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.