Happy Anniversary/Birthday

Who would think I could be sitting here, at 7PM, exhausted more than I ever have been, but smiling and writing this blog post? Certainly not me!!

If I had a euro for every time I thought we would fail, close, give up, or run away, I probably could fund a business…. all of those things are true. Are they part of being a business owner? Is this normal?

As we began to celebrate our first year anniversary, we made a couple of changes to our menu, we are selling burgers (Living Whole Burger as named by the two most amazing people we now call family – I’ll explain more in a moment), and making smoothies. These two things I fought for a long time but now I see they are our gateway drugs to wellness, kindness, inclusion, growth, and change.

CHANGE… change is the most important ingredient we must all have to success in life. We must be willing to see what we can do differently, in order to grow. Staying in the same place but expecting things to change will not do it for sure!

About six days ago we had a family of three come in, while on holiday. Instantly you could feel their kindness, honesty, and inclusion. I never met them before (not true, they came Monday and I hadn’t to turn them away because we were not open and I had nothing to offer) but was happy to enjoy talking with them and learning about who they are as human beings. The photo above is from their Instagram feed this morning, of our new Living Whole Burger for breakfast. Oh I love these burgers…

Today, they came into the bakery early and brought us flowers. I tell you, it took a lot for me to not cry. Strangers, people we only met days ago, we’re moved enough by our time together, brought us flowers to congratulate us on making it one year. I am still moved to tears just writing about this.

Today they were playing cards and I asked how come I wasn’t invited and they said their daughter actually asked if I could play with them, maybe they thought I was too busy. Sandy took control of the ship and for an hour the four of us played a card version of rock/paper/scissors/a lot of cheating!! 😂😂😂😂 … how amazingly lovely and beautiful was that time?

30 minutes later we played a little more. I gave them hugs to say goodbye and the daughter came up and said she wanted one too! We will stay in touch as they are now our friends.

That, is what is the underlying gift of the bakery, relationships… the food is just a connection to bring people together.

Not long after this family came in the bakery, the two people who really have already given us more hope, love, kindness, inclusion, and integrity, than anyone I’ve known in a very long time, came into the bakery with balloons.

Here you can see those beautiful balloons and the plant we received as well. How does one escape the love from such thoughtfulness? It is not possible.

Sidenote: I just lost three paragraphs I wrote so I hope to recreate those words below

These two people have given Sandy and I so much it will be hard to express everything in a short blog post. They are beautiful, kind, generous, loving, honest, and oozing with integrity.

As the time has passed we have gotten to know them better and they really are family for us and we love them dearly. I could hug them all day every day and never get bored (unless I’m hungry of course 😂).

A week or so ago, Sandy and I had a bad fight. With the bakery this has happened a lot mainly due to stress and being so tired, but this was one of the worst. We were not talking nor even interacting at one point. But when these two beautiful humans came into the bakery, we lit up, smiled, and got amazing hugs. That is what they give to us. It is that beautiful pure energy that is helping our tree grow with change.

The burgers were their idea. A week ago Sunday they said, “you should sell burgers, healthy burgers”… and I was not so sure. But I sat on it a few days and then told them just three days ago that starting today we would have them and smoothies on the menu. The details were not worked out, but I believed that once I made the verbal commitment that I would do it. They gave us the beautiful name, Living Whole Burger. They are plant based, oil free, and loaded only with goodness and whole foods. You eat one and you transform yourself to another place, wel that is what I believe anyway!

We are changing. We are growing, we are evolving. It is absolutely necessary and these two have given us the tools to not worry and just be. I see many more changes to come and I hope they are with us with their guidance every step of the way. I trust them like I trust Sandy, and that is really in the center of my heart.

I want to briefly back up one moment about relationships. A few months ago a couple from Switzerland came into the bakery and we immediately found common ground, including our mutual love for Rich Roll, a man who defines transformation. So we kept in touch and a couple of weeks ago they came back and brought me a copy of their book. A few years ago they wrote a cookbook for vegan families. It is beautiful and I love it very much. Below is a photo (I have cropped their names out as it isn’t important to the story).

