Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I Swear I'm Not a Hobo*

I feel like a slacker. It's like I haven't gotten enough done, and I wish I had more to show for today.

But here's the thing: I wasn't supposed to be here yet.

In the grand scheme of things, I am WAY ahead of schedule. The original plan was to take the summer off. My last summer vacation after a year of being a teacher was supposed to be spent at the pool with the babies and making occasional forays into looking for a good place to open a bakery. I was supposed to find a place in August, build out, and open in September.


I found a great place a little ahead of schedule. I grabbed it because I didn't want to lose it. Now, I'm paying for rent and power... so I better get the place open soon so I can pay those bills! I feel pressure to get the place open and going. That's why I've been at the bakery every single day since the beginning of June. Yup, every single day.

I'm way ahead of schedule, but I still feel like a hobo. Not so long ago, I was teaching full time, going to night school for business, making cakes on the side, and being a wife and mother. Even less long ago, I was teaching full time, making cakes, and going to doctors every flippin' day for cancer stuff. What do I do now? I paint things and hang fun stuff on the walls.

I mean, that stuff's not going to hang itself.
Today, I met with the health inspector and the pest control people. That sounds bad. Let me clarify:
I asked the health inspector to walk through the shop with me (again) to tell me how I'm doing and what I still need to get done to get the place up to code. Turns out, most people don't do this before they open and that absolutely baffles me. There's a guy, and his job is to tell you how to make your bakery (or restaurant) better. He will come out to your shop and tell you what to do... at NO cost to you. It's like a free consultant. But apparently, nobody else takes advantage of that. Crazy.

I met with the pest control people because it's cheaper to pay for preventative pest control than deal with critters if they show up in your bakery. There are no critter problems there now, of course, and I want to keep it that way. By the way, the Cook's guys like lemon cupcakes.

I met with the contractor and we're on schedule so far. I met with the floor guy and picked the new floor for the kitchen.

I painted the last of the kitchen windows and finished painting the sink room where they took out the triple sink so they can do the floors.

It just doesn't feel like much. I'll feel more productive when the ovens are installed and I can start baking in there.

Oh, and my apologies for the current appearance of the front of the bakery. It's part of the process, y'all. It'll get better soon.

*My apologies to any hobos who read this blog entry and take offense to the insinuation that the hobo lifestyle is less than driven.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Hook Brings Me Back

You know that Blues Traveler song? The one that goes, "The heart brings you back" except it's really "The hook brings you back" but everybody thinks it's heart? Yes, you do. Here's a slightly more awesome version than the one you heard on the radio:

I love Blues Traveler. No matter the situation, there's a Blues Traveler song with relevant lyrics. I'll have the line "For every challenge could have paradise behind it" on the wall of the kitchen in the bakery. And that cover album? I mean, come on. That was awesome.

But anyway , back to the hook.

Cake decorating is my hook. I always seem to go back to it.

A lot of bakery stuff happened today. We got a business bank account and a tiny bit of money to go in it. We got bakery insurance (that's a real thing) and negotiated the security system contract. We contracted for phone and internet... and... got a Swiffer. A pretty big day. But at the end of the day, there's really nothing tangible to show for all of that. But there's this:

It's not much to look at, is it? Just a cake. It's a dark chocolate cake filled with caramel and chocolate chips and iced in chocolate buttercream. But not pretty. So I:

Some fluffy icing for the bottom and ganache dripping off the top. This. After a day full of paperwork, this is a fun way to unwind.

More fluffy icing for the top, the birthday girl's name, and some chocolate shavings just because.

This is what you get when you order a birthday cake for a young adult with no theme or color preference. Only that "she likes chocolate".