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.



A few years ago we upgraded from a shared commercial kitchen with gas to our own bakery with electric. It took several months of failed attempts to make our products in our new electric convection ovens.  We went through the process of “getting to know your oven” with different pans, temperatures, times, and even a science engineer. For two years, our gourmet cookies were great. However, we still had to scrap some because they were too big or too small to package. 

I was frustrated, but I was told all bakeries have to throw away a percentage of their products. So we accepted the setbacks.

Always All Natural Ingredients

Guess what we learned several weeks ago? We’ve been using the wrong ovens. We were not using Imperial ovens which are designed specifically for baking.

Wouldn’t it be great if “Back to the Future” was possible?

Trying to stay positive, I experimented while waiting for our new oven to arrive.

Looks good right???

Yummy Dough


Maybe we could start selling pancakes 🙁

Why do we have to fail in order to succeed? Life is short. Why is the 80/20 principle true?

Mr. Thomas Edison said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

Mr. Albert Einstein said, “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”

Mr. C.S. Lewis said, “Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.”

There are many other encouraging words about embracing failure. However, there’s one I didn’t see. We say, “Failures make you a humbled success and grateful for everyone who helped get you there.” Don’t give up my fellow small business owners. We’re cheering for you all…….even the gourmet gift shops  🙂

Good News

What about this? What about that?

Although we have sugar free and gluten friendly all natural desserts, I wanted to make a new healthier snack. 

I tried to blend oats, berries, honey, and other ingredients. My goal was to create a great tasting healthy treat that doesn’t have deceiving ingredients like rice syrup. 

I gave the snack to part our Research and Development team……….…it was awful.

Feeling defeated but choosing not to give up, I tweaked the recipe and tried again. As our team tried the second recipe, it felt like I was on the show Chopped.

The second recipe was better, but needed improvements too. 

During this effort, it was interesting to discover the vast differences in tastes. Some people could not taste flavors. Some wanted the snack to be crispy, but others disagreed.  As we  were brainstorming improvement possibilities, there was also a debate whether or not coconut has a mint aftertaste.

I wanted to give up. However, I realized we have not seen this type of snack in stores. We were developing something new.

Version three was packed with flavor……but.…..a few people made more minor suggestions.

As the desire of banging my head against a wall increased, I noticed something.

Coming Sooner or Later

If trivial things like taste buds are so different, wouldn’t our personalities be equally as different? Wouldn’t our perceptions be immensely different too?

It also makes me wonder if we could stop the hate in this world just by being Kind, Good, Gentle, and Patient to others who seem different.

I think it’s worth a try…..don’t you?

Small Business Tips

Maybe this is why……

Recently I watched two friends lose another business. This was their second failed business in seven years.  Neither one of them has a business management degree. However, if a person can get rich from selling digital cats, an honest business should be able to succeed.  Their first business was a start up. I assumed it closed because 50% of businesses  fail in the first five years.  Their second business was already established. So why did they lose it? 

The Get Well Soon Man Bucket
The Get Well Man Bucket

One of them confided in me.  The other partner used the company revenue for personal retail therapy. As a result, their businesses failed, their personal credit  suffered, and their friendship suffered. I was shocked and saddened for them. There are countless websites listing  reasons why businesses fail. 

                                                               What about the underlying reasons why people seem to actively ruin businesses and relationships?

I think most small businesses create themselves because a family has been doing something successful for years. That’s how we got started.  Of course there are growing pains, but if you are already successful doing it….the textbook reasoning why small businesses fail is debunked.

I found out the business partner is a victim of an abusive past. It was clear the partner’s emotional  baggage  ruined two businesses and a friendship.  This situation is an example of a global epidemic.  Small businesses and relationships are destroyed because we fail to face our fears. We all have emotional baggage. If we would  have the courage to forgive, love, and allow others to use their strengths to compensate for our weaknesses…….we would all succeed……..right? 

Orange Sorbet
Small Business Tips

Before you do it…….

Please consider this story….

Recently we needed  an automotive paint repair. We hired a small business owner who gave us a reasonable price. 

When he gave us the car, it looked brand new. They also gave us free body work.

We were overjoyed. I noticed the business owner was overjoyed more than us.  It was clear he’s a kind person using his talents to make others happy.

He asked us to bring the car back for some finishing touches.  When we brought it back, he apologized because he was busier than expected.

Since he Blessed us with his talents, we Blessed him with patience and understanding.  We went to pick it up in the afternoon, but the paint body shop was closed and our car was locked inside.  Needless to say, we ran out of patience. We got the car back the next morning, but  it wasn’t finished.  He was very remorseful. 

Knowing running a small business is difficult, we assured him we would bring the car back. 

He was so thankful. Plus he explained that he promised his son a trip to Chuck E Cheese. In addition, he was having a difficult time finding trustworthy employees. 

Yes we were  inconvenienced, but a dad got to keep a promise to his young son. 

Unfortunately this small business owner’s Google rating is 2.7 stars. It’s not fair because he’s a kind person and a caring father just trying to make others happy with his talents. 

So before you use the online rating tool, please take another look at the situation………it may be a small business owner just having a bad day.