These relationships continue with many people who come in the bakery. We know what they like when they come in, they feel like they matter, and the fact is, they do matter. I love this so much about what we are doing, even when I am not exactly sure what it is we are doing… 😂

So I close with these two thoughts…

One, I could not do this without Sandy. She really lifts me up when I’m down and she is so much stronger than anyone I have ever known. Sure we have our moments but that is all they are, moments, and we move forward every single time. I love her and I’m endlessly thankful for everything she brings to our tree.

And two… we did it!!! We made it one whole year. I believe that this second year will be the most challenging and when we pass this one, we will have transformed Inca, and working on the rest of Mallorca (for starters). I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to always read my blog entries and being so supportive with your private messages and encouragement. It is that journey that I love sharing with you, and that same journey, which keeps me going every single day.

I love you, and remember, do EVERYTHING with love!!

Closing in on ten months

And what a journey it has become!!!

I don’t know what to say or where to direct my energy in this blog entry. Some of the content is a repeat of what I’ve said many times and some maybe different. The bakery continues to struggle to meet the ends and while there are more customers it does not seem to change many of the outcomes. I spend time looking at the costs versus the income and I see little in terms of gaps that can be tightened.

Really… I want to give up! I want to close the doors and never look back. We were closed last week for multiple reasons, including the installation of an air conditioner. I felt it was absolutely necessary to have colder air when it starts getting hot outside. We were also supposed to do a festival on Sunday, but when I found out it was more about marketing than making money I decided against it. Yes, marketing would help, but I would have had to buy a table and then invest in the foods with my fingers crossed that I would sell everything. So, such is life…. I don’t know if it was a good or bad decision to not go and I won’t look back on this with regret.

I had also hoped this week would find me more rested but it did not help. I was in the bakery Wednesday all day, Saturday all day, and finding myself a bit resentful. Now, I am not so sure what deepens my feeling a more, the idea that I have to stay open because I need every possible dollar I can get, or, that it’s eating at the fabric of my life. Not as funny of a topic but it is a true one!

With all of that said, I am now baking this morning and I find it a nice experience. I love making breads and for sure it is my favorite part of the work, 100%!!!

And for those of you who do not follow me on social media, I was able to catch a street cat who turned out to be pregnant and now we have a family of 8 cats with her and her four babies and of course reina …

Bakery Day 239: April Fools…

Image may contain: food

Ok, I do not have any April Fools jokes.. I made one a year ago and it backfired. I actually lost a couple of friends as a result (they did not like my humor)…

The bakery is picking up a bit. It is not yet to where we are breaking even, but my hope is the warmer weather is a good start. We have had the tables open a couple of days and when the weather really breaks, we will try to have them up most days. I also think that one night a week we will do something different, like a burger and fries night, a sushi night, or pizza, etc. Just to get some people coming in to keep the good energy flowing.

Also, I am working on some physical changes in the bakery. We will remove two of the round tables after I build three new square ones. They will take up less space and we can then offer more seating. We bought some chairs at a second hand place and Sandy is painting them and putting new covers on them. It is a nice feeling when we are completely full and people have to stand, or get take away.

Really, I would love to move the business to Palma. I do not know how I would survive with the driving on top of the baking, but I am sure we would not be on the low side of money. I think in season we would sell four or five times the amount of what we sell now. Maybe even more, who knows>?!?!?!

And that is that… the bakery work is still the same, except now I am more there at 4:30 instead of 5:30 to get more done. And still the hardest part of my day is getting out of the bed in the morning 🙂

Lastly, it is so nice when people come in the bakery and say they found me on Happy Cow, or they were referred to me by Villa Vegana, or Lo Vegano, etc. It really means a lot that people care about the bakery enough to send their customers there. I would love for some of you to surprise me and show up too!!

#doeverythingwithlove



Bakery Day 209: what’s going on?

