Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Are We Having Fun Yet?

Lately people have been asking me if I'm having fun at the bakery. It's kind of a funny question. On one hand I am really proud of the bakery and I'm doing what I'm passionate about. But after over 3 months without a day off and working 90 hour weeks (without pay I should add) it's kind of hard to say it's fun. I can't begin to tell you all the stressful situations I've had to deal with building up to signing the lease for the store, the renovation and the first few months of operation.

I will say that I feel lucky that my staff really hung in there during the chaotic, somewhat unorganized first 2 months of business. We had to come together as a group and figure a lot of stuff out together. So far all my employees just kind of happened, no ads on Craig's list they just kind of showed up when I needed them. They all bring different talents and knowledge to the store and I am fortunate to have a really great group of people that I feel that I can trust and learn from. It was one of my biggest concerns going into this that I can have great ideas and be a good chef but if I don't have good support in sales and kitchen help it's for nothing. But luckily that is not the case. The teamwork that has grown organically is really cool.

So you know what maybe I can say I am having fun now. My ideas are starting to be realized and we are kicking out some great new baked goods. My concept of big cookies and small cakes are finally happening the way I envisioned. You should know by now that I already had a great line of cookies developed. Now I have a line of individual size cakes that are awesome: Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Pecans, Devil's Food Cake with Espresso Butter Cream Filling and Ganache, Lemon Cloud Cakes with Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Raspberry Preserves, Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jelly Cakes, Cinnamon Cake with Chocolate Chile Buttercream, Chocolate Butter Bundts with Ganache and Whipped Cream. Our specials are popular enough to become regular fare (um, crumb buns, brioche baked with almond cream, spanish omelettes, and this weekend gallettes with potatoes, gruyere and caramelized onions). And biscuits, don't forget the biscuits. A new biscuit will debut tomorrow, scallion cream cheese with poppy seeds. Next on deck in a few weeks will be a regular lunch menu with soup, sandwiches, and Balthazaar's breads. The news ideas being implemented recently makes me happy.

What also makes me happy is I've been able to find pockets of time to spend with Jill and Jack. I've been able to "leave early" (8 hour days are starting to feel like half days) to go to a movie, street festival or other fun things. Today I left at 3:00 pm to go food shopping. A full fridge at home makes me feel content. We even have plans for an overnight stay upstate this weekend so we can go pumpkin picking and fall foliage viewing, maybe a picnic at Storm King (great sculpture park), and a stop at my favorite old time fast food joint in Brewster "The Red Rooster" for a real no frills burger, fries and coffee shake. Ah, life is good.

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