Dec 29, 2010

Dog Gone Magical

November and December are busy months for Rich Delights and my daughter and I did not get to volunteer as much as we like to. We celebrate Chanukah in our home and the holiday was very early this year. Chanukah lasts for 8 nights and our tradition has changed over the past couple of years. Money we have that might have been used for exchanging gifts now goes to charities we feel passionate about. The donations we make may not be enough to evoke any major worldly changes but we still feel good knowing that we made a choice to give. Each night we pick a different cause.Whether we celebrate Christmas or Chanukah or any other holiday during these winter months there is always an opportunity to reflect on our blessings and give what we can.
One of my most cherished donations this year will be given on behalf of Rich Delights and KIDS AGAINST ANIMAL CRUELTY. A percentage of sales ranging from 10% to 20% has been collected recently and will be going to a security guard at one of the studio lots. Lou Wegner, founder of KAAC, was so touched by the love and courage of this man whose dog took a bullet for him and saved his life. Later it was learned that the dog was very ill and it is expensive to sustain his regimen. After the holidays I will give a money order to Lou which he can present as a small token of letting someone else know that people care. Rich Delights Paying It Forward with KIDS AGAINST ANIMAL CRUELTY. If each of us found someone or something to partner with just think of all the good we could create!

Speaking of good, I want to end this with a success story of hope and determination. In September  at an Animal Advocates Alliance adoption at Pan Pacific Park we drove to Los Angeles with the expected temperatures to go well into the 100's. I had my daughter and two of her friends with me.Turned out to be 105 degrees and the volunteers and the dogs shared a long hot day together. Nobody complained about the heat itself so much. The complaints were about the fact that the high temperatures were keeping people inside their nice air conditioned homes and not at the park where we were. This meant few adoptions and at the end of the day a very sweet Pit Bull we named Penelope and three other Pits went back on the animal control truck to the shelter. My daughter fell in love with Penelope and we both cried when we had to lift her on to the truck. The good news was the promise that she was given a few extra days of life.
I guess you could say I became obsessed with networking this dog. A child's love for something makes a parent work that much harder to see it materialize. In the long run I was not the person who found the rescue for this dog nor was I the person who fostered the dog. Those honors go to Sondra Arrache and Stephanie Draven. However, I have since gotten to know these amazing ladies and they have inspired me to push myself even more especially for the Pit Bull which is a breed most discriminated against these days.Penelope took a long trip from Los Angeles to Oregon and after a few weeks Sondra found this dog now called Ona a wonderful family.
Yesterday Ona and her "brother" Tommy a Jack Russel Terrier were in Chula Vista visiting their California family. My daughter pretty much begged me to travel the 100 miles to see Ona now in her new life. When we arrived I actually got a little choked up as her Mom Karama had her on a leash to greet us as we got out of the car....People wonder why we do what we do for these discarded animals. If I had any doubts at all they all disappeared when Ona jumped up on us and gave us huge doggie kisses....She was not in Oregon but she was HOME! It felt Magical!
May all who read this and even those who don't be blessed in the upcoming year 2011 with giving of themselves in a way that will have a positive impact on all living things. I believe that each day we are fortunate enough to wake up is equivalent to celebrating a New Year. We don't have to wait for the calendar to tell us it is time for a change. I look forward to a sweet successful year with Rich Delights and donating a percentage of sales to KIDS AGAINST ANIMAL CRUELTY. While I continue working to make a difference I will still be...... baking4you!

Nov 26, 2010

Dog Gone Productive

This past month has been filled with good things. Business has been picking up as the weather has been cooling off. People are looking to sit down with some of our cookies and breads to accompany their cocoa and coffee and it has also been the start of the holiday season. It is always a blessing when there are orders to fill as without business there is no funding for much of anything. The alliance with KIDS AGAINST ANIMAL CRUELTY has presented opportunities to Pay It Forward not only with physically helping through volunteering but also with the donations Rich Delights is giving from the proceeds of every order. The money has gone to buy blankets, sweaters and toys for shelter dogs and has also helped to chip in on vet bills. Goals have been put into perspective with our joint venture. Participating in the materializing is a gift  for those involved and for those without a voice.

KIDS AGAINST ANIMAL CRUELTY is not just a facebook page or a group of children in Los Angeles. Although we spend time driving to Los Angeles to help them the idea is to spread actions and words across the globe. At the end of October there was an annual adoption event in Riverside,California called DOGTOBER FEST. It has become a joint effort between a local group started by Jennifer Dabney called DEATH ROW DOGZ and the Riverside Animal Services. It is graciously hosted at Skip Fordyce Harley Davidson which is owned by Jennifer and her husband Jay.We were fortunate to be a part of that day and watched many dogs go to forever homes.

