yet everybody loves him.”

Richelle has run Blighty’s Bistro for twenty years and, amazingly, it is still full every night. Remarkable in an industry where short life spans are the rule.

Some of its current success is certainly due to Emil’s creations, but he’s the fourth chef that Blighty’s has had. As we spoke with Richelle and her staff, the real secret to Blighty’s success became clear: Richelle is dedicated to the craft of running her business.

Yes, the food is important. But it’s her deep understanding of her customers, her staff, pricing, suppliers, consistency and cash flow that has created the environment in which Emil can flourish. By relentlessly pursuing the craft of business ownership, Richelle has created a wonderful virtuous circle. Her customers experience world-class gastronomy in their neighbourhood, and her chef has the freedom to pursue his creativity.

The majority of small businesses are started by people wanting to pursue their craft, their skill, their passion, in their own way. Richelle shows us how to do this successfully: combine the pursuit of craft with the craft of business ownership.

Yes, I am on holidays, but I couldn’t resist sharing this fabulous meal and Richelle’s story with you.