Hello sweet friends! If you are a TSFB old pro, then you know these monthly blog posts are a little something extra I dish up, in order to stay connected with you. So without further ado here is Coffee chat 16. It's long! So get comfy!
First id like to thank you all for an amazing Spooktaciluar Tent Sale in October! Once again I sold out, and I couldn't be more grateful. Words can not express just how humbled and thankful I am for all of you and your continued support. I hope you enjoyed your spooky treats, fall-flavored seasonal specialties, and some of my family favorites like my Great Aunt Anns' caramel popcorn!
Now here it is November! Gosh, that just snuck right up on us now didn't it? Holy smokes time flies! Before you know it, we will be sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner, and putting up our Christmas trees! Truth be told my tree is going up next weekend, I'm actually about 7 days behind schedule with my decorating... yes I am one of THOSE people. Traditionally speaking, in my home Christmas commences on 11/01!! Mr. Fairy hates it. I mean REALLY hates it. Regardless if it is the "appropriate" time or not. Who hates Christmas?! I'll tell ya, how the queen of Christmas, married the ultimate scrooge I'll never understand but somehow we have made it work for 17 years! Once upon a time, I cooked for all of the holidays, but my mother officially took over hosting Thanksgiving dinner about 12 or so years ago. Apparently, it's not just my husband who is against Christmas before Thanksgiving. Where did I come from? How am I related to these people? At least my kids take after me! LOL My daughter has her full-size bedroom tree up and decorated already. She was the last one to take it down in January and the first to put hers up this year. My son was home for a quick overnight last week, and took his bedroom tree back up north to his apartment and has it decorated. Yup, we are those people and I love it!
Speaking-ish of Thanksgiving, have you all checked out the TEN pie flavors I have available this year? Such a variety!!! In addition to the ten pie flavors, I also have my loved honey butter dinner rolls, and everyone's favorite DIY cookie kits up for grabs. Ordering is scheduled to close on 11/16, but as you know I am one person. If I reach my max capabilities I'll close earlier. If you haven't ordered yet, what are you waiting for? I don't do pies for Christmas, so this is truly your VERY LAST opportunity to get a TSFB pie until the Summer of 2022!
Christmas..... If you are a veteran TSFB fan then you know I offer a lot of quality unique special gifts as well as party platters and other festive treats for the holidays. With cargo ships being stuck at port and merchandise hard to get, this is the perfect opportunity for you to think outside of the box with gift-giving while supporting a local small business. Please keep me, and other crafters and makers in consideration when you are checking off that shopping list this season. My Christmas specials go on sale 11/26 and like everything else you will want to order early to guarantee availability.
Price increases... I have gone 3 strong years never raising pricing. Rather I changed up my packaging, or my portion sizes, and implemented a small delivery fee to cover my rising cost. Unfortunately, the time has come. Like you are feeling the effects at the gas pump and grocery store, I am feeling the effects too. A year ago I got 34 pounds of butter for $53. Today I am paying $91 for the same exact 34 pounds of butter. It's insane! I refuse to jeopardize my quality and replace butter with the cheaper alternative of shortening so that leaves me with only one option. It's time to raise prices. The most noticeable price increase is my pies. They have increased by $2 just since this summer. The increase is not a holiday mark-up, or me trying to pay for a storefront. It's simply me covering my cost. The new price of $17 is still less than the $20 pies you'll find at Fred's, farm stores, and other bakeries. You also have my personal promise that my pies will still maintain the same delicious quality you know and love. I thank you for your understanding and continued support as we all try to navigate the rising costs associated with living our daily lives.
So, jumping from topic to topic... about a month ago, I asked if you could all keep a secret... Well, I'm still in limbo waiting on final approval but I have received an update id like to share.
First, it's important to explain that I'm not securing my loan through a traditional bank. Rather a non-profit community development financial institution that specializes in helping to establish and grow small businesses in the capital region. For this reason, the process is a bit different and the timing a bit longer than a traditional loan. For the past month, I have been working with the underwriter who is putting together my application packet. My application packet is then given to the financial institution's committee to review and they then vote on it. If the vote is unanimous then I proceed to closing on the loan which is about a 2-week process. If the vote is a swing, then it goes to the board to be voted on. The board meets 2 weeks after the committee. So the update I received is the committee is meeting and voting on 11/16. This means hopefully ill be able to make my official announcement which will include all details and location sometime soon! According to the underwriter, she feels I have a solid application, a robust business plan, and strong data to back up my projections and goals. Fingers crossed the committee feels the same as the underwriter and it is a unanimous pass. Please, if you are a supporter, cross your fingers, cross your toes, and if you're the praying type, say a prayer for me! In regards to the location, you may have already seen my car outside of the building of intent. If so, please don't post that you have seen me at "X building" on my social media page. I am trying, as hard as it is having a stickered-up car, to keep the location hush until the reveal. This has been in motion since September, so I have been back and forth regularly and I am sure the location is no big secret, but let me pretend lol. As a side note for the not-so-nice "trolls" that like to quietly watch my every move, I try to take the higher ground and don't call you out on your BS, but I know you are reading this, so lack of professionalism be damned it must be said... be advised I have also been producing out of this DOH commercial kitchen. No, I'm not breaking any home processing rules by selling my HCB, or pumpkin and cream pies! All of this is being produced in a DOH commercial kitchen!! No need to get your panties in a bunch and tattle on me like you tried to do this time last year. Why not be a woman in business, not a woman in everyone else's business? Be supportive of my growth not jealous.
On that note, that is all for today. I hope to be able to chime back in, in 10 or so days with an official announcement!! As always, any comments, questions, or concerns please do not hesitate to reach out to me. Thank you for reading, and above all thank you for the continued support.
Have a sweet day,
Stacie AKA your baker, TSFB