Is it possible? We’ve been having thoughts about how to grow sensibly without taking the big risk of moving into our own kitchen and storefront space. It’s not that we are opposed to this, but the current economic gloom isn’t giving us the confidence that it’s the best time to consider it. It’s always a gamble when you start a new business, but as we approach our first full year as a company in the next few months, we no longer need to question whether this is a viable business (it’s proven that it is), but rather, what is the next step that will allow us to grow, but not too big? People are always advising us to “just hire help”, but it isn’t that easy. Mark can’t really bring another person into the restaurant kitchen where he bakes because of space limitations and consideration for the kitchen staff. He is also so fast and efficient that he feels having another person doesn’t really help without time for proper training (I mean, do you know anybody that can single-handedly bake 2000 cookies in 7 hours?), which at this point he has had no time for. We don’t want to turn orders away on any more major holidays, so we’re starting to look into other options where space would allow another helper, even if it means renting a commercial kitchen again (which in NYC is surprisingly scarce) when production is crazy.
I never had aspirations of owning a restaurant or even a storefront (I am not that financially adventurous), but if we ever do decide on getting our own kitchen space we would most certainly have to do either or both just to help cover the monthly rent. It’s a daunting thought – especially when you consider that you’d have to hire employees – and one that I am not ready for. But I’m not sure how much longer Mark can do it all himself. He hasn’t had a day off or barely a minute of downtime since our Christmas break and I can see that he is growing weary. Our loose plan was to keep plugging away as we are and ride out the economy like everyone else until both girls are in school full time which would make current childcare issues much easier. But as word about the company continues to spread and we get more inquiries about press and wholesale orders, we seem to be facing these questions again and again. How much can we handle? It’s funny. Most people would be thrilled at the extraordinary luck we’ve had with publicity this past year. Whether or not it gets realized or manifests into something that actually happens, people are finding us. But whenever I inform him that “so and so” sent us an email, Mark just breathes a heavy sigh, pulls his hat down, and quietly continues to work.