The following week end we went to volunteer at the BEST FRIENDS PET SUPER ADOPTION run by the amazing Robin Harmon at the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles. We were there with  ANIMAL ADVOCATES ALLIANCE run by the incredible Stephanie Levy. There were hundreds of pets looking for homes from rescues and shelters.It was mind boggling how many animals were there and realizing that this was just a tiny percentage of the many discarded pets from all around the area. This was the poster day for why spaying and neutering is so imperative and why the puppy mills and the breeders must stop adding to the problem.

On the 16th of November I had the honor of being interviewed for THE LET'S DINE OUT SHOW with Allan Borgen and his co host. I arrived at the radio station 590KTIE with samples of traditional and vegan cookies and breads and they taste tested while we were on air. I was a little nervous at first being that Allan has been doing this for so many years and worried that he might not be as impressed with Rich Delights as I had hoped he would be but both men enjoyed their treats. The interview was aired on November 20th and the pod cast is now available on their web site. Not too bad considering it was my first radio interview.

The final event we participated in this month was the LOVING ALL ANIMALS 2010 Super Pet Adoption Round Up held in Indio, California. We went with Royce Bordes and DIAMONDS IN THE RUFF. The event was held at the beautiful Jackalope Ranch with rescue groups and shelters showcasing their animals for two days. There was a reporter from Channel 2 news there and my daughter even made it into an article in the online version of a local newspaper as she sat in a cage full of adorable puppies. It was another productive day in which we got to participate in saving lives and watching a lot of happy tail wagging going on accompanied by smiling faces of adults and children alike.
There is always something we can do to make this world a better place for the animals, the environment and the people residing in it. While the search for solutions continues just know that I will be baking4you!

Oct 25, 2010

Dog Gone Goodness

 I have known for a couple of months that I needed to find a way to tie my business into giving back somewhere and it was decided that animal advocacy is a passion I have the ability to work with. I have mentioned Lou Wegner and his group KIDS AGAINST ANIMAL CRUELTY which drew my daughter and I from Riverside to Los Angeles. I have also mentioned ANIMAL ADVOCATES ALLIANCE which is the group we went to volunteer with.

At first we thought it might be a one time volunteer day but when we got there we were so impressed by the dedication of all the people who were giving up their Sundays to try and save the lives of the animals coming from the high kill Baldwin Park shelter. Over the past few months Lou and his mom Diana have become like family to us and we have spent quite a bit of time together at and away from Pan Pacific Park where the adoptions are held. Saving animals has introduced us to so many people we never would have had the opportunity to know and care for. One of the things the Wegner's and I have agreed upon is that Rich Delights is going to support KIDS AGAINST ANIMAL CRUELTY from this day forward.
We will continue volunteering and networking the dogs society has tossed away like trash but more than that we are collaborating as a team. A percentage of sales will give something to KIDS AGAINST ANIMAL CRUELTY so that a donation can be made to help where needed. This month there was a small donation of blankets and crate liners given to the Baldwin Park shelter because it is getting colder and so many of the animals there could benefit from the comforrt. The kids group is not yet a non profit so there is no direct financial support but I will tell them what they earned from Rich Delights profits each month and then it will be decided what is to be done with the money. Sometimes it may go to help pay a vet bill or to help rescue an animal. No telling where it will go as of now but one thing is for sure...we have begun paying it forward together!
The more Rich Delights earns the more funds there will be to work with....This is the beginning of something that is going to turn into something amazing. I can feel just feel it and I know the feeling is shared with some close friends. When there are good people supporting us there is nothing we cannot accomplish!... I will continue being an Animal Rights Knight and I will also keep baking4you!

Sep 11, 2010

Dog Gone Necessary

I totally understand the fact that I need to devote time to my business if it is to become a money making entity but when I do not have orders to fill I am consumed with thoughts of the thousands of animals that get euthanized daily because people do not spay or neuter their pets or because they discard their pets like yesterday's trash. Don't get me started on the hoarders and the filth that put dogs together to fight with each other.With the overpopulation of these animals the rescuers have their hands full as do the shelters. There are only so many people and so much room able to accomodate animals with nowhere to go. My teen daughter is very passionate about all of the pets that need forever homes and the two of us have teamed together along with others who care. We know we may barely make a dent in this problem but any life we can help save is worth every moment we try to assist in that outcome.

