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One Hundred & Forty Days

It's a Friday evening, and I am sitting in a pizza shop with my daughter. We are sharing a cheese slice cut into small pieces while she has hijacked my phone to scroll through youtube for nursery rhymes. Who's manning my cookie shop? Two well trained employees serving cookies by the dozen to my loyal customers. All I can think is how unfair it is that I am this lucky. Beautiful wife, healthy daughter, and owning a stable business. 

It's been 140 days since we had our grand opening and damn it has been a hell of a ride with many successes and failures. 

Soft Opening

1000 cookies in 3 hours. This is why we have a soft opening. We did so many things wrong. 

- We let customers in and order before we were ready

- We did not start baking early enough

- We did not train our staff well enough

- We ran out of cookies!

Grand Opening

We worked out a lot of the kinks and sold 1400 cookies in one day. We sold every last crumb!

140 Days

In the last 140 days I have hired and trained 10 employees, fired one, some quit because of other commitments, and one quit the first day because the job was too hard. 

I have learned how to delegate responsibilities, trust my staff to run the shop, and train employees to mix and bake all cookies. The most valuable thing I have achieved is I have removed all the complicated and physically difficult parts of this job to make it scalable. 

Every week we get more customers and we keep selling more cookies. We started with 71 yelp reviews, we now have 191 and we still have five stars. Sure some folks have given us negative reviews, but we learn from them and move forward. 

I now take the first train in the morning, 4:30AM, and take the 4PM train home to pick up my daughter. I still get to see her everyday. 

 

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Scary and Exciting

Everyone Has Been So Nice To Me

People have been really nice to me. So much more than I deserve. My suppliers, my customers, and my wife. I am really grateful for this. 

My Customers

Starting your own business is an unforgiving endeavor. You make a mistake and there is no one else to blame but yourself. You fail and no one feels sorry for you. I have been really lucky and on top of that my customers have been really kind and supportive. One of the milestones in my journey was launching a Kickstarter campaign. That was a difficult, but enriching experience. It was difficult because I made delivery promises that were unrealistic and I forced myself to deliver them on time, during the holiday season! It nearly killed me. There were weeks I only slept 20 hours. The enriching part was the great feedback and support and grace I got from my customers. I learned a lot from delivering their rewards. 

My Wife

I would not just describe my wife as supportive of my business because she is so much more than that. She's been cheering me on since day one and she's my most valued advisor. No matter how good my cookies have become, I would not be where I am today if not for her. She is one who made so much of this possible. In this Cinderella story, she is my fairy godmother and prince charming rolled into one. 

The New Shop

Everyone keeps asking me how I feel about finally opening a new shop. I give an honest answer: it's both exciting and scary, but mostly scary. Like I said earlier, this is an unforgiving endeavor. I go online and read yelp reviews of really successful food businesses and the review I dread getting one day is, "I don't get all the hype." A lot of people who have a recognized accomplishment have a similar fear, a fear of being a fraud. That someone who hears the hype about us will look at what we do and point out that we're not that great and what we produce is not that special. The exciting part is I will get to meet my customers and see my customers enjoy cookies. I usually pull up to their house or business drop off the order and poof, disappear to my next delivery. 

My Daughter

I am most anxious of the time I will need to spend away from my daughter when I open this new shop. She is fifteen months old and for the last year she has been my carpool buddy on my deliveries. I am afraid of everything I miss out on in the life of this amazing girl. I am afraid of how much my being at work all day will weaken the bond we have formed. This is going to be hard. 

Thank you to all you cookie addicts for your continued support. 

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Thank You Eight Thousand Seven Hundred Twenty-Seven Times Over!

Thank you to all of you who supported me on this wild endeavor to start my business and share my favorite treats with the world. You believed in me and helped me make my dream a reality. Thank you...

Christian Gilbu

John Reid

Alexander J Mattucci

Jon Norton & Joe Molinari

Lisa Nguyen

Fred Taleghani

Jeff Coelho

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Paige

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