Monday, 8 March 2010
When I started up the business almost 13 years ago (holy crap), I was the holder of a teeny-tiny seed of a vision. At 19 years old, I wasn't seeing the business as a gone-national cookie company or anything. No, I was probably just hoping to get the delivery of cakes to the East End without them getting smushed in the back seat...
As the business grew, my vision grew. I began to see something shiny way off yonder in the distance - and although it was hazy, I envisioned my business becoming something huge. For whatever reason, the vision always had to do with the cookies being sold in California. Since I love California, it probably just meant that once we had grown to reach the California market, well - then we'd made it!
In February we took on our first big contract with the US. There was much screaming and jumping up and down in the bakery, and then we got serious about the many thousands of cookies we would have to make...
And OF COURSE - chaos hit! Our new packaging was delayed, the wrong flour was delivered, and then - worst of all - our cookie depositor broke down. Yes, Baker Babe was even brought to tears. Nothing was going to stop us from getting that first order out, but it sure felt like everything was trying!
The bakers and I (and the husband pitched in too) hunkered down and hand-scooped almost 35,000 cookies. During breaks we soaked our hands in warm sea salt baths, and shook our heads at the madness of it.
People often compare a business to having a baby, and I would add to that by saying that a business is like having many babies. Just when you think the kid's grown up, you're in labour again, pushing out the next one. A business is about constant re-birth and expansion - and from what I know, it's not exactly a walk in the park, but it's always worth it.
We got the order done, we worked our butts off, and a piece of that beautiful vision was actualized. As crazy as it was, I wouldn't have changed a thing. The chaos brought our team together, showed the integrity of the company, and was a pretty great story to tell.