Life as a business owner can be interesting when you’re not born a business-minded person. Where as some business owners may look at life through dollar bill-colored lenses, I view everything in terms of cookies, doughnut muffins and gloves.
I know. It may seem strange to hear that one, but nothing could be more true.
The glamorous life of a pastry chef always ends up at the same place throughout the day – standing in front of the sink, washing dishes. It’s unavoidable, inevitable, and surprisingly soothing. I have never minded washing dishes…the methodical scrubbing, the hot water, the different ‘flavors’ of dish soap…I embrace ceramic engineering (as my husband likes to call it) as much as I embrace the other mundane tasks of bakery ownership, such as vacuuming, mopping & cleaning ovens. The key to a happy dish washer is easy – buy really good gloves.
Some of my friends are concerned with accessories such as necklaces & scarves. Me? I’m much more focused on the accessories that protect my hands. And they wonder why I’m style-challenged.
Back in the day when the bakery was located in Stow, I relied on the supermarket for a handful of items: seedless raspberry jam by Smuckers for the Linzer Hearts, dish washing soap, and Playtex dish washing gloves. The busier we got, the more gloves we needed. Because I’m me, I have a certain kind of glove that I like, and I started running into problems finding this particular glove in the local stores. Desperate times called for desperate measures. In March, 2013, I ordered (2) cases of gloves online. Go big or go home, I thought.
And then, the gloves arrived. I don’t remember exactly how many pairs of gloves were in each case, but suffice it to say that it was a lot. Maybe 128 per case? Knowing that my father would question the need for 200 plus pairs of gloves, the running joke in the kitchen quickly revolved around hiding the cases of gloves.
Month after month, we continued to laugh about the gloves, but the purple gloves began to haunt me. Whenever I saw the gloves, I wondered if I would stay in business long enough to actually go through all of the damn gloves. It became one of my goals – Bisousweet vs. the gloves.
In April, 2014, we relocated to our new kitchen in Shirley. So did the gloves.
In 2015, business increased as did our dishwashing, but somehow the supply of gloves seemed never to diminish. Row after row of gloves continued to be neatly stacked in the cabinet, waiting for their turn in the suds.
Here we are, nearing the last days of 2016. This weekend as I started to wash dishes, I went to the cabinet, reached in, and found nothing. I turned on the light, crouched down, and peered deep into the black hole. Stunned, I saw three boxes of gloves. I couldn’t believe it. I actually won & outlasted the gloves.
Always concerned with ‘disaster planning’, I immediately ordered more gloves. Dad – you’ll be thrilled, proud and relieved to know that this time, I ordered less. I’m learning!