Customer Appreciation Day 4/19/14

Sugar Kneads Cakery just celebrated their 6 year anniversary on 4/1/14!

I’ve reflected over all the years and realized that I’ve never hosted a Customer appreciation day.  It’s so easy to say thank you when you’re here in the store, or over the phone.  It’s harder to remember that you went out of your way to visit us.  That you pay a premium for our cakes & cupcakes and we, no I, really do appreciate it!

As an individual I have to remind myself to look at things from another perspective.  It’s easy to focus on all the wrong things, the insane hours, the things that go wrong, the customers that aren’t the sweetest.  What’s hard is really sincerely appreciating all of you that are the sweetest, remembering you’re amazing feedback, the things that go right, and what we create in those insane hours that you all pay for.

This anniversary has truly made me nostalgic.  I still remember my first week owning Sugar Kneads, we had one order for the weekend and it turned out to be a mistake, the customer ordered with another bakery.  The stress and sadness of the first year made me feel that I made a huge mistake, made me think that I jeopardized my family’s wellbeing, that I hurt our future.  Our sales were terrible, we were behind on rent, and I hated the way the store front looked but had no money to fix it.

I remember in the beginning it used to take me an hour just to ice a cake.  Making cakes from home gave me the luxury of doing it in my free time, I didn’t have rent, labor, product.  Now I had to be faster, I had to answer the phone, help people out front and do it on demand.  It was all so overwhelming, I needed help.  My mother came to work for me for free, my sister joined in helping with bookkeeping and fondant.  I had help!!!  Along with the help came freedom to market, freedom to practice my craft.  My husband soon came to join me as his trade came to a screeching halt with the recession, and even though the economy was struggling you all came, you purchased, you celebrated.

Sugar Kneads Cakery was taking form, we painted, decorated, and rapidly began running out of space.  We were selected to be on Cupcake Wars, we went, we lost, and I was devastated.  We were sooo busy, sooo tired, beyond out of room.  I was stressed, but now, for a new reason and in those days and weeks I lost my drive, my positivity.  Now I was away from my family all the time, my house was a mess, my kids dressed like homeless children because their laundry was never done.  If friends wanted to see me that had to come to the bakery.  I just constantly felt disappointed in myself.  I remember crying one night with my husband feeling like I still was failing, I couldn’t keep up, it never seemed like enough and that I had lost all control of my life.  He looked at me and told me how proud he was of me, what I had done, what I had become, what I was capable of.  He reminded me of the crapped up cakes I had done at home (that I thought were awesome) and the beautiful cakes I did now.  Reminded me of the disaster that I walked in to and the beauty I created.  He told me what my kids would see, that mommy works so hard, that mommy is driven, mommy is not a quitter and that they can do anything if they put their mind to it.  In that one shining moment I realized I like hopefully some of you have, or will, that the only thing that mattered was what I thought of myself.  I had done it, by no means had I done it alone, but I had done it.  I took a failing business and created what everyone associates with Sugar Kneads Cakery today.  That our family’s expectations were the only important thing, not what my kid’s teachers or my neighbors thought.  I’m not perfect and I’m not supposed to be, nobody is.  It was a changing point in my life, amazing, all of our hard work, every amazing, and some not so amazing, staff member shaped me, taught me, made me stronger.  And through it all, all of you were there, and I never looked at your smiling returning faces as encouragement, I was looking at things all wrong.

It was time to move, time to keep pushing and see what we could do.  We found our current spot, our amazing land lord and you followed us.  I know I’m not a writer, but every bit of what I am trying to say is at every moment that I lost faith in myself you were there.  There was no time to sit on the floor and cry because you wanted more from us, you wanted us!  I never share and get personal, especially not on this type of platform that is out there for everyone to see forever, but I really wanted you to know what you have created.  What all of my blathering comes down to is that I am proud and I know there is no way any of this would have been possible without all of you.  I can’t believe how fast the years have passed, how much I have been blessed to work with and work for so many great people.  And with all of this reflection I want to say thank you, join us for our first Customer Appreciation Day!

April 19th 10:00-5:00

We’ll have punch, mini cupcakes and some Easter related fun for the kids.  We are also trying to get 7,000 likes on Facebook and as of today we’re only 58 likes away, if you haven’t please like our Facebook page.

Please come out and join us, and take this as my sincerest thank you for your years of loyalty and business.  Tara Tomlinson 🙂


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