Saturday, August 28, 2004
We're baking cookies and a cake for a local gift shop, and also baking cookies to travel along the way as we visit the bakeries in Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, Roanoke, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Waterbury, Boston, Pittsburg, Columbus, Indianapolis, St. Louis, and Springfield. Yes, a lengthy round trip to see bakery floor plans, speak with other bakers, and seek a solid decorating theme.
Manager has a color, and she knows what she doesn't want. She has a vagueish idea of what she wants, but nothing cohesive.
We ate at Deli on the Labyrinth today - a difficult to get to Jewish-style (sort of) sandwich shop. The poor employee was the only one there, so we cut her a lot of slack. She made excellent sandwiches and took care of things amazingly well. The decor was sort of what Manager wanted, but - not so cold. The walls are white, and there's a lot of exposed metal - galvanized steel and copper counters, exposed galvanized steel air conduits, and that makes the shop seem cold and - anihilistic? maybe.
But the floor is a warm brown, the tables are delightful mosaics, and the entry is a charming walk with a circle garden enclosed inside an iron fence of cutout dancers, and several outdoor tables. The back of the shop is another garden, mostly concrete, but there is a labyrinth, and a vine-bedecked arch, and more outdoor seating. Off a bit is a private, grassy party area. The outside is extremely enticing and appealing to adventurous people, the inside promises to be the same, but hides its charms under the cold white and exposed galvanized steel.
So, this trip will help finalize decorating ideas, and work-flow plans for setting up the kitchen area.
Manager met with the loan officer, and brought in samples of baked goods - Mediterannean Olive Bread, Bacon Bread, pumpkin cookies, Hot Drops, nutmeg angelfood cake. The loan officer is going on vacation, and will try to expedite things. She's the only one at her bank who processes SBA loans.
We have a possible third baker to help out. Once we have the loan, we can start building the bakery - buying the rest of the equipment, completing the decor, hitting the PR, and contacting our ever-growing list of people who want to be notified as soon as the bakery opens.
That list includes all the librarians at the local library branch, the staff in 2 of the nearby hotels, the employees at 2 large call centers, many students and professors at 3 local colleges, and the employees of 2 local hospitals. Every day it seems we're adding more people to the list of those who can't wait for us to open.
And we haven't even started actively advertising yet, just casual conversation, and sharing samples.