When our family moved out of the house on Hurley Avenue, I was on staff at our church. My job description included singing and cooking. I led worship every Sunday, and then I would plan, cater, organize, and execute a monthly all-church lunch. You could say I was flying high, firing on all my cylinders, marveling that a job existed where music and meal-planning intersected.
The ugly truth is that our time at that church ended unexpectedly, and with our exit came the loss of my job. I went from high and happy to low and sad. It wasn’t pretty, and I spent a lot of days on the couch in my pajamas wondering what to do next.
On a particularly bad day, my best friend picked me up and took me and my two youngest children to Chick-Fil-A for lunch. We happened to run into another mutual friend, and the three of us sat in a booth together while my kids played.
As my friends listened to my woes about the sad state of my life, one of them looked at me and said, “If you could do anything in the world, what would it be?”
I looked at her and said, “I would start a business where other people feel like they are at home. We would cook for them and offer them space to connect, and they would always leave feeling like we had taken care of them.”
“Then that’s what you need to do. Go make it happen.”
The idea of creating something of my own made me want to get off the couch and move forward. And with that little tiny seed of an idea, I began to write out a vision of what the business would be. I didn’t necessarily know how it would work, but I knew what I wanted it to accomplish. I knew how I wanted people to feel. I knew how I wanted it to smell and look, and I knew how I wanted the food to taste.
My idea needed a name. As I was chewing on ideas, I told my husband I wanted it to have a nice ring to it, sort of like The Hurley House had sounded when we lived there. He was the one who suggested I name the new business Hurley House. Not only did it sound nice, but whenever someone asked about the name, we would get to share an amazing back story.
And so, Hurley House was born. I bought a website. I bought business cards. I registered all the official documents. And, of course, I began posting on social media. Little by little (mostly from my friends), I began to get catering requests. Cupcakes for a birthday party. Dinner for a graduation. Cookies and boxed lunches for clients. I said yes to everything and figured out how to make it happen along the way.
I like to remind people that Hurley House didn’t have a magical fairy-tale beginning. It grew out of a season of loss and uncertainty. I didn’t have a firm plan, but I knew in my heart what I wanted, and I took whatever steps I could toward that goal. Baby steps and a lot of hard work have grown a one-sentence dream spoken in a Chick-Fil-A into more than I could have ever imagined.