AMA

AMA: Why Are Royal Iced Cookies So Expensive?

People love the smooth look and intricate design of royal iced cookies. Who doesn’t want their favorite thing, like an album cover, replicated in a cookie version where they can enjoy and then eat? These amazing designs show your creativity and themes to make your special day even more festive.

Then there comes the difficult moment of discussing the cost. How can one cookie cost ten dollars?!? I dread quoting a price because I worry there will be a horrible sneer as if I am trying to pull a fast one. When in reality, the price isn’t about the materials it takes to make the cookie, but the years of study to be able to create a successful final product. I thought it might be helpful to explain the process it takes to create a royal iced cookie.

The cookies begins will hoping I have a cutter fit for the cookie. If not, this requires each cookie to be hand cut with a small knife tracing the design. Once the cookie is done, it’s time to work on the icings. There was a time I tried to show my bestie how to mix the icing to the correct consistency since there are different ones for the different purposes. Some needs to be thicker for outlining while other needs to glide smoothly to fill the cookies. Bestie watched for an hour as I mixed several colors before tapping out.

Once the icings are all made, then it comes to applying it to the cookie. While this may appear simple, it’s surprisingly difficult to make sure you’re adding the right amount. Too much and it will flow over the edge, too little and the icing will look bumpy and uneven. Each color needs time to dry before you can start with the next one.

Once the first layer is completed, it needs to dry. Most of the time, it should wait overnight before starting the second layer. Some cookies require multiple layers so you can see how the time would add up for on little edible piece of art.

In the end, I’m looking at trying to make the cookies exactly like how you imagined when you ordered. Every time I slide the box across the counter to the customer, I wait with held breath for the unveiling. It means everything to me when the person says “Oh, it’s perfect.” Because at that moment, I feel they understand all the love and thought put into that single cookie. I hope they walk away thinking it was all money well spent.

AMA

AMA: What's Coming in 2020?

I will admit I haven’t been great about staying up on these posts. For any of you that know me, following a schedule is not my strength. I’m regularly late to everything and most times race around to make sure I get promised things completed. My biggest focus in 2020 is making things better. To do that I have a few things on the resolution list.

My first resolution for the year — Do a better job regularly posting answers to AMA. This a great way for you to learn about Delish and me. I want this little bakery to be connected to the community and that starts with sharing our thoughts. Feel free to message or drop in with any question you have and I will be posting more with the answers. My first idea is to commit to a post once a week and my palms are already getting sweaty thinking about it. But, go big or go home, right? So that’s what we’re doing.

My next resolution is to bring us together. In 2019, Delish hosted Book Club in hopes people would have a place to meet knew people and make new friends. I think people are intimidated about having to read a book and then share thoughts. Maybe there was a traumatic book report incident in their youth that has left people scared. Or maybe it’s the time commitment to read the book, even though I have attended without reading a page. Either way, I’m going to be putting together some more events to welcome more people to meet new people. In January, we’ll be starting January Conversation & Coffee and offering another cooking class.

I resolve to make a consistent cake calendar for Delish. Again, I’m already anxious at the concern of letting you down. I need to conquer my fear and just do it. The calendar will also highlight upcoming events so you can plan to be there! Our first one is something dear to my heart and exciting — Delish’s first anniversary! We will spend the day in January appreciating all the hard work and support in this last year as we continue to grow.

This was the Roaring ’20s look I wore for New Year’s Eve. I was most in love with the hair clip I made for it.

These are merely a few of the resolutions I create for myself. The most important one and at the top of my list is I’m going to make this year kick ass. Last year, I faced struggles with keeping my mind in a positive place and became a person I didn’t recognize for a little while. I worked hard on myself, asked for help from loved ones, and went to therapy to climb out of that hole and get back to a place surrounded by gratitude, appreciation, and love.

I want my little bakery to be a place where everyone feels welcomed and adored. I believe through getting to know each other, sharing kindness, and appreciating our differences, we will be better. We will improve who we are. We will change the world. This is what 2020 will bring for me. I hope you will want to join.

What resolutions have you made for 2020? Feel free to leave them in the comments.

AMA

AMA: How is the Business Doing?

This question, hands down, is the one I get the most. It’s asked several times daily. I hear it from family, friends, customers, and even strangers. Most ask because they care about me. Some ask because they really want to see small business survive. And a few ask because they want to hear the drama-ridden story of failure.

