6.25.2010

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly (Warehouse, That Is)...

Hi Everyone!

*I would like to apologize in advance for my indecent grammar mistakes and horribly long run-on sentences - consider yourself warned!!*

The orders are finally starting to pick up around here (yeay!). I'm feeling much more confident this week. I apologize for my last post. After reading it again a few days ago...I kinda cringed. I hate to be a downer. The reality of life is that it has its ups and downs..I just don't want to hamper on the "downs" if ya know what I mean!

So, back to the "ups" :)  After scouring Craigslist, Loopnet and every other online commercial space site the last few weeks, we found a great decent warehouse space (In Other Words - BIG and CHEAP). It's 1,800 square feet of warehouse plus 200 square feet of office. It is only meant to be a pick-up location (for those crazy enough to drive all the way to no man's land to find us). Yes - as always - cheap has a downside. The location is less than ideal but since most of our orders are outside of Miami anyway, I think we should be fine.

We also have a pretty darn good marketing plan (at least it looks good on paper) which we're hoping will increase local sales. AND there is another little surprise. I'm seriously dying to share it with you but I can't..It's killing me because I HATE secrets. I'm one of those people that spoils great surprises. Like when I would buy my mother's birthday gift 2 months before, attempt to keep it a secret and undoubtedly show it to her 1 day later (I would then wrap it and give it to her on her real birthday.. please don't ask..I told you we bakers are not normal!!).  I try to keep surprises secret...really I do...but sometimes I can't contain myself! OK OK...I promise to share soon..I would do it now but I'm afraid that M might actually read the blog and poison my orange juice.

M actually took some pics of the warehouse but I won't share them with you yet because seriously..the space needs a woman's touch. It's not that bad but it will require a crapload bit of TLC. We will probably sign the lease next week and (as soon as we get the place all cleaned up) I will share some pics. I was hoping you would help me out with some ideas on getting this place looking like a cute cookie shop rather than the stark white scary-clinic look it has right now. I've seen your blogs..you guys have taste!!

I wish I could end my long rant with some new 4th of July cookie pics but our photographer (aka Hubby) hasn't taken them yet. :(  Hopefully I'll be able to post them before Monday.

Happy Baking!!


6.15.2010

A Tough Time...

Hi Friends!

I know I have been missing..again. Many things have been happening around here..some great, others not so much. But..the truth is..I HAVE had time to write on the blog. Did I catch you off guard? I know. I'm sorry. I like to be 100% honest. That is just the way I am. So here goes. Last 3 weeks have been rough. Since 2005, we have had times of craziness and slow times like any normal business. After 2008, things did slow down a bit but we still had many periods where we were swamped and going out of our minds. Last month was so slow that I figured it was only a matter of time before we picked up again but honestly we haven't. Sure, we still have some orders but the phones are very quiet and my normally full mailbox is pretty empty. So this is the real reason I haven't been writing in the blog..I'm kind of in this scared-jittery mood that is not really like myself at all! I'm usually a very very hopeful and happy person. A gimme-a-break-that-glass-is-almost-frikkin-full kinda gal. But the fact is Ali's Sweet Treats is our family's only income. We're basically a mom n pop place (plus a few kick-butt part-time employees). So anyway, that is why I have been so quiet. Finally, this morning I felt a rush of I CAN DO IT and so I went to the office and began sketching and forming some new simple designs that we can offer at a lower price point. So that's where we are at right now. Simply coming up with ideas.

As far as the store, we ARE still looking for places but we are thinking that our eyes may have been much bigger than our bellies in regards to the storefront. We've decided to go with a larger warehouse which would allow us to expand what we currently offer but still keep the rent pretty affordable. Will it be as cute as I had envisioned? no. But I'm hoping we can increase production & new products (can't wait to share with you guys!!) and employees which would inevitably help us to obtain our real storefront. Not really what I had my little heart set on but I'm still thrilled that I can continue decorating cookies for my clients. Bittersweet.  

At the end of May I received many sweet E-mails. Thank you. You guys are so cool and sweet and I wish all of you Bakers (you know who you are!) absolutely the best.

Finally...here are some new cookies we've been working on. And if you know anyone who might want cute cookies for their event..please let them know about us! Thank you!


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