Friday, June 19, 2009

the start of summer

Northwestern graduation weekend. It always falls on Father's Day weekend. It has an effect on us and downtown Evanston. Hotels here are full, restaurants are booked. We bake for a number of area restaurants, they've all kicked up their order. They'll all call Monday and reduce their standing orders, until middle of September. I don't like this weekend, or the next two months that follow. It marks the start of the outdoor festivals that the city tries here every year. Usually turn out disastrous. The city here tries a sidewalk sale. There are so many empty stores here now, shoot, it didn't work when these stores were full. They used to have the world's largest garage sale, there wasn't a parking place from Evanston to Highwood, that was really good for business. They do an art fair here , my favorite, they close the streets in downtown Evanston. I understand they are trying, but it doesn't help the bakery business. Maybe I should try funnel cakes.

I mention the empty stores here in Evanston. A lot of the chains are pulling out. We lost a couple video stores, two print shops, independent restaurants keep comin' and goin'. You know the ones, they wanna be like Emeril or use a little "E,V,O,O,". They find out television chefs didn't cover meeting a payroll. Lost our Dunkin' Donuts, a good shot in the arm for us. Especially on Sunday morning. Our bakery is a block from an enormous YMCA. On summer Sunday's they have five or six tour type buses, pick up kids going to Camp Echo, up in Michigan. They pick up on Sunday's an drop off the next Saturday. On Sunday's mornings the few block area here fills up with parents dropping off. A lot of them stop by the bakery and load up their son or daughter on their way to camp. On Saturday's I don't think it's so effective.

Since the Dunkin' Donuts closed were are a bit busier in the mornings. We seem to sell more dozens of donuts. There is an office type business here in town, that one Friday a month they buy eight dozen donuts. No big deal, but eight dozen there, a few extra dozens a day in the store, a few more cups of coffee a day, etc. My dad always quotes senator Dirksen, long, long ago he said "a million here and a million there, pretty soon you're talkin' about a lot of money".

Well, I've avoided it long enough. Gotta go face 'em upstairs. The bakers. They be a very somber bunch today. A little overwhelmed. Oh well, not as somber as the bakers from that Dunkin' Donuts. You must keep things in perspective.


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