Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Fall, Y'all!

What a fun time of year to have a house warming party!  The colors of autumn are so warm and inviting. 
I have been wanting to do house cookies for some time now.  Quaint little doors.  Cute little windows with sweet little window boxes. 
They turned out so cute and sweet and quaint!
I hope to do lots more of these little houses!

Hope y'all are having a great fall so far!  I'm hoping to do some fall trees this fun does that sound?!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Challenge

So, this time last year, VeryVera started selling my cookies in 2 retail locations.  This time this year, Sweet B's is still being sold in Vera's 2 locations AND my cookies are in the 2 locations of Neapolitan Cupcakes!!  I also have a "cookie boutique" at the Neapolitan in Aiken. 
Along with this growth, I was challenged with my largest order yet...1,000 cookies.  1,000 individually wrapped cookies.  1,000 quatrefoil (new shape), individually wrapped cookies.  But I was up for the challenge, and excited to take on this many cookies.
What. was. I. thinking.
What kept me going was the cause.  It was for the biennial (every other year) fund raising gala for Sound Choices Pregnancy Clinic.  My sister-in-law is the development director for the clinic and orchestrates the gala, which continues to be more successful with each one she does.  This year was a record high attendance. 
The cookie preparation started as soon as it was approved by Sound Choices.  As in, I put together a budget and started ordering supplies - 400 yards of purple satin ribbon, 1,000 of my clear, gusseted bags, and custom labels for the event with the Sound Choices logo on them and "Custom cookies by".
I also started gathering things to accommodate for the large order.  I arranged with Molly to use her space in the Neapolitan Cupcake Shoppe in Aiken so I could order one of these -

(For those of you who do not know, when a baker has a sheet pan rack to call her own, it is a huge deal.  It feels like success.  A personal goal in life has been met.  Check that one off the list!)

I cut out the quatrefoils and froze the cutouts, like I do with a lot of my orders.  Only this time, it takes me 3 days (with some help from my ma!) to cut them out.  After only 1 day of baking (yay! for commercial ovens!), the challenging part begins.  I enlisted some help from my other job, who I couldn't have done without.  Mrs. Susan spent several hours helping me flood the cookies a beautiful color of blue.  And Megan, Kierra, Lacandrea, and Kristin helped package the cookies.  My sister, Bonnie, helped me do all of the above and more.  She spent countless hours with me flooding, packaging, counting (after all, she is an auditor, so inventory counting was right up her alley) and finally, packing up my little Fit with all 1,010 cookies.
They made the drive to Columbus, with NO breakages!!
Once out of the back of my Fit, these cookies ended up here:
In a beautiful ballroom of purple, silver, and blue.
I was so honored that Sweet B's cookies not only were a part of this gala, but they were a part of decorations.  They helped make the table pretty.  Yay!!!
Seriously.  I'm still in awe that I could be a part of this endeavor.
The clinic has been in operation for 30 years.  Hence, the "30 years of life".
30 years of giving women another option...
the option of life.
Now, most of the time, this blog is just about cookies.  But the challenge of this particular post is that it's not just about cookies.  It's also about life....for someone who's voice can't be heard.  And this organization, Sound Choices, over the past 30 years, has rescued 6,000 lives that would have otherwise been "terminated".  And this, is why I was so honored to be a part of the gala.  My cookies were given to each patron to say "Thank You". 
Thank you for choosing life.