The Early Bird Truth

Dear Friends,

Considering the reliance the Gulf region has on the West as their engine of socio-economic development, one would expect there would be a mutual respect for foreign business partners and investors who want to improve the standard of living in those countries. Basic human values, such as kindness, honor, [self] respect, loyalty, and gratitude should be held at its highest standard to preserve the long held cultural traditions and beliefs communities in this region hold great pride in. It is shameful that this is not the case. It seems the stories of corruption and blatant robbery I had always heard of had finally come to a truth and become part of my story as well.
After months of battling with my business “partner” at the restaurant, it has finally come to an end, and not a favorable one for me. The business I had built with my bare hands, blood, sweat and tears was ripped out from under my feet from the partner I invited to join me in expanding my successful business without ANY compensation. Even though I was aware of the risk when I decided to leave Kuwait for personal reasons,, my partner and I had come to an agreement and understanding. In fact, he encouraged this move, which probably should have been a red flag. But, as I am a woman of my word I continued to work from home and promised to return to Kuwait every 4-6 months. Upon returning to Kuwait 5 months after my departure with plans to work on selling the Fahaheel branch and put work into the upcoming Salmiya branch my partner failed to even be in the country. This was with 3 months notice to him. That’s when I realized he was not interested in continuing to do business as promised. What followed was disrespectful name calling, verbal abuse , a lot of emailing back of forth with evil blame and malcontent, and finally a few slightly promising emails (thankfully written by a peaceful translator/mediator) where he had made and I had accepted a very low ball offer for “my shares” (a “whopping” 15,000kd). In return he wanted access to all social media. I agreed to all to finally wash my hands of everything and move on peacefully with my life. Well, it seems he changed his mind on that as well. He gave me nothing, kept everything.
Moral of the story, I ask for you to NOT continue to support the restaurant. It is my moral obligation to the world to see that these bad business practices and business bullying do not continue. I know this is an almost impossible feat, but it is worth telling to whomever will listen. The reputation of entitlement needs to be recognized and begin to be put to an end.
That said, I want to thank each and every one of you for the support you had given me, my restaurant, and any of the projects I had gotten involved with throughout the years and ask for this one last favor. I am seeking justice through you in hopes that fair business practices start NOW. It is time people start standing up for their rights, whether or not they legally have any! I have kept my mouth shut long enough in fear. That time has come to an end. At this point there is nothing to lose, but only self respect to gain.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

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57 thoughts on “The Early Bird Truth

  1. This is really sad! Everybody knows how hard you’ve worked on this. Wish you had better legal arrangements than this but … welcome to Kuwait. If it’s any solace, it will go down without you.

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    1. I am with u ….& I will never saportt the early birds!!!! I don’t think you remember me but was there many time and food was really awesome even now I love the Restarent ….but I will stop going there ….

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  2. This is shameful and disrespectful to know!! I am a Kuwaiti businessman and offer my apologies to you. Dignity is more valuable than money!! You deserve better and gods willing! you will get better!! I have been dining at ur restaurant since u first opened in fahaheel, seeing you taking charge of your kitchen meant a lot to me. and I am ashamed of how things developed and became what it became today!! I just hope that you dont blame us (Kuwaitis) for 1 mans faults. I hope you have a better life, a good one and a happy one to end with. God bless you!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You can blame it on the system, and to be honest lack of information in English when you go the ministries. And lack of professional lawyers, I tried 3 different companies and I would say they lead me to nothing. It wasn’t until I took on one of the biggest firm with British management I got result.

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  3. I know it is of little comfort but at least he didn’t accuse you of theft and have you thrown in prison on trumped up charges. That happened to another small business owner I knew in Kuwait whose business partner had done that to him and while he was in prison emptied the company bank account and sold the business and ran with the cash. It took him 18 months to clear his name and get the travel ban lifted…… Ended up costing him 300k in legal costs out of pocket.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My wife and I were also aiming to expanding our home business, and yes we are considering a Kuwaiti third party partnership/investor. We’d appreciate your support and much needed help in guiding us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GET an attorney. No matter who you are doing business with it is important to cross your t’s and dot your i’s. It takes longer, there is additional investment, but in the end…NO ONE…not even a Kuwaiti can screw you over if you get all your ducks in a row.

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  5. This is absolutely terrible! I don’t know if you remember me but I interviewed you for my college work about your success and such and I could see the amount work you’d put into it. I am so sorry for what happened to you and I don’t think I’ll be able to eat at that restaurant again.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I used to go there with a friend to have our endless coffee for 4~7 hours straight.
    I exclusively and only go there with him. He’s in Florida now so I’d only do that whenever he comes back to Kuwait.

    Now that’s a good ritual that got destroyed by another DB.

    I’m genuinely saddened for what happened.
    I honestly encourage you to rebuild.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sad to hear of the same.
    Have been to the Jabriya branch a couple of times.
    Totally enjoyed with family and friends…
    Why don’t you open another breakfast place to rival the old one ?
    This time around it would be a lot easier and am sure you would do very well.

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  8. First of all I am sorry to hear this, but it do not surprise me.