In a few days, tablespoon bakery will be open for 7 months, the 6th to be specific.  A milestone I suppose…. Over the last 20 days since the last post some things have been happening, so I will dive in with a little detail.

….

Lets talk about support….

What occurs to me is when people offer to help you, I am not sure they really mean it. I do not want to generalize, so I am speaking specifically about the bakery. In my life, I take nothing for free. I have a strange quirk about me where it is extremely hard to accept gifts from people. One person offered me financial support monthly and I said no. Unless that person was getting something in return for that money, there is just no way I would accept it. Other people (many actually) told me to do a go fund me page or something similar to raise money, but again, this is a give without get and I do not like that.

So, I came up with the idea of t shirts. Many people said it sounds like a great idea, and I thought, ok, I will get a little bit of money for a lot of giving. Really, they generate very little money for me, but, I thought ok, I invest a few hours of my time to set it up and maybe I can sell a few shirts. And, like crickets, I heard from only a very few people, those who I have known for a long time.

Words do not say what it means to me when someone gives like that. For me, it is very special. What i like the most about the idea is that any time those people have a shirt on, I am kinda, sorta, with them. It is interesting, I have no idea who the people are who buy the shirts because of data privacy, but I know they wrote me messages telling me more or less. That means a lot to me.

I set a goal, and as of now, I am 19% of the way there. More than I expected, but of course, the road I want traveled is much longer.

I do not know, maybe t-shirts is a bad idea. Maybe they are too expensive. Maybe they are ugly. Maybe someone does not want to buy one because most of them say “vegan” somewhere on the shirt, though, I am not so sure that is a crime, yet!!

And so that is where I am. I tried to get advice from someone but i never got a response even though the person offered. So I just close that door and move forward. And what you do not know is, the reason I am trying to raise money is times are very difficult. Three days ago I was just shy of 6 euros in my bank account after paying some bills (not all). We have been having some good days so I am thankful for that, but I need many more good days.

….

And the work….

I now get to the bakery around 4:30 or 5:00 am. I do not want to say much as to why it is necessary to do this, but, the work must get done. I am truly feeling like a zombie most days, and now that I am working 7 days a week again, it is all a blur.

Here are a few of the things I have been selling over the weeks since we last spoke:

This is a vanilla two layer cake with freeze-dried rose petals

This is a croissant muffin filled with cinnamon and raisins

Who doesn’t like focaccia? When in season I will make a more traditional one with tomatoes, basil, red onions, and olives, but right now the tomatoes are not good enough.

A few croissants I have baked.. I work very hard on these to get to perfection.  I have a long way to go, but I know I am working towards that goal.

One day I took a sample of some of the breads I made that day.  In this photo there are the following: integral, white, gluten free, spelt, and baguettes. I never get tired of making bread <3

And the inside of a croissant. Truth be told, this is what I work on the most. I want that inside filled with beautiful little bubbles, to be soft, with a slightly flaky outside, and the taste that you could get naked and roll around with.

I am very proud of that work  Some of them are not perfect, I understand, but it is the journey that I travel that really I enjoy. The downside is, honestly, I have no life at all. I am so tired every single day that I come home, fall down on the sofa, try to relax for a few hours, and then I start all over again the next morning. The only saving grace is on Mondays I can sleep because the bakery is not open. So I do not have to go until about 10AM,  This past Monday, I was there for 9 hours working on croissants and a couple of other things.  What scares me is that the season has not begun yet. The cost is far too high to hire someone to help (and with me not being able to even pay my bills in full it is impossible anyway).  So, I just need to buckle up for the bumpy ride. Fingers crossed, head down, and work!!! work work work!!

….

That is it! Thank you so much for reading the update. I hope you enjoy these little pieces of information. I am still working on the Breaking Bread podcast. I am so behind with everything I have not had time to edit my interview with Jack. Also, I do not have more interviews lined up yet either… I must focus!!!!

Do not forget to buy a t-shirt if you have not already

#doeverythingwithlove or stay in bed!

