Don’t Drink Poison

People often ask why our desserts are so unique. I do not know if it’s because they are family recipes or because I cannot taste any of them.  As a Beethoven in the bakery world, I strive to find precisely the right balance of flavor and texture to create an extraordinary blissful experience.  Our research and development team assist me by providing constructive feedback. 

The team effort results in extraordinary  pastries even foodies can’t resist.

People always ask for samples of our decadent desserts. Normally it results in new customers and supportive friends. Sadly sometimes it results in very strange behavior from at least one person. He (or She) gets angry when they hear the wonderful encouraging complements. 

He (or She) will admit our snacks are delicious.  However, they will start to compare our pastries to their own recipes or tell me “it needs a little more flavor” as if their palate is the only one on the planet.  In fact, some were so jealous they actually  baked their dessert, gave it to our new customers, and asked them to compare whose is better. 

At first this bothered me. Only small business owners know what it’s like to overcome  failures, make sacrifices, and deal with frustrations to grow a brand. We are simply trying to create jobs for others. Plus we try to be a company that is Kind and Patient by not bombarding people with pushy advertisements just to make more money. 

Why do we put others down to feel good about ourselves?

Why can’t we be genuinely happy for other people?

Blue Bell and Boo-Shaw

Eventually my frustration turned into empathy. Clearly the jealous bakers are lacking Joy in their lives.

No one is perfect. However….. when we feel the need to compare or critique someone’s efforts, I think we should all exercise some Self-Control by finding out what is missing in our own lives.

Life is too short to drink the poison of jealousy. 

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What do you do when hard work doesn’t pay off?

I was advised several times  to move our eCommerce site from WordPress.

After days of researching different eCommerce platforms,  I opened an account with Big Commerce. They provided wonderful support. In addition, there were a lot of great features.

 I spent weeks learning the new platform and uploading our products.  Then I discovered we had to pay extra monthly fees for a good looking website. Plus our blog would have to stay on WordPress. 

Coming Soon: Chocolate Walnut Mini Muffins

 We could afford it, but our mission is to help others in need.  I guess this is how the rich get richer 😐

My second attempt was with Volusion. It’s a great company with a very nice eCommerce platform.

I uploaded all of our products and started to design the site. The page builder was easy to use. Google Shopping and weight based shipping with discounts were also included.

However, using the essential  apps had  more additional fees. I wanted to start singing the chorus of Donnie Iris’s “Ah Leah” when I found out they didn’t support blogs.

 

Just like Soundgarden“Fell on Black Days” too. Why can’t life have a remote control?

I wasted almost two months trying to accomplish something positive.   

This is just a small business scenario, but it happens all of the time.

 Sometimes hard work doesn’t pay off.

When we fail, how do we fail forward? How can we make lemonade out of lemons? I think one way is to forgive, don’t give up, and share our failures to help others succeed.

Of course this is easier said than done. Nevertheless, if we would  Gift this type of Kindness,  wouldn’t everyone be successful? 

Wouldn’t we have more time to enJoy each other?

For all of my  WordPress/WooCommerce colleagues:

If you have been using WordPress/WooCommerce for a while, keep it.

  • Woo Commerce has a Google Shopping plugin.
  • Use the plugin Gift Up .
  • In our opinion, Elementor Pro is the best page builder. 
  • The Mega Menu Pro will add style to your navigation.
  • The Grid Kit Pro plugin creates easy to configure catalogs.
  • Use the SNAP Auto Poster plugin to reach a broader audience with your blogs.
  • Don’t forget to use cache cleaning plugins.
  • There are a lot of weight based shipping plugins.
  • Last but certainly not least, use WP Engine as your host.

I hope this saves someone time and money 🙂

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Can I call 9-1-1 too?

Public radio recently reported a nine year old called 911 because her parents were trying to make her clean the bedroom.  I couldn’t help understanding her frustration.  Sure this  is minor for adults, but it’s not minor for a child. She had a stressful situation. Why not call 9-1-1?

I wanted to call someone because of  our most recent small business problem.  We’ve been using WordPress for years.  WP Engine (our host) has been a Blessing. However, in order for the business to grow, the website must move to Big Commerce.  This is a huge problem because moving will take a lot of time and effort to accomplish.

