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.

Gather

Gather: Playing with Your Food

September is such a busy month with back to school, sports, holidays approaching, and the list could go on. It seems impossible to think now is a good time to entertain. However, September also brings the deep longing for comfort, coziness, and being with people we love. And nothing says those things quite like a warm bowl of soup.

While most of us might imagine curling up solo with a bowl of soup in lap and a good book (is that just me?), soup can easily serve a large group without slaving in your kitchen for days. This class will show you tips on how to make a deep flavored soup without a lot of time and how to make it an event rather than a starter course.

Class cost is $30/person and will include:

  • Signature drink
  • How to bring depth in flavor with little time
  • Budget friendly soups — 1.) French Onion Soup and 2.) Andalusian Soup
  • Making it interactive
  • Something sweet to finish

Plan to bring your appetite, personality, and laughter because we like to have a good time. There are 8 spots available. First come/first served. To guarantee your spot, fee will need to be paid in advanced.

Book Club

Book Club: Where the Crawdads Sing

The next book has been picked! We’ve had small gatherings so far, but the conversation has been really interesting. Our next club will be Sunday, October 13th from 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. to discuss. I hope everyone enjoys reading.

Gather

Let’s Gather

Recently, a few people requested I do cooking classes. After first, I waved them off with a”Who me? Teach cooking? No one would want that” response. They disagreed so I decided to prove it with a poll of Delish followers. I was SHOCKED! There was an overwhelming YES from over 50 people. So…here we go.

I thought about Delish’s mission to bring people together to make a stronger community and wondered how these classes could support that focus. Then it hit me! Why not bring small groups of people together to meet in Delish’s kitchen and learn easy ways to have gatherings of their own? Not only will you be able to meet and laugh with some new people, eat and drink our creations, but you will have takeaways so you can easily entertain in your own home.

Each class will be themed, have a menu, and be open for 8 people to enroll. This small number allows each of us to interact with each other on a personal level while we play a little with our food. (Who are we kidding, it’s gonna be a party.) If a class fills up, I’ll open another one. It will run from 6:30pm – 8:30pm to enable all your hard-working people to get things taken care of before coming to relax and enjoy an evening with friends.

Classes will be announced on social media and enrollment will be first come, first served. There will be a $30 participatory fee that will be due at registration when you sign up at the Delish store.

Bring a friend for a night out or come alone to meet someone new. Either way, we will make sure to make good food, fabulous conversation, and great memories.

Book Club

Book Club: August

Thank you for your patience while I finally get a second book selected for Book Club. Amazing how you can talk yourself out of so many good books when trying to pick them for a group. In the end, I chose one that seems to be light, funny, and might generate some fun conversation when we meet.

Book Club will be held August 11th at 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m at Delish. All are welcome until we run out of space. Remember, no Delish goods will be available for purchase during Book Club. This is about meeting new people and maybe a potential friend.

The book for the month is :

Maybe I went a little bit on the safe route with picking one that Reese Witherspoon used for her book club. Hey, I was really feeling the pressure to pick something good! It got a lot of positive reviews, seems popular enough to be able to find in used book stores or at the library, and who can resist that title?!

Do you have a book club suggestion? Please let me know! I’ll be collecting ideas in the store from all of you to pick the next one. I want to try different genres and styles to keep us all included and diverse.

Happy reading and I hope to see you on August 11th!

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Delish’s Book Club!

For years, I have traveled around the country for my interests. It was either going wild at concerts, learning craft at writers’ conferences, or meeting my social media sister (and brother) hood. Every time I grew my circle of new friends, I heard a common theme, “I wished you lived near me so we could get coffee together. I don’t have any close females friends.”

It pained me to hear in the moment. I wanted to travel back just to sit down for a cup of coffee over a baked treat of love I had made for my friend. When I went through my divorce and considered opening up a business all on my own, the thought of not having a strong female squad left me in disbelief. For if I didn’t have strong women in my life reminding me of how awesome I can be, how could I get through any of this? It was in those dark moments I realized I needed to do something to bring women together so we all could be stronger.

As with trying to find people to date, it’s hard to meet new people. If you don’t work for a big company or participate in a large organization, it’s darn near impossible to move outside your social circle. This is where Delish wants to help!

Starting in March, Delish will be sponsoring a book club! The featured book will be displayed on the store book case while being announced on social media and here. A meeting date will be given that allows enough time for even slow readers like me to get through the book. You’ll have to acquire it yourself either through purchase, download, or the old fashioned library. (Yes, you can still do that!)

The book club will take place outside of Delish business hours and you will NOT be able to purchase bakery treats. Nope, don’t even try to plead. This time is about meeting other people in your community, not about selling scones. Delish will supply some appetizers, drinks, and conversation starters about the book. You will have to do the rest.

If you decide to attend, your participation is encouraged. This is the only way people are going to get to know you. You may have the exact same perception about the theme as someone else. Or maybe your thought process is so different from someone else’s they just have to get to know you. Whatever the case, this time is about getting to know your community.

A new book will be selected every couple months – ish. Yes, this is on Susan-time, which means all times are on an “ish” basis. (If I say 10-ish, plan for me to be there around 10:15. Ha!) The genres will be diverse and hopefully expose you to stories you’ve never considered before. Even if you don’t “DO” Sci-fi, maybe the idea of hanging out with some cool ladies will sway you. Also, there may even be some cool surprises along the way.

I hope you’re as excited about this idea as I am. I’ve been rattling on about it for months, so it’s about time we get it started. If you have any questions, feel free to stop by the store and we can chat. I look forward to meeting all of you!

featured

Delish is Open!

After a soft opening at the end of December, Delish celebrated its Grand Opening in January with an official ribbon cutting ceremony.

To appreciate the many people who support Delish, there were deals, games, and giveaways. Three special winners “Cake Walked” away with 6″ cakes. In two cases, the winners were celebrating birthdays that night.

Customers have already been buzzing about the many options of scones and macarons, the decadent cinnamon rolls, fresh lemon poppy seed bread, rich brownies, and sinful cake by the slice.

We can’t wait to meet you and see what your favorite item will be.

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Delish is Coming!

20181122_093317After years of working from my certified kitchen, I’m finally taking the plunge.  I’m taking the huge leap of love to bring Delish to a store front.  OMG!!!  Squeeeeeee!!!!

Delish will be located in the wonderfully remodeled Medford Center next door to Baja Fresh. It was the perfect place for what I want to bring to our community.  It’s high-end look and stylish stores seemed like the perfect place to bring Delish’s custom looks and high quality ingredient.

With a focus of making a stronger woman community through support, inspiration, and connectivity, I hope we create something wonderful together.

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