Well, what a pleasant surprise! Every day, a new subscriber comes on board. Some days, we get two or more. And they keep coming.
Every Saturday morning, I head out with a wagonload of fresh sourdough bread, a laptop and a GPS unit. The growth in customers has been reasonably well paced - thankfully, we haven't been overwhelmed with orders. This has given me some time to get systems right, and so far, everybody has been attended to in time, and without any glaring mistakes. First week, we had ten customers. Next week, twenty. This week, thirty. Very encouraging.
The interesting thing is, the more people we get in any given suburb, the easier it is to deliver. It's all about critical mass, it seems. I expect it'll take a little while to build to the point where it's truly efficient, but there seems little doubt that this way of doing things may just work!
I'm also enjoying getting out from behind the oven too...
Our new kitchen certainly makes a difference - while Wal the gasfired oven (Bertha's temporary stand in) hasn't been able to rival Bertha in terms of raw heat and baking speed, he's not a real bad oven for bread at all. (PLEASE don't tell Bertha that. She'll be cranky and probably cause me pain in some way when she gets installed in a month or so...)
The kitchen is larger and better equipped, and this just makes it a joy to work. I'm definitely seeing this new venture as a step in the right direction. No more ninety hour weeks. No more 4am alarms.
I'm in the process of training my body to sleep in. After eighteen months of early starts, this is harder to do than it sounds - the last three mornings running I have had to put myself back to sleep at 4 am. I classify this as a good problem...except that I'm also learning to stay up late again.
I've added one more subscription bread supply option to the list - for $200, you get $250 worth of sourdough bread, delivered every week to order. This one should really anchor the service, while offering genuine savings for regular customers. In only a few weeks, some of the $50 subscriptions are already heading for renewal. Time flies, particularly when you can share your subscription with friends! I suspect more customers will choose this option over time. Check it out:
Sourdough Bread Supply - Subscription No. 20
Incidentally, today I met Anna, who is doing a very similar thing (she calls it her 'baking run') with cakes. We had lots in common too - but it just goes to show how syncronicity and a bit of blogging can bring people together. More on that story next post...