It's been a while since I've blogged. Was my last post really almost a year ago!? Yikes! Well, there may be good reason for that......
July 5, 2018 Rob and I made a joint decision to close our storefront bakery. We made an announcement about it, but in case you missed it, I wanted to post about it here again. We didn't close our bakery because we were not doing well, we were doing well in-fact and meeting our daily goals, with only being open Wed - Saturday. While Forest Grove is a small town (of twenty-four thousand people roughly), we played with being open in the beginning (October 2016 is when we opened our storefront - wow, almost 4yrs ago!) Tues - Sat, but just found that people really didn't get out until the end of the week! We even tinkered with Sunday. Honestly, while we didn't know what we were doing, we were doing everything an entrepreneur/small business owner should be doing. We definitely had and still have a 'business plan'. Forest Grove is a town of college kids (Pacific University), Seniors, and a bunch of dedicated, loyal customers in between.
So, back to my point -- why did we close? Well, we closed because it was just Rob & I. We did try hiring an intern that we had for a while who did an excellent job, but that meant being able to cover the costs of that employee, as well, not with just paying them, but with the additional requirements as they applied in terms of benefits. We were not willing to take out any type of huge loans and be on a never ending hamster wheel, if we did, it was to purchase equipment that made sense to help us be more efficient in baking. I understand that business decision works for many, but for us, we just decided we wanted to keep it small. But honestly, wedding cakes and custom cakes and orders pay the bills! These were just more reason as to why keeping the storefront open was not the avenue we were meant to take, as we wanted to be small, we wanted to touch our own products, and keep our service boutique and personal. The true reason why we closed -- Rob is a disabled combat veteran, twice deployed to Iraq, and deals with constant, severe pain and multiple issues that are invisible to the general public (and even to me sometimes) -- but Rob (my husband, your baker... thee baker) needed to accommodate himself better by moving our business back out of our home (where we started in 2014). I am also a disabled veteran, but nothing compared to my husband. So, there ya' go!
We do realize more than ever that if you do run a storefront then KUDOS to you! We do our best to support local business no matter how small or very small they are. It takes a lot of investment and sacrifice, and careful balance of work and family life, trust in employing anyone, and lots of money to run a business. So, remember that! Running a small business is one of the most sacrificial things you can do to serve your community!
While we closed our storefront in July 2018, we were still stuck in a lease and still baked out of the space, everything was just by appointment only. Winter was creeping in and honestly without foot traffic income coming in and Winter approaching (slower somewhat months), it didn't make sense to try and stay in our space. So, I took to Craigslist and Facebook and posted an ad seeking someone to takeover our lease. We had a few inquiries, some with 'dreams' and others with 'business plans'. We got lucky and found someone to takeover and were able to move out within a week by December 1, 2018. Little did we know, how long it would truly take to move out, how much labor and crap we had to move out, equipment to get rid of and downsize. Literally, we lived in our storefront, it was in-fact our second home, and it sure felt like it moving out.... can't you tell in the photo above! 😂 It definitely was a death in our business life, BUT a new opportunity to push our business in the areas we do best (and wanted to stick with in the first place). Our goals and restructuring back to that path -- exceeds what our future held staying in a storefront. I may sound negative about having had a storefront, but there were a lot of good things, and bad things, and definitely many LEARNING points... and opportunities for our kids who grew up in the storefront for 3 years of their life. My point -- it was a chapter in our business lives -- grateful for it -- glad it is over -- happy with where we are at at this point, working out of our home as a cottage bakery (oh - and we are conveniently located in Main Street - across from Ninja Teriyaki in Banks - yes! We moved to Banks in October 2017).