Bakery Day 188: 6 months in and I am selling tshirts

We are six months and change into the bakery… it is more than a roller coaster. I tell you, when I walk into a small business, I think to myself, anyone can do it.. then, I open a small business, and realize, like most things, a business is like an iceberg… and wow is it ever.

Now, combine that with the notion that Inca is as quiet as a mouse in January and February, and you find yourself in times of must stress.. ok, maybe not you, but certainly me. Wednesday, we did not sell a single croissant. This is the nature of the beast…

So, congratulations to us for lasting this long…

and I segue into … we are selling t-shirts… honestly, the cost is very high so we will not really make much money at all with them, but, I like the idea of selling them, they look nice (my design, thank you very much), and really, it keeps my mind off the very quiet days. So be sure to shop early to fill your 2019 christmas orders  …. hehe…

click here

Thank you so much for sticking with me.. I love you
#doeverythingwithlove

PS – I am sorry for the less frequent updates, really, I am shut down. I am keeping this blog post positive, but, it has been very, very, very hard.. and that is all I will say about that.

Bakery Day 178: a random update

I LOVE the bakery..  sure, we do not offer a large selection of pastries or many other different things, but, we sell what we do have and the customers come back many times to enjoy them.

On Saturday we went to a party. A couple who we met as coming in to the bakery as customers that I consider friends now, invites us over. So, I made 30 mini croissants to take with me as a gift for them and the other guests. As one was being bitten into, I noticed the inside, and it is that perfection I am working towards in my croissants.. (note, the croissant is a bit smashed only because of a bite, but then spend a moment with that beautifully constructed inside.

Really, I could not be happier with the results. To me, this is beautiful, 100%.

If you are interested, here is my recipe for the croissants, minus the instructions (look for croissant lamination for those details – google will be your friend):

Strong bread flour 758g
Water 379g
Butter 100g
Sugar 85g
Fresh Yeast 20g (temperature dependent)
Salt 17g
Laminating butter 438g

and I leave you with a recent photo of some bread.. thank you for reading today’s entry.. and remember, do everything with love <3

Bakery Day 164 – A year in review: The future

Let me take a moment and look into my crystal ball. I wanna know what is coming around the corner….

…5 minutes later

Ok, that did not work…   On any given day I have many thoughts that race through my mind about what will happen this week, and the weeks and months to follow. Some days I want to pack up shop and just stop this nonsense. Other days I love the bakery so much and believe in the future that I think it is nonsense to even think it is nonsense .. did you keep up with that one? hehe

My hopes are that we do not struggle more with money, and we find resolutions to the problems with the landlord. I would love to be able to hire one or two people to help in the baking, and customer service. I love the tables on the plaza and I really want them to be a success for us.

What I am generating for myself is a business that is so successful that I can close for a month, and maybe go to India, or even just relax and think about other things in my life that I love to do or want to do but never find the time.

On the 21st of this month I am doing my first interview with a baker. I have an idea to do a podcast (video too) where I have shop talk with a different baker. I would like it to be every week but I know I do not have the time for that now. In time, I would like to see it grow to something people are really interested in and we can really have nice chats about the baking life. It is something I like to do and will utilize YouTube for.

I also want to post more videos on YouTube about my day to day life. But I really think it is time I switch from just me chatting, to me doing demonstrations.  Not everything can be explained without seeing what is being done. Besides, we all love visuals.

I am also generating a more positive approach to relationships. In 2018 I gained 15kg (stress eater) and I had many conversations with people I am not proud of. I do not believe in resolutions, but for me, this is a new start for the bakery this year and I want to use that fuel to help me really move more in the direction of love, happiness, kindness, growth, peace, and freedom, however each and every one of these look, collectively, or alone.

I will end this year in review with one of my all time favorite quotes… by no other than Willy Wanka
“We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams”

May all of your dreams come true this year and may they bring you more joy, love, and happiness than you ever imagined!!

#doeverythingwithlove

Bakery Day 163 – A year in review: money, money, money…. monnnney

The dreaded topic of money. I have said this before but I will go in to some detail this time so you have a clearer picture.

