Monday, December 7, 2009

just another event

What a weekend! I guess it all started Friday, when we were to deliver 1500 brat buns and 500 hot dog buns to the Christkindl Markt on Lincoln avenue, in Chicago. We got that done. Chef Martin called late Friday and wanted another 500 brat buns for Saturday, no problem. Friday afternoon, Patti and I went down to the new "French market", in the Ogilvie train station. We sell to Pastoral Artisan Cheese shops, they have a beautiful spot in the market. They ask that we go and do a tasting kinda thing. We took a loaf of miche and ten or twelve loaves of bread. Plan was to sample bread and talk about it from 3:30 to 5:30, right during the Friday afternoon rush. The market opened on Thursday, Pastoral sold out of bread in an hour or two. They tripled their order for Friday. For Friday, I think they got around a hundred fifty or sixty loaves. They were down to a handful of loaves when Patti and I got there. They were gone within thirty minutes of our arrival. So we were sampling bread, but had nothing to sell. We ended up selling a few of the loaves we brought with us. They called over to their Broadway store and made arrangements for more bread to be sent over. It showed up around 5pm. Patti and I were bagging and another person was on the register. The bread vaporized. Customers acted like it was free. Another event to support my beliefs, the world is starving for baked goods. Real baked goods.

I hopped in the van Saturday morning around 2:30, powered up my cell phone. I had a message, it was night baker Cornell,"Some Martin guy called from some grindel market, says he needs another 1500 hot dog buns". Wow, didn't expect that. I knew he would need them by noon. Kudos to my night guys, they stayed and ran two big bun doughs. We finished with another half batch. We delivered by noon. Gotta say, pretty cool, we divide our buns on a 2pocket, "Roll divider". It is a hopper fed machine. Large chunks of dough get dropped in the top and they come out round dough balls at the bottom. We were scaling the pieces at 70g. The batch made 588 pieces. In just under thirteen minutes they had the dough divided and rounded. Typical scenario would be to divide the dough into 2500g pieces, round them into a big ball and put them into a divider that would cut that piece into 36, 70g pieces. Without the machine we have, we'd still be here dividing and rounding.

It was not all roses on Saturday though. Just the kinda stuff they don't show you on the Food Network. I baked a sheet of pumpkin slices, and a few pumpkin pies. Didn't quite look right comin' from the oven. It cooled, we tasted it, sure enough, sugar free. Once again, folks never come in looking for the sugar free items when we have them. Kinda like the mini donut customers. I'm often asked "Do you make mini donuts"?, I reply, "Sometimes, but never when you're looking for 'em". I tried a new stollen formula on Saturday, failed. I ran out of time, rushed it to the oven. A young baker person, related to me, dropped six beautifully glazed chocolate mousse cakes on Saturday. So, goes to show ya, not every day can be a good day.

In light of all that, it was an incredible weekend business wise. We are running way ahead of the first six days of last December. Don't know if it's weather related. We sold a lot of cookies Saturday and Sunday. Got lots of gingerbread houses on order.

Gotta run, the basement office is just about under the store door. I can hear 'em comin' in now, stompin' the snow off their feet. In my mind, Christmas really begins today, December 7th. Gonna start workin' like men for the next 18 days. Night and day.

My dad says sixty eight years ago today, he was playing sandlot football. Somebody told him Pearl Harbor was attacked, he said "Where the hell is Pearl Harbor"? He hasn't forgotten that moment, neither should we.


Blogger Laminatrix said...

Six cakes? That's when you put the bits into clear plastic cups, put some plastic wrap and a ribbon around it, and call it a chocolate mousse parfait.

Not surprised about the Pastoral thing; I haven't been to the new one yet, but I betcha the Ogilvie shop does a booming business. Now Bennison's bread will be in the western 'burbs, too.

December 7, 2009 at 8:27 AM  
Blogger Jory Downer said...

There was no savin' nothin'. Kinda like skid marks across the floor.

The Ogilvie place is rockin'. We'll see if it holds up. Between you and me, lots of subpar stuff there. We'll see which way it goes.

December 9, 2009 at 4:45 AM  

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