Monday, February 28, 2011

A Little More on the Updating

Well, the past two weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind, including the school's variety show, Joe narrowly escaping the loss of his job, myself continuing to build a cupcake empire here on the Central Coast (I use the word "empire" very loosely in this context), five sick children, one sick mom, and some of the coldest weather the central coast has seen in literally years. This morning I took John outside at eight am and showed him how when he blew his breath out, he could see his breath. He was appropriately impressed.

So, in order of importance (by my estimation anyway), Joe's job. His bank was taken over two weeks ago by First California Bank, based in Westlake Village. The good news (for us anyway), is that they need Joe to help with some of the transitional work for a period of time. We're not sure exactly how long that will last - probably 4-5 months, but we're grateful for the extra time it does provide us at this point. The bad news is that lots of people did and are continuing to lose their jobs. It's not a pretty thing to fact, it kind of tears at your heart to see your friends and neighbors losing their jobs...especially when some of the people who did lose their jobs are the very people who first started and built this bank. I guess it's a bit of survivors guilt on my part...while I'm so grateful that Joe still continues to go to work every day, there's a part of me that wants him to just stomp around and quit his job in protest for the sheer unjustness of it. I guess that doesn't really do anybody any good, but it might assuage my guilt over the matter a bit.

Secondly, my cupcake "empire". We finally had the corporate bigwigs at ColdStone come up and tour my shoppe and approve what we were doing. Their first question was of course, "well, how are you ringing this up?" meaning, "how are we getting our royalties out of this"? Whatever their reasoning, I'm happy to have their approval, and finally feel like I can spread my wings and really start to dig into this. First item on the agenda is to buy a commercial mixer. My old Kitchen Aid (plus the one that Kate lent me) just can't keep up with demand. So I'm starting the research into a commercial mixer that can keep up. Which means, I'm watching CupCake Wars and pausing it every time I see a mixer, tyring to see the make and model. I'm also meeting with a friend who owns a bread store here in town to see what advice she might have to offer. If any of you out there in blogland have any advice to offer...don't be shy...I need all the help I can get here. I'd like to buy something used if possible, which will probably entail a trip to LA or the Bay Area sometime in the next few weeks or months. I've promised myself that I'll be patient and take my time with this, but, Mom and Dad, how do you think that's going to work out? I guess I'll have to let you know.
In other cupcake news, I've hired three bakers to help me keep up with the baking, and that frees me up for some of the more fun marketing things. Today I met with a girl and her parents about her July wedding. They placed an order and gave a deposit, so we're set for that. I'm also doing a wedding in a few weeks out in Cambria. This to me is just the best part. Meeting with brides planning their weddings, or moms to be planning their baby showers, it's just so fun to be a part of these events with them. Today a lady called me from Sacramento, wondering if I could deliver some cupcakes out to her daughter for her birthday today. I said, "sure". Then she asked could I get some balloons and a card too, and maybe some candles. It just made me think about all the places I could go with this business...and so far, all of it's fun. Being there with people to help them celebrate those special days in their lives is a privilege I can't ignore. It lets me bring all the things I love, baking, crafting, party planning & graphic design together into one fun and lovely business.

Okay, onto the least important things...the schools' variety show, the lousy weather, and the sickness my children have been passing around to each other with the strength of a slingshot for the past two weeks. AGGGG...the sickness stuff is tough for me. When I get sick, I have to stop taking my RA meds. When that happens, I tend to feel pretty lousy anyway, but toss in some freezing weather and torrential rain, and that's just about all my poor little joints can take. I find myself crawling into bed and staying there for as long a possible...which doesn't exactly work when five of your children also get sick and decide to throw up in your bed, or on the floor, or in the car, or basically anywhere they want. It's not my favorite time of motherhood. But one thing I've learned...we always get better...and I come out of each illness actually feeling blessed for the relative good health we do enjoy in our family. I can't imagine dealing with children with chronic illnesses. What a tole that must take on a family!
But here, at our home, the coughs linger on, but the kids are all back in school and we're pushing forward towards better health, and hopefully better weather as well. Did you hear it snowed here this weekend? We didn't actually see it, but I've seen some cell phone pictures from my employees that prove the white stuff really did make it's presence known here on the central coast. (shhhh...don't' tell my kids)

Okay, I think that's it. Everyone should be sufficiently brought up to speed. Thank you to everyone who's been keeping our family in their prayers, and to all those who have been helping us make it through each day (I won't mention names, but Joe and Carole, you know who I'm talking about :)). You guys are seriously the best, and we really do know how blessed we are to have you in our lives.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Just A Little FYI

So, just sharing a little info from the local paper.

It's interesting around here to say the least!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Cant. Talk. Must. Make. More. Cupcakes

But, lest we let this ever so important day just pass us by, here is a bit of photo documentation.

Well that's all for witty commentary or funny stories, but at least we've got it docuemtned! Now off to make more cupcakes...

We'll talk more soon!

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Real Deal

Okay, go and check out these photos Melissa took.... they are the real deal, and make me remember why I wanted to do this in the first place. (That being said after getting home from the shoppe at 11:30 p.m. after spending 6 hours and baking 600 cupcakes:) It's still fun though!!/album.php?aid=269802&id=664603552

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Some Pictures

So I went down to the shoppe this morning and took some pictures. My friend Melissa of Melissa White Photography said she'd come down sometime soon and take some actual good pictures, but for now, here's a sneak peek:

And now for the stars of the show:

I guess I forgot to take a picture of Charlie's Chocolate Factory. Sorry Charlie.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Where To Begin

Two weeks ago, the For Sale sign was up at our Cold Stone Creamery. We were getting lots of calls from interested people. As Joe and I were chatting one night about the idea of selling, I mentioned to him that if we did sell the store, I wanted to bring the store's convection oven to my home to put in my garage. We used to use the oven at ColdStone to bake brownies, but now, even that small task has been outsourced to another supplier. So I became pretty excited about the possibility of baking over 10cupcakes at a time, or 7 dozen Christmas Cookies all in one quick swoop. Which got me to thinking....and thinking...and then eventually some thinking more in the area of graphic design. I started to see this picture come together in my looked something like this...

And now, two weeks later, we are no longer selling ColdStone, and we are now selling cupcakes. I retrofit the second stone at the store into something like a bakery window. I started baking cupcakes and making frosting, and so far, people are seeming to really like it. Unlike a lot of places, San Luis Obispo didn't have a cupcake shop, so we're filling a niche. But most of all, it's pretty fun. Even though it means me working in the store for a few hours every day, I'm having a really good time. Here is what our menu looks like right now:

We named the six Signature cupcakes after each of our children, and we'll be adding daily specials soon. Last night, I baked some yellow cupcakes with raspberries swirled in. With some cream cheese frosting, it's pretty yummy. I'll be sampling them out at Farmer's tonight, so if you're in town, come on down and get a treat!