council approved my microbakery & launch date in sight!
Another week from hectic street - but I'm so thrilled to say that I got approved by the council's food safety officer yesterday! Once the paperwork is completo, I'll be able to commit to a date for launch (at the moment it's tentatively October 1st).
Filled with preconceptions about council safety officers, I really didn't know what to expect. Since the somewhat nerve-racking meeting, I can say they are incredibly self-assured ppl (as you might expect). I looked up their salary in the car lol, and yep - they're very well paid. He wasn't condescending as such, but I got strong notes of, 'so you know what you're in for..hm?' which is probably fair warning.
I did more marketing & sample box delivering this week, learning along the way, the v convenient nooget - that some of my cakes can be frozen and defrosted perfectly. Which helps me magically produce a sample box without an intense kitchen sesh & mountain of dishes. Just having a head-start is game-changing. Freezing feels a bit against-ethos, but we do it with pastry and ultimately it's just another baking technique. Learning about my makes from the moment they're "done" so to speak, has been a whole other learning curve. Shelf-life, sturdiness, how well they cut... so much to know inside & out!
I'm not sure wholesale will be a big part of my future though. I made up my wholesale price list this week and after much um & ah-ing I set prices which I think adequately reflect the ingredients used, unique processes involved and kitchen rent I have to cover. Only 1/3 of businesses who were keen have been ok with them - which I suppose shouldn't be surprising. It's only made me all the more excited to sell direct to customers!
I'm making solid progress on all the messy little business bits as well. My business cards & packaging stamp arrived in the mail, I've sourced a second-hand A-board (to go outside the pop up shop-front) which just needs a coat of charcoal paint, my giant cooling racks arrived (one thing they don't have at the kitchen), and I made the intimidating purchase of an eftpos machine (card reader) & the point of sale software to go with.
Listen to me with this jargon hehe.
Potentially there's only 2 weeks to launch now which might sound like ample time on the other side of the screen - but it's going to zoom by! The additional ever-convenient extra-element in all this is that we have family coming to stay next week. Hopefully by then though, I'll have a game plan and just be in execute-mode. I've been so aware of how much this is to carry on my own this week, which does occasionally scare me. But I'm also infinitely proud of how well I'm coping, and using healthy coping mechanisms to maintain an equilibrium.
I've cried a few tears driving down punt road, but the big difference is I don't resist & always resurface feeling more resilient. Yes to that.
Finally read this golden nugget of a book this week! You might have heard of it for all the attention it's received (and rightly so in my eyes!). It's a whip-smart collection of essays which interrogate how society's centred around the self - through memoir & investigative journalism. My favourite essays were the one where Jia unpacks her time starring in a reality TV show as a teenager, as well as the performativity of social media, the psyche of scammers & modern day feminism. While stark and confronting in spots, it's not condescending & is ultimately, I think, very motivating.
Nope, nope, nope. So I watched the first episode of The Handmaid's Tale season five - which came out this week & I'm so done with this show. On one hand I'm madly invested and want to know what happens, but starring into Elizabeth Moss's face (as the show does for 40% of each ep) has lost all power on me. As has the violence, gore & revenge fantasies. I get that that's, the point - but it's just not helpful to watch anymore. Gives me weird dreams, put's me in weird moods and is too stressful. It's also become a total Elizabeth Moss-fest and it's not subtle.
Ahhhh, I think I was holding out for some kind of reward for being a viewer for this long - but that's the point! In the world of Gilead - there is no reward!
This week's recipe is a very homestyle pasta dish is - Mustard & Cauliflower Pasta. Think punchy, comforting pasta salad - that resembles a much spring-ier cauliflower cheese. It has a long-ingredients list, but don't fret - they're mostly pantry staple seasonings.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend!
Phoebe & Merlin x