Now that we’re closer to Christmas and other December holidays, the orders have been pouring in. Not just your average 2-pack, but big corporations sending us lists of hundreds of people all to receive 6-packs with custom labels and notes. It’s a lot to organize and takes a lot out of me. I’ll admit I’m not always my chipper self