Some of you might know that Spiker and myself run a small cake business, Whipped & Baked, supplying to local stores and selling directly to individuals. We haven’t really ploughed in enough time and dedication into it as much as we would like to – such is the typical scenario for so many home educating parents who are juggling so many proverbial balls.
These past few weeks, there have been plenty a lessons learnt. About how far you’re willing to go to get a foot in the door – never again will I try to accommodate a potential customer’s whims and in turn sacrificing my business’s identity and mission statement. Compromise, yes. Sacrifice, no. This applies to taking on projects that I didn’t intend on undertaking when I decided to do this for a living. Whilst others might not agree and feel that work is work and that it essentially brings home the bacon as such, I can’t help but go by the belief that anything I do outside of family life essentially takes away my time with my children so I better make damn sure that it is spent doing something I enjoy.
I also keep having to remind myself about pricing appropriately. From time to time, I have been confused by other businesses offering products made from ingredients which are locally sourced, fairtrade, free range and of organic standards at such a low price. I’m either not managing to source the ingredients at prices comparable to theirs or they are simply just not making any money. Or even worse, being economical with the truth with the wording on their website.
Besides this, it’s also about valuing your skills and also your time, isn’t it? My not too distant past experience of local food fairs has led me to the realisation that there is no logic to the Joe Public’s perception and understanding of economics. Whilst it is acceptable for Starbucks to charge £3.05 for a caffeinated hot drink which essentially is comprised of hot milk, sugar and artificial flavourings, the same does not apply to a baked from scratch, hand crafted artisanal individual cakes using real ingredients such as English butter, free range eggs and fresh fruits.
But then, what do we expect from a nation that places no importance in real food, or teaching real cooking skills to school children? I would even hazard a guess that to many, vanilla flavour basically means NOT chocolate flavoured. Devoid of a flavour, rather than pertaining to the delicate, subtle but discernible complex flavour of the vanilla bean.
We have simple rules in the Sniff Snorter household.
-You give in to the younger. You respect your elders. You value your siblings.
– One date or a 3hr long FaceTime/MSN/Skype/Facebook (delete as appropriate) does not maketh a relationship so you better not be updating your Facebook status as being ‘In A Relationship’. That’s just lame.
– If you can’t get to grips with regular washing, then you’re not ready to engage in coitus. You might think you are, and maybe you are but by golly, your potential partner definitely won’t be ready for you. Stick to solo ventures til then.
And the last one pertains to food. It may come across as trivial but it is essential to one’s wellbeing, and the glue that keeps families working at existing and tolerating and appreciating each other;
– if you cannot sufficiently nourish yourself with your own cooking, then you’re not ready for life on your own.
And that, honorary Sniff Snorters, is gospel according to Sponge.
Oh, and also that some families are destined to have a fat cat lodger that always poops over the outside edge of the litter tray, no matter how big the litter tray is.
Wasn’t that a ramble and a half? 😉