I know it’s not Father’s Day. It’s not even Mark’s birthday yet, but can we talk about him for a minute? As we make our push the next 3 weeks into what is our busiest time of the year, it just can’t be said enough how hard the guy works. I mean we’re both working an insane amount of hours right now, but most of my time is spent staring in front of this machine pushing pixels, emailing customers, talking to clients on the phone and packaging things when I can. Mark, on the other hand, has been running all over the city making deliveries, going to the post office, picking up supplies (sometimes even with a kid in tow), and doing his fair share of dropping off and picking up the girls, making dinner and putting the kids to bed all in a single day. And when he’s not doing that, he’s in the kitchen for 5-9 hours a day baking up to 2000 cookies a day and single-handedly filling orders by himself most of the time, which includes packaging cookies, organizing orders and packing it all up for postal drop off.
Essentially, Mark can and is doing the work of 2-3 people. How does he do it? I think perhaps all his years working in hectic restaurant kitchens has prepared him to be extremely fast and efficient. It’s certainly the best training for this business that he could have had and no matter how slammed we get, he manages to get everything done somehow. But did you know that he also has 2 other consulting jobs? When he left his position as Pastry Chef at the Central Park Boathouse 2 years ago, the restaurant never replaced him. They tried and one chef quit after a month, so Mark’s been going in one day a week most weeks working on their dessert menus. He also now makes the desserts for Bussaco, the restaurant where he does his baking, a decision that came after new chef and co-owner, the much celebrated Katy Sparks, stepped in about a month ago. That’s just a lot of work for one person and he rarely has a day off anymore.
So in the spirit of trying to keep upbeat while plowing through another holiday season – a month that should be spent going to holiday parties, doing a little Christmas shopping and taking the kids to holiday events around the city, but which now represents sleepless nights, hectic work days and no time off till it’s done for us and ALL small business owners out there who are working hard to meet holiday orders (kudos and good luck to everyone in the same situation as us) – I just want to take a moment and celebrate a guy who is the hardest working guy I know, a guy who remains good natured and never complains no matter how crazy it gets, and who still has time to be a great dad. Here are a few of my favorite pictures of Mark and the girls.