 At the end of August we went back to Pan Pacific Park in Los Angeles to team up with KIDS AGAINST ANIMAL CRUELTY, ANIMAL ADVOCATES ALLIANCE and the Baldwin Park Shelter in an effort to assure that none of the animals would be sent back to the high kill shelter that day. One of the things that interested me was that some people were actually nasty to my daughter and the other teens holding up signs at the passing cars. One of the comments was that these kids, and everyone else there, shouldn't care about the stupid animals but should care about people in need...Well guess what??! People who care about animals and try to help them also work hard for humanity. It isn't about one or the other it is about doing what you can when you can for anyone and anything that needs the help. My daughter was a bit horrified by the coldness of anyone who made nasty remarks about all of the many volunteers donating their time to Pay It Forward.

With the Fall season approaching quickly I know business will soon pick up for Rich Delights. I am grateful and look forward to being busy baking and filling orders and hopefully being able to start donating some of the profits to help where it is needed. I understand the importance of making my business a success and we do need the money but I am continually drawn to the volunteer efforts that kicked in big time this summer. My daughter began volunteering at the local animal shelter a couple of years ago and she will continue supporting them but when we found out about the numbers living short lives in the high kill shelters we both knew we needed to concentrate in those areas even if it means driving 75 miles to Los Angeles and not being able to help as often as we would like to.
The last two times we went to volunteer I brought Rich Delights for the volunteers and my next venture will be to work with Diana Wegner, the lovely mother of Lou Wegner, to have bake sales that will benefit the groups that do so much for the animals who have no other voice to speak out for them. I am very excited about the fact that the love my daughter and I have for our own animals has spilled into the adoption and rescue arena and that we get to be a part of something so meaningful....There is a quote from the Talmud that basiclly says: Whoever saves a single life is as if they saved the entire world...We may not be able to save them all but it matters to each and every one we do...I will continue the fight for those who cannot fight for themselves whether they are human or animal and while I am doing that I will continue baking4you!

Aug 3, 2010

Dog Gone Sweet

It's been quite some time since I updated this blog. Most of my time away has been due to changes in family member's lives and schedules. However I have also been "distracted" in a good way and am very proud and happy to be involved in giving more time to animal adoptions and rescue efforts. My daughter is a huge animal advocate which makes me more eager to help. It is also great to watch a teen care so much about issues outside of themselves. Rich Delights is still working on adding inspirational items which can be sold as gifts to accompany our treats.

 One of my main goals is to donate a portion of each order to a charity. It seems as if the answer has presented itself. This past week end we met up in Los Angeles with a wonderful child actor named Lou Wegner. He and some friends have a group called KIDS AGAINST ANIMAL CRUELTY and they were getting together to help with adoptions with the ANIMAL ADVOCATE ALLIANCE for the Baldwin Park shelter. Because I bake I decided to bring treats for the volunteers. While watching how much the treats were enjoyed it occured to me that Rich Delights should support the true heroes who save animals on the door step of being euthanized.That very day there was a dog that was physically removed from a table where it was to meet it's death. Instead it got another chance to live. So my new goal is to have my buisness be a part of this blessing by giving both time and dollars in support. This is just one more reason for me to want my business to grow and thrive. Thank you to all the people who open our eyes and dare us to turn away from these animals who have no hope without us. A special shout out to Diana Wegner who guided us through our first adoption in Los Angeles. I want to acknowledge Wendon Swift who opened my eyes from the first day I started reading her posts, Stephanie Levy who fuels the Animal Advocate Alliance with her dedication, someone I have not met but who I read great thing about all the time and that is Milan Radovic of TOP DOG RESORT and to all the rest of the places filled with volunteers who give so much of themselves so an animal can find the life it deserves.....My life is starting a new chapter with animals but I will still be...baking4you!

Jun 25, 2010

Sweet and Sentimental

During the past month I have been looking at ways to make my business a little sweeter. In the beginning it had to do with new recipes. That is still in process but something else came to mind.When one thinks of something sweet it normally has to do with sugar. We all know that sugar is not a healthy part of our diets or our lifestyles but we do like to use it as a way to reward ourselves. The "congratulations" often come in the form of a treat that satisfies a craving. I understand the importance of healthy living and I also understand there is no health value in sugary treats. However, as a society we enjoy them and in moderation I believe they are an acceptable part of our lives. That being said, part of the reason I started including  inspirational messages with each order was to add a little balance. My order menu is not any healthier but I feel good sending a package which might engage someone's mind while they are enjoying something a little decadent. People seem to enjoy receiving the inspirational post cards and that got me to wondering about expanding. I always imagined having a store front to sell Rich Delights baked goods but what if I made it more than that? What if  my business took the word "sweet" and expanded it further to incorporate my wiritng and my value system? I participated in a local rally for the 'Day of Silence' and I wrote a slogan. It was well received and I had an idea  to make it stand out so it could be put on shirts,hats, bumper stickers and other items that could carry a message. I have a facebook friend named Jill Kemerer-Roberts. She is a local artist and I have seen some of the beautiful things she creates and decided to ask if I could hire her to help me with the creative aspect of what I wanted to convey. I sent her my vision and she sent me some ideas. The final decision has not been made but once it has I will have my first graphic to procede with this "sweet adventure". When I mentioned to someone that I felt I was drifting away from my business with these new ideas I was told it was simply expanding my business. I will have a business that truly represents me. Once again I am excited about not placing limitations on what I can do and I am congratulating myself by moving forward.....As I find new ways to make Rich Delights a little sweeter just remember that I will still be baking4you!

