When I started writing this post... day before yesterday, I was just in the kitchen, throwing out some compost, and I felt quite at peace. (I guess composting has that effect on some people.). I was thinking about Zimt, with my one track mind, and how orders have been picking up (maybe because of Christmas and the Holidays, but it has been like that for a little bit anyway), and it was kind of like exhaling after holding your breath going through a tunnel. I am not entirely sure what the official breath-holding-through-tunnel-rules are, but I think that when you get close to the outside, to the light, it goes that you exhale and start to breath as nature intended again. If you follow that sort of thing. I, personally, try to breathe mindfully when driving through tunnels.
The point is, things are going well. I am a little stunned. Starting a business is like needing to comply with the tunnel breathing rules, but not knowing how long the tunnel is. You don't know when you can start to breathe again. But I think I can start pretty soon, and that is a huge deal. I get it. At this point, I do not even have enough to keep up with demand. D>S. A steep, and harsh, learning curve. I know that this sort of thing is not customary for almost any start-up, no matter how brilliant the idea may be. Steep and harsh and I feel very blessed.
Not to say that I can exhale quite yet, but there are some signs that that will be a possibility in the foreseeable future. Not to say that I have not gotten things to where I want them to be- definitely not, but you have to keep driving to get there. That is really the only way at this point, as far as I can tell. Getting S > D, just slightly, as the impossible condition of supply perfectly equally demand at all points is... well, impossible. Gosh darn.
So am I still working in the kitchen? Yes indeed. But thank God, Jesus, Buddha, Your Inner Child, The Universe, that I have more help. And one day... I won't be kitchen-ing anymore. Creating lovely Zimt products will be up to kitchen angels, such as Michelle, and the newest kitchen angel, Kelly. But I always want to do R&D, because that is the fun bit and everyone loves a tasty, new product- right? Both to eat, and to create. I don't want whoever is kitchen-ing to be doing the same thing over and over again all the time because that gets really quite boring. Bye-bye positive employee morale. New products, as well as easier production methods, should help with that. I just visited a friend and fellow chocolatier, who told me of a huge factory out in Richmond that makes confections for Superstore and such places- basically all at the touch of a button. There is hardly anyone actually working in the factory- everything is mechanized and manufactured in enormous equipment and the chocolate is brought in, in liquid form, from the US, in trucks that look like the ones with gasoline drums. Balance is, for Zimt at least, the key- it shouldn't be sweatshop labour (which, it definitely has been for the past couple of weeks, before Michelle and Kelly. Think 16 hour days in the kitchen without breaks. Unfortunate.), but it also shouldn't be chocolate gasoline trucks, because that is definitely not artisan and does not provide enough employment in Zimt, which is what I am going for- good people deserve good jobs where they get to enjoy chocolate.
But does it look like the founder of Zimt is still working in the kitchen?
No way! Thanks to beautiful branding and packaging- people are shocked to learn that I do dishes for hours after hours of chocolate making. Sneaky. But the look I see on people's faces when I tell them this is still enjoyable enough to keep going as such, for just a little while longer.
|Cute chocolates made by students in a Zimt class!|
P.S. Click here to feed hungry animals for free!
P.S.2. Click here to go back in time for the latest PS2 news*.
*(Just kidding. It is to a tasty, healthy, cruelty-free recipe that you should bring to your next holiday party!)