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.

Image may contain: food and indoor

Bread
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%!!

Growth
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.

Language
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!!

#doeverythingwithlove

Bakery Day 158: a year in review

Hello everyone, it has been 21 days since my last post. When I said I was taking a break, I really did not realize it would be for so long.  Actually, I think I will use this opportunity to change the frequency of my updates. As you recall, many days I really did not have a lot to talk about so it was not good time spent for you, and for me…

With that said, I have many things I want to talk about, so, instead of putting them all in to one post, which you could read at once, I will have these posted in pieces over the next several days.

But before I tell you what the topics are… Happy New Year!! Feliz Año Nuevo!!  I hope you all have had a lovely transition in to 2019, found many memories from 2018 which brought you smiles, and are now generating new possibilities for yourselves.

Back to business…. Over the next several days, a post will come out, covering the following topics:

– What I have learned
– My expectations versus how things really went last year
– More stress than I ever expected
– The landlord
– Money money money
– The future

So, sit back, and enjoy the posts to come.  Thank you for staying and reading my posts, it really means a lot to me.

#doeverythingwithlove

Bakery Day 137: taking a break

I am going to take a blog break for a few days. many things are going on and I need to focus my attention.

Thank you so much for riding on the bakery train with me this year.  December 31st will mark the 147th day of the business.  I think that is incredible and many times I forget to stop and realize just how much has been accomplished.

I want to wish all of you a very happy, very safe, and lovely holiday season and start to your new year. May all of your dreams come true, and may you discover a few new dreams along the way. And, may you smile more than ever before, and find love and happiness in places you never knew existed.

do everything in your life with love, you will not regret it.

 

Bakery Day 136: it comes down to one thing…

In the mornings while walking to work, albeit a short walk, I sometimes reflect on really what is the hardest part of owning a bakery.  Here is a list of ten things (in no order):

1.  time of day I have to get up
2. continual costs to the government
3. baking bread people do not want (on a particular day)
4. do paperwork
5. not knowing if the bakery will break even on any particular day
6. working on a new recipe that just keeps failing
7. the feeling of unappreciation
8. never knowing if it was the right decision
9. seeing other bakeries and how much more beautiful they are, and
10. with #9, seeing how many more options they have and how guilty I feel every single day because I do not offer as much.

As I look through this list, #1 is by far the hardest of most. It is so difficult to get out of bed so early in the morning and then work so long, so hard, and so much.  Some days I do not move until 6 AM and that is the truth. I am just too tired.

I also think #10 is very hard on me. Some days I see what I offer and I feel embarrassed. Yesterday a woman from New York came in and said, “are there more things that I do not see?”  She has no idea how hard that was to hear, and to swallow. Sometimes I find myself making excuses to the customers, but I think the truth is, I probably just do not work hard enough.  That could be the sad reality.

Tell me again.. why am I doing this?

#doeverythingwithlove … please!!

ps – I am unable to work on the video for this week. I have it recorded, but I seem to just be running out of time and not able to complete it. I will try to slide some in tomorrow if possible.  Thank you so much for reading today’s entry <3

Bakery Day 135: Closing in on the year end.

We are a bit more than one week away from finishing out 2018. This puts us at almost 5 months of operations. Oh we have seen many ups and downs and continue to experience such things. But, we push and push and push for the purpose of doing better every single day.

This week we have had to say tomorrow is the last day to place orders. We have many requests and in order for us to be able to complete all of them, we have had to pick a day to say no more.  I wish we could take orders up until the last minute, but it is nearly impossible with me to be able to fulfill all of the orders without some time.  It would be so great to have a large space and a few bakers so we could take more orders, but, I would rather deliver a smaller amount and make sure we do a great job.

We also have decided to take the first week off from the bakery to get some air and rest a bit. It is predictably a very slow time so we might as well use it to rest a little bit.  I will actually do my best to not even go to the bakery every day, though it is hard to stay away 🙂

In closing, I hope you find this journey a bit interesting. Some days it is very boring, and other days are filled with drama. The highs and lows seem to be equal and while I believe I am learning a lot about many things, I feel like I know very little. Honestly, many days I wonder what right I even have to own a bakery, and really, about the “owning” part, that has certainly not sunken in yet. Maybe one day.

Thank you all very much for reading today’s entry, I really appreciate it.

#doeverythingwithlove

ps – Sandy made cookies 🙂

Bakery Day 134: the croissants

Today I baked those lovely croissants and they are indeed much bigger than I expected them to be.  I also got two more orders via facebook today, one of which is due for tomorrow.  That makes me happy. I wish I had more time for preparation but I am happy to deliver the order.

