We live through many moments in our lives yet we don’t always notice the milestones until we look back and count the years. Each year we celebrate birthday after birthday, taking the opportunity to reflect upon where we’re at now, where we used to be and most importantly where and what we’re heading towards.
Two years ago on this day we opened Social Street S2 on Hutt Street, Adelaide. We were scared. When looking into the future of the business, we looked into an empty void. Not one of us had experience with starting our very own business, but we stuck to what we knew what was important. Firstly our people skills and sticking to our love for serving tasty, fresh, spicy food. (although not everyone can handle the spice as we like it, that’s okay, we are in Australia). And secondly what was important was how we wanted people to feel, founded in the name. We wanted to make a place for anyone to step into and feel as if they were enjoying a meal in their second home. Think of the bar that the gangs in ‘Friends’ or ‘How I Met Your Mother’ always regular. Our goal was to make Social Street feel like the real-life ‘hangout spot’. And no one can watch those shows without feeling at least a little tinge of desire for that comfortable feeling.
We were a very different place at the start. We began as a run of the mill cafe, selling coffees and cake. We didn’t get much excitement from anyone for that, not yet understanding the stable nature of Hutt Street. Locals already knew their go to coffee shops, and if you’re ever along Hutt Street you’ll soon come to realise it’s all about the local regulars. We came to acknowledge and greet the same faces each day. That’s when in August 2016, we made the transition from cafe/restaurant to the Thai restaurant we are today. It wasn’t easy to get appeal for customers to dine with us. We tried to look for a target market, but it was difficult to start without anywhere to launch from. Our Hutt Street neighbours taught us the importance of community. The goodness of our S2 food and drinks spread through word of mouth of our neighbours’ appraisal.
I don’t mention ‘community’ in the general sense that I used to mindlessly refer to it as. Just then I was pondering on the word and it started losing its entire linguistic qualities. I did the good old google search and do you know what stuck with me? The keywords ‘group’ and ‘share’. Community arises when a group comes together to share an aspect of their dwelling. On Hutt Street, we all come together as a community to share the great place we inhabit.
Being part of Social Street has shown me how people can come together. I will say for certain that working at S2 has enabled to truly understand the word community, regardless of the fact that I just googled its definition. In Social Street S2, we all come together not just as a community but a family. How do we stick through all the inevitable struggles of aiming for and dealing with success? Through each other. We maintain motivation through seeing it in each other. From working at Social Street over this past year, I haven’t just learnt how to stack and carry what feels like a hundred brick load of plates on one arm, I’ve learnt a lot about life and skills too.
“Social street is a place to be social”
We see the quality of Adelaide culture, the small scale of the city means everyone knows everyone. This should mean everyone should connect with everyone (over a plate of pad thai is the best way).
It’s important that you all know the true drive behind S2. What makes Social Street unique is the atmosphere created everyday. While the atmosphere of some restaurants may be fuelled by the seating, decor, music and diners themselves, S2’s upbeat and pleasant vibe comes from the people who call it home. The S2 team work together as a unit, just as they have to in a place as busy as this. Our team comes from a diverse range of places. Yuta from Japan, Shayna from Malaysia, Hsin Hsin from Taiwan, Summer from China. We all come together, not only to talk and share meals but to work in a constantly high pressure environment. It’s an amazing show of the accomplishments we can all manage if we open our hearts and minds to others.
We’re not just celebrating the work of the business, we’re celebrating the even harder work of the people involved. If you never noticed, the shape of S2 makes up a love heart, and that’s what S2 equates to. S2 = <3 = love.
Today is a special day for our S2 team, as all our sales for the day will be donated to Cancer Council Australia, staff tips included. We’ve noticed it’s incredibly important to us all as we prepare for the day, because we are able to work our behinds off (as we always do) knowing that it will contribute to something greater than ourselves. We’ll be able to give back to our community, just like they first gave back to us.