Hi I am Elle. (Like Madonna and Prince, no last name needed..)
Thank you for visiting my website!
A little about me.
I grew up in a small town in southwest Michigan. I attended college in the same town and graduated with a master’s degree in physical therapy.
I moved from Michigan to Florida in 1996. I worked in several settings as a physical therapist and owned two therapy practices. I sold the second practice to go on the road and work as a traveling therapist.
Unfortunately in the physical therapy field we don’t have national licenses. We have to be licensed in each state in which we work. So I am now licensed in Florida and Washington.
Being a traveling therapist, I have been able to travel most of western Washington and really get to know each area. I also have traveled by car from Florida to Washington and back several times.
This blog was initiated during these travels of western Washington. I stopped in a small town called Coupeville, WA. It was a warm summer weekend and the town was crawling with tourists. I perused town and decided to stop for lunch at a nice waterfront restaurant called Front Street Grill. It was really crowded, but a table for 4 by the front window was available. I entered and was greeted by a hostess. She told me, “sit wherever you want”. I pointed at the table by the window. She back tracked and said “let me talk to the manager”. He was right behind her. He turned around, she inquired and he wrinkled up his face making a God-awful expression that no customer should have ever seen and snarled “no”. The hostess offered to let me sit at the crowded bar. I don’t like sitting at crowded bars, alone and I had been told that I could sit anywhere that was open and then denied that. I stated, “if I can’t sit at the front window then I am leaving”. I spun around furious with the poor customer service and pure rudeness of the manager and marched out. He probably assumed that I was just a tourist and would never be back, so it didn’t matter if he treated me badly.
I went to the hot dog stand on the corner. I had a delicious and not so healthy hot dog with potato chips for lunch. I stood there eating and talking to the stand owner.
Being a small town, I know that all of the business owners/managers talk to each other. So when she thanked me for visiting her hot dog stand, I let her know how I ended up there. She was appalled that I was treated that way. (And I am sure at the first chance ran down to tell him about it).
Fast forward, the next day I was in Aberdeen, WA. There was a street festival and car show going on. There were people everywhere. I again ventured into a restaurant alone (because that’s how I roll). The hostess greeted me with a smile and took me back to a table by the window. She even commented on how since I was alone, she wanted to find me a nice seat by a window. She was very nice, service was great and the food was pretty good. I sat there thinking about how this is how I should be treated as a customer. It shouldn’t matter whether I am a single person dining out or a group of 16, I should be treated with the utmost respect.
Smalltownreview.com was born from that experience.
This would be the end of this story (and the beginning of my blog) but ironically about 3 weeks later I moved to the town just north of Coupeville, WA, Oak Harbor. I was in Oak Harbor, WA almost 2 years and then actually lived in Coupeville for 13 weeks. I told EVERYONE, that would listen about my bad experience there. I am sure beyond a doubt, that my story got back to him more than once 🙂 and I diverted a few people from eating there.
(So just remember if you go to Coupeville, WA, DON’T eat at Front Street Grill, there are plenty of other options).