May 28, 2010

Sweet Search for Balance

Balance is a necessary component in everything we do. It determines everything we are and everything we will become. Being multi faceted we are the sum of our past experiences. If used wisely we take our mistakes and turn them into lessons. Life is one big learning experience and if we are wise we ensure that balance is the initial present goal when working to reach the more distant goals.
 Whenever I look at altering a recipe I have to consider that the final product must be a balance of many things. It begins with flavor because if what I sell doesn't taste good there will be no future business. However there are many things that have to be considered to offer something of quality.The appearance is also detrimental because if it doesn't look good people are less likely to try it. If it is something for an event people will not want to showcase it. We all know that appearance is not a reliable component to taste but we still rely on a visual when trusting it is a good idea to take a bite. We are a society caught up in appearances and food does not escape that scrutinty. The texture is another important factor. I know what I want the texture to be and if the end result does not produce it then I have to go back and re-think the ingredient proportions. Reliable service is a vital element as well. People must be able to trust that they will have what they need when they need it. Without the benefit of a store front my contact begins with a call or an email which is often received by strangers. If I do not give the impression of offering good service then the quality alone is not enough to get their initial business or to earn a repeat customer. A returning customer is someone who finds a balance in all they want from their purchase....Business is just a mirror of our lives.The key to being successful hinges on how well we find that balance. After completing my first year in business I am able to look back and see areas where I faltered and why I need to distribute my focus in other directions. My financial success is yet to be what I desire but as long as I strive for a balance in all areas of my life then I am sure to reach my goals. While I learn and search I will continue...baking4you!

May 4, 2010

Treat Your Mind

AfterI wrote my last entry I had time to think about the best way to present my one line inspirational quotes with each order. I had thought about doing them on little slips of paper like fortunes in a fortune cookie but I think they will get lost in the gift bags as well as the shipping boxes. I also thought about putting them on labels with some cute artwork and sticking them on the inside of the bags and the inside flaps of the boxes. Last week I put together some gift bags for a friend's out of town guests. They were staying at the Marriott and I made some post card "welcome" notes for each bag. The messages I normally include are not on post cards but this seemed to add a nice touch and I realized it would be a perfect vehicle for the quotes. Not only will they look nice when people open their bags and boxes but they will also be sturdy enough to put on a bulletin board, refrigerator or anywhere else people like to hang this type of thing. I can also change the borders so they have different flairs.I have written over 250 of these little quotes so far and that will give me a good start until I reach my goal of having enough to put them on an Inspirational Application for a phone or similar technology. I also look forward to the day when they are part of my actual packaging but that is further down the road. So,the next time you open a Rich Delights bag or box you will  find a treat for your mind as well as your sweet tooth. My job this week will be to begin the process of getting them printed but just know that as I am doing this I will still be............baking4you!

Apr 22, 2010

Recipe for Success

One of the things learned early on in baking is how important it is to follow the directions. There are ingredients that are vital to the way a recipe will look and taste when it is completed. A recipe comes with steps and it is important to follow those steps. Some mistakes can ruin what is being baked but other mistakes can create a new and better tasting treat. Mistakes seem to be a necessary part of growth no matter what we are doing.I have changed some of my recipes over the years but there are always certain things that cannot be changed for the desired results.If done properly there is something delicious and worth waiting for when all is done. In my business I have to follow a recipe for my baked goods but then there is also a recipe to follow if I am to make the business of selling a success. This is where I must place my focus in order to take things to another level.
Today I had the pleasure of speaking to a woman named Tera McHugh from the Association of Women Entrepreneurs . I would like to publicly thank her.She opened my eyes to some new ideas and helped me understand the things I had already accomplished. We discussed at length what I might be able to do in order to make my business thrive. She asked me a question which I thought I had answered. The question was "What makes Rich Delights Different"? All the reasons I mentioned  did not seem as unique in words or on paper as they are in my mind. I still believe I have something special to offer but I must be able to articulate that in order to attract new customers. I have avoided talking a lot about myself because I thought it would detract from my business but she pointed out that we often buy from people we like or can relate to which means I need to figure out a way to share more of myself. Part of the reason I wanted a store front was so I could do that on a daily basis but until I am able to have one I need to seek out other ways....One of the things I am most looking forward to is putting the personal inspirations I write in every gift bag or package. I want to make my bags and boxes like opening a fortune cookie and finding a message inside. I have begun looking into doing that and believe it will make people look forward to reading and eating from Rich Delights ....The bottom line is that I will never build the business with or without a store front until I can sell the consumer on why my treats are especially worth their dollar and why it is a great idea to let me do the baking whether it is for gift bags, party favors or personal treats. My goal during the next few weeks will be to re-introduce myself and Rich Delights in a way that will make the idea of ordering one you don't want to ignore......Until then I will keep...baking4you!