In short, the bakery does not make money. We operate in the red. I have projections for us making more money and growing the business, but I did not take in to account the tourist season impacting us. As I have spoken about, much of our business comes from tourists, or people from other parts of the island, looking for vegan treats.  We have some amazing customers, whom I now consider friends, that come and we are really endlessly thankful for. In some respects, they are pieces of the glue that hold us together.

With that said, we do not have income. Neither of us take home any pay. It just is not possible.  There are many bills (taxes, rent, electric, supplies, etc.) that cost a fortune. The money goes out the windows very fast let me tell you.

What is important for me is that we build relationships with out customers. Almost to the point where taking money from them for baked goods is hard. Of course we will as it is not only the service we provide, but I know they are very happy to help us in those ways.

I am reminded of something someone once told me. I will not say his name. I am not a friend of his at all, but we did work together. in fact, he was a creepy guy for sure… but, he said one smart thing to me. “Streams flow in to rivers, and rivers flow in to the ocean.” … If we continue to provide different products then we will sell more, no matter what stream they come from (cookies, tapas, breads, sandwiches, etc.) and in turn, these will fill up our ocean.

And.. I doubt many of you are really paying attention. But, I would really like some ideas on raising a bit of capital to help us through the winter. I believe this year is going to be great for us, but that really is not coming until April or May when the market starts filling up and more tourists come in to the area.  I do not want a loan to be honest, but I suppose I am not against a small low interest loan. I just do not like owing money, or digging a well that i jump immediately in to.  So, if you have some ideas, please pm me (you know how to find me) or even make a comment here. I was told to do crowd funding a couple of times, but that is not easy for me as it seems more like charity than investing.

Anyway.. ideas ideas ideas.. this is what I am asking for. Thank you so much for reading today’s entry. We only have one more entry for the year in review – stay tuned…

#doeverythingwithlove … please

Bakery Day 162 – A year in review: The landlord

I thought about this entry many times.. many many times… and even as I write it, I think to myself, Dave, it is better to just focus on what you have and forget about the troubles. But, that only serves me. It does not help anyone who may want to start their own business, and help them see things that could potentially happen.

As you may recall.. things did not get off to a good start with the owner of my space. Before I opened, one day I went in to the bakery to do some work and found a leg of a lamb he decided to hand in my refrigerator. Without even telling me he was entering the building.  He did this again two weeks later with the freezer in the basement mind you.

Over time, we have had some problems with the building and some he addressed, but many he did not.  The two biggest being the water in the basement, and the repairs from the three times we were broken in to.

I sat down with him many times, trying to have an adult conversation. Trying to make lemonade, and he either gets angry, or just yeses me to death and does nothing. Many times when Sandy speaks with him alone he is rude to her and raises his voice.

The culmination for me was just over 6 weeks ago. I sat him down with Sandy and told him the following. I love the space and love being there. I put a lot of my own personal money in to making it a nice place, and removing the horrible stench, and dirty nature that it was before. But the problems of the water and the doors must be addressed. They are foundation problems so my insurance does not cover them. I found out, he does not have insurance like he is supposed to for the building space so any time there is a problem, it is money out of his pocket. (Let me side note here: my insurance for the year is under 400 euros and even covers income for us in the event we cannot execute the business for whatever reason. It is ridiculous to me he does not have insurance).

Anyway… I told him in one week I wanted a plan to have these issues resolved and he yessed me again. A week passed.. nothing. Another week passed.. nothing. Then the third week I asked Sandy to talk to him.  So, she sat him down and calmly addressed yet again the issues. I was not with them and did not know what he said, but he got very angry with her and said, and I quote, “if you do not like it, just leave.” In short, he does not care if we maintain the space or he takes it back over. Of course, now that it looks nice, he knows he can rent it for even more money to someone else and just does not care.

As a side note, in the past four years or so, he has had five tenants. Why on earth could this be?

The water in the basement is causing mold. That mold is coming up the steps and ruining all of our storage stuff, including bags we use for customer purchases. I cannot use bags that even have a remote change of being moldy, under any circumstance. Also, many of the things I put in the basement in storage are ruined from the water, and yet again, he does not care.

