But it’s hard to think about work when the trees are casting dappled shadows and the forest is full of birdsong. Ezra is currently loading up the market bike while I, for the first time in four months, have escaped the tight triangle of bakery, house, and farm and gone away. We left well before sunrise and arrived with a whole day ahead of us. A whole weekend, in fact. Two entire days! If you, too, are self-employed, or partnered to a farmer, or a farmer yourself, you know how delicious a summer weekend away is. There are ravens talking back and forth across the clearing, dragonflies above the tall grass, and just now a ruby throated hummingbird dipped down to drink from the phacelia. The world is green and green and green and blue above.
I promised last week to tell you about the new bakery, though, so before I settle fully into the weekend there is this: Raven Bakery has a new home. Or will have a new home. We’ll start building out a storefront downtown in August. I have plans and permits filed and a deposit made on a large and beautiful bread oven. The space has south and east facing windows and high ceilings. Most of it will be taken up by production with a small retail area in front. It’s going to be more functional than stylish, but with good light and good bread functional is more than enough. Building a kitchen from scratch—even one without any fancy trims—is staggeringly expensive and I’m going to be asking for private loans from the community once I have a better sense of what terms are fair and reasonable. If you have experience on either side of the lending equation I’d welcome your insights. Right now, though, I’m going to put away my computer and all thoughts of work, take a nap, and then ride into the village for a breakfast pastry and coffee at someone else’s bakery.
I hope your weekend is just as sweet.
Owner | Baker
The citrus trees arrived last week: a meyer lemon and a chinotto orange, the two most fragrant bloomers in the One Green World catalog. They’re for the southern patio of this not-quite-real-yet bakery I’m planning, but for the time being the orange is in our greenhouse and the lemon, still wrapped up in its half gallon pot, sits on the window sill in full, glorious bloom. Keep an eye out for big ceramic planters, will you? I’ve been watching Craigslist for weeks without success.
Bakery planning is stalled at the contractors' estimates (months! it’s been months!). I need those numbers to make the project budget, sign the lease, finalize the design, submit permits, seek financing. Until then its all just ideas on paper. Still, the lemon tree in the window is real enough. I can see its dark, glossy leaves out of the corner of my eye as I sit at my desk, scrolling through used equipment auctions or rearranging a digital floor plan I’d rather be building. The scent of lemon blossoms fills the room.
Owner | Baker
Lots of balls in the air right now planning a production and retail bakery, and so many phone calls: landlord, architect, contractors, city planning, equipment distributors, bank, health department, and then planning again, architect, distributors, accountant, and so on. Every one of those people controls some part of the process, but ultimately it comes down to me and my bakery design. And so when I’m not on the phone, or baking your bread, or hanging out with our borrowed backyard pigs (see below), I move little boxes around on my computer screen, doodle floor plans in my bakery notebook, walk through the imagined space in my head, trying to find the perfect layout. I’m not sure perfection exists, but I am sure that somewhere between efficiency and frugality is a compromise I can live with, if only I can find it.
If you have experience with workspace layout, business financing, or project management that you'd like to share, I'm all ears.
Owner | Baker