Of course, parts of my experiment with Lydia's Bakery were completely thrilling. I loved pushing myself to come up with new flavor combinations and techniques to polish my skills. I loved the name that I finally came up with - "The Sugar Bin." I was encouraged constantly by my supportive family and friends who asked "so when are you opening that bakery?" every time they sampled my creations.
On the other hand, I learned something essential about myself and my baking. And that is, I have to keep money out of things. The pressure of selling quenched my inspiration. Once business came into play, I was no longer rushing to the kitchen in every free moment just to try out a new recipe, but instead felt compelled to save my baking energy for when it really mattered; i.e., when I had to produce something worthy to sell.
So I counted the costs. Option A involved working long and hard to open a business, advertise, create a menu, perfect my recipes. Option A was the glittery, glamorous one. (Hi, I'm Lydia. I own a bakery. Here's my card; come drop by the Sugar Bin sometime.) But on the most basic level it meant that I would need to become okay with charging other people, including my family and friends, for something that I loved giving away for free.
Option B was not to start a business. To miss out on the glitter and glamour, yet to preserve and cultivate my hours in the kitchen for the purpose of artistic inspiration and soothing joy instead of cold commerce. I would not have to work 40 hours per week at the office and then plug through a business plan or balance tables when I got home. Instead, I could do something I love and bring joy to myself and to others without the taint of dollars and cents.
I still want a bakery. But I have chosen Option B because in five years I envision myself with a warm home filled with family and friends and freshly baked brownies. Actually, I already have a bakery. But not for buying and selling. Just for the sole purpose of heart-warming.
Now that my decision has been made, my inspiration has thrived. This morning I woke up with the strong urge to make chocolate peanut butter whoopie pies, which recipe I created in my head as I snuggled in my warm bed. And can't wait for the right chance to make these petit fours. I am back! Here are some recent creations to show for it:
Please don't be disappointed that I am not living up to my potential for success by not opening a bakery. Instead, come have coffee with me. I'll make cupcakes. Or tarts. Or beignets. Or a cake. Or your special order.