Bakery day 159 – A year in review: What I have learned

There is no better place for me to start than with what I know now, versus what I knew on August 6th, 2018 (day 1).  I think this topic I can cover for hours and hours, but, I will narrow it down to a few things, that may be the most important.

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On day one, I had this idea that I would bake all kinds of special breads and people would line up and buy them. Really. I thought that by the end of the second week, people would be begging us to get their hands on our breads. Well, that most certainly was not the case. In fact, many people bought bread once, or even twice, and then never came back again.  OUCH!!! How could this be?  Well, that answer is simple, my breads were not what the locals wanted. I even learned in this time that typical Mallorcan bread is made without salt. To me, that is crazy talk, but it is true, indeed. A couple of months ago I went to a bakery not far from ours, to try some bread, I got some, and as I was eating it, I really thought it was a mistake. Then I did some research and learned that the breads have this taste because the locals like to salt their own bread.

Let me just be clear, unless it is an accident where I forget, or a special request, I am not making salt free bread. It is just not in my future. We will change the way people see and taste bread if it takes me years to reach every single person 🙂

And finally, some days my breads turn out horrible and others they turn out great. I came to learn some of this was related to just not knowing how to get the best from my oven. And, some came from impatience…

I can versus I cannot
I have to admit, I feel many times I am a failure. That the things I have done in the bakery have not served our customers the best, even though I wanted to believe I was doing my best. Part of that came from my mind telling me that I could not do certain things, for whatever reasons.  Some were excuses, some were a lack of ability.

I know now, that it is really important to focus on the positive, and remember, “I can” is much healthier, much more important, and much wiser, than “I cannot.”  I will do my best to ensure we have more products (not specifically talking about breads). For me, it is really important that our customers feel that we want to give them the very best and they are very important to us. I can make that happen, 100%!!

Well, I think this is kinda obvious, but in order for us to survive, we must grow. We must provide more baked goods for more customers. We must build our relationship with more people so that they want to come to our little corner and they want to taste our foods, and, they want to come back, along with tell their friends.

We bought a machine (you may remember) for lamination. I am able to do many more croissants in a very short period of time. (well, it saves me hours that is for sure). I also want to start making flat breads which I can use the machine for as well, and then, we use those for wraps to eat in the bakery (or takeaway) and to sell, for people to take home.

And with the growth, we need to work smarter, faster, and more efficient than we have in the past, or we will not meet the demand and we will fail.  This, is not an option.

My least favorite topic I have saved for the end of this post.

I am surprised at some of the negative comments I have gotten from people because I do not speak Spanish. Some are very kind, and some, just, well, not so kind. Last night, as an example, I got a message from a customer telling me she did not understand me (I wrote a reply to her with broken Spanish – I was trying my best). So I then explained I will need google. Instead of working with me, she said “do it!” .. It was not very nice for sure and I was not happy about it, but, I accept it, and move forward.

This must  be added to my list of things that I need to accomplish this year!!!

¿Hablas español?

Part 1 is complete. I would like to hear from you and what your thoughts are about your observations of this journey I am on and what you see going forward.

As always, thank you for taking the time to read my post!!


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