I noticed on our delivery schedule today that many of the ensiamadas are medium sized, not small. This means I have to make more of them because the ones I have prepped are all small (100g). The medium sized ones are 250g. This will heavily impact my ability to deliver a video this week and I am not happy about that. Making them weekly is important to me, along with this blog. I admit that some days the blog is a blur and I forget to get the posts done, but, I always do my best to go backwards and write the necessary updates to keep each day up to date. How much longer will this go on?

I am writing today’s entry early because I know it will be a long afternoon/evening in the bakery and I will be very tired when I am complete. I have a feeling that the next two weeks are going to be a lot more work than I expect and I will have many moments of wanting to run away. To be honest, even when things are not crazy I have these feelings sometimes. Really, I wonder what on earth I was thinking to open a bakery. What made me think I could really pull this off and be successful?  And, I will tell you, to this day, I still do not feel like I own a bakery. It just does not sink in.

Thank you for reading this entry and remember to do everything with love <3

Oh yes.. the croissant….

Bakery Day 133: prep

Today is a day of preparation. This means we had to go shopping in a few places and then come back and do prep work for tomorrow. I am excited about this because it means I get to use the laminating machine. That is fun.

So, I made 5 batches of croissants. When they are normal size I suppose this would be roughly 100 croissants in total. But, I decided to make oversized croissants for fun and I made 70. These are very big but I am sure they will turn out lovely after being baked.

I also spent a couple of hours making ensaimadas. We have orders for them so I need to get them prepped and ready for baking for the delivery days. We decided to not have many in the store due to the demand with orders, it will be too much work for just me to get done for sure.

And, my assessment of the day is that it turned out to be way too long for the one day off (I think I worked 10 hours), and this is the reason I wanted to be closed two days a week, so I could actually have one day off completely. Uff!!  I am not sure if that is a complaint or not to be honest, but it sure sounds like one :).

Thank you for reading todays post <3

#doeverythingwithlove

Bakery Day 132: it’s winter time

The weather in Mallorca has been cold. Ok, maybe not as cold as expected in the great north, but, I am cold a lot of the time. Today was no exception. But strangely in the evening it warmed up a little bit and got very windy. This time last year we went away for a few days and the wind blew 80kph and broke out our windows in the apartment. The police where there, the firemen where there, and when we got home, it was a big open hole to the world.

The bakery was quiet today. A few spurts of people but not overly busy. I look around the neighborhood and I see everyone else is very quiet too. I think it is the time of year and the cold. Ha!

We are getting more and more holiday orders. I am not sure if I should be nervous or not to get them completed, but I will try my best to not be. I am happy about the orders, but I do wish we could take a few days off and relax afterwards. I cannot imagine my entire life being about working and no time to enjoy life.

Short and sweet.. thank you for reading <3

#doeverythingwithlove

Bakery Day 131: catching up….

Somehow I am either too tired or just forget to post in the daily blog. Even though the bakery is not super busy, I still work a lot and try different things. Today, for example, I have made some small changes to my carrot cake and right now, I have both layers cooling down. Later I will go back to the bakery and complete them. The taste last time was amazing, but maybe I think I had too much oil, so this time I cut the oil down and used milk. One of the problems I had with the last cake is it was too soft and broke apart very easily. Also, I felt it was too heavy with oil. It is strange when I review different recipes and they all have so much oil. So, lets see what happens. I also added something different to help bind the ingredients after the baking.  I will know later today if that idea worked. If not, I try something different.

and in other news.. even though my panettone’s did not rise as much as I had hoped, I now have 5 orders for the holidays. THAT is awesome!!!! I am so happy that people have come in and tried them and like them enough to want more more more more more!!  Of course, it is more work for me, but it is a labor of love.

Ok… thanks for reading today’s entry. You are the best, that is for sure.  Have a lovely rest of your day <3

#doeverythingwithlove

Bakery Day 130: predictions are manisfestations

I do not know if the subject of today’s entry is true or not, but I do believe we attract what we wish for in life, even if it is not a conscious wish.  Yesterday I said that we would be slow today, and for sure we were. Yesterday was the slowest Thursday since opening. Wednesday was REALLY the slowest day ever. I think even the very first day we made more money and we only had a few customers.

These things, when they happen, I like to use as opportunities to see what I can change, or add, to remind people just how much we love baking for them, and giving them top quality breads, pastries, and desserts, at very good prices.   I know the next couple of months will be slow, but I do not worry a lot because I believe that once March comes and the winter weather subsides, we are going to be busier than ever.

I also want to say that I am starting to see sales of our breads go up some and people are coming back. Time is going to increase this for sure and we will be ok. I do need money if you are making donations so that we can pay the bills, but I know we are on a good path.

Thank you for reading today’s entry, even though it was posted a bit late <3

#doeverythingwithlove