Tales From the Bakery: Spiders at the Inspection

spiderSo there was another inspection which always causes a flurry of activity and mild anxiety but after all we run a pretty tight ship so it was no surprise to pass, though still a relief.

The inspector admired the cleanliness of the overhead workings  – the sprinkler pipes, water pipes, gas pipes and fluorescent light fixtures. “They pose a risk for contamination, oh yeah,” he enthused. “Spiders like to hide up there.”

We all silently contemplated the horror of spiders falling into the midst of our food preparation, which would be scary and gross, but what would be worse is them falling into the food, unseen, to be eaten by a customer later.

“Yours look great, though!” he said. “Cleanest I’ve seen.”  We nodded and the topic turned to backflow prevention in the clean room hose, but my psyche was forever branded with the searing image of spider-filled pastry, not unlike a cupcake with a molten center only a whole lot more terrifying.

rigoloSo we passed, and that was good news.  It was a week with a lot of good news – canelés will soon be available via Good Eggs, and at Rigolos, a French-ish cafe that has these awesome little red bistro sets you can sit at just like a real Parisian, just the thing for having a classic vanilla canelé with your cafe au lait.  More distribution is good!

Now we have some good answers when our fan base asks how they can feed their canelé addiction between Saturday visits to the Farmer’s Market.

So it was a week with ups, but also downs – one place sent us a brisk little note informing us that the buyer was not interested at this time.  The buyer couldn’t be bothered to send the news herself, and so we have no idea what the issue might have been, or if there even was one.  You try not to get weird and overprotective of your product when this happens, (which it will).  It’s all part of the sales process, you tell yourself, ignoring the indignant little voice in your head going “What does she mean, “not interested at this time”?  Wasn’t  it good? How could it not be perfect? It’s DELICIOUS, dammit!”

The most important part of being an entrepreneur is not taking ‘no’ personally but just matter-of-factually. Some people aren’t going to like your product (hard as that is to believe); some aren’t going to like  your face, because it reminds them of a mean girl from the playground back in third grade, or something.  Some are just too busy thinking about something else to add anything new right now, no matter how deliciously addictive and shelf-stable.

no noSometimes it’s just not going to be possible to learn the why behind the no; sometimes there is nothing to be learned except move on to the next likely place where the shoppers look like people who would be open to another decadent little addiction like the canelé in their lives.

In the case of the Buyer Who Spoke Through An Appointee, I”m flummoxed because the store she represents – a small chain – has a truly crappy bakery section, and it seemed like a beautiful French pastry that also comes in gluten free would be a shoo in. In the name of research, I have even purchased several plastic containers of stale-tasting, heinous baked goods at this chain;  the husband and I high-fived over how crappy they were (and they were – so crappy in fact that spiders would have improved them).  We were sure this meant we, with our gorgeous little offerings, would be welcomed as the Saviors of the Bakery Section.

So when we were not only NOT shooed in, but shooed unceremoniously out, you could have knocked me over  with a feather.  I ate three mini bacon canelés and immediately felt better, and when my husband reasoned why would I want my precious darlings to be on offer in a store famous for it’s crappy bakery section, I saw the wisdom of that.

In other news we are now selling at a second Farmer’s Market, Sundays in Burlingame. Todouble chocolate celebrate, we will debut the new chocolate canelé, which has chocolate chunks *and* chocolate custard.  It’s so decadent that when the assistant baker tried it, she rolled her eyes back in her head and said ohmygodohmygodohmygod with a full mouth.   Here’s a picture, which almost does it justice.  The assistant baker thought it would be funny to put a plastic spider on the top but I nixed the idea; some jokes need to stay inside jokes.


Spider free!

Spanking clean and spider free!

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