Apr 6, 2010

The Sweetness of Local Support

In these economic times which are trying for many it is less likely that a small new business,and even some not so new, can afford to do the advertising they would like to. Be it a vendor at a street faire or a networking event the fees are often larger than the profits depending on what the vendor has to sell.
It is also less likely that they will be able to lease space in a prime spot where there is the type of foot traffic that can help a business thrive. The question then becomes~What can someone do to help grow a business they believe has promise?
As I have mentioned in the past not having a store front means there is nowhere people can stumble upon Rich Delights and discover what we offer. However, I recently joined a few new facebook groups that I feel are going to be great for me and others in the area and I also added my business and my husband's business. A general listing is free and for some there is also an opportunity to pay for more detailed advertising. One group is the fan page and web site for Magnolia Valet ( which offers a place those in the Inland Empire can find other local people for hire. Temecula has the Temecula Valley Directory fan page and web site ( My husband and I both have a business that travels to Temecula so it was another good place to join. Stay Loyal to Riverside and Your Community  (!/group.php?gid=105291756176389) is a facebook group that also started as a way to help local business find other locals for support and to support. A fourth place I am pleased to be a part of is ( where Dave Parsons compiled and continues to add names of places that may help to make wedding planning easier by offering a group of trusted people to choose from.We have gotten so used to looking outside of our communities for what we need and it is great to have these groups that place the focus on helping us find each other. Right now Rich Delights counts on online orders but it would be such a blessing to have the largest percentage of sales come from local business. Sometimes doing business with a small business or a local business is not the easiest on our wallets but it makes me feel good to think I am helping to support those around me. While you are thinking about what you can do to help local business grow keep in mind that we are still here and ready to be......baking4you.

Mar 25, 2010

Patience in the Mix

In this world of instant gratification practicing patience is a task in itself. We don't want to wait for anything..not a meal at the fast food place, not the red light at an intersection and certainly not the dreaded dial up computer connection. We have learned to get what we want at record speeds or we find ourselves aggrevated.Then there is the other side of that which is procrastination.This is where we trick ourselves into believing that we can sit on our laurels and inevitably get what we want handed to us on a silver platter. Or we may complain our entire lives that nothing has come our way. Many of us have lost the ability to walk the fine line which separates the two. The place where a balance is reached. The place where we are rewarded for weighing the pros and cons and basing our decisions on rational options. I use the similarity with pregnancy as an example. I equate this with having a baby because no matter how much we want the baby to come into the world we must carry it for nine months. In order for the baby to be fully developed we must allow it the proper amount of time. Waiting is a necessity.Just as we must  have patience while waiting to give birth to a new life so must we have patience in waiting to give ourselves or our business new life. Most of our greatest blessings come in their specific allotted time.

 After carefully reviewing all of the sound advice from people either in the business or with great business sense I realized that having a store front must be put on the back burner for the time being. Does this mean that my goal has changed? Absolutely not! What it does mean is that I need to work on cashing in on other ventures which will afford me a financial cushion to provide Rich Delights a more secure direction. It means there is more work to be done.It is indeed a re-arranging of priorities but not a set back. It is a planned move which uses different timing to secure better results. I have come to realize that I have often confused procrastination with patience. However, I have learned that one is fear based and one is reality based.The difference between this decision and past decisions is that it is not fear based. Fear opens the gateway to procrastination.This methodical move requires realistic planning which is synonymous with patience. Unlike procrastination which renders us paralyzed, patience gives us the opportunity to take action based on informed choices.... As a pinch of patience is added to the mix please know that the same great taste will be in every order as I continue....baking4you!

