Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dream a Little Bakery Dream

I love to bake. I don't think that's any sort of surprise to anyone. It's my main hobby. It keeps me sane and helps me relax. It's how I feel I can spread happiness in a little way to my family, friends, and coworkers. Every once in awhile, I'll have friends tell me (jokingly) I should just quit my job and start a bakery (never in a serious way, mostly because their mouths are full when they say it and they're clearly high on sugar, plus I think they realize that means they'd have to start paying for my sweets). I don't think it's something I will ever do, mostly because I don't want the joy I get from it to be ruined by business, I know there are far fancier and better bakers than me out there, and I just don't think I could handle the stress of it all. But, that doesn't stop me from dreaming about what kind of bakery I would have if I ever did do that, and had millions and millions of dollars so if it failed, I wouldn't be worse for the wear. Whenever I go to cute little towns (like Charleston and Asheville, where I've been to in the last week and a half) where there are lots of creative spaces, that's usually when I start thinking about it and what I would do.

So indulge me for a minute as I tell you of my dream bakery (I never do dream of a name though...that is far too hard to figure out....the most creative I've gotten so far is Steele's Sweets, but I still don't think I like that)

The Building:
First, it has has has to be a little old, vintage house. Two stories, with front porches on both levels. Preferably painted a mint color with a big white door (with glass window in the door that bears whatever bakery name I chose) and white trim and white shutters around all the windows (and there needs to be lots of windows because I love natural light). There needs to be a white picket fence around the front little lawn. The lawn would have a brick path leading up to the stairs/ramp (have to make it accessible!), and in the spring and summer it would be covered in in-season flowers, in the fall there would be tons of mums and pumpkins, and in the winter it would be poinsettias, little christmas trees, and evergreens everywhere. Twinkle lights would be wrapped around the porch railings all year long, because who doesn't love twinkle lights?

The Interior:
Obviously when you first walk in, it'll be an open floor plan. To the right side will be the bakery case with that days goodies, with a framed chalkboard detailing the week's specials. The register has to be one of those vintage soda shop ones (but there will be more technology advanced stuff to the side in case it fails...or people decide to pay with a credit card). The walls will be light shades of yellow, champagne, coral, violet, blue, and green. I really can't make up my mind, so maybe each area will be different but will clearly go together so it doesn't look like a paint explosion in there. Plus I would love to show local artists/photographers work on the walls (if this was in Raleigh, I would naturally be a part of First Friday). The floor will of course be dark hardwoods. I'll also have a coffee/tea/hot cider/hot chocolate/milk bar over near the register.

On the other side there will be a fireplace with a huge mantel that will be decorated with the seasons and holidays all year long. More than likely, so I don't have to deal with a real fire, I'd have a gas one, or put candles in it. Throughout the main room there will be tables of different sizes (fitting 2-6 people, but that can be moved together for big groups), all in either a deep brown or off white painted wood (basically like the dining table I have now). And of course there will be a few leather couches gathered around a big coffee table with a stack of board games nearby for people to gather and play together.

As far as the kitchen goes, I want to avoid making it look like those stale restaurant kitchens. I need it to feel homey if that's where I'm spending all my time. So as long as I have a few ovens and a few stand mixers, a big fridge and a huge island, I'd be good. I just want it to feel like a double-sized house kitchen.

Now, the upstairs. That's where the library will be with multiple couches. Who doesn't like to sit and eat delicious desserts and read a good book/magazine/newspaper with some coffee? There will be tons of twinkly lights and lamps for soft reading light when it's dark outside. And there will also be extra seating upstairs in case the downstairs is overflowing. Also upstairs, I want there to be a large room with a tiny kitchen. I'm not too into doing consistent baking classes (not my style) but if anybody wants a baking party (ie little kids birthdays, holiday parties with friends/family, bridal showers/bachelorette parties, family baking parties to make cookies for Santa, etc.) that room would be good for events!

And naturally there will be music playing all the time because I will be that baker who is dancing around her kitchen like a silly person, and there will be lots of flowers in painted mason jars everywhere.

The Food:
I'm just going to say it. I will not be doing cake and cupcakes...with the added exception of bundt cakes. Every other bakery out there does cakes, so I don't think I even really need to. Don't get me wrong, I loved doing my friends' wedding cake, but that is too much stress and hassle to do every day, and my decorating skills are just not up to par. I want to be different, so I'll focus on bars, brownies, blondies, donuts, cookies, breads, muffins, fudge, the occasional seasonal homemade gelato, etc. If I can ever figure out how to make some dang pie crusts, I'll do pies too...but for now my pies would have to have a graham cracker or cookie crust because that's just easier. Naturally, my apple butter bars will be what I'm known for. And every week, since I like to experiment with new recipes, I'll try something new and have that all week.

I love to collect mugs, so naturally all the mugs for the drinks will be mismatching (but cute). This will give me an excuse to collect more mugs because right now, I probably have too many (just kidding, I can never have too many). And the desserts will be served on vintage plates, kind of like what's on my plate wall. And at Christmas time, the plate will be festive holiday plates (duh) but also with some Hanukkah and regular ones mixed in just so I'm an all inclusive bakery.

Sigh. See why I would need millions of dollars? Sometimes it's just really fun to dream about these things though (especially with the world ending on Friday). I can picture it all in my head so clearly. Maybe I should just make my future home like this and pretend that I own a bakery in my spare time...but for now I'll just keep baking random things from my little apartment kitchen for my friends and family. :)

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