The greatest oak was once a little nut who held its ground. ~Author Unknown
I received a friendly voice mail from a woman yesterday who asked where West Falmouth Baking Company was located. Her message said that she's been looking for me since she moved here in December because she heard I was a very good baker.
Her call reminded me of the importance in life of perseverance. I started West Falmouth Baking Company while my daughter Sophia was only two, we'd recently moved here ourselves and at the time I was commuting from Falmouth to a teaching job in Worcester at Clark University (two hour each way commute). I knew I needed to find something closer to home so I could be here for my youngest daughter. At the time I made a list of my favorite things to do and baking and writing topped the list.
I applied for a home food license, started testing recipes and exploring creative packaging ideas. I remember my very first customer was a neighbor who wanted my cranberry biscotti to serve to the women at her bridge club. From there, I sold packages of Lemon Cake and Dreamy Island Cookies (my own creation) at the Coonamessett Farm Store. I sold sugar cookies in the shape of a cross for a Baptism. I personalized the labels to reflect the occasion. Time passed and Sophia went off to school. I found another teaching job (another passion of mine) and since I wouldn't be baking as much at that point, I decided to write a small book with my recipes included so that others could still enjoy my cakes and cookies. Working on a second longer book about food and life on Cape Cod feels good partly because baking and cooking is something I am very passionate about but also because it reminds me of that little nut that held its ground.
Who would have thought that my small at home baking service with Sophia by my side would have grown to the point that I'm working on my second book and receiving word of mouth calls from people I've never met?
Yesterday, I spent the day in the company of some amazing writer friends of mine. We gathered in Hingham for an author release party. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to connect with such talented and creative women. Women who themselves have persevered. As for the red shoe shaped cookies, I baked and brought them along to the event yesterday. I love offering thoughtful touches to a good party. My friend released two books yesterday and on the cover of one of them are bright red shoes. It was my way of letting her know how proud I am of her.
If interested, visit http://www.kathyhandley.com/ to check her work out for yourself. As for the baking business, some of my very best memories are the times Sophia and I spent baking together in our kitchen. I still bake often but now I have turned my attention more fully to my writing about it. I still test and share my recipes with family and friends but they are being gathered to be included in "Sweeter by the Beach".