January of 2018, I started looking for ways we could really push our areas of expertise (I had been thinking about what our future would be and where it would go, obviously)... custom cakes mostly, and artisan breads! We did a handful of styled shoots (and I still have a lot of them to upload and share with you - see our other posts on our blog). We have since added decorated cookies, and cake pops! If you ever saw them in the storefront (decorated cookies and cake pops), I had started tinkering with the idea in December 2017 as I was getting tired of just doing paperwork, maintaining the website, social media, photos... haha.. yep, you're probably wondering "how was that not enough!?"... I wanted to be hands on and contributing more so I dove into doing decorated cookies and cake pops and it's coming up on almost 2 years learning and investing in this skill, but I will never stop learning - as Rob never will. I'm thankful (as he is) that he can put 110% focus on just his custom cake orders (and now myself, with custom decorated cookie and cake pop orders). It's truly amazing and so nice that we can now work on custom orders without interruption and without passing on overhead to our customers.
There's SO many things I want to share with you....... as I continue to write this blog post... but it is just a reminder, that I will definitely make it a point to blog more consistently! And, if you sign up for our newsletter, you'll be hearing from me at least once a month!
I will stop here and let you know that you can find us at the Forest Grove Farmer's Market every Wednesday (Sept 4th will be the last market that goes until 8pm; thereafter.. thru October.. the market will close at 7pm (it always opens at 4pm)). You may also find us at the 2 bridal shows listed in the footer of our website, or order from our Friday Menu on our website.
Thank you so much for your continued support! We manage to stay consistently busy year round thanks to our loyal customers, like you!, we look forward to keeping in touch more often!
Sign up for our email newsletter if you haven't already - click on any page - sign up via the area in the footer.
Until next time...
This little beauty is a 6 inch round vanilla cake with butter beer buttercream. It was wrapped in a thin layer of our rolled chocolate (NO fondant!) and colored to represent the Gryffindor House! It was topped with a gold decorated milk chocolate Quidditch ball. All this for an adult cake smash photo shoot session! Check out the photos by laurenreberphoto.com
Now sit back and enjoy the slideshow!
Normally when I get back photos from a styled shoot I take my time to go through them and find the ones that I love the most, in this case I did, but I happened to love a lot of them. We have worked with Emily Vandehey Photography a few times on styled shoots and it is always a pleasure, plus her family and herself are from Banks (our new hometown since 2017)! Under The Veil (Jessica Gardner) is also very local to us as she resides out of Vernonia. All the vendors in this shoot provided some amazing talent and I loved it because it was simple yet beautiful! Oh -- and I can't forget, Sierra! (she's also a photographer), makes for one beautiful model bride! Here are a handful of photos that are my fave from this shoot. Can't believe it's been 9 months, but I wanted to be sure I posted a blog that really showed my true appreciation for this collaboration. As I do with all of them! Enjoy.....
Credits of all vendors at the bottom of this post!
Take a moment and appreciate the beauty of these photos and all the creative contributions.
Cake + Pastries
Groom and Bride
Venue: Vernonia Springs
Coordinator & Designer: Under the Veil
Photographer: Emily Vandehey Photography
Rentals & Decor: Vintage Meets Modern
Chiffon Drape and Chalkboard: Peter Corvallis Productions
Floral: Country Florals
Cake: Next Dimension Bakery
Models: Sierra and Logan Fennimoore
Makeup: Kaci Lynn Beauty
Hair: Jessica Gardner
(or otherwise known as, Under The Veil - the coordinator!)
Dress: Blue Sky Bridal
Stationary: Blue Bonsai Printing
We were thrilled to be asked to be a part of this themed styled shoot. Think candlelight romance with a slight Titanic theme. All of this taking place at the beautiful 'The Ruins at the Astor'.
This is what I found out about the building:
The Astor Hotel was built in 1921 and envisioned as a modern marvel. A forward-looking, reinforced concrete skyscraper, destined to be the tallest building on the Oregon coast. A tourist destination in its own right, in a town booming with the opening successes of the Modern Era.
Over the next 87 years, pummeled by natural and economic disasters, the building struggled to live up to that vision.
Today, under the leadership of Paul Caruana--a successful designer, builder, and hotelier--the Astor is given a new chance to fulfil that original vision of glory.
Come in! Accept our invitation. Don’t miss this opportunity to explore the space where history meets innovation and passion.
Read more here: www.astorbuilding.com/index.html
This photographer is based in Astoria, believes in capturing real moments, human dynamics and the beauty all around us.
