Friday, September 9, 2011

Bakery-Still Trying to Find Our New Normal

Last Friday morning the electrician finished wiring in my equipment in the sunroom and I got to work milling spelt and wheat and rye and making all the usual breads in my new bakery. My muscles felt so relieved to be back to work rolling out pizza crusts and kneading dough.

So much of life is about being afraid, but doing it anyway.

I was afraid that I was a fool for thinking that I could pick up my bakery and move it to Texas and start up the business again. Afraid that if I baked a bunch of bread, people might taste it and say,"Gross, I am never going to buy her stuff."

Interestingly enough, on September 1, last week, Texas passed the Cottage Food bill, HB81. Home bakeries became a legal enterprise in the state of Texas.

I looked into other jobs, am still keeping my eyes open for the time being, but felt like I had to give the bakery a go. I have enough inventory for the time being. The know-how, the pots and pans and now the nice wiring. Everytime we went to the farmer's market I felt off, being a consumer instead of producer.

So, in faith, with hope and a healthy bit of fear, I got up at 4am, started the coffee, turned on the mill and got to grinding.

A new friend found out I was opening the bakery, and sent out an email to her local friends, who emailed their friends. The week before I had been placing business cards and flyers out and about. Before the afternoon was over, I had several customers come to our door who were excited about our breads, had several samples of fresh out of the oven loaves, and walked out with purchases. The next morning, Mom and Daddy went with me to set up at the farmer's market, and pretty much everything was sold out by noon. Except for one loaf of Milk and Honey bread I saved for the kids. Who were pretty darn happy to see real bread happening in our house again.

I was tired. But very thankful. And excited to be able to give my business a decent try here in our new town.

I am now baking on Tuesdays and Fridays for customer pickup at our house, and then market on most Saturdays.

PS Just a strange aside. Grief pops up at the weirdest moments. I wasn't going to mention this, but thought that maybe someone out there needs to know that they are not alone. I was typing labels in the late night. Needed to change address and name, as we are Taste and See Bakery, instead of Full Circle Farm-Taste and See. And now our location is Alpine, Texas instead of Troutville, Virginia.

Everytime I typed in Alpine, I felt a twinge of pain. As if my fingers were telling me, over and over again that we had moved on from one chapter of our life. I wanted to sob, but didn't because I thought that I was being overly sentimental. But I missed my friends deeply, and felt very alone at that moment.

But as we met new friends and customers that evening and next morning, I felt hope surge sweetly and was even more confident that we were in the right place. Funny how it can be so mixed together: sad, happy, confidence and fear, grief and hope.

There are so many things I wish I could share with you. Like how we joined some new friends and an old one on Labor Day and went to our favorite National Park, Big Bend, and swam in the Rio Grande, and bathed in mud, and climbed up a giant sand dune. And how the mornings tint the mountains pink, and the moon in the evenings is bright and tonight almost full. And how I rode bikes with kids to the Homecoming Parade last night and watched cheerleaders cheer and saw Patrick win a spirit award for the best camoflauge outfit (does that surprise you?). And how the evenings have been downright cold and the days mild and dry and little by little we are recognizing new friends in the stores and on the streets. And how there are people here who are thrilled about the idea of freshly milled spelt and whole wheat and for now I have a job, doing what I love.

But I still have bread to wrap up and I promised Nora I would help her with something. So more later. I am trying to figure out the new normal and my new blog posting slot in the day. My fingers miss typing.



Nikki said...

I have friends in Alpine... which farmers market are you at so I can send them to go get some of your delish bread? said...

Hi Nicki! Friends in Alpine? Small world. I guess there is only one, and it is next to the Thrift Store, next to the Elementary school. Tell them to introduce themselves. And thanks for checking in.

Redhen said...

It sounds like you're settling in nicely. I am happy for you.

Anonymous said...

So happy for you in your new place, Ginger. Please keep up the writing and don't forget us out here in blogger world.
Cheering you on!

Debbie Millman said...

still with you....thanks for writing. ...can't wait to taste your bread.

Nikki said...

My Dad used to live in Marathon and they made friends all over the area. The couple in Alpine I've actually been lucky enough to visit with several times. I'll send them your way! And I do miss you and your bread at the GVCM but can totally see why you'd move to that part of the country!

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Ann Eason said...

Dear GInger , I met you through Marian Freeland Friday night at VIVA Big Bend.. Ginger, Sweet Marain sent me home with the wonderful bread we ate from your bakery that I raved about while in Alpine.. Now I have unfrozen it and my office workers want to know how we can get it in Houston!!! I told them I was Just going to have to come back with a freezer truck and get more from you on Labor Day!