“Too Little to Fail” was born out of a desire to share what I’ve learned as an independent restauranteur with next to no budget (but a lot of heart), feeling my way through the sometimes rocky terrain of earning a living in a commercial kitchen. On this website, you’ll find the proven strategies I use to keep my restaurant not just surviving, but thriving, as well as some untested theories, lofty ideas, and self-indulgent navel-gazing. If you dream of one day opening the doors to a restaurant of your own, or if you’re new to the world of commercial kitchens and indie restaurant management where failure is simply not an option, this is the website for you.
Hey! My name is Malcolm, and I operate a small takeout restaurant in Midcoast Maine. After spending my 20s and 30s bouncing around between New York, Los Angeles, and a tiny fishing village in Mexico, I quit my day job as a graphic designer/social media wang in 2014, crowdfunded a food truck, and leapt parachuteless into the world of cooking for a living.
My obsession with food began while living abroad, and I spent nearly a decade obsessively writing about and taking pictures of food for the likes of Serious Eats, The Guardian, Grub Street, Food & Wine, and Bon Appetit. All of this writing and blogging landed me a book deal, as well as a few spots cooking competitively in both regional and national contests.
Eventually, this passion for talking about food and writing about food began to feel like it wasn’t enough. I started earning a living as a cook in 2014, with my food truck, an award-winning 8×10 foot concession trailer in beautiful coastal Maine.
When our business grew beyond the steel-walled potential of that tiny trailer, I scratched together the last money I had, and opened my first brick-and-mortar restaurant (ahem: “Modern Luncheonette”) in 2019. This business has been the ongoing fulfillment of a lifelong dream (as well as my most financially successful project maybe ever), and I can’t wait to see where it’s all going.
Join me. Y’know, if you want.