Friday, July 16, 2004

Manager's Back! 

Manager has returned from her trip to New Orleans, where she learned a lot.

For starters, she doesn't think Cracked Cauldron would succeed in New Orleans.  Not because it's a bad idea, or her pastries and baked goods are of a lesser quality, but because hte concept, which is imminently suitable for Oklahoma City Culture, wouldn't fit the lifestyle of the French Quarter.  She can't say for all of New Orleans, as she pretty much stayed in the French Quarter.

She did sample the atmosphere and fare at Cafe du Monde - an iced latte and beignets.  The powdered sugar on the beignets helped sweeten the coffee - Manager likes a little coffee in her sugar.  She said the beignets were yummy and the coffee bitter with the chickory.  That bitterness may appeal to a few people, but she hasn't decided if she'll keep some on hand all the time, or only offer it during the Carnival and Mardi Gras season, along with the King Cakes.

One thing that struck her during this was how plain the bakeries and eateries were.  They were functional with minimal decor, or at best, a plain European style.  The emphasis was not on the ambiance or even the food (she said some of the places she sampled had rather plain fare, not bad, but certainly nothing to remember), but rather on who was there to see and be seen. 

The Croissant D'Or, she said, had outstanding meat and cheese croissants, and she really liked the raspberry tart, but the little almond goodie she got - she waited too long to eat it, it had spoiled a bit in the heat as she walked around.

J. took her to a variety of places for lunches and dinners, so many, she wore her shoes completely out and had to buy a new pair while she was there.

They also went over her figures and made sure they were as accurate as possible.  He lent her his MBA textbooks for added work (she hasn't started post-graduate school yet, so the advanced text material will be useful to her). 

Thanks to his efforts (and to the people at the Women's Business Center, as well as others), she should be ready to finish the loan process on Monday.

And none too soon if she hopes to open in October.

She took lots of photos, too, so when I get to my photo tool tonight (assuming the cable service isn't down yet again - dial-up might have been slow, but in all the years I had it, I never had trouble connecting), I'll post a few.

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