Progress? Defeat? Or, just another day at the bakery?

There are so many challenges with running a company. The biggest one for me is navigating the back and forth of looking at everything from a high level and staying hands on with what’s happening, minute by minute, on the ground. A year ago, this felt like walking on a tightrope. Nothing felt safe. Nothing felt secure. One tiny movement made the entire rope swing & vibrate. Our only option was to hold our breath and cling to that rope with hope that the tremors would eventually dissipate. There was no way to find solid ground when life changed so radically, so quickly, so profoundly, because of Covid. 

A year later, I feel as though I’m finally able to pull off the sunglasses that attempted to protect my vision and take stock of everything. 

So much progress.

An amazingly resilient & talented team who showed up for each other and for me, over and over again. 

Being collectively open-minded & curious.

Remaining patient when things felt out of control.

Growth…Internal & external. Part time cleaners growing into kitchen managers. Bakers evolving into Food Safety & Compliance managers. The young woman I ‘recruited’ through the Dunks drive-through window (so…how’s your job satisfaction???) now holding a senior role on our team. Our high school culinary intern now a young manager fearlessly leading our packaging team. The woman who began helping me do demos in stores 8 years ago now selling our products across the country. Remarkable efforts by every single person on the B Team to help us pass our first food safety audit this September. 

Thinking of these wins, I imagine tilting on the back two legs of my chair, smiling, feeling enveloped with awe and gratitude. None of this was in my vision when I had that momentary thought in 2005 in my home kitchen that ‘I could start a business.’

And yeah, then there are the defeats.

Shipments heading to California rear-ended by another truck.

Equipment failure.

A tired team wondering when things will ease up a bit.

Food waste.

Hiccups that could have been avoided.

Injuries.

Illness.

Too much demand. Not enough resources. Never enough space. 

Did I mention equipment failure? That one always leaves a mark.

When I evaluate everything from this vantage point, the heaviness of failure starts to weigh on me. 

Doubt.

Insecurity.

That unsteady feeling that maybe we’re all lost at sea.

It’s only when I remember to search for my lighthouse in the fog that I fully understand that we remain on the right path. Our goal is simply to offer delicious sweet joy to others, one nibble at a time. This is why we show up for each other and for our customers, with the hopes that each new day we can do something that will make a difference in someone’s life.

Progress blossoms from challenges and failure.

Defeat lasts only as long as it takes to begin to solve a problem.

I’m just grateful to be surrounded by an amazing crew of folks who help make the best of all of the days: the good, the cringe-worthy, the ones we never want to revisit again, and all of the amazing ones awaiting us around the corner.

Xoxo

Karen

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Owner, Baker,
& Storyteller

You know that friend who has it all together? Yeah. That’s not me. What I can offer you instead are my experiences, insights, and passions. Pithy observations about making cookies. Wry commentary on running a business. Loving (if slightly sarcastic) parenting advice. And if that doesn’t interest you, I have dogs. Cute ones.

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