Thursday, September 30, 2004
The corporate seal has been completed and should be shipped soon. That will make selling stock and issuing stock certificates easier.
We've also decided upon the button making machine we want to use to make our promotional buttons, and ordered it. Soon, we will have buttons ready to hand out to our beloved guinea pigs. Even if we aren't open in time for making and selling Halloween treats, we'll still have the special Cracked Cauldron Shakespeare's witches buttons made up to hand out as a promotional item (the artwork is gorgeous - the three witches from McBeth gathered around a floating cupcake, with the words: "Look what we conjured for you at the Cracked Cauldron").
The original plan was (and it can still happen) anyone wearing that Grand Opening Halloween button or in costume would be treated to a signature Cracked Cauldron cookie. That cookie is a cauldron shaped sugar cookie with a chocolate glaze - with the crack, of course!
We also hope to have the T-shirts available for purchase. We have art and plans for T-shirts and buttons through Easter. The Cracked Cauldron calendar will be available soon, as well, through Lulu.com.
Why Lulu.com? Because they are a Print on Demand publisher with very reasonable rates. Being a small business, we can't afford the mass printings that places like Chick-Fil-A can do (great calendar - I buy theirs because, well, I'm a dork, and I love Chick-Fil-A - have ever since I worked there back in the 70's). We've checked around, and to keep the cost of the calendar under $10.00, Lulu.com seems to be the place to go. We'll order a stock of them for the store, so we can sell them without the shipping costs, but others can order them from Lulu.com at their leisure.
Once I figure it out, we'll also have a current calendar posted on our web site (It's getting closer - all I need to do for the front page is this little tricksie part with the art. Once I get that done right, we should be up and running. Maybe, maybe this weekend! Don't hold your breath, though, you'll get hurt falling out of your computer chair, and we wouldn't want that to happen.)
The calendar - the print one, not the online one - will have recipes and treat cards.
A treat card is sort of like a coupon, except instead of getting cents off, we treat you to something in the Cracked Cauldron: a bowl of soup, a handpie, a couple of cookies, a cup of coffee, a pastry, a galette, a loaf of bread, something. No purchase necessary other than the calendar itself. If people buy the calendar as a gift for others, they'll give not just the calendar, but all the treats, too. And the recipes. There'll be space to pencil in your own plans - hopefully many of which will include a trip to the Cracked Cauldron.
The web version of the calendar will get current photos, trivia bits, and last-minute specials provided by windfall purchases. It will naturally be more current than the print calendar, because fortuitous events can't be predicted far enough in advance to make it in print. The entertainment schedule will also be more precise on the web version - cancellations, snagging a hot new performer and such can happen in a matter of hours or days, so that can change rapidly.
Both, of course, will tell which continent we'll feature each month, for what holidays we'll prepare special goodies, and artwork. As a bonus, you'll also get a month by month calendar, with all the correct days for November 2004 - December 2005 - a 14 month calendar this first year, and maybe every year we do this.
It will be really, really funny if we end up opening the Cracked Cauldron from the sales of our T-shirts, calendars, and stock instead of the bank loan - and you know, that will push our opening date probably all the way back to the very first opening date we ever discussed when we started this - April of 2005.
We pursue the bank loan so we can open sooner. Still hoping for 5 weeks from now: October 29th. We can still do it if the money comes quickly enough.
So, keep coming by to see how things go, and if you can start hanging out at the Cracked Cauldron really soon, or if you have to hold on to that feeling of anticipation.
Don't worry. However long it takes, we'll keep posting.