Not that all brothers are uniformly awesome. For example, mine refer to me as Large Marge.
BLARGHANXIETY

What would YOU buy?

Exciting bakery update! We have an LLC! I KNOW! It's, like, for REAL. Now I have UBI number, whatever that is, so I can apply for a business license. After that we turn in our hefty Cottage Food Permit application. AND THEN WE START SELLING STUFF. 

So that's what we're talking about now. Cakes, obviously. Katie's already been doing that, but now we'll be selling and marketing them with all sorts of officialness. Here are our other ideas, based on things she's done before, things people have requested in the past, and things we think might work:

  • Croissants. Other breakfasty pastries. 
  • Cookie platters, especially fancy holiday cookies. 
  • Jars of granola.
  • Cupcakes.
  • Savory pastries. For example, I have a friend who asked if Katie would be interested in making a whole bunch of piroshky-type pastries that my friend would freeze and put in her kids' lunches. 

What would YOU buy? 

I'll just be honest - I probably wouldn't buy anything. I like to bake, for starters, and I've always made my own cookie platters and food gifts for people like teachers and neighbors. BUT. Last year a friend of mine asked if I had any leftover cookies that she could bring to a holiday gathering because she didn't have time to make something on her own. AND. The little Italian town we lived in had the most amazing cafe with cases full of treats. Maybe this is an Italian thing but people often bought trays and platters of pretty cookies and small Italian sweets to take home or to share with friends, all wrapped beautifully. We would LOVE to make and sell platters like that! I HAVE bought those. 

Anyway, I was just thinking about what people might like to buy around the holidays. I was thinking of bringing trays of treats for the kids' teachers, to my old office, to friends' houses, to parents' friends, littering business cards wherever I go. You bet Thumbprints Baking Co. will be catering the sweets section of the annual Cheung Christmas shindig. 

We need to start taking pictures of whatever Katie makes. She's making a birthday cake for our brother-in-law next week and while it will be the flavors he requested, it will be decorated to the tune of What Would Look Nice On Our Website? 

That's where the baking business stands right now. In the Children Department:

1. Jackson continues to be the kid that I'm most anxious about. Molly and Emma, by comparison, are so easy for me to figure out! Jack is the one where I have to really think about what he needs at any particular moment. Today, for example, he's been on the verge of tears all afternoon because (I think) he is overtired. Maybe? I DON'T KNOW. I also watched him chasing girls on the playground after school today which got me all antsy about the crew of sassy girls he hung out with last year and how they affected his behavior. Is that happening again this year? He doesn't need more sass, primary grades ladies. 

2. Molly is relatively simple. She likes art projects, pink, and she ALWAYS wants to go shopping. We're growing out her bangs. (I KNOW.) She's rarely grouchy or overtired or nasty and as long as I'm not trying to get her ready to go to school we get along great. She also looks extra adorable in the tons of Old Navy sale items I bought her over the weekend. 

3. Same with Emma. My issue with Emma is that she never. shuts. up. and I swear she's the reason I am passing out every afternoon again. Every night, from three to four in the morning she is awake and thumping her head against the mattress in combination with songs or chants or mindless gibberish. She does it at various points all night long, but it's that 3am session that always gets me and always keeps me up. And she does it all day too. We walked around the lake this morning and the ENTIRE WAY she was singing/talking/chanting to herself. MY KINGDOM FOR SOME SILENCE. 

I am thinking that right about the time Jack gets easier to understand and deal with, my girls will turn into Tweenage Horrors. We shall see, eh?!

Comments

Sonya

I love platters of fancy brownies...all your ideas sound fab, but you haven't mentioned brownies at all, so thought I'd throw those out there. Also, petit fours. And now I'm hungry. :)

Elizabeth

ok, things I would buy:
1. cakes
2. cupcakes
3. holiday cookies, either sampler platters or those fancy decorated sugar cookie kinds.
4. UNDECORATED sugar cookies so I could just have my kids frost them without having to actually make them.
5. Once a week we go to the fancy bakery and we buy two chocolate "boissants" and a soy latte and a hot chocolate, so that. I'd buy that.

jlp

Sigh. I can't eat wheat, so take this comment with a grain of salt. But things I WOULD'VE bought, back in the day, include:

- croissants, plain and filled
- cupcakes
- brownies
- pieces of cake (but not whole cakes)
- bread pudding

Back when I lived in Berkeley, we'd frequently go to the farmer's market and get soft pretzels made with croissant dough....yum. Also, there is a cake store on the Oakland/Berkeley border that sells delicious cakes by the slice.