 I didn’t want to do it. There are SO many things small business owners have to do. Why would I create more work for myself?

When I finished whining and complaining like a nine year old girl, I created an account in Big Commerce. I couldn’t find reasons to keep our WordPress site. 🙁

Big Commerce has Google Shopping, better drop shipping integrations, and other features like Printful.

Thanks to Printful, we will soon be launching our Eat Some, Wear Some collection.

                                                                                                        

I still want to keep the comfort of WordPress. Plus I’m sure the nine year old  wants  her room the way she likes it.

Nevertheless, we will both become better people by exercising  Self Control.  This will be the last post until our Big Commerce store is ready.

I guess it doesn’t matter if a person is nine or ninety. We only grow to the threshold of our discomfort.  It’s the True  way to experience the  Goodness in life.

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Sprint or Marathon

I was with a group of people when one mentioned trying the “new” Keto diet. The millennial described the diet and shared how he became severely hypoglycemic. He didn’t realize he was telling his experience to a genx age group. We couldn’t help smiling because it was clear he was clueless about  the Atkins diet.

Mini Key Lime Cups

It made me think of the myriad of trends and fads throughout history. For example:

 

Everyone still loves Elmo, but who remembers Alf? Do people play Trivial Pursuit as much as they still play Monopoly? Why are we still having tie dye parties but no one is wearing bell bottoms? What ever happened to Tang?

The latest trend is vegan food. It is heartbreaking animals sacrifice their lives for us. However,  wouldn’t eating RBH-Free dairy keep cows off of the dinner table?

Almost every attempt to create a tasty vegan dessert resulted in a split approval rating with our Research and Development team. I know there are plenty of vegan desserts out there, but unless you can fool people who prefer non vegan foods……they are not  culinary masterpieces.

FAIL!!

EPIC FAIL!!!

Feeling frustrated and overwhelmed, I was ready to quit. To add insult to injury, our current pastries are listed as cookies which currently has a low CAGR trend analysis. Plus all small businesses must now be GMP compliant.

After having a good cry, I decided to try to create a vegan dessert one more time.

 

Everyone loved them and didn’t realize they were vegan desserts. Vegan Cashew Cups will be ready for the holidays.

Plus the Florida Department of Agriculture officially issued the bakery a passing  GMP compliance inspection.

Vegan Cashew Cups Vegan Cashew Cups

Building a business to create jobs for others is a lot like life.  A Strong Stable Foundation is needed to sustain the good, bad, and the ugly. If you have The Foundation, every “marathon” will be successful.

Party Favors

Why do you do it?

A friend and I were talking about her new business plan. I wanted to help with her brainstorming session and possibly get some business tips. She purchased property to create an outdoor eating area. Several independent food trailers will supply delicious lunches to customers.  

Party Favors

I was on board with the idea until she wanted to charge the small business owners an unreasonable monthly fee. I asked why would she  charge so much.

Her response was, “I’m in business to make money.”

Real Bananas

It made me wonder how many other businesses are taking advantage of their customers for the love of money.  

I know it takes money to run a successful business. Unfortunately It takes money to do almost everything. However, is it worth stepping on others for money?

I did some soul searching to find out why we have a small business. We know our business is FOR helping former inmates, disabled veterans, the homeless and others who need a second chance. However, it was necessary for me to find out WHY we started one.

Initially we had to use a contract manufacturer. It was difficult, but rewarding because we still call Fairlight Bakery (now Bake Works) our friends.

 When a commercial kitchen opened in our area we were finally able to make our own products. There were a lot of hard days at YourProKitchen in Panama City, but the bond we made with Jeff Lawrence was priceless.

Now we have our own private bakery. There are  countless stories of Loving, Kind, and Joyful moments with many people despite the difficulties of business.

 

I’ll admit there are many times we’ve considered giving up. Looking back, I now see giving up is not an option. There are too many people who do not realize Loving others is important. No one is perfect. If we would think about reasons why we do things, a simple random act of Kindness could brighten someone’s day. 

Blue Bell and Boo-Shaw

Sooner or later eventually we’ll need that Kindness too.  For us, it’s all about relationships.  I hope it is for you too.

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