I BOUGHT THIS BAKERY!!!! Seriously, my mind is blown. I can’t believe it has been an entire year, it’s really freaking me out. So I thought I would give you all an update, in case you were wondering what I did this past year.. and in case you were thinking of buying a bakery… let me give you some advice, and just some little fun tidbits I’d be willing to bet you haven’t thought of yet..
THE FIRST FEW MONTHS….
1. You’re not going to sleep, like ever.
– People told me this, I kind of believed them. Until my overnight baker quit with ZERO days notice. I woke up that morning and told everyone, “No one is allowed to tell me I can’t do this, because I’m going to do it”. I stayed up for atleast 72 hours solid. I remember going back home (to my apartment across the parking lot), sleeping for 2 hours, waking up and going back to make kolaches at 5 am. The trick is to never go to sleep, you will never wake back up. My mom would come up and spend the weekend pulling all nighters with me to try and get ahead for the week, and we would both say goodbye crying, knowing that the week was going to be overwhelming. The truth is, if I hadn’t had my good friend Liz flipping pancakes and attempting to make gourmet breakfast taco’s with me, I would have never slept. We would lock her kids in my apartment with my really mean cat and take turns sleeping. It was perfect. -_- But really, make sure you have someone to cover you, at least for a day, I think you could make it 6 days without sleeping.. but that 7th day will get ya!
2. WE DON’T MAKE TACOS
-Don’t buy a business that you want to change. People will hate you. And they won’t hate you behind your back. They will hate you publicly, very publicly. Because you are ruining their life by taking away their tacos.(That’s an actual quote from a customer btw))… (I will say, they were the best dang tacos I had ever had, and I miss them also), but after you have every person in the city coming in for the entire year asking where are the tacos, you will never. ever. want a taco again. I promise tomorrow, someone will come in and ask me where the tacos are.
-for those of you who may be wondering WHY we don’t have tacos.. it’s because the lady who made them was the ONLY baker in the entire business when I bought it… she worked 90 hour work weeks… She had been loyal to the previous owner for SEVEN YEARS, and she didn’t want to work without her. So when she left, if you thought I was going to make homemade tortillas, three types of salsas, and scramble your eggs on demand, lets be real, I can’t even cook macaroni and cheese from a box that well. (if you ate the taco’s during the week when I actually tried to replace her, I apologize for that) ha!
3. I.O.U’s ARE A REAL THING
-the second day as the new boss, I go to count the register and there’s a little note for me in there. Wish it was a love note, but no, it read “reggie 1, I owe you 250)… my first thought… I hope that means $2.50. lol No. Not that. $250!!!! #@$#@*(*%*!!!! If you’re gunna buy a business, count the registers. People before you probably figured out the system.
4. WILL YOU TAKE THIS BACK?
-A few months in I remember calling my dad, bawling, saying “I still want to make cookies but, can we sell it back to her???” The stress will get you, especially when your 22, you’ve been quietly making cookies by yourself and all of a sudden you’re slammed with customers and high pressure customer service situations, IT’S SCARY. I can’t tell you the number of nights I fell asleep crying because I felt like everyone hated me, or I was missing out on being a care-free 20 something. It’s harder than you can ever imagine, not only will you wake up and do it all again tomorrow… you may wake up and do it all again for the next 10 years!! I freaked out sometimes, but looking back now, it is insane the sheer volume of stuff I have learned, from baking bread, to actually talking to an upset customer without crying, shaking or turning purple.. but most of all, I learned that THINGS GET EASIER! Not necessarily EASY, there is ALWAYS a new challenge, literally every morning I’m in shock if I don’t have a crisis text waiting for me… but the challenges get easier to solve, and you do it, and it’s done.
5. Get friendly with your sweatpants… and throw your hairbrush away
You’re gunna mess up. I guarantee it. I may look at a cookie one day and say yeah, that pink looks pretty, but really you meant HOT PINK and I made it one shade too light for you, it happens. Or once I dropped an entire tray of hand painted cookies that were going to be over-nighted, the day they had to ship… watched them crumble to pieces… no way to re-make them in time… Or when my employee accidentally wrote down the wrong pickup day, or put the ticket on the wrong clipboard and you show up and there’s no cake….