Mar 17, 2010

Fifty and Forward

While pondering and sharing a direction for Rich Delights I have been met with both negative and positive feedback. At 50 something and in this economy a new business is a risk. All of my life I have avoided most risk taking which is why I am first chasing my dreams at this late stage. Baking and writing have always been passions so why not bring them to fruition?! I am not going to get any younger and who knows if I will ever see an economy that wishes to bless me with immediate success. It is up to me to trust my instincts and do what I do best. For many years it was parenting. I became a stay at home Mom in order to do a job the way I felt it needed done. With my children being 15 and 25 my time has been freed enough to do more for myself which in turn will teach them the importance of working for the life we want to live regardless of age or circumstances.
My past is filled with regrets but that does not mean I have to carry them into my future. My writing goals are to get my quotes on the likes of bookmarks,magnets and Iphone applications. My goals for Rich Delights involve a store front where people can come in and "shmooze" and enjoy my baked goods and each other. The standard menu items and specials will be displayed and ready for purchase and custom orders will still be welcome. Most importantly it is also a place I can be participating in my business on a more personal level. It seems many of the "Mom and Pop" shops have buckled under big business take overs but I believe there is still room for a small business with a personal touch. I see a place that offers the taste of home baked treats with the feeling of warmth and welcome. It will not be the only place of its kind but it will be mine. It will be driven by my determination and run with heart and soul in addition to good business sense. I am confident I can make it work. As I am doing this I will continue to offer nationwide shipping as that has been such a big part of my business up to date.
So, what comes next? What do I do to make this happen? After all, it has been nearly one year since Rich Delights developed and we are still renting the same kitchen space. I believe the Riverside Plaza  would be a great place for Rich Delights to open shop and there happens to be space available! My hope is that someone will be attracted to the idea of what I am trying to do and have enough faith in me to invest in my vision as a routine investment or because they would like to be an "angel investor". Is it foolish to believe that a woman who is fifty something can witness this vision materializing? Some will say yes and then there are those who know me and trust my persistent nature which gives me the strength to climb out of a rut and sail into the future.....As the questions are answered and more is revealed just know that I will keep....baking4you!

Mar 9, 2010

Cookie Creations

In the big scheme of things cookie flavors don't run on the top of the "What's Important" list but in the business of baking it does matter. When our first menu was put on paper last April it was based mainly on what I felt I baked best. Being the baker as well as the owner meant I had an extra say in this. Banana Chocolate Chip Bread, Pumpkin Bread  and Chocolate Chip Cookies with Toffee were always on the request list if I was being asked to bake by my peers. After much consideration I added a few breads and a few cookies and decided to start there. I constantly get asked to bake cakes and cupcakes but I always refer them to somewhere I like to get my cakes and cupcakes. Can I bake them? Of course! Are they the best things I bake. I don't think so. I have witnessed too many people stray from specializing in what they do well and incorporating what they feel will please the masses. As a result there are many individuals and establishments that aren't really good at what they do and offer mediocre goods and services. I am the first to say that multi tasking is something I do well but I go directions that suit my talents and abilities.

So where am I going with this? In trying to keep people satisfied I am always looking for ways to improve the menu on the Rich Delights order page. I understand that for this business to succeed there must be something unique about what we do and we must offer flavors that really appeal to people so they want to order from us. After all, they have so many other choices. While working on what makes us unique I am tackling the assortment aspect.The cookies available today without placing a custom order are those that are the biggest sellers. Custom orders are not a problem but we do ask the customer to buy an entire batch if they design the cookie where as with a standard menu item you just order in the quantities we offer which come in various sizes. In figuring out if there might be other standard items that people would prefer I decided to do a little something to test that. I went on to my facebook group page which is People Who Enjoy Rich Delights and I asked people to email suggestions throughout the month of March. At the end of the month  the most popular will be up for a group vote as well as with other facebook friends. The chosen cookie will be added to the standard menu and that person will receive two dozen of their creation as a thank you. We may even let the winner choose a name for the cookie. Right now our cookies do not have names. You order by a description of the cookie but that is up for change as well. If this goes according to plan there will eventually be a menu which is mostly derived from social networking ideas. Because nearly 75% of our business stems from social networking this seems like a good way to change things up. So, if you have an idea for a new menu item please email it to While we await your ideas please remember that we are always...baking4you!