    It also happen to me, I invited a Kuwaiti (friend of 8 years) to my business when I needed a new sponsor. He didn’t want to be a silence sponsor but paying partner. I agree for a small capital consider it is business of 7 years in the making, with full operation office and clientele, even profitable projects in hand. After one year he had still not paid his share, but we had finished all the paper work, something he said he wanted to do personally, even I offered a mandoub to do it. (I pay all free and wasta). After sometime he transfer a female friend to the company license without my content and while I am out of the country, not knowing anything. I ask him why and the answer is the license is mine, it is in my name I do what I want. I try to correct him, that no it is not, it belong to the company and I paid the full capital. This goes on an on that he practically own the business since his name is on it. And any attempt of telling him otherwise is in vain. I still give him his profit share over the year, despite he has not invested anything other than his time going to the different ministries.

    When we finally agree to split, and I find the sweetest sponsor from a well known family to take over ( yes not all are bad) he decides to blackmail me with 5000KD or he will take the company. He refuse to budge and I end up paying from my precious reserve of 7 years of hard work, sweat and tears and give it to him to save my company. Other options, would have cost me more than 5000KD.

    I say, it is my mistake not to protect myself better, and that I trusted a friend. So I say trust NO one and get a good lawyer. I paid for my mistake and be trusted I will not do this mistake again.

    So dear, you have my support 100%
    And please do know, KARMA is a b…..

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So in summary. I understand that your “random business partner” took everything? Because YOU have put so much effort into something but failed to check what your legal rights are? It’s a sad story. But you’re smart. And there’s a saying “a wise person’s mistake.. is like a 1000 mistakes”.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The Early Bird wouldn’t be the same anyway…most likely quality of the food will decreased and wouldn’t be home taste breakfasts anymore. The love and passion for customers can’t be compared to money wise option at all. Sad to heard this and more sad as big lose of favorite break of day 😟

    Liked by 1 person

  11. It does feel like a stab in the heart,and i believe your prayers will be heard.I will boycott that place and promote this action.action. Dont loose hope.there will be more opportunities for you.stay positive and keep cheering as before.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Bianca, I support you and am so sorry that this happened. The Early Bird holds a special place in my heart and it’s largely due to your role there. Thank you for that. I will not be going there again when I’m back in Kuwait and ask that my friends and family boycott as well. I wish you all the best in your life and in all your endeavors. Much love and peace. Sue

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I remember always seeing you running all over the place in the Fahaheel branch then the Jabriya branch, I think i’ve been there like 5 or 6 times, you use to also take our orders, and you were there every time.. Dont worry , you have my full support..

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Hey, Love! I’m so very sorry this happened to you. 😦 I loved eating at your place when I lived in Kuwait. I hope that you are still doing well in other places. Please stay in touch!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Bianca,
    You offered my husband and I the tastes and comforts of home while we lived in Kuwait. I’ve seen with my own eyes the hard work and effort you put in to create The Early Bird. This is very unnerving to hear and I applaud your efforts in creating more awareness to this issue. My husband had a similar situation that, fortunately, turned out favorable for us after legal pursuit, and we had given up hope. I hope you have a similar outcome should you decide to continue pursuing. Best of luck for your future business, you will be successful no matter what country you work in!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Im not so shocked. We have an ethical crisis around here. You might have a chance at getting some sort of compensation with a smart lawyer though. Its a tough pill to swollow but its a lesson learned i guess. We support you!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. WOW everyone! Thank you so much for the support! It was definitely a rocky road and had been weighing on my mind since it happened. That is why I chose to disclose this information. I felt it only fair to let people know, and I wanted to clear my name of any experiences they may be having while dining there. It was an amazing experience from the ground up and I am thankful for what I DID gain, but was deeply saddened by the outcome, and trust that had been broken. On a positive note, I am happy to be home, doing well, and have gotten my feet back on the ground. I really hope to see you all again one day somewhere in the world…and hopefully under similar circumstances…serving you up some delicious grub! Thank you again. Your love and support means A LOT to me!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bianca, me and my buddy Ron used to come into the Early Bird in Fahaheel from the day you opened it practically. We used to come in every Friday for breakfast!! I am so very sorry to hear about your situation but not really surprised unfortunately. I will tell Ron about this as he has recently returned to Kuwait to work. Good luck to you in the future. I know that you will be successful in whatever you do!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Although unfortunate, this is personally not surprising to me too as it happened to me as well ask the way back in 2005 when I built one of the most successful Web services companies in kuwait. The “partner ” all of a sudden, got greedy, reduced my shares and eventually kicked me out after pouring in so much effort, blood, sweat and tears into building the business. I walked away quietly as I was threatened legally and “unethically “. Bottom line in: you cant really expect mutual respect from a system that’s built based on modern day slavery and anti-egalitarianism. me, my family and friends will ensure boycotting the restaurant after this. It’s a small country and we can make our collective decisions count.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Typical Kuwait !! In the 1970’s and 80’s Kuwait was the leading country in the GCC, since then it has retarded. Kuwait is built on greed, there is no dignaty or honour if it involves money. It is sad to hear of your loss, all of your hard work your passion just swept under the carpet because of greed, Unfortunately you aren’t the first and won’t wont be the last. Eventually Kuwait will destroy itself. I wish you good luck and prosperity on whatever challenge you next decide to take.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. its sad to see the hatred and the gut behind your post to the country that welcomed you and entertained you.

      don’t put individual experiences and ‘commonize’ it.

      if this is how we measure the ‘greed’ and the ‘dignity’ of the people of the country, then what people can say about the US?! well, novels and libraries to be issued describing that!

