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Every now and again you have a moment of clarity and can truly appreciate the opportunities you have been given.  About 4 weeks ago I had once of these realizations.  Nothing in particular made me stop in my tracks and evaluate my life.  Instead, I was going through the normal course of my weekend and, for the first time in a while, realized how many privileges have been afforded to me. A loving family and girlfriend (all who know my faults and love me despite them), a group of friends that I can truly rely on and share life with, a sound mind and able body, and advantages given to me by the country I live in and the family I was born to.  Almost none of this I can be held responsible for.  These people and these things I have in my life are all too good to be true when the entirety of this world is taken into account.  Because of this moment I had inside my own mind, I decided to do something that affected the people around me and around Caliente.  I wanted to meet a basic need while at the same time letting people know that I truly care about the people I share this community with.  That's when I thought up a team-effort canned food drive.  As any good entrepreneur would, my first step was to build the right team.  I contacted Jason and Adam from Click Boutique and Twelve Oaks Accessory Garden to team up.  That same day, chance would have it that John from Keg and Barrel would come by for lunch and he too wanted to be a part of the canned food drive effort.  The team was assembled and a quick meeting got the whole thing in motion.  Now is where you help out.  Our three companies have committed to giving out discounts to our customers who bring in canned food for donation.  To go a step further, we have asked the great people at Extra Table to give us a valuation of the combined collection and we are going to match the value with specific items that Christian Services tells us they need for the Holidays.  

This week we have the first ever Chow Down Showdown Canned Food Drive!  So come help us make an impact on the lives of the people in our community this week.  November 12th-16th all three locations (Caliente Grille, Click Boutique and Keg and Barrel) will be collecting canned goods and giving you discounts for opening up your hearts and pantries.  

 
 
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Me and Shrimp
Here are a few facts about Caliente you might not have known:
1) We are the first business in this building (that was previously blighted) after Hurricane Katrina. Caliente remodeled our location in 2007.  It had been left to stain Hardy Street for two years before we came to the rescue.
2) I (Charles), the owner and founder of Caliente Grille, have never had another full-time job other than Caliente. In fact, I only worked in one other restaurant for a few months prior to opening Caliente.
3) Caliente Grille is a totally original concept.  There are not other locations.  There is no corporate headquarters.  Its a through and through Hattiesburg original.
4) Before deciding to create Caliente, I looked into opening franchises with a similar concept.  They all told me that Hattiesburg was not a market they wanted to be in.  They said Hattiesburg did not have the right population or demographic.  Needless to say, it took them a few years, but a national franchise finally got smart and moved to the 'Burg... and they just so happened to move in just a few feet away.
5) Other than myself, Caliente has one other employee that has been a team member since the very beginning. Carlton Roberts (aka Shrimp) is the Assistant Manager that works some weekday nights and Saturday and Sunday days.  He is far and away one of the most naturally gifted customer service professionals I have ever seen.  At least four times a month I get a compliment about Carlton and how nice he is to our customers.
6) There is one light in the lobby that has never worked.
7) There is one light in the customer line that has never worked.
8) The sinks in our bathroom are handmade by Mr. Bruce Lang.  They were a gift.  They are far and away the coolest sinks in town.
9) Caliente used to have a parking lot on both sides of our building.  Now Ross Blvd. runs along the West side of the building.
10) There is no freezer or microwave at Caliente.  When you cook food from scratch, there is no real need for either of those. 

Just thought you all would be interested in some random Caliente facts.

Viva Caliente!


 

    Owner/Founder of Caliente Grille, Charles Arinder.

    I consider myself just a normal guy who started a restaurant right out of college. I try to shoot it straight and tell you the real story of entrepreneurship, food, learning on the fly, and the oh so glamorous life of a restaurateur. 

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