Mar 2, 2010

A Pinch of Gratitude

Business was slow last week and once again I asked myself if it is really worth trying to make Rich Delights successful. Without a store front it is so difficult for people to see what we have to offer. I get caught up in everyone else's locations and web site designs and the negative thinking pops into my head. I then ask myself....Why bother?! I mean so many people bake and there are so many bakeries and other places that offer delicious baked goods so what is the point of one more? Isn't the economy a mess anyway? As I was sitting here with the "stinking thinking" I was reminded of what stopped me from chasing this dream years ago. All of the excuses I made as to why I wasn't turning passion into profit were rearing their ugly heads. As I was sitting in my own negative pool of thoughts I noticed that there was a message on my phone. Seems my bad thoughts were loud enough to drown out the ringer. I listened to the message and it was a man who said he needed a few dozen cookies.

I returned the call to an out of state number wondering why this man was in town and why he called me. Forgetting once again that there are no accidents and that there was a reason he dialed the number. His wife delivered twins at Kaiser and he wanted to thank the staff  in the neo natal intensive care unit. He said everything on my web site looked so delicious and asked for one dozen of every kind of cookie on the menu.

I asked him how he found us and he said he googled cookies looking for someone local. At first I thought it was a prank call. After speaking to him and emailing him a proposal I realized this was for real. We wound up agreeing on a variety of 12 dozen cookies which I delivered to the Riverside Marriott for him while he was at Kaiser with his wife and babies. I am not sure how his family is doing but they are in my prayers. I feel this man answered my prayers without my ever making the prayer on a consciouslevel. I was reminded how blessed I am to have two healthy children in my life right now. I mean when it comes down to what really matters that trumps anything I can imagine in my business life. I am sure this out of town customer was sent to me as a reminder that one must never give up just because the circumstances seem less than perfect. I am pretty certain he is dealing with issues of not giving up with his twins or he would not be in a hospital so far from home. It also enabled me to review what I have to be grateful for. A mind cannot get lost in defeat when feeling gratitude. Gratitude is a key ingredient to success and just a pinch of gratitude goes a long way. So... as I continue the struggle of ironing out the details.... as I near the end of my first year in business, I am sure that as long as I can muster up another day of gratitude then I will continue.... baking4you.

Feb 21, 2010

Business of Baking

As small business owner of less than one year I am questioing how different aspects of business apply to my own. The first issue is that of Networking. The biggest concern I face is how the dollars from referrals will match up to the dollars spent. My husband is a concrete contractor so for his business one referral will cover most if not all of his fees. I can see how that might be true for many types of business. In the baking business where one is not selling from a store front, offering items which have high price tags or selling wholesale then it begs the question to where and when it is worth becoming  part of a group that may not be able to provide enough leads to help turn a profit. Time constraints  prevent meetings here and there but the financial issue is constantly looming. Sure we have to spend money to make money but the optimal word here is "profit" and if one is not being made then it hardly seems worth the time and energy spent in the meetings.
Next is the issue of Donations. How many are a good number and how much should be given? Of course there are donations made for the sole reason of helping an organization that I support on a personal level but what about all the other requests? People constantly imply that it is a good way to advertise the business hence a good reason to donate. I do not want to think that donations should always be given with a future dollar amount in mind. However, the only way I can measure the new discoveries to Rich Delights is through my bank account. If my donations are more than my profits then it surely is not working on any business level.
Finally there is the issue of being a Vendor. In any given arena there  is usually a price tag associated with setting up a booth. This seems fair because everything is about money and business. But how many events do we attend when it actually costs us money to be there? I have been a vendor in places where there was no fee and still lost money. Rich Delights is perishable so if you see our treats on a table somewhere you know they are fresh. We always try to bring a variety so there is a nice selection. People do not want to come and see photos without something they can actually eat. If we do not sell everything we bring we are at a loss. Unlike the person selling clothing,accessories or other items they can pack up and sell later, we are left with merchandise that must be thrown away or given away. I have no problem giving away the leftovers but there again one hopes that the person receiving the goodies might be kind enough to return the favor and either send a referral or place an order for themselves. Are the items given away just so there will be future business? Of course not! However, it seems like reciprocating the favor is a nice idea that most do not follow. It is wonderful to receive compliment after compliment from these people but at the end of the day without sales it means nothing fort he business.
I am determined to make this work so I will figure out the next step while taking advice from other bakers who have been in the same position. While the questions are being answered and new ideas are being created just be sure that Rich Delights will continue......baking4you!

