Photo by Tyler Graef
Marriage is tough. Running a restaurant is tough. Here, local restaurateurs Lance and Sharla Green share their life stories, wisdom on marriage and what they’ve learned from owning a restaurant with their spouse. Here’s to putting in the hard work to make both a marriage and a restaurant places that nourish others.
During a difficult decade of their lives together in which money was scarce, Lance and Sharla Green, who have been married 22 years, began relying on their garden to sustain them and their family of 10 children.
“We began to see this is the best way. We can’t buy food this good,” Lance says, speaking of the organic food they grow at their home in Patton, Missouri. “It took maybe three or four years into it, and we realized: this is a good thing this happened to us, because we realize now how important these things really are.”
The Greens credit this 10-year period in which they began selling their produce and homemade bread at farmer’s markets as preparation for running Spanish Street Farmacy in Cape Girardeau, a restaurant focused on family and using meat and produce from local farmers to foster health, community and sustainability. Opened in November 2018, the restaurant is a family affair: the Greens’ oldest children work with them at the Farmacy as servers, chefs and artists. Sharla and Lance consider the restaurant a way for them to walk as a family into the next season of their lives together, as their children transition into adulthood. It’s an endeavor the Greens say was never their dream, and they are joyful the pieces fell into place for them to be able to participate in this challenge as a family.
Here, Lance and Sharla share their wisdom on being married and running a restaurant together:
Lance: The business is nothing compared to the relationship. You always have to choose the relationship over any kind of business or money or anything like that. So if [the business is] causing problems, you just have to take a step back and focus on relationship. [The restaurant or business] should be a byproduct of your relationship, not before it.
Sharla: You have to sacrifice. There’s times in a marriage, there’s seasons [where each person will go through difficult things]. So to have that fight behind those seasons, to have that faith, faith to fight. Faith that I’m not looking anywhere else — this is it, and I’m going through it; this is worth it. You have to forgive.