I would only buy GF stuff that was made at a dedicated facility, so I wouldn't buy anything wheat-free from the bakery. However -- sorry, did I already leave a comment about this? -- Oakland has a GF-dedicated bakery, Mariposa, that makes the best GF brownies I've had, bar none. And they ship. And they wrap the brownies individually for resale.

I suspect you wouldn't make much on them, but they would be a welcome treat at a place where I might meet up with friends but wouldn't otherwise be able to eat anything.

Jesabes

Okay, question: will you ship? Because I would totally, no-shit buy a "platter" (but, you know, packed to ship so not actually on a platter) of fancy holiday cookies.

Other things I would buy if I lived by you: cakes for my kids' birthdays, filled pastries (right now I'm pregnancy-craving these things from ye old school fundraising days: http://www.butterbraid.com/braided_pastries)(I have two on order from a friend with older kids).

Lisa

Definitely would buy packaged cookies or baked treats for parties and for school. Our school has this rule that if you send in treats for birthdays or whatever, they have to be packaged/store bought. Can't send in anything homemade. But I think bakery-bought/labeled goods would be accepted, so this would be perfect! And I would absolutely be ordering those from you...well, if we weren't 2000 miles apart. You know.

Christina

The year we moved Kay finished her college finals while we were in temp housing and I just didn't have it in me to get a good care package together, so I called a local (to her) bakery and they made her the prettiest cupcakes and delivered them to her dorm. She *loved* them and I felt like the Best Mom Ever. Being in the UDist, it could be another way to market - care packages around finals season...

katie

Can Katie make Amaretti cookies? I would seriously put in an order for those TODAY for my cousin who just moved to Seattle. They are her absolute favorite. Other cookie ideas here: http://www.petersciortinosbakery.com/Bakery-Items/Cookies.html

Other pastries I would buy: Napoleon & Chocolate eclairs

And YES! to holiday cookie platters all wrapped up. It never feels like Christmas until I get a big plate of cookies from my Sicilian great aunt.

Amy J

Spinach and feta croissants, ham and Swiss croissants, quiches. Almond, chocolate croissants.

Carla

I LOVE the ideas up there- the only one I might add would be truffles- not a ton, but a few as an add-on item (I think lots of people like CAKE POPS for the same reason I like TRUFFLES, so maybe it's a joint recommendation rather than either/or).

Doubling down on cake SLICES (especially lemon cake).

Lastly: mousses, puddings. LOVE them, don't typically make them, would TOTALLY order them in a bakery I was relaxing in. Would order them in individual cups for a party too. Chocolate, butterscotch, lemon mousse?

Pseudostoops

I would buy a breakfast platter (croissants plain and filled, muffins, scones) to bring to a meeting or drop off for the teachers at school as a thank you...I second the suggestion if savory croissant fillings. I would also buy small-size (4in?) tarts- lemon curd, pastry cream with fruit, chocolate ganache, etc- they make nice birthday treats/hostess gifts because they're pretty and not something I would make myself.

Carrie

In the morning I would want a healthy-in-my-mind-but-not-really muffin like blueberry bran muffin or zucchini muffin. Even though I love savory food and the croissant with spinach and feta mentioned above sounds delish - I would probably actually order a muffin if I was in a bakery.

In the afternoon I would want a slice of CAKE!! Moist, delicious cake with flavors and frosting that I would never make myself at home but is an awesome treat when out. And then I could pick up a whole cake for special occassions and tell everyone "I picked up a cake from Thumbprints" and everyone will swoon because they are so delicious!

My completely unprofessional opinion (seriously, I know nothing about the bakery industry so feel free to ignore everything I write from here forward) is that you should drive the menu off of what Katie loves to make, which sounds like cake from what you've mentioned in other posts.

I used to live in Phoenix and there was a place called "Kathy's Rum Cake" and it was the most delicious cake ever and they charged an astronomical amount (they sold a variety of cakes and you could pick your filling, etc.) But whenever you would tell anyone "it's a Kathy's Rum Cake" EVERYONE would know the cake and LOVE IT (it was so good!!). And it was a go-to bakery for special occassions like bridal showers and baby showers.

I guess that's the example I always think of when I read about your bakery. So rather than try to please every single palette, stick with what you love and I think it will sell itself.

Lindsay

Scones! How is it so hard to find a good scone?! Not the regular crumbly dry kind. I'm talking kind with a crisp crust, dense and moist inside, full of plump fruit like raspberries or blueberries (paired with lemon!), or even a layer of raspberry jam. Even better if made with oats to add texture, mmmmm. It may sound like I'm talking about a muffin, but it's the rustic bread-like crust that makes it more than a muffin. :) Okay, I'm drooling now.

P.S. I second the lemon curd! Packaged in a little Weck or Mason jar would be super cute. You know how I'm a sucker for mason jars :)

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