Cookie Shop - Week 19!

We're now in the finishing stages of the really important stuff at the shop....SO much has been happening lately so I'm going to write this blog post in short little blurbs....because there's just so much going on it's easier to list them rather than to write a story! The plumbing finishes are complete....which means that the sinks and faucets are all installed, connected, and working.  The grease trap is placed and connected, and the final plumbing inspection is complete!

The electric is also completed...all of the outlets are installed, the oven and hot water tank are wired, and the lighting is all installed.  We even remembered to label the new switches in the circuit box!

The building sign is installed.  The sign company came on a cold rainy day to install it and I felt so bad for them.  But it looks so beautiful....and I think it's a perfect match to the building!  As for the pole sign....there are some sort of electrical issues with the fixture so the sign company couldn't install my sign faces that day.  The electricians have to come to fix the issues and then the sign company can come back.  But I did get a sneak peak of the sign faces....they look awesome!

We fired up the oven for the first time!  What a beautiful sound that was!  I haven't baked anything in it yet because there are so many paint and chemical fumes from the construction...I'm going to wait until we are done with all of the fumey stuff before I attempt to bake anything there....but the oven looks so perfect and I'm so happy with it.

My dad and I spent an evening installing the rubber floor molding in the kitchen.  For the first time EVER we didn't argue while working on a project together.  It was the easiest thing we've done yet!

The countertop has been installed.  It. is. beautiful.  It looks so custom and just perfect for my shop.  So much hard work went into building it....I'm so afraid to mess it up!  I'm responsible for staining/polyurethaning it and I'm a nervous wreck.

The painting is alllll done. Wow, I think we went through 16 gallons of paint....very high ceilings and lots of walls.  But the painter did an awesome job and I'm really happy with all of the colors.  I painted the bathroom and utility room by myself and it was so fun.  I went to the bakery at night while Mia was at home with Rob and I listened to music and just enjoyed the time to think.  I forgot how much I love to's a lot like cookie decorating actually!

The refrigerators are up and running and working perfectly.  I can't wait to fill them with eggs and butter!

We have tables and chairs at the bakery now....and more and more fixtures and supplies are arriving every day.  Coffee mugs, mixing bowls, thermometers, handsoap dispensers, t-shirts, exit signs, it's allll arriving.

We replaced all of the outdoor lightbulbs and flipped the switch....and the store looked absolutely stunning.

I attended a food safety certification course these past few weeks.  It's required by Allegheny County and I was really dreading it.  So much of the covered topics were not at all relevant to a at the beginning it seemed like a waste of time.  But I did learn a LOT about sanitization, cleaning, refrigeration, allergies, and consumer menu warnings, etc.  So all in was a positive experience.  And there was an 85 question scantron test!  It felt so weird to take a test like that again! I hope I pass......

The next few days will be spent CLEANING, organizing, moving in the rest of the stuff, and hanging shelves and cabinets and pictures and stuff.  I'm excited!  Next week we'll have our final occupancy and health department inspection....and I'll hopefully start trial-baking at the shop by the end of next week!  So I'll be busy busy busy....I may post one more update before the opening...but I want to try to keep the final product a surprise for opening day!  Make sure to follow the facebook page for information regarding the store soon as inspections are passed we'll announce the exact dates, times, etc.

Thanks, everyone for following along with this journey!  I'll update again soon! -k

choosing paint colors is so stressful
i probably stared at this wall for a whole hour
and I changed my mind a hundred times
1st coat on the walls!
time to lift the oven and install it on legs!
as soon as the electric was done I ran around plugging stuff in!
don't know how this picture didn't make last week's post....this is my father-in-law priming the new drywall!
rubber floor molding installed!  Piece of cake!
the oven is in place!
Mia loves to color on the floor?
...she drew our family....and Bob the painter, too
this was my front doorstep after the day's Fedex deliveries
counter-top install day!  Hi, Sarah!  Welcome :)
look at that SOLID BEAUTIFUL kid's table!
Sarah....I'm really proud of you! Did you have to call IKEA?
omg.  that hair.  I'm a mess.
no. seriously.  the hair.
empty sign :(
so close!  Until we found the electrical problems :(
it was the coldest rainiest day....I felt so bad for them!
so happy!
installing the dish drain shelves.  My dad and I battled about these for a solid 20 minutes... I didn't help because he wouldn't listen to me.
but they're up!  whatever....
food safety.  gross.
I am officially a professional food manager.  Well....once I find out if I passed the test!
Goodnight, all!

Cookie Shop - Week 17

So we're 36 days away from opening the doors for business!  It's really strange because for the longest time I was spending so much time picking out stuff to order for the shop....and now I'm actually ordering stuff... and it's arriving!  From new bakery boxes to my cash drawer....tables, chairs, uniform shirts, mugs,'s so exciting!  Buy my house is literally full of stuff.....and I can't wait until we're ready to move it all to the bakery.  I'm pretty sure that the local UPS and Fedex drivers think I'm a compulsive shopper because they come to my house every single day with more packages!

Construction is going really well.....we're keeping on schedule so that's great news!  The drywall finisher is done....and I am so impressed by how great the new walls look.  Painting is underway.....after a long list of paint sample requests at Sherwin Williams...but I feel good about the color choices and I think it's all going to turn out awesome.  Make sure to check my next blog update to see the paint colors on the walls!

it's really amazing how each step of the process really makes a big difference!

there's Jim the drywall guy!

