Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Touring Bakeries 

Manager came unexpectedly into $500.00, so we are going to spend that taking a few tours of bakeries in other cities.

See, the local bakeries would view us, rightly so, as competition. But, if we asked to tour bakeries that were in other states, other cities, then, we aren't competition, we're colleagues. Their customers may never even go to the state and city we are in, so there would be little overlap.

So, we have plans to drive to Texas to visit half a dozen bakeries in the D/FW area, then later to New Orleans to see how the Cajuns bake. Next fall, since we are going to Boston anyway, we'll just tour a few bakeries there. And then we'll check out a few Chicago bakeries, too. There's a Baker's Convention in California we just may go to, too.

Yes, as Moneybags, I'm aware that exceeds our $500.00 windfall. But, see, the Boston trip is being financed by other means. Texas, Louisiana and Illinois will be paid for out of the $500.00, and by then, our bakery will open, and the California Convention will be sponsored by the bakery itself.

Sounds like a plan, doesn't it?

Manager thinks we ought to also publish a cookbook, but I feel that ought to wait a few years, until we know which breads and baked goods are the favorites of our customers.

The results of the Soup Survey are in! We now know that our potential customers want a gravy rich beef stew, a homemade chicken soup, and a brothy low calorie Atkins style beef stew practically everyday, as well as a nice vegan soup. And they also want to experiment with soups: tortilla soup, southwest chicken, chowders, chilis (wait until they wrap their mouths around my Buffalo Breath Chili!), chilled summer soups, ethnic soups, and such. I think offering 6 varieties of soup daily (the standard three, plus the vegan and 2 more) would be a good one. We can expand the soup selection if it proves as popular as we think it will.

We're still waiting on the Bread Survey results, but just cruising the local bakeries shows us that white bread, whole wheat bread, salt-free, gluten-free, and low protein breads are popular, along with pumpernickel, seedless rye, sourdough white, sourdough tomato, and mini loaves of almost any variety. Two pound and three pound loaves as well as the small 4 ounce loaves have great appeal around here. So that means we will likely not be making too many one pound loaves. But we're going to wait until the survey is in before deciding for sure.

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