This photographer is well acquainted with this beautiful coastal area, as she grew up here. I am really a fan of her work! Check the photos out below.
Ruins at the Astor
Under the Veil
Louisa Rose Photography
Hair & Makeup:
The Union Knot
Rentals & Decor:
The Party Pros
LED Pillar Candles:
NW Event Rentals
Bloomin Crazy Floral
Charlotte's Weddings & More
Next Dimension Bakery
This was a multi photographer styled shoot! Enjoy the variety of images!
More may be added as I receive them.
Havana Nights Inspired Wedding at Tendue
Designer, Planner, & Décor/Floral: YOUnique Events & Design
Invitation Suite: Gemini Design House
Calligraphy/Chalkboard Artist: Artful Virgo
Garland for Guest Table: Pacific Garland
Mixologist: Katerina Burlay
Cake: Next Dimension Bakery
Desserts: Tres Belle Cookies
Makeup: Tiffany Randolph, Savvy Hair Studio
Hair: Kyla Whiting, Pin it Pretty
Models: Evin & Jasmin Thomas
Photo by Kerry Schell Photography
Photos by Corina Silva Studios
Photos by Emily Vandehey Photography
UPDATE! Sept 9, 2018 - We are excited to have found out that our collaborative work has been featured on an Aisle Society blog! The photographer shared the Columbia River Gorge Elopement Inspired shoot and we were all published. How exciting. So, I am adding the direct link here: aisleperfect.com/2018/08/colorful-outdoor-wedding-inspiration-on-the-columbia-river.html
This took place at Cascade Locks/Government Cove, a last minute shoot we helped out with a cutting cake. Multiple pinks, orange, and yellow, with hints of deep red!
"Anyone thinking "table goals"? Just me? I am over here swooning over this shoot from last week. I am so thankful for all the vendors that came together to make this amazing shoot happen! Keep an eye out for more images to be shared from this fantastic shoot out in Cascade Locks!"
-Erin Sellard, owner and photographer at Willow Creek Studios!
I am truly amazed at Erin's work, please support her and check out her portfolio on her website: willowcreekstudios.net/
We took a trip up to this venue on the Sunday of the event!
So glad we did! We were going to have the cake picked up, but decided to make a trip out of it. I had never been up to this venue before (although I have been to The Gorge), and it was an absolute D R E A M !
We did some exploring around Historic Columbia River Highway afterwards. If you plan on visiting from out of town -- this area should definitely be on your bucket list!
Planning: YOUnique Events & Design
Invitation suite: Gemini Design House
Floral: Lucy’s Informal Flowers
Cake: Next Dimension Bakery
Makeup: Megan Blake
Hair: Victoria Lou Hair
Jewelry: Chloe and Isabel by Rebecca Gehrke
Gown & Bride clothing: LaBelle Salon
Gown- Gazania #206 by Adi Shlomo of Israel
U.S. Rep.: Revel Design Studio
Venue: Bridal Veil Lakes
Model-bride: Jaime Lauren
There was a handful of photographers for this shoot, so I picked a few out of the stack, and I'll let you know why I picked them (read more below)!
Photos by Meagan Gibson Photography
Overall, I really enjoyed this photographer's light hearted editing.
I really couldn't find anything that was anything but perfection in these shots!
Don't you agree!?!?
Meagan recently made the move from Arizona to Oregon!
Photos by Stephanie Ford Photography
I really felt that this photographer had an excellent grasp on BTS
(which by the way, means, 'Behind The Scenes').
Great job, Stephanie!
Photos by Erin Fortin Photography
I'm really enjoying the depth and richness in color in these photos.
Crisp, clean, clear!
Erin is originally from Colorado!
Photos by Nadia Joyce Photography
I saved one of my very favorites for last! Nadia seems to bring every aspect into perfect union. Not just the shots, but the poses, and staging.... colors, depth... you name it! I found her blog on her website, she is currently traveling in Rome,
check out her fun blog here: nadiajoycephotography.com/blog/
I really hope you enjoyed this blog post!