Feb 15, 2010

Sweetness in Words

Valentine's Day came and went. This was the first since beginning business last April so there was no telling what to expect. Did not have the volume of business I had hoped for. Tried something new by adding a candy item to the menu just for the holiday. Made candy hearts in four colors and three flavors. Bought some cute canisters and packaging to replace the normal cellophane but I am thinking people went with candy and flowers and many did not stop to see what Rich Delights was offering. The people who ordered loved what they bought which was a good thing.
As I sit and decide what might be done for other upcoming holidays I am also working on a new venture with my writing. Baking has always been a passion but so has writing. The writing has always been for my own pleasure but just as I turned baking into something others enjoy it seems the writing may be on the same path. Writings include poetry and one liners that I envision on bookmarks, magnets and Iphone applications. At some point it would be great to make Rich Delights include some of the quotes as part of the draw to purchasing something sweet with a message. Maybe that line could be "Inspirational Delights!
The older I get the more I realize that I have placed far too many limitations on myself. As my very wise Grandmother used to tell me "It is never too late to learn". She was 98 when she passed and had great wisdom to share right up until the end. I'd like to think she lives on through me. Just as my Dad will live on through my baking I have a feeling my Grandmother will do the same through my newest undertaking. They will live on through my heart as they always gave me theirs.

I am learning that there are endless possibilities for me regardless of what opportunities I wasted in the past.

I look forward to walking down this new path but in the mean time....... I will continue baking4you!

Feb 6, 2010

Think Before You Bite

I am a big supporter of what downtown Riverside is doing with Artwalk. However, as I was sitting in front of Relish Deli smelling the wonderful aroma of the food they prepared for the evening visitors I could not help but notice that the street was filled with young artists and what seemed like hundreds of their friends. Most wanted to know if we had free samples but clearly had no interest in purchasing anything then or in the future. To my dismay, people young and old were actually buying cheap unwrapped cupcakes and other baked goods from the teens and others walking around with filled trays. None of these supposed vendors had health permits, labels with their ingredients or any other information but it did not seem to bother anyone. Even adults were buying these treats for their children. Hmmmm... adults who would run down to get a flu vaccine have no concerns about what they are eating or feeding their children ?! I was prepared for competition from the many great establishments downtown but was not prepared for the blatant disrespect for the distinct rules of safety in food handling and preparation. I am contemplating whether or not I want to go back into that environment. It hardly seems worth putting the work into making a display of  packaged treats if the public will buy from just anyone who offers them a cheaper deal regardless of the circumstances. However, I did meet some great people who stopped and chatted and got information about what I do. Some bought treats and some just left with information. It was yet another lesson in the world of small business...Until next time we will keep baking4you.

Feb 4, 2010

Delights for the Art Lover

Spent this week trying to decide what treats to offer at ARTWALK this evening. Rich Delights is really all about baked goods but candy hearts will be available just to keep in the spirit of what people expect on Valentine's Day. Our orders normally come in cellophane packaging but for tonight there will be decorative canisters and bags. Without added preservatives our baked goods will not be good if one wants to save them for Valentine's Day but the canisters can be re-filled by us or with something a customer wants to put in them. Debating on making a basket for show incase someone wants to custom order one. When preparing to do any type of vendor event it is always tough to decide what to bring. Bring too much and there is waste but don't bring enough and we can't please the people attending. Will offer as many menu items as possible except the unsliced mini loaves in cute Valentine's packaging or the larger loaves. However, those can easily be ordered. If you are downtown Riverside tonight please stop and say hello and see if there is something to satisfy your sweet tooth. Until next time ....we will keep baking4you.

Feb 1, 2010


Until the day we are doing more celebrity type catering or party favors that might make a baking blog seem more interesting we'll  keep the blogs to
once or twice a week. There clearly could be a lot more writing if recipes were being shared but the truth is they are not going to be. If you all had the recipes then why would you ever need to hire Rich Delights?!The November and December holidays were busy  but things slowed down after the New Year so there has been time to incorporate some menu changes. This was done partially to try and make it easier for people to go online and order the items which sell the most. I, being the baker, have so many more ideas and I have baked more than a few things that I do not offer for order with the ease of a paypal button but it is all about keeping things simple unless someone wants to place a custom order. There are usually discounts to Facebook first time buyers,referral clients and to people in a few of the groups either I or Rich Delights is associated with. Those are custom orders and need to be done either by email or phone with an invoice to follow. The same holds true if you have a gift certificate to redeem. However, if you look at the menu and see what you want staring back at you then the ordering is fast and simple and will usually be filled within a couple of days with a delivery or shipping availability to meet your needs.
Even though I have many years of baking experience Rich Delights is still a "baby in the business world" and it would be great if you would share this information with your friends or co-workers. "Word of Mouth" is always the best advertising and in this business word of mouth is truly everything because if someone is not happy with the taste then no amount of photos or print ads will change their opinion. That being said, these thoughts are wrapping up with a photo of one of the new menu items which is a chocolate chip cookie with macadamia nuts. We also offer a white chocolate chip cookie with macadamia nuts which can be ordered with or without coconut.
Until next time .......we will keep baking4you.