Mom & Pop Find a Taxing Home in Brooklyn

Candice Rainey chronicles the "new generation of mom and pops that has thrived in regentrified Brooklyn," and the difficulties couples have encountered in turning their passions into their professions.
September 30, 2012, 5am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Rainey reveals that behind the cases of freshly baked vegan cookies and lobster imported directly from Maine, not all is bliss between Mom & Pop. Take Dave Crofton and Dawn Casale, the married proprietors of a bakery in Cobble Hill. "Mr. Crofton, 42, said it took the couple five years before they could take a three-day vacation," writes Rainey.

"'All we know is spending every day together, and that's our relationship,' he said. (The business has since expanded to Dumbo.) 'And talking about it in the morning and at night. And we love it. But if you were 30 and had two separate careers and you suddenly jam yourself into owning a business together, I don't know how you would do it. I think you would kill each other.'"

Or Ralph Gorham, 54, and Susan Povich, 49, the proprietors of Red Hook Lobster Pound:

"The fact is, your family suffers," Ms. Povich said. "It's all work all the time. At dinner - well, after the first few years when we could come home for dinner - the kids are begging us, ‘Can we please not talk about work?' That's their mantra. But within 10 minutes Ralph and I are having an argument about it. And we can't leave. We have to be in troubleshooting range." 

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Published on Wednesday, September 26, 2012 in The New York Times
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