***PSA: Sen. Doug Ericksen, R, Ferndale, is holding a Town Hall at 10 am this morning at Meridian High School, 194 W. Laurel Rd., Bellingham. Whether you support or oppose his work for the Trump administration, his Economic Terrorism bill, or his desire to reopen Cherry Point to to GPT, you should GO and let him know.***
On the menu this week are Bittersweet Chocolate Cookies, Red & White, Mountain Rye, and a loaf for the birds: Wild & Seedy. W&S is a farmer's market favorite, with umami and crunch from toasted, organic sesame, sunflower, and flax. Order now for Wednesday pickup. And while you're there, sign up for the Spring Bread Subscription!
I often take my bike commutes as a small window in my day to think, uninterrupted by obligation or screens. This past week I was pedaling through thoughts of the ups and downs of small business ownership. Do I want to own a business? The answer, I can say with increasing confidence, is 'Yes.' I want the independence and challenge. I want to make simple, beautiful food, and to make it right, without compromising my values for someone else's profits. I want to make a living while living and working well.
But should I own a business? This is less easily answered. I have no doubt that I can fully master any technical skills, whether baking or bookkeeping, given time and practice. But learning the soft skills is more difficult. I have so little Hustle—what my business books call Tradeskill—that potent combination of charm, confidence, persistence, and intuition. We, as a culture, have a conflicted relationship with Hustlers. In panhandlers, politicians, and car salesmen, it's proof of untrustworthiness, of ill-intent. "Salesman" becomes pejorative, becomes Shylock, grasping and greedy, demanding his pound of flesh. But occasionally, in entrepreneurs and the rare, respected statesman, we understand Hustle as vision and charisma, as leadership.
Somewhere between the caricatured Jewish banker and Steve Jobs must be space for an honest Hustle, for the ability to understand people and their desires, to connect with customers as neighbors, rather than consumers, to sell hard because you believe fully in your work and know that others will be better for it. Learning to do this, I think, would be the essential step between being a good baker and being a good bakery owner. Now, where on earth do I begin?
I hope you find time to move outside this weekend, whether or not it leads you to existential contemplation.
Owner | Baker