10 things……10 weeks

Hi all!  Is everyone ready for spring?  We sure are…..this winter has been a really long one and we are so ready to prop the front doors open and lure in the traffic with the smell of brownies baking!  

So once we were open for 10 days at the bakery I posted this list on facebook:  "10 things that I've learned after being in business for 10 days".  Here's a refresher (with a current update next to each one).

 

Some things that I've learned after 10 days of being open for business: 1. I have no idea why bakers traditionally wear white clothing. I come home from work and I am a complete disaster.(I'm still a disaster...every day.  I've embraced it.) 2. People reallllllly like chocolate chip cookies....and I can't make the dough nearly fast enough (We are super-fast at making chocolate chip cookie dough now….but still not fast enough some days….) 3. The community of Bethel Park and all of the surrounding communities are extremely nice people. And in one way or another I have some connection to most of them...."Your mom was my teacher at St. Val's", "You're married to little ROBBIE HOGUE? He played baseball with my son!", my dad and your dad went to high school together", etc. etc. What a small world! And such fun figuring out all of these connections! (Everyone is still super-supportive and friendly!) 4. I make mistakes. And that's a REALLY tough one for me to admit. (I still make mistakes….and I beat myself up SO badly about each and every one.) 5. I need sleep to survive.....at least 4 hours per night or I WILL mentally break by Friday of each week. (Actually now 4 hours of sleep sounds pretty great.  I average 2-3 hours per night on Wednesday-Friday and somehow I'm used to it.  Ugh) 6. I need help to make this business work. I cannot do it alone. Thank God for my family and friends. THANK GOD. (Still Thank God for my family and friends each and every day.  Especially for Rob) 7. It is humanly possible to survive on eating ONLY cookies and coffee for 4 days straight. But I do not recommend it. Normal food is required at least once a day. (I'm slowly getting better at bringing a lunch to work.  Usually it's an orange.  But hey, it's something, right?) 8. There is a really special rewarding feeling of being a business owner....and I get to experience it every day! I feel lucky!  (Still very rewarding!) 9. Washing full sheet pans by hand is annoying and awkward. They're just so BIG! (I make Rob wash them all now…..so it's so much easier.) 10. Waking up a 3 year old to get her to school an hour earlier than normal is NOT fun. But we're adjusting to that….. (we're totally adjusted to our early mornings and I love taking Mia to school….best part of my day!)

 

So it dawned on me today that now we've been open for 10 weeks!  Actually I think it's been 11, maybe even 12... but really….I'm behind on most things these days so whatever…..  I thought it would be fun to compile a "10 things" list again so here goes:

10 things that I've learned after being in business for 10 weeks

1.  Accepting credit cards as payment is very very expensive….as a consumer you never know just how much $ it costs a business to have a merchant account processor….especially a small business.  Those credit card companies make a BOATLOAD of money!

2.  A great employee is worth more than anything in the whole wide world to a business owner.  Rob and I are so incredibly fortunate to have 2!

3.  It is imperative to keep backup makeup, toothbrush, clothes, and deodorant at the bakery because I am now known to spend entire nights at work and that's not a pretty thing come 10 am the next day.

4.  When you own a business, it is totally acceptable to go purchase brand new clothes for your kid just because there's no time to do laundry.  Because really….I'm so rarely home anymore to be able to wait on 20 minute washer cycles and 45 minute dryer cycles.  Laundry sucks.  A 15 minute run through Kohl's kid's department is so much better.

5. Email is so convenient.  Email is also evil because it can easily pile up and then require hours upon hours spent returning them.

6.  Bakery garbage is gross.  Double bagging is so important because leaky bags with egg whites is no bueno.

7.  Friday's are roughhhhhhh.  My staff now brings me Doritos on Fridays(Doritos make me happy) in an effort to make my life better because Fridays are such a tough day in bakery-land.  It's a compilation of being really busy on Fridays and still needing to prepare for even-busier Saturdays….on top of getting all of the weekend special-order cookies completed….on top of getting very little sleep at the end of the week.  I used to look forward to Fridays prior to owning a bakery….but now they are just really not that great.  And by really not that great, I mean AWFUL.  Stressful and sometimes, just awful.

8. Bank hours are not bakery-friendly.  Period.  If you ever come in and I give you 85 cents change in all nickels it's because I never had time to leave the bakery in the middle of the day to go get quarters and dimes. Leave the bakery in the middle of the day??? Crazy.

9.  We never ever ever sit around and do nothing at work.  Not even for a single minute all day long.  I've never had a job where the hours go so fast.  I count the minutes and give my employees things to do right up until the minute before they leave.  There is just always something to be done!  Always!

10.  I crunch numbers all. the. time.  I can tell you how much 1 cup of flour costs, how much one chocolate chip cookie costs to make, how many brownies we sold in February, who has the best price per ounce on sugar, m&m's, cinnamon, just about ANYTHING.  But I cannot tell you the current price on a gallon of gas because I don't pass one gas station in between my house, Mia's school,  and my bakery….and that's just about the only path I drive anymore!

Thank you everyone for your continued support.  Though we still face challenges each and every day, we really do have a lot of fun at Give Mia Cookie.  We laugh all the time and we are a crazy funny team.  Next "10 things" list will be at 10 months!  But I'll blog again before then….I think!?!?!

Until next time!

-k