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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Checking in...

I haven't had much time to get online.  I have been working 16 hour days.  Things should calm down now that we are open and can get into a production groove.  Day one was great, came close to selling out.  But yesterday sucked.  Just as lunch rush began a pipe broke in the main restaurant so we had to close until it was fixed.  So we were down for about 3 hours. Today was also slow.  Hoping to get to sit down and really get some advertsing going.  Need rest however.  Body is rebelling against being on feet for so long and very little sleep.  Tomorrow should be good.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Hit The Ground Running

Describing this adventure as a whirlwind is a bit of an understatement.  I am operating on little sleep because of so much that has to be done plus I have already begun providing cupcakes for the buffet in the cafe area of The Red Rooster Cafe aka Red Rooster World.  You have to check out the site of this amazing place.

I am so excited to be a part of all this and the amazing opportunity I have been given.  The owners are Don and Lila LeMasters.  They are amazing people and completely believe in my vision, talent, and product. 

Cupcakes Divine at Red Rooster Cafe opens officially on July 8th, yep that's right 6 days from today.  I am trusting he will have all his ducks in a row where the new bakery kitchen is concerned.  He is remodeling the prep kitchen into the bakery.  I bring my oven and other equipment in on Tuesday.  We may have to wait until Wednesday as they had a death in the immediate family that was unexpected so I have had to plug on solo. 

I guess due to the above mentioned tragedy, he hasn't had the opportunity to speak to any of his staff other than the executive chef and the staff that will be directly under me.  When I arrived this morning with almost 200 cupcakes that needed to be iced (which I did in about 20 minutes with the help of my big sister), I got the funniest looks, tons of questions of what I was doing there, etc.  All was good and everyone seemed so excited about the addition of my company to theirs. 

So from here on out I will be the queen in charge of the coffee, ice cream, old fashioned soda shop, and most importantly cupcake bar at Red Rooster Cafe.  I will be providing all the pastries, cakes and pies for the cafe.

My company is a separate entity, but the employees in that section of Red Rooster World and the managing of them is my responsibility.  This is the most cherry of a deal.  I won't bore you with the details, but suffice it to say it is a win/win situation for all involved.

Yes Cakes Divine still exists as we will also offer custom cakes and custom cupcake orders.  I am looking forward to what this opportunity is going to bring for me and my family's future.  Stay tuned...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Is this another carrot or the real thing?

Part of me is very optimistic the other part of me is saying don't get your hopes up, this could just be another one of those dangling carrots sent to submarine your self esteem.  Conflicted is an understatement!

What is going on you ask?  Well I answered a Craigslist ad for a baker position in New Braunfels.  I got an email back with information on the restaurant and what they were looking for and if I was still interested.  A few more email vollies, and I had an appointment to bring samples of cakes, pies and pastries.  I spent most of Monday shopping and baking, went to bed around 2am.  I popped out of bed at 6:30am and jumped in the shower, got dressed and boxed my goodies. 

What transpired next was a bit surreal.  As the owner of the restaurant and I were chatting the subject of Cupcakes Divine came around.  I told him the whole sorted story, and he was amazed that someone would have bailed out on me with such a solid concept.  Now here is where it gets really good.  This location has an area of the restaurant that is a soda shop set up with a small icecream freezer where they sell BlueBell, an old timey soda fountain, a coffee shop selling Seattle's Best creations & most importantly A BAR COUNTER complete with the twirly stools reminiscent of the 40's & 50's.  He was exstatic about incorporating the cupcake bar into that set up.  Next he is talking partnership plus working for him to bake his pastries & pies for his restaurant.  He already had reserved a section of the restaurant to remodel into a bakery kitchen separate from his restaurant kitchen and has an idea of cutting out the wall behind the bar as a pass through window from the bakery kitchen to the bar area. 

I am afraid to climb up to cloud 9, but it is welling up under the surface.  But the fear is, if I go that high, the fall, when or if (in my experience it generally is the when) it happens will be life shattering for me after all I have gone through in the past 6 months.  I just don't think I can take another blow.  No I KNOW I can't take another one. 

So if you are a praying person, please say a prayer for me that this is for real, and is going to stay that way.  That this is the opportunity God had waiting for me, but I had to go through all that other crap to get here.  I am trying so hard to trust him, but the burn marks are still very fresh from the earlier crashes & burns.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Yes a bit common on the intro but hey, I am mentally worn out today...LOL!

Join me in my journey through my life as a cake artist.  Orders are non existant right now as I am in a reorganization mode from being a licensed caker who used a rental kitchen and my website as my storefront to being a home baker.

The law in Texas will change effectively September 1, 2011, and it will then be legal for anyone to sell bake goods, jams, jellies, and/or dry spice mixes that are made in their home kitchen.  Come with me as I learn what impact this will have on my cake businesses: Cakes Divine and Cupcakes Divine.

I know I will still have the issue of not having a brick and mortar storefront that folks can just walk into and purchase something.  Every new potential client always asks if they can just swing by and have a free sample.  Every custom shop I know of is also run on an appointment only basis, we aren't a grocery store, nor are we Walmart or Costco, so why they would think they could just walk in and get free cake is beyond me.  So how do I get around this?  I host a free sampling event each month at my dance studio.  We decorate the room and I set up a lavish display.  I book several consults/tastings on those days and only bake what I need to feed that day.  Brides must RSVP for the event.  If no one RSVPs then I don't hold the event.  If  a bride wants a more personal tasting then I charge a fee, they get to choose 4 cake flavors, and if they book I deduct the $40 fee from their order, thus making the sampling free.

I am hoping that I will increase my sales.  I don't plan on lowering my price point because my product is great if I do say so myself, but there are plenty of clients that will agree with me.  All I know is that from January 31, 2011, when my license expired I have had to turn away around $15000 worth of business.  Talk about a financial OUCH!  And I lost my day job back in March so that money would have been such a great help for us, but alas, it was not to be. 

My life has been like a soap opera since January.  I originally wanted this blog to document my journey of opening Cupcakes Divine: A Cupcake Bar.  Everything was falling perfectly in place then just before it could become a reality, everything crashed and burned.  I have been in an emotional and financial slump ever since.  I am hoping this new law will be a blessing so I can start making cakes again. 

Stick around, come back often to see how things are progressing.  :)