Maybe it’s because my name is in the business name, people KNOW I’m back there… I’ve literally thought about having my employee’s say that Hayley was just a business name, sounded cute, she’s not actually real. Like Wendy’s. You wouldn’t go into Wendy’s and demand to speak to Wendy…
They’re going to want to talk to YOU. Because in their mind, YOU’RE the only one who dealt with their order. Not the person who took it, or the one who made the dough, or the one who translated the illegible hand writing, or the one who cut them, base coated them, or wrapped them up, shipped them, called you, drove to fedex…. They will always go to you, because to them, You’re the only one who can fix it. And sometimes that is the case, but you better get your big girl panties on…some ladies are straight up scary, and cookies are A SERIOUS BUSINESS!!!!! … lol
1. Some will never be happy. Ever.
You could mess up, apologize, cry, offer a kitten… they will still hate you. And that’s okay, sometimes it’s your fault, and sometimes people need to be mad. But I wish someone would have told me to expect this. You can’t fix every situation, you just cant. Always try though.
2. Some will blame you for their mistake
We had ladies call and admit they emailed us the wrong picture for their cookies, but wanted a full refund and a credit for their next order… because what were they going to do with their cat cookies when they meant to send the picture of the ninja turtles… yeah. it happened.
3. Some will lie…
A lady called us on a Thursday (the craziest day ever)… and asked when her dinosaur cookies would be ready for pickup the next day… Panic mode engaged, we couldn’t find the ticket anywhere. She swore up and down that she had come in, placed the order, and she was coming to get them tomorrow! So I stay up all night, making these hand cut, hand drawn dinosaurs that looked real… she shows up the next morning and ADMITS THAT SHE NEVER ORDERED THEM, BUT SHE WAS IN A BIND AND KNEW WE WOULD BE BOOKED!!!!…. I’m having to take deep breaths now just thinking about it.
4. The nice ones…
They don’t usually say anything! This has to be the most important change I’ve seen in myself this year. I’ve realized that most people, even nice ones, don’t say anything unless something is wrong. What about when something is RIGHT!? What about when it’s the most amazing cake or cookie you’ve ever seen/tasted?!?!?! People don’t usually go blast that all over the internet or tell their friends or tell the people working. I’ve learned the power of positivity. Now I go places and I’m like, that was GREAT, I’m going to tell them right now! You don’t realize the power that a compliment can have on someone, especially a small business. You never know what that owner is doing behind the scenes.. but know that the business you just walked out of is their LIFE, they eat there, they sleep there, they work there, they cry there, when they aren’t there, they are thinking of how to make it perfect and how to keep you there, they don’t WANT you to have a bad experience, they want everyone to be happy, heck they are spending HOURS, MONTHS, YEARS of their life to make this dream real… These nice customers, who took the time to personally meet me, compliment me, build me up, are the ones who kept me going when I thought everyone hated the new bakery. Just try to remember, for every negative remark you hear, there are 10 other awesome experiences you just never had the opportunity to hear about!
AND IF YOU’RE YOUNG….
1. People aren’t going to listen you.
-especially employees. Try telling a 40 year old woman to mop before they leave when you’re 22. They will laugh in you’re face. literally.
2. Customers will take advantage of you.
-They think because you are young they can yell at you, get you to give them something free, or change back to making taco’s. Seriously. It will happen.
3. You’re going to have a hell of a lot more fun.
YOU’RE PETS ARE GOING TO HATE YOU
Side note, my cat misses me so much, she doesn’t let me sleep because she wants to be pet. Then she attacks and bites when I leave. It’s a love hate relationship.
It’s freaking weird. People are weird, and GIRLS are even weirder. It’s like a big ol’ box of hormones and we are all locked up in there.. I always used to say I wanted to be a girls minister when I was growing up, I laugh now because it’s like God gave me both dreams.. in disguise.. ha!
But I will say, you will get diamonds, there have been a few dream team-ers who I would have never survived without. The one’s who realize how hard you’re working and try to join in on your dream. They become more like family, and they are rare and hard to find, but I am so thankful for who God has strategically placed in my bakery, it may have taken a year.. but it was well worth the wait.
Most of the time someone will be crying, at least once a week.
YOU HAVE TO BE DIRECT… saying “yeah the milks will leak condensation if a cake is underneath them”.. is not enough. You have to say “MOVE THAT F-ING CAKE TO THE OTHER FRIDGE”… seriously. and you probably need to yell and scare someone. Then they might do it. maybe.
I know a lot of this sounds kind of negative… but if you had been in the state of shock I was in this year… you would understand. It’s still not all rainbows and sunshine.. yet… but I cannot tell you how EXCITED I get now. My business facebook page grew 25,000 people in a year… we made money…. the doors are still open… my family hasn’t killed each other yet…. I’d say it’s going fabulously. There’s no limit on what I can do and where I can go, and that is the most exciting part of all.
I want to thank all of the people, friends, family, customers, who supported me this year. Let me make mistakes, let me laugh and cry with them, let me sleep, encouraged me… it literally meant the world to me. And while I’m sure I often looked like grumpy cat, I can tell you thank you now, and I can’t wait for another year.. and another crazy ride with you all.