Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Yesterday I went to speak with the owner of a new bakery in Hoboken about renting her kitchen. She proposed $100 for three hour blocks of time after hours. This would work for me, only if I could guarantee orders that would bring me more than $100 worth of cookies. The plus side is that I don't have to worry about the cost of opening up my own space and all that goes with it, including the risk. The down side is that it's not mine, and I'm limited to doing catering and wholesale orders. I'm not crossing it off by any means and  will be calling her in a few weeks to discuss it further.

Today I went to take a second look at the Jersey City Storefront.
I really like it and think it could totally work. They are in the process of renovating the entire building which is why it's such a total mess. It's in a great location, two blocks from the Grove Street PATH Station and right across the street from City Hall.

Tomorrow I'm meeting with the counselor from the Small Business Association. He will help me figure out if this is a viable dream I have and if so, how to go about achieving it the right way.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I've gotta be me

“Pitiful is the person who is afraid of taking risks. Perhaps this person will never be disappointed or disillusioned; perhaps she won't suffer the way people do when they have a dream to follow. But when the person looks back-she will hear her heart”

I am not a very talented gal. I'm not good at a whole lot, but I know this and I've done lots of soul searching and made actual lists, on paper, with a pen of where my strengths are and where my weaknesses are and I know what I am and am not capable of.

I KNOW Christopher Street Cookies is something I have to do and I know I can do it and be successful at it.

I've been waiting for the right time for 5 years and within that time I've developed a very very crystal clear vision of what I want this venture to be an how I want it to be organized and what I'm looking to achieve at the end of the day.

With this I'm doing it the right way, getting all the proper ducks in a row, getting all the guidance, wisdom, information, and help that I can from everyone around me.

I'm also exploring every single option available to me. Every way this business can be run, I'm looking into it. I've looked at just wholesale from a closed private kitchen to going to see a rental retail store front and next week I'm going to talk to the owner of a brand new not yet opened bakery here in Hoboken about renting her commercial kitchen.

I'm doing my homework on the best equipment and how to get it for the cheapest price. Working out the list of the bare minimum I need to start up.
I've spent hours doing research on licenses and permits and certifications and finding out exactly what I need to well wholesale, retail and to rent space in a kitchen.

 On Wednesday I have a meeting with a counselor from the NJ SBA to help me with my business plan and to discuss what small business loans are available to women business owners. He will serve as my guide and mentor throughout this process.
I am going about all this in the way it needs to be done to be a raging success. I'm not doing this on a whim or going into it with Pollyanna blinders on.
I've joined a networking group for entrepreneurial mothers here in Hoboken.

I've put lots and lots of hours into doing my homework and getting educated on what all this really truly takes.

I have to try. I have to. It's almost to the point where it isn't a choice anymore. The drive, the desire, the dream is so strong that to ignore it is exhausting.

Everyone around me assumes there is no way I can do this and be a success.
Maybe they are right but I look at people like Milton Hershey & Debbi Fields & Walt Disney or even the band Kiss, and while I don't aspire to be as huge as they are (though, why the hell not?! If you are going to dream, dream big right?) they all started out with less than nothing and built empires.

They all had the same passion for something, they had a vision and a goal, a desire to be more than what everyone around them thought they could be.

Baking makes me happy and it's something I'm good at. I don't want to go and work long hours to make someone else a success. If I'm going to work hard, it's going to be for me. For my future, for my kids future, for my family's future. For my mental health and happiness.

Everyone asks me what I'm going to do if I fail. I ask myself what am I going to do when I succeed.  When this dream comes to a reality, I will put my blood, sweat and tears into making in the biggest success it can be. Failure doesn't scare me.

Is it going to be long hours and hard work? Yup. Is my family going to have to hang in with me for a little bit and show me extra patience? Yup.

I'm not even an official company yet and I have my first party order. Can you imagine what's going to happen when I start putting my product and company name in people's faces?

I have no delusions that this is going to be a cake walk or that it's going to be an easy venture but I'm ready for it. My kids are ready for it (yes, I've had conversations with them about it all)

I cannot leave this world having been too afraid, or having waited for the right moment

I think Sammy said it best:

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

TCB cookies!

The TCB cookie version 1 LIVES!
These cookies are insane. I think I might pull a muscle from patting myself on the back.
This version is peanut butter cookies, banana frosting, and crispy bacon. 
If I were going to change anything, I'd bake the cookies a touch longer. They are a little on the gooey side.We will see how a few hours in the fridge goes as far as helping them to set up.

These cookies need to be consumed with a HUGE glass of milk or cup of coffee.

I put them together two ways.

and "open face" :

Tomorrow we will try the banana cookies with the peanut butter frosting...and of course we will have bacon. Gotta have bacon...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I'm so excited! Look what I've got!!! Click on them to enlarge. She finally looks the way I want her to!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Socializing Kids

I'm not sure what my malfunction is as a parent but my kids have no friends. Okay, that's slightly dramatic but not too far from the truth.
In the entire year of 2011 my kids had two play dates. Both were with the same set of siblings and one of them was because I was babysitting the four boys.
My boys don't get invited to play dates, or birthday parties, they've never had a sleepover and never get any phone calls.
Lion I'm not so concerned about. The class that he's in now, the socialization just isn't there and I expect less than nothing from his classmates as far as friendships.
PJ's class though is a whole other ball of wax.  I've tried to set up play dates for him, tried to make plans but it seems no one wants to hang with him. I'm not going to chase the other parents to force my son on them but it's hard sending out an email inviting classmates over for a play date and getting nothing back from the other parent.
I'm planning his 8th birthday party now and I designed a super cool invitation, made sure it got into everyone's backpacks prior to the holiday break. I followed the invite up with a heads up email to all the parents alerting them to it and I've gotten two emails back from fellow parents. Two out of fourteen. The party is less than a week away.
This morning I sent out another email as a gentle reminder that I needed a headcount for the party and could the parents please let me know if their kids were coming.
Since I err on the side of dramatic, I'm going to drop dead if only two of his classmates show up. Seriously. I might truly faint dead away if I have 2500 sq feet of play space rented, tons of cool Star Wars stuff and two kids.
The rational side of me knows that most folks have been away and probably didn't get the email or open their kids backpacks to see the invite and they will respond tomorrow or Tuesday.
Then the little voice whispers
"But what if they don't?"
and I kick into serious crisis mode all over again.
I am planning for and expecting the worst case situation.
I'm working on my
"Don't base your self worth on how many kids came to your birthday party" speech
(even though I know, at his age that's a bunch of bullshit and he's going to remember the lack of friends for the rest of his life) and if the worst case does come true, if we have only a smattering of friends and the turnout is less than expected I'm going to pull out my for emergency only card and surprise him on Monday by pulling him out of class and taking him to the city to Alice's Tea Cup for a birthday surprise high tea.