"But it doesn't matter if you make money, you're doing what you love!" says a customer, with wide-eyed sincerity. And had I not heard some version of this sentiment many times before, directed at me, at farmers, at artists, writers, musicians, and craftspeople, I might have been dumbstruck. Instead I offer them a tight smile, thank them for their purchase, and move on. Or try to. The comment, familiar as it is, itches in my head for the rest of the day.
The thing is, had they said I couldn't expect to make money on a small business, I would have laughed and agreed. But no one ever says, "it doesn't matter if you make money, you own a business!" No, it's the romantic dream of our work that exempts us from the need to make a living, the Instagram glamour of bright kitchens and prettily floured aprons, or tidy farm fields catching the morning sun. If we did a better job showing the grubby, exhausting, often ugly reality of the work would people feel differently? Or would they avert their eyes so they could keep dreaming of hobby farms and cottage kitchens, unsullied by anything so prosaic as profit margins and unpaid bills?
Anyways, while I was stewing over that off-hand comment, I came up with a new bread for market. It's a Tyrolean rye, or at least my ignorant interpretation of what such a bread might be, inspired by the little jar of blue fenugreek that Uprising Seeds gave me from their seed trial. I'll have it out for sampling today, in no small part so I can sample it myself! I also have Mountain Rye, some especially handsome wheat breads, raspberry & lebni tarts, cardamom & black sesame palmiers, and the usual pastry lineup.
See you at the market.