The doors are still broken. Almost every night I wake up stressed and worried someone will break in so I log in and look at the cameras. He just does not care.

A little over a week ago, I saw him and we had a huge fight because of this, but mostly because of how flippant he was and told Sandy we can just leave. He kept raising his voice (especially with her) and tapping her with his hand, like she is one of the boys.  No respect for women whatsoever!!! Finally, I told him he was not a good person and he was no longer welcome in the bakery and to leave. He screamed at me and I shut the door and turned my back.

I forgot, he said if I do not pay the rent he will turn off the electric. It turns out there is a main switch for my electric outside of my space that he has control of. “I did it before and I will do it again.”  The good news is, I found out that I can go to Guardia Civil and immediately file a complaint. They take this very serious and he cannot violate my rights. If he does, they have made it clear they can arrest him. Or anyone who violates this agreement.  Oh I hope it never comes to this.

Here is the thing.. I do not want problems with him. I love the bakery. I love the space, and I love building something that I deem to be special.  It hurts my feelings to have to fight with him over dumb stuff. Moreso, dumb stuff HE is responsible for.  For the life of me, I cannot understand why he would not want his renter to be happy so he can have a long relationship and not worry about month to month problems. Before we opened to the public he said he wanted to fix up the basement for us, but he did not. He said he would paint it, fix the walls, the circulation, etc. He did none of it.

And finally, I know one of his family members has been reading the blog posts, so I address this directly to that person.  Try to read my words with an open mind and speak with him. Explain to him the things as I explained them above. Help turn something bad in to something positive. He owes us an apology. He owes us support. And I think, if he cares at all about integrity, he will solve this without me continuing to get my lawyer involved (which he said he would ignore and did not care).

That is my stress with my landlord. I really wish and hope he changes one day soon so we can put all of this in the past and I can focus on the business. Not him. Not foundation problems.

Thank you for yet again reading along <3

#doeverythingwithlove

Bakery Day 161 – A year in review: Did someone say stress

I have to laugh.. I swear I thought that owning my business would give me all the control, direction, and results that I wanted. I guess it is true, it does. But I never thought that I would be more stressed out than when I was working for the man (that is an American expression which I can explain if necessary).

Stress comes from any of the following (but not limited to) areas:
– bills
– meeting customer needs
– proper rest & finding time to enjoy life
– doing taxes, including the aggregation of every receipt
– worrying if I will have enough money for rent in a month from now
– making mistakes with what is baked and feeling terrible about the results
– arguing with my partner when really it is just two people who work very hard and are tired
– not understanding why people do not come back
– the language barrier – uff.. i can talk about this one for weeks
– pricing products so they will sell and yet, not undercut myself
– taking orders and they are not picked up by customers – the roscon last week, some customers did not pick up their orders. My out of pocket expense for each one was between 5-6 euros. And, the ones we did not sell are no longer good enough to sell. We barely broke even.
– landlord not caring about the damage from the basement or fixing the doors that were broken as a result of us being robbed three times. Do not worry, I have an entire post coming just on the topic of him.
– ensuring no moths or other bugs get in to the flower. or they ruin expensive purchases that must be thrown out.  I had one bag of white spelt flour. It cost me 65 euros, and bugs destroyed it (moths to be specific).. adios money
– why people do not sit at the tables on the plaza
– why the man with the thursday market stand continues to not care about making sure no one can see my business as he blocks the view and my complaints to the city go unanswered.

as you can see, I can build a list of stressful things to be a mile long… some of these things I can take in stride and some eat away at my fabric. I try to do my best as each day is a list of new problems, but I also know that new successes come as well.

How do you deal with stress? What is your experience (if you are a business owner) with managing the countless obstacles that come up daily?

I own a business.. that comes with stress… but I still would not want to change it for going to work for the man…

Thank you for tuning in as always.. it really means the world to me !!

#doeverythingwithlove