Rolling River Cafe Gallery and Inn owners find a balance between love and business

Author: By Jay Blotcher
Posted: Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Ever since couple Rob and Kim Rayevsky opened the Rolling River Café they learned quickly learned that running a business and maintaining a marriage is never easy. The first few days the Café was in operation were chaotic ones. The Rayevsky’s had lofty dreams but their follow-through was sometimes lacking. Rob puts it more plainly: “It was fun, but also a nightmare, because we didn't know what we were doing; we were learning right on the spot.”

Nonetheless, Rob and Kim Rayevsky easily determined who had which duties. While the cooking chores logically are Rob’s, other responsibilities seem whimsically apportioned: Kim manages the restaurant and inn. While Bob handles advertising and promotion, Kim passes out flyers in addition to ordering restaurant supplies. Sometimes it appears that the improvisation continues.

“We make joint decisions,” Kim said, and then added, “or sometimes he decides on gallery openings.” Mrs. Rayevsky seems to defer to her husband as the creative force behind the operations while she is the brass-tacks person.

“She is the main force,” Bob said. “Without her, this would not happen.”

“He thinks up new ideas to reinvent ourselves,” she said. Working side by side on 15-hour days would be enough for any business partners. But when you’re working and living together, how do you maintain your sanity while preserving the marriage?

If there are occasional differences of opinion, Kim said, “we get it over with quickly; there’s no time to argue.” When problems arise, she added, they deal with them quickly so they are resolved.

“The next minute, something good happens and you laugh about it,” Kim said. “You just don’t hold any grudges.” Rob makes sure that after an evening in the restaurant, the two observe an important rule: “we do not talk business; we relax.”

“We would not have done this if we didn’t think we could be together all the time,” Kim said.

The pair already had a good track record as collaborators, Rob explained, beginning as studio partners in illustration and design. “If your marriage is a good marriage,” Rob said, “then it works.”

 

 

Jay Blotcher, an Ulster County-based writer, is completing the libretto of a new musical about 1960s Harlem, titled “Holding On.”

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