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[Originally published on the Flour + Co blog by Emily Day.  Sign up to follow the Flour + Co blog for more on the journey to opening a bakery in San Francisco here.]

Watching a little prime time TV last week reminded me of one of my favorite shows growing up:  Mr. Rogers.  With his cardigan sweater, comfy tennies, and well-groomed hair, Mr. Rogers welcomed me into his home and neighborhood each week.  I felt like one of the gang, and especially loved it when we all went on a field trip to a neighboring business (me vicariously from the comfort of my living room).  It was always fun to get an inside peek at the business, such as a factory tour, but Mr. Rogers always made it as much about the people as anything else. play this video for a walk down memory lane (note his sweet TV camouflage).

Mr. Rogers made it very clear, in each episode, that each person in the neighborhood contributed to the greater good, whether they delivered the mail, worked at a factory, or lived next door.  It didn’t really matter.  They all deserved respect and a kind hello, and the neighborhood just wouldn’t exist if they all didn’t play their important role.

You’re probably wondering how this is part of my journey to opening a bakery.   Good question.  You may say procrastination, but I say Mr. Rogers had some pretty impactful messaging going on, lessons that don’t discriminate based on age (or at least shouldn’t), and lessons that most definitely can be applied to business.

So, as I’m opening my bakery, I’m seeing first hand that there are lots of people that are contributing to making it what it is (or will be when the doors open).  I wouldn’t have a bakery at all if it weren’t for the peeps in my virtual neighborhood, and it certainly wouldn’t be as special if I did.  So, here’s a short list of the ‘friends in my neighborhood’ to get things started.   [Please note that my memory is not one of my best traits, so I went with a short list knowing that my long list would be incomplete, and my journey has only just begun.]

My Family and Friends – this goes without saying, but I want say it.  The support that I’ve gotten, near and far, is warm and fuzzy.  From a kind message, following Flour + Co on facebook, offering their time for painting or sharing a favorite family recipe, to taste testing and providing pro bono services, I feel like it’s a group effort and it makes it that much more fun.  My husband deserves a special nod too.  He’s my biggest fan and steadfastly by my side.  What can I say, but I’m one lucky lady.

My Investors – yes, they are family and friends too, and a it’s a very special way for me to share this experience.  I’m so grateful and humbled by their financial support, without which I couldn’t take this journey.

My Real Estate Gurus – Pam Mendelsohn and Sarah Brett at Colliers have their pulse on the SF commercial real estate market and are a great duo to work with.  We started working together at the beginning of the year, and they were advocating for me until we found The spot.  Yippee!  I definitely wouldn’t be here without them.

My Brand Experts – Jacquie, Will, Desiree and the team at Rubber Design Co are dynamite.  Just take a look at my logo!  I love it and it couldn’t more perfectly align with the vision that I communicated from the onset.  And, the logo is just the beginning.  They’ll be working with me along the way to develop packaging and other brand collateral that harmoniously work together.  Stay tuned!

My Architect Designers – meeting Keith and Marites, at Abueg Morris Architects, for the first time was like meeting old friends.  A good sign, in my book, for starting a business relationship.  Just like with the brand development, Keith and Marites are in the process of transforming my vision into technical drawings (Keith) and creative design plans (Marites).  They’ve just started and I’m so excited to watch it all come alive (and you will too)!

My Contractor – Greg and his team at ACI are old friends and it’s so fun to be able to work on a project together again.  Greg is not only a wealth of knowledge when it comes to restaurant construction, he also has a wealth of trusted professionals up his sleeve for referrals.  It’s great teaming up with someone who you know will bring everything together into a beautiful, finished product.  No doubt, my bakery is in the right hands.

As our journey continues, I’ll dive deeper into the people/projects that I only highlighted above.  These people, after all, are helping to make my neighborhood (and bakery) a better place.