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  20. Karma will bite & take a nice chunk out of his ass, it always does. We are happy to have you here and love you so much! I am sorry for all that you had to go through. You didn’t deserve any of that. You are capable of so much and will do bigger things in life, as you always have.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. We dont come for the amazing food only!we come for the love and positive atmosphere..we feel very sad sad its been a brilliant times for few years now no more early bird without you..may you open a better place..sending you good vibes.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I used to love going to Early Bird! This was THE breakfast joint of Kuwait!!! Very sad to hear you were cheated like this, but I can’t say I’m surprised 😦 that’s terrible…but like the others said; I hope this doesn’t change your mind about possibly opening something else here. There are good and honest people who would love to see you strive and succeed.

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  23. I am sorry to hear that you went through this. I will never eat there again. I already shared the story on FB and told all my friends to boycott as well. As many said, the quality went down after you left anyways. I also remember going to eat there in Fahaheel in the early mornings when you were there. I went about 2 months ago and they were closed. I was shocked. I guess due too laziness. I guess it’s IHOP from now on. Take care of yourself. You are a strong woman and know you will do well where ever you are. I wish you all the best.

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  24. this is tragic, but whatever you do next will be successful. You can easily recognize the hard work and dedication that set the early bird apart from other places in Kuwait. That’s part of you, the rest is just a building and some eggs. I’m sorry you lost your bird, it’s unfair, now go and build something better, Kuwait will recognize your talent however you chose to apply it.

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  25. Bianca, I had only one chance to try the food at your Jabriya restaurant before I left, but it was without doubt my favourite in the country. I’m sharing your story to all my friends still living there, but I sincerely hope you find better fortune elsewhere. May God bless you and all you do.

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  26. Hello there.

    I am a kuwaiti guy.

    I was shocked to hear this . Believe me not all kuwaities like this. Know one knows a bout this until now . We will support your case . It was my favourite restaurant but for the justice i will not eat there.

    What i ask you ,please share your story by media so people can know what happen .

    Believe me he will lose if people know . Kuwaities are really loyal but hate betrayal. And your hand’s fingers are not equal . From my side now . I will distribute this massage on whatapp application.

    But why you didn’t go to the court . 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Bianca,

    This is such a depressing outcome. I know i speak for a lot of folks who got a lot of comfort from the little corner of home we had at the Early bird. It is a part of some of my fondest memories and is even a part of me meeting my fiancé.
    I’m no longer in Kuwait, but know quite a few folks who are. Rest assured after i forward this, they will boycott.

    I wish you the best.

    Trae

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  28. from a neutral point of view ..

    first, i never been into the restaurant / ordered from it before.

    second, don’t forget that this country has provided you with the platform to start your business, and of course the support your partner gave you before the fallout.

    Every business can have their ups and lows. and if you are too emotional and not thinking about your business reputation more than anything, then sorry to say, I will not consider doing business with you because the worst thing in a business partnership is that a stakeholder forgets the foundations you guys built ‘together’ for the sake of hurting the business, now you are the most affected in terms of reputation out of the three (you, the partner and the business).

    for morals sake, I will now actually VISIT the store and PROMOTE for it as much as i can before I even try it!
    To me, small businesses are always requiring the community support. whatever the fallout between you and your partner, backstabbing your reputation is a no-option.

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    1. You obsessively have not a strain of passion in your body. If you die everyday for your baby (business) your tears your heart ache. You will fight for it, and it it means sinking the boat I salute her. BRAVE woman, she has the passion any other business investor would love.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Sorry to hear about your news. While living in Kuwait we really enjoyed our Friday pilgrimages to “the Bird”. We also enjoyed spreading the word and bringing new folks along to introduce them to the best breakfast in Kuwait! Will share your news with friends back in Kuwait. Hope you land on your feet! Best of luck to you!

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  30. dont worry, now that it is out of your hands, that man will drive it down the drain. unfortunate as it is arguably the best breakfast in my country but u kept it alive.

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  31. I am very sorry to hear this. Dignity is more valuable than money!! You deserve better and you will get better!! I am ashamed of how things developed and became what it became today!! I am very interested in starting up a new restaurant with you if u are still willing to do so. Contact me mboabbas@cbk.com

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  32. This is shameful but not a surprise when dealing with these people!! Not all Kuwaitis are bad but they darn sure have enough bad ones to make the good look the same !! I really hate this happened to you sis!! We all loved your restaurant!! It was a place that all westerners and easterners alike felt safe and at home due to the good ole American hospitality ! Hopefully this individual gets what’s coming to him/her. Stay safe we all love you and god speed!!.

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