, , , , ,

Happy new year to you!  While my new year is happy so far, I’m not sure my jeans would agree.  That stretch denim is really being put to the test.  Usually, I preach the words of moderation, but the holidays got the better of me.  Or maybe it’s the other way around??  Or maybe it’s all of the recipe testing that I’ve been doing this past year.  Regardless of how it happened, these days are spent trying to rid my mind and body of December’s toxins.  Oh — and dealing with the mounting bakery demands.

I make it sound like it’s a burden, but it’s all part of the fun (I mean the bakery part).  A lot of what’s been done so far in this opening a bakery journey is talking, planning, and making decisions on paper (like what’s my mission, what’s my budget, what kind of equipment to purchase, and where the pastry case should go).  Now, however, it’s go time.  Go time commenced last Thursday when construction began and it won’t end until our doors open for business in two months time.  Let me repeat.  Two Months Time!!!!

It’s not just that I have two months to complete everything (and “everything” is a tremendous amount of work).  It’s also that there are a ton of things to purchase and coordinate (many with long lead times) so that the construction/design project isn’t set back.  The last thing I want to do is set back my own project!  So, my focus has turned from the big picture to the nitty gritty interior design and decor.

Marites and team at Abueg Morris Architects are the minds behind the interior design (and the architectural plans if you remember).  They took my verbal vision and have transformed it into a beautiful masterpiece with interesting textures, colors, finishes, and details.  All perfectly in tune with my brand.  I love what they came up with and I think you will too.  I can’t wait to see it come to life.  Thank you Marites, Meredith, and gang!

Here’s one of the rough draft renderings for a peek:

The view as you enter
The view as you enter

And here are some of the materials:

A peek at our color palette
A peek at our color palette

On the downside, beautiful masterpieces come with a price tag.  And that’s where my everything in moderation philosophy comes in.  In my mind, it wouldn’t make sense to go all out on everything (even if you have an unlimited budget – which I don’t – it’s just not smart business) or spend money on nothing (and you have beautiful goodies in a bland, boring, characterless space).

I thought it wise to spend money having Marites put together a cohesive, beautiful design plan, plus a few other splurges.  Then, the moderation part comes in with me carrying out a lot of the fancy footwork myself.  Don’t let me kid you.  I love shopping (even for tile and counter tops), and finding deals, and multitasking, and checking things off lists, and finding creative solutions, and I have Marites to support me along the way.  It keeps me busy, but if I didn’t like busy, I wouldn’t be opening a bakery.  Here’s how I’m breaking it down:

  • Things that I’m buying to save money (instead of paying a mark up for other people to buy them) – tile, countertops, paint, mirrors, etc.
  • Things that I’m buying used to save money – some audio equipment, supplies, craigslist and ebay will define this list
  • Things that I’m doing myself to save money (I’d like to apologize to my husband and thank him at the same time for the growing list of things we will be doing to save money.) – painting, wood trim, wainscoting, stenciling, running data and speaker wires, ceiling panels (so you and I can hear and talk comfortably), everything technology, etc.
  • Things that I’m skipping to save money – flooring (don’t worry, be happy), wallpaper (even though it would look so nice), custom shelving in a few areas, a fancy facade, pretty tile (it will still be pretty, just a little different), etc.
  • Things that I’m splurging on (no money saved here) – creative minds, custom pastry case, a few other custom pieces, branding, etc.
  • Things that need to be purchased no matter the money – silverware, glasses, plates, mugs, chairs, tables, whisks, bowls, trays, pans, display pieces, etc.  When available used, I’ll save money!

At the end of the day, my goal is for the bakery to look and feel like I spent a lot of money (because I used it smartly), but do it all within the budget that I set as I embarked on this journey.  It’s easy to say yes and spend, but it’s more rewarding to think twice and dump in a whole lot of sweat equity to make it just the way you want when the doors open.  I’m looking forward to conquering my lists and getting my hands dirty.  I’m pretty sure that I’ll have a lot of help a long the way too.  So many supportive people surround me, so I know that I’m not in this alone.