Happy holidays everybody! I'm down in Phoenix for a couple of days, and so I won't be baking again until Wednesday (the 30th). I fly back on Monday, but it takes a couple of days to get everything ready. Gear Up is closing early New Year's Eve, so plan to get your bread before 3pm, and we'll both be closed for New Year's Day.
It's been good to take a break from the rigors of the bakery, spend time with loved ones, and soak up some sun. Stepping back, even this little bit, provides a good perspective for thought and reflection. With the new year around the corner I find myself thinking about the events of the previous year, and my hopes and aspirations for the next one. I'll share with you some of what's been going through my head this holiday season.
Where do things stand now? On the whole things are great, but everywhere I look I see room for improvement. My focus has been and remains making the best bread I can, day in and day out. I'm convinced that as long as I'm committed to that principle the other stuff will fall into place. And every day I become a better baker, even though my progress seems to move in stutters and starts.
Where do I hope to be this time next year? I'd like to still be in business, for one. I'd like to have a more sustainable work load, and a bank account which grows- not shrinks. Most of all, I want to be making better bread.
I'm keeping my eye out for what might be a diverging road ahead. I love my routine now, but it's a draining one which leaves me with little energy at the end of the day. If I want to remain a one man operation I'm going to need to abandon the 7 day/80 hour work week. That'd require a rewrite of my whole business model. I can keep my model and just scale my business up to where I can bring on and train help, but I'd need to grow it substantially to be able to pay wages. I'd have to give up my precious solitude in the shop, and it's going to take a lot of faith to leave the bread in someone else's hands. It's going to be another interesting year to look back on, I think.
Whoa. I asked a friend if she'd take some pictures of a bread I wanted to promote if I gave her a free loaf. Did she deliver or what! That's the Deli Rye on it's way to becoming a delicious sandwich.
It's been a long string of days and I'm off to bed, but I promise I'll get back on here soon and give these pictures the attention they deserve.
I'll be bringing a bunch of bread to the Local Motive Pop-Up event down at Seven Brides Brewing this weekend. If you need an excuse to enjoy the brewery's great food and beer just tell the ole ball and chain that you're out buying bread.
Here's another exciting development involving beer: with help and encouragement from some local brewers I'm working on developing a Brewer's Bread. We'll have to see exactly how it turns out, but I'm thinking a sourdough with spent grain and a portion of the water replaced with beer. Assuming I can make something worthy, this bread would fill the Wednesday/Saturday slot in my savory bread rotation.
Have a great weekend everyone!