If you follow along on our social media feeds, you likely already know I am ill with Chronic Lyme Disease. I received this difficult diagnosis just as we moved from Colorado to Missouri and began to build our downtown Branson bakery. I had no idea my ability to work hard would diminish so quickly, but here we are, three months into a meaningful business, and I'm weary. My body is weak and my joints are stiff. I hurt all the way into my bones. The worst part though? My brain is foggy. I'm forgetting things. So from piping cupcakes, to returning emails, I'm faltering on the businesswoman front!
I've always been open about my health struggles, used to blog about chronic pain, and have contributed to various forums on the subject. Steve and I both practice vulnerability. We believe shared experiences lead to deep connection. This is how we live our personal lives, and these values carry over into our small business. Trust is imperative when feeding people, especially those with tricky immune systems. We know transparent communication with our community builds that trust, moment by tiny moment.
My health dictates almost every move we currently make. We've been striving to meet the needs of our customers while still providing space and time for me to heal. It often feels like we're losing a battle! Our first month open we worked 12-14 hours 7 days a week. Our second month open we shortened our storefront hours, reduced my time in the kitchen, and closed one day each week. Our third month we shortened our storefront hours again, and closed a second day each week. I began spending less time in the bakery, and some days I do not make it in at all. This is disappointing and sad.
Steve and I, and our kids, are always pondering ways to make life better. We're all dealing with challenges, and though we're resilient, we're also worn down after a year that included a massive home repair and renovation to remove water damage and mold, a sudden job and insurance loss, and the rushed move that followed. Add to that the undertaking of a major project- building a bakery with our own hands! We've toiled. We've endured. We've grown. I'm known to say our family motto is "we struggle well," but I get horrified looks when I say it, so I better come up with something more upbeat. I'll add it to my to do list.
All right. Here's the crux of the post. It's not as bad as you're anticipating after the paragraphs you've just read.
With the end of family tourism season, there has been a big slowdown in weekday retail customers. We’ve decided this is the right time to close the retail side of our business Monday-Friday. We will continue taking online orders which can be picked up all through the week, even though our doors are closed. We'll work to accommodate pick up timing needs, and watch for you, or run your order out to your car. This plan will allow us to focus on each order to make it the best we can. It allows us to slow down, to bake with more intention and grace. It allows me to rest. And we believe it will allow our customers to feel special and cared for.
Ok, so that's Monday-Friday. Let's talk about weekends! We'll open our doors on Saturdays and Sundays, and extend our hours those two days. 9-5 on Saturdays, and 9-2 on Sundays. We invite you to pop in before or after your activities to pick up breakfast or dessert. Or both! This is especially meaningful for our food allergy, EoE, and Celiac families, who enjoy the experience of picking out safe treats from the case!
We're trying to adapt our small business to accommodate my health needs, while still taking care of our community. We know we're not your typical business owners. We're pretty special! We're open about the reasons for our fluctuating schedule. You get to see our hearts. We ask for compassion and patience as we transition to this new business model.
Thank you for reading about our upcoming changes, which will take effect on Monday, August 27th;
- Storefront closed Monday-Friday. This will NOT affect current open orders.
- During the week, orders placed online, or completed over the phone can be picked up whenever is convenient for you! We'll need 24 hours for most orders, but we may need more time for cakes. We'll work on a cake-by-cake basis.
- Storefront open Saturday 9-5, and Sunday 9-2 with a case full of treats!
- And... we'll be making rotating delivery trips to various cities! Springfield is already on the list, and we'll add more cities as time goes on. We'll give advance notice of these trips on our social media feeds, so you can place your orders for fresh baked goods in time!
Our hope is to extend our retail hours during the holiday season. We'll keep you updated via social media and newsletters, and by talking your ears off when you visit on the weekends! :)
We're wishing you a lovely end of Summer. We know many of you are struggling with various things too. Thank you for sharing your stories with us. You matter. We're all in this together!
With utmost respect and love,
Angie & Steve
Photos by Amy Fillinger Photography