One gentleman a few months ago asked how I was doing and before I got a full sentence out, he told me that my business would fail. He listed through stats about how I should plan to close within a few months and told doomsday tales of several places he’d watch come and go. I smiled while he spoke and at the end I calmly said, “That’s not me.”

I’ve always been one to keep it real when sharing my experience and this blog is no different. Straight talk: the business is hard. I work every day and probably rack about 90 hours a week. This doesn’t count all the other hours where I’m still creating, plotting, and imagining. It is my life. I constantly tell people I’ve had 8 days off since December 3, 2018 and that’s not an exaggeration. Everyone in my life has sacrificed in the building of this business. If friends want to see me, they need to come to the store. Phone calls are short and always when I commute in the car. I can’t even count how many times I’ve told my children, “I have to work tonight.” All that…and I still love it.

The first day I saw the sign after it went up, I almost cried because I knew it was really happening.

It’s been 10 months and I have yet to pay myself. I’m constantly stressed about money and wonder how I can grow this business fast enough to keep my head above water. There have been some low points where I question if I’ve made the biggest mistake of my life by giving up the security and comfort of a steady paycheck. When this happens, my friends support with wonderful encouraging memes. Or I sit down in the store and look at the beautiful art on the walls my friends created about taking risks and following dreams. But most of the time, it’s on those days, a wonderful customer comes in with a gracious thought about why they love my bakery. I always know this is the universe’s way of whispering “keep going.”

You are the reason I know this business will thrive one day. The people who come in encourage me with sentiments about enjoying quality items and love having a place where they can visit with a friend. Numerous customers talk about how they tell everyone about Delish and encourage everyone to come try. Some even buy goods and pass them out to people who haven’t come on their own. I am so grateful for what everyone does to see this dream grow. However, the reality still is…the business is hard.

Costs are expensive and business needs to grow significantly to get to a sustainable place. (One where I won’t have panic attacks. LOL!) When people ask, “how is the business doing?” I always answer the same way, “It’s typical for first year, start up costs were much higher than planned, I know I need to be patient, and I need your help.”

How can you help? Besides the obvious of purchasing, which I greatly appreciate, there are other things you can do. Word of mouth is always helpful. When you tell your friends, they always tell me when they come in. I love seeing small town community at work. Using social media to “check in” when you visit is a big boost. It’s like a glowing sign of “this is where all the action is.” Your friends see where you are and think they want to be there, too. Lastly, you can write reviews. This is a big help for many reasons. It shares with people outside your social circle why you like Delish. Google is the main place people look up interests and that starred review pops right up when they do. They scroll through your words, photos, and see what everyone really thinks of my little bakery.

Owning a small business takes a lot of guts, work, creativity, persistence, and hope. Not to mention endless faith you’re going to make it when every statistic says you won’t. Even with all the challenges I face, I know Delish will work because it’s more than a small business. It’s more than a bakery. It’s a place built on the conviction you can do anything you set your mind to if you work hard, love others, and keep going.

AMA

Ask Me Anything

I know it’s usually famous people who throw out the #AMA on Twitter and Instagram. Their feeds fill up with requests of marriage to “what’s your favorite food?” Who doesn’t want to know what their musician crush wants to have when you fix your first romantic meal to woo them? Oh, I mean, if someone wanted to do that. That’s certainly not me. I digress, let’s just move along, shall we?

While I am no where near famous, I have found people are very curious about what it’s like to open a bakery. I answer some questions on a daily basis and those are only from the people who are brave enough to ask.

It has always been my stance to be a relatively open book. If there’s something I don’t want to answer, I’ll tell you I don’t want to answer. Letting people ask me direct questions and answering them the truest way I know how has allowed some great conversations and I’m thinking that’s something that might be good for here. Instead of answering one person, I’ll take the questions and write blogs with my answers. Maybe even sometimes I’ll have pictures, because I sure do love pictures.

This is Ladyfriend, one of my absolute best friends, on a Girls’ Night Out.

As the title states, you can ask me anything. Baking? Concerts? Cookies? Being a mother of teenagers? Dating over 40? Really, the sky is the limit! I have a few questions to start, but I can’t wait to hear from you.