Friday, November 28, 2008

What's in a name?

What's in a name? Well for a retail establishment , I'm going to call it very important. During the taste testing someone asked, "What are you going to name this place?" I replied "Lake's Kitchen."

For me, I know who Lake is. She's my Mom and everything that that embodies. So if someone were to say to me, that place is like Lake's Kitchen, I can picture what the place would look like, I know the smells, and I already have expectations of what the food will taste like. My point being, other than my family and some friends, no one else will know what Lake's Kitchen is and that is exactly the point that my friends made to me.

When they heard the name, Lake's Kitchen, they thought of a diner, like Mama's Cafe here in Houston. We tossed some names around like Lake's My Thai, which I liked for awhile. I also considered Lake's Rice Bowl, as there is a place in Bakersfield called something similar and it works for them. In the end, Lake's My Thai sounded too gimicky for me and Lake's Rice Bowl was too narrow of a name for me. Obviously, "Lake" will be part of the name.

I agreed with my friends in that I needed to be more specific with the name of the place and at the same time I didn't want to limit my self too much. As you can see, I am 99% sure I will be going with, "Lake's Kitchen: A Thai Eatery". The 1% unsure, is because one has to stay flexible in business; change is the only constant. That sounds all knowledgable, wise and sage-like. Heh, I didn't make that up so, I must have read that somewhere.

Here are some of the other names I was thinking of:
  • Lake's: A Thai Kitchen -this one is still in the running
  • Lake's Kitchen: A Thai Cafe - I decided I didn't care for the word "Cafe". Cafe and Thai doesn't seem to go together.
  • Lake's: A Thai Cafe
  • Lake's My Thai - too gimicky
I ended up really liking the word "Eatery". For the foodie in me, it conjures up a place that is authentic, has home cooking and is family owned. I imagine recipes that have been handed down through generations, so much so, that there are no recipes. The cooks in the family just know how to make them. This is exactly how it is when my Mom cooks. No recipes or books, just my Mom, a sharp knife, a heating element and food.

In addition to that, Eatery, doesn't limit me on what should go on a menu. I do plan to introduce a few other dishes that my Mom has cooked. Maybe on a limited basis, maybe as a permanent menu item. Hopefully, when someone reads, Lake's Kitchen: A Thai Eatery, it will correctly set their expectations.