It’s been said that it’s never too late to reinvent yourself. There are volumes of books at libraries touting and encouraging their readers to find their passion, to take the leap and go at it with all they can. In all of us is the desire to be happy and find out for ourselves if the old saying of “if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
Long before John Platt, executive chef at Midway Mercantile, ever put on an apron, or concocted his first recipe, he was an English literature teacher. As he taught the classics from writers like Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson their words began to stir inside him and he began to ask himself what is his passion.
In one of Emerson’s writings he said, “Be yourself; no base imitator of another, but your best self. There is something which you can do better than another. Listen to the inward voice and bravely obey that. Do the things at which you are great…”
Teaching these ideas of following your passions and being your best inspired John.
“I thought to myself, wow walk the talk. This is the thing I want to do, so go do it,” said John. “It was exactly what my soul was suited for.”
John took a leap, he switched careers, gained valuable experience in the restaurant industry, found a business partner in friend and colleague Pablo Butler and eventually opened a restaurant of his own. After running a successful restaurant in Seattle for over 17 years, John and his wife Sandra Perala-Platt found and fell in love with Midway.
“We had been coming to Utah to ski for years,” said Sandra. “Our decision was very much about living in a community that was a nice place to raise a family.”
This time with business partner Pablo, and wife Sandra, the three of them decided to once again take a leap. In a matter of days, the decision was made to come to the Heber Valley. They felt what they offer was unique and something that would fit Midway. When the old Mercantile went up for sale the knew they had found their next restaurant location.
Taking the leap to start a new career, to open a new business, or move a restaurant half way across the country is always a scary prospect. Sandra said they had to take “a leap of faith” to come to Utah. It helped that they had confidence in their product and what they could provide and leaning on past experiences helped them be ready for new opportunities as they came.
Midway Mercantile has been serving great food to happy guests for over a year now. John, Sandra, and Pablo continue to do what they love and enjoy being active in the community. The Heber Valley Chamber of Commerce is proud to recognize Midway Mercantile as the May Business of the Month.