Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Business Plan 

We'll be reviewing the business plan tonight, as we test bake some more bread.

Gotta plan for making dough while the dough rises.

OK. Maybe you had to be there for this to be funny.

Anyway, we plan to open with a limited menu:

Daily Breads (whole wheat, white, German brown sourdough, white sourdough), Special Breads (low-carb bacon bits, low-carb multigrain, wheat-free cornbread, wheatfree potato rice bread - all using Splenda so they're also diabetic), Specialty Breads (sourdough tomato basil, Four Cheese, pumpernickel, Boston Brown), and our rotating Ethnic Breads, at least 3 varieties. All of these breads will also be made as rolls and in 8 ounce, 1 1/2 pound and 3 pound loaves.

Every Day Cakes (chocolate, white, lemon, pound - made up as both bundt and layered), Special Cakes (frosted fancier, more complex flavors like pecan spice, macadamia pineapple, cherry almond, mocha coffee, multi-layered like tortes or fancy ones like Lady Baltimore), Cupcakes (in the same flavors as the day's cakes).

Pies. Fruit pies like cherry, apple, peach, blackberry, blueberry. Cream pies like cheesecake, pumpkin, chocolate silk, vanilla cookie, banana cream. Pecan pies. Savory pies like calzones, chicken, beef, turkey, Veg-All, mincemeat. These pies will be both family sized and individual handpie sized.

Pastries. Coffee cakes, both yeast and quick, by the entire cake or by the slice. Petit fours. Bite sized tarts. Porcupines. Mice. Danishes. Blintzes.

Cookies. Chocolate chip, shortbread, oatmeal, snickerdoodles, sugar, Billy Goats, linzer cookies, pecan corners, thumbprints, gingerbread, honeycakes.

Soups. Chicken noodle. Deep Beef Stew. A vegetarian choice. And an Ethnic Choice.

Beverages. A full line up of coffees and flavored coffees. Herb teas. Black teas and flavored black teas. Hot and cold milks. Juices. Sodas.

Everything possible will be made on the premises, from scratch.

In addition to these delectables, we'll be offering live entertainment at least 2 nights a week to start with: garage bands, local talent, that sort of thing. On entertainment nights, we'll offer a Sweet Tooth Buffet: Buy a clean plate, fill it up with your choice of sweets, add a beverage, for one price. Want a second helping? (Oh Gods! What a Sweet Tooth!), you'll have to buy a clean plate. We'll give out coupons to homeless people to redeem for a Personal Loaf of bread and a serving of soup, and offer information on where they can get more help.

Once we are underway, we'll expand our base offerings - more nights of entertainment, more breads and soups, special events. After 5 years, we hope to be in a position to offer a line of jams, jellies, and butters to go with the breads: plum butter, apple strawberry kiwi jelly, elderberry jelly, pawpaw jam, quince jelly, ash jam, buffalo berry preserves, apple butter, tarragon blackberry jelly, and more. We hope by then to have also expanded our homeless project to include a set of dorms and a research library, along with lockers, an answering service, computers, and mail service.

After we're well established, say 10 years down the way, we want to add meads to our line-up and local wines. Yes, a liquor license. They can't drink it on the property, but they can buy the bottles and take them home. At this point, we hope to be far enough along to be growing many of our own fruits, herbs, and vegetables, and maybe a few hives of bees - giving jobs to homeless people as well as living space, educational assitance, legal help, and even medical help.

The selling and the helping should be organically involved. We hope to have many of our employees get their leg up from homelessness back into homes of their own, however humble, and keep them stabilized so they don't fall back into homelessness.

It will be not just a profitable business, but a community and a community resource center.

People can stop in for a cookie and a glass of milk, or they can buy a soup dinner with bread, dessert, and beverage. They can stay to listen to the entertainment. They can pick up party yummies.

One of the things I've always disliked about many of hte local bakeries is that they have on display lovely braided breads and shaped breads, but you can't walk in off the street and buy them (they're plastic!), you have to special order them, and it can take up to a week before you can pick up the shaped bread you ordered.

Even if I have to do it myself, we'll have mermaids, and bready bears, and bunny rolls, and braids and twists and sheaves of wheat and such - seasonally and some regularly. It's no fun displaying fun breads if you can't buy them easily!

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