 Another milestone happened last week....the main component of this whole project is now on-site...the oven!  I'm not gonna lie....I cried when we opened it.  It's just so new and beautiful...and BIG!  I've been baking 12 cookies per tray, 1 tray at a time for 9 minutes each in my oven for so many years.  This oven has the capacity to bake anywhere from 125-150 cookies AT ONE TIME for 6 MINUTES PER BATCH.  So in a nutshell....this oven will be life-changing for me.  Now we just need to figure out how to lift this 500 pound beast to install it on the legs and place it for the electrician to wire it.  To be continued....

isn't it beautiful!!??!!

 We started working on my custom countertop this past week.  I am so lucky that my uncle volunteered to build these for me.  They are going to be so amazing and will add the perfect personal touch to the shop.  My dad and uncle and I spent a morning at the lumber yard hand-selecting each board.  We picked out some with really intricate wood grain and some that were so perfect they looked fake.  The countertop is solid boards of oak and's similar to butcher-block but the boards are 5 inches wide.  I cannot wait to see it completed....I think it will be one of my favorite finishes in the whole place.  I also love that we got to spend the time together to select the wood.  I actually learned a lot and it was fun!


I've also been working on lots of decorative and DIY projects for the shop.  Too many to even list them all....but I've been consignment shop hunting for some cool pieces to re-do, Rob and I have been working on a lighting project that I am SO excited about, I've been working with my amazingly great friend Lynn on a GIANT project that's going to be awesome.  I have so many projects going on right now....I have no idea how they are all going to get done!

Other than that, I'm just working working working on lots of business-type stuff.  This coming week I'm enrolled in a food safety class with the Allegheny County Health Department.  2 whole days of training and testing.  And we're hoping to be done with the painting this week so we can move forward with the plumbing and electric finishes.  AND....the signs on the building and the parking lot pole sign should be going up soon, too!  Time is starting to fly!  Things are really moving along!

this is me holding a large piece that I bought at a consignment shop.  We had Rob's car that day so we had to drive home like this! :(
Happy Thanksgiving....I think it's obvious what I'm thankful for!  This bakery really is my dream coming true....and not many people get opportunities like this.  I am so so thankful for all of this.  

I'll update again soon!

Cookie Shop - Week 15!

What a difference some drywall makes!

We've been busy this past week....and the transformation of the space is undeniable.  It is so exciting to really start seeing the vision come to life....all of the measuring and planning and re-measuring, and changing the plans again and again and again is starting to make sense...and really pay off.  I love my walls!!!!

I am so extremely thankful for my family and for all of their help.  We had some fun times and good laughs over the weekend while hanging drywall.  One thing that we all have in common is that we like to irritate my dad...and that's hilarious.  But seriously, everyone worked so hard and all of their hard work paid off because we passed drywall inspection and now it's time for the finisher to come in and prepare the drywall for paint.  I have to pick paint colors and I'm so stressed about it....wish me luck!!!

Some updated pics for ya:

the 1st piece!

I love to help!

2 brothers working hard :)

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the windows!

parent of the year award for Mia the ipad and she curls up on the floor

...she looks pretty happy to me!

the one 4-inch piece of drywall that Neil and Rob were allowed to cut/place on their own. Such pride.

love this picture!  Father and son-in-laws

we made Rob go up in the attic....

he wasn't happy about it.

Mia loves the walls, too!  She can't wait to paint them!

There's me making important decisions.  My brain hurts...too much thinking sometimes.

Mia made a big slide for her dolls out of a ladder and a roll of paper....  

it kept her busy for at least 19 minutes...which is an eternity in my world.

me and my Mia on the day of drywall step closer to opening the doors to our cookie shop!

Cookie Shop - Week 14!

The stuff I've been fearing the most....the expensive parts of the renovation that are really intrusive and not so much fun.  The part when all of the $ I'm spending will be hidden inside the walls in the form of pipes, cords, and a grease trap that I never wanted to own! (Bet you don't want to own a grease trap either!)

So the first stages of the plumbing and electrical are complete.  We really dodged a bullet with the plumbing because we were able to access a sewer line that was miraculously located under the floor 6 feet closer than we thought it was.  So we didn't have to trench across the floor and really screw up the existing flooring.  Thank goodness!  And the electrical went really smoothly, too. All of my diligent planning is really starting to pay off because I know every single inch of those walls and floors....and I know exactly where stuff is supposed to go.  
So here are some updated pics of the remodel. Tomorrow is inspection #1 with Bethel Park.  We already passed county plumbing inspection and electrical inspection.....but this next one will give us the go-ahead to drywall this weekend.  And then the fun really begins!   Paint, countertops, fixtures, tables, chairs....the pretty stuff!

shiny new bakery case is a perfect fit!  Traveled all the way from WV :)

Drywall is nexttttt! yayyyy!!!  walls!!!
During these past few weeks I've also been working like crazy on website content, ordering supplies,  making signage decisions, designing uniform shirts, mugs, stickers, bakery bags, just so much stuffffff.
And I've been trying to nail down my grand opening date.  It's tentatively scheduled for Saturday January 4th.....but I'm still considering some things before I commit to that I'll keep ya posted!
Mia is really being a trooper every day as our schedule just gets crazier and crazier each minute.  She loves going to the shop to check on the progress of things....but she's 3....she doesn't understand why everything takes so much time.  I'm with her....I'm all about immediate results and this game of waiting on contractors, waiting on inspections, waiting on permit....after permit....after exhausting. But we'll get there!! "One step at a time" we keep saying to each other!
Thanks everyone for following along with my journey!
omg I've aged during this process.  :(