*A New Direction For My Business*
To all my loyal customers... I have been struggling for a few months now about the direction I want my baking business to go. I have been talking it over with my husband, praying to God to direct me to go the way He feels I need to go and talking with a few close friends about what's been on my mind. I LOVE baking for all of you, but unless you come and spend an entire week with me - you could never envision the amount of time, energy and stress that goes into making your creations!!
I've been thinking of steering my baking business more toward the gobs, cake pops and dessert cakes, and having the Facebook BAKE SALES more often. It's been playing in my mind for a few months now, but I was unsure if I wanted to give up the "fun" of some of the celebration cakes I'm asked to make. I've talked to my friends about this and my husband I have discussed it often. My husband even said, "That's wonderful. Less weekend work!". Ahhhh, that was a bonus that I didn't even think of!
Most of you call me and pick up your cake when we make arrangements - OR - I have your wedding cake at your reception venue when you arrive! It sounds simple, but for me it is a very busy week(s) of planning. I work ALL WEEK long on your order - from the hour it took me to write your quote, to the emails that we send back and forth over details, to the grocery shopping for the ingredients, to the measuring, weighing, scooping, mixing, pouring, beating, whipping, cooking and baking of your cakes, icings and fillings. It takes time to tint all the icing to make the colors for your cake. It takes time to level, fill and ice your cakes. Not to mention all the decorations that I make for you. Some details are done with buttercream frosting, but some are made with fondant or gumpaste and need to dry a few days before placing on your completed cake. It takes time to ice your cake, smooth it out and get it ready to be decorated. It takes time to add the details, write the "happy birthday" messages, and add the ribbon, sugar pearls, flowers and other decorations you requested. I have to prepare your cake boards, assemble your boxes, make cakebox labels, print serving/cutting instruction sheets and prepare/print your invoice, box up your cakes and find room in the refrigerator until you stop to get your order. I do this work all by myself, without any helpers (occasionally a friend or my mom will help if I have too much to do - but that's not very often).
In between all this preparation, I have a another job that I've worked at almost 11 years. I only work there on Monday's and Wednesday's, but that means I only have evenings on those days to work on cake details. My husband and I also have two children that LOVE my baked goods, but HATE the time I spend in the kitchen :o) They are still small (8 & almost 11) and understand that I work two jobs, but don't understand why I can't go outside with them during the day or take them to the park to ride their bikes or have a friend over last minute!
I have a WONDERFUL husband that is so supportive of this crazy "hobby" of mine. He NEVER complains when dinner isn't cooked when he gets home from work. He doesn't get mad at me when he walks into our bedroom and three loads of clean laundry are on our bed (washed, dried, but I didn't have time to fold and put them away). He doesn't mind when I have to stick around on Saturday mornings because someone is picking-up a cake and is running late. He clears us a space at the table (when possible) or helps me carry bowls of food into the living room when my kitchen surfaces are piled high with cake decorations, cooling racks, and icing bowls. He never pouts when we can't go to dinner with friends on Friday night because I am working on a wedding cake. He never fusses about me coming to bed at midnight and then getting up with him at 4:30 because I just have too much to do and not enough hours to get it all done. He's been supportive and wonderful and has even been known to help me tie a bow or two on my cake pop orders :o) I love him so much for it!! There is a lot of sacrifice that goes into running any business and these are some involved in my mine.
Well, I've been praying about this and asked God to direct me and show me what I was to do. Last week Krevetski's Convenience Store contacted me about supplying baked goods to their brand-new store in Armagh. I told them I would drop off some samples and they could contact me if they were interested. No pressure if they weren't interested. This past Wednesday morning I dropped off a few mini-gobs for them to try and I received a phone call just a few short hours later wanting to know when I could start! I am taking this as my "SIGN FROM GOD" that I am supposed to change the direction of my business.
I just feel that this is the right time to change the direction of my business. All of you that have orders on my calendar for this year and 2013 - nothing is changed!! I will make each and every one of them. I am just not accepting new orders at this time! As my loyal customers and friends and family - I hope you will support me in the change and continue to support me. Changes will come slowly, so continue to watch for posts as I work out the details.
WHEW!! this was a long post....
Love you all ~ thanks for helping me "GROW MY BUSINESS" these past two years! Without you all, I could not be doing what I do!
It's me, Cheri - the author...
I've been baking for quite a few years now and some of my projects have been so fun! I work with my customer - sometimes they just provide me with a "theme" and sometimes they have specific ideas about what they want - but all are baked and decorated with my customers suggestions and ideas in mind. I wanted to start this "blog" to occasionally elaborate on some of my "funnest" (yes, I'm going to use that word) projects :-). These are those special projects that turned out exactly - or better than - I envisioned them! Happy baking everyone!!