We’re back! Before getting into this post, just wanted to let you know that we have updated our website just ‘a little’, as our business moves forward. I’m still working on a post for “People, Books & Places”, so hang with me! Another change is that I won’t be posting as many recipes, as time just doesn’t allow for it right now, and in all honesty, I would rather be baking!  

There has been a lot of excitement lately in our household, sandwiched between a mixed bag of emotions; frustrations, challenges, sleepless nights, and me second guessing myself to take the next step. I don’t know what I would do without my faithful hubby, Dale. He always knows what to say when I’m feeling happy or sad, and he’s always by my side with encouraging words to take that next step.

Many of you already know how deep my baking obsession is, and my passion for baking is not something that just happened overnight. The fire was lit 43 years ago, at the young age of 12. Yes, I’m 55! The pictures in this post are a bit grainy. No, they are not pictures of me! They are pictures of our daughter, spending time down on the farm, just like I used to do. Anywhere there were animals, that’s where you would find Jenny, and she’s just as much of an animal love today, as she was back then.

Elsie and Julie were dedicated to their farm. No matter who came to visit or stay for a night or weeks at a time, they always made time for you and made you feel at home. Elsie and Julie have passed on, but all the memories made on the farm, will be forever engrained in me.

What I remember most, is I couldn’t wait for the summer. That meant spending time on the farm, bottle feeding baby calves, baling hay, detasseling corn, playing with the kittens in the barn, riding on the tractor with Julie, and riding the work horses. What I loved though, was spending time with Elsie in her kitchen. I loved the gentle warm breezes that flowed through the kitchen windows and the aroma of freshly baked bread that had just come out of the oven.

Although we don’t live on a farm, we do live in an old farmhouse that backs up to a beautiful county park. I love baking bread anytime, but I especially love the summer time. The gentle warm breeze that flows through our kitchen windows, takes me back to the days in the farm kitchen with Elsie. Our kitchen is where I feel at home. It’s the one place in our house where I feel the presence of Elsie baking right here by my side. That’s how much of an influence she was not only in my life, but our entire family. My sister, Kathy, said it best in a poem she had written in remembrance of Elsie. “She was the glue that held us together; the matriarch of our family. She showed us courage, strength, devotion and faith.” To carry on her memories and traditions, means everything to me.

So you’re probably wondering what we’re all up to now? For the past 10 years, we have been working towards this moment, from taking classes at the Small Business Development Center, meetings with SCORE Madison, which helps small businesses like ours in writing our business plan, attending workshops on financials, social media, learning new computer software, creating our website, and the list goes on and on. 

If everything goes as planned, we hope that we can start construction next spring, adding a commercial kitchen onto our home. Because we are in a ‘residential’ neighborhood, we can only sell at Farmer’s Markets, and are allowed to have no more than two (2) customers at a time on our premises to pick up an order. We’re now at the final stages of our business plan, 35 pages and counting! And, we just met with the Architect yesterday. Might I say that was the most exciting moment so far!

We have been been researching many different options for ‘bake’ space. It has taken many years to put research data together, money of course is the biggest factor, but also being patient is the other. In a few months we should know if we can financially make this happen. We’re going it alone, which takes a very long time, because you’re trying to save money and pay as you go. Of course at some point if all goes as planned, we will need to finance our project. To say the least, there are some days where I just want to jump ship because I would be lying if I didn’t say “I’m a little scared”.

Even if things fall through and we can’t afford to take this next step, it isn’t viewed as a failure, as we know that we took our time, put together a great business plan, compiled market research data, and crossed our t’s and dotted our i’s! That’s all anyone can do. Life is about lessons learned, getting back on the horse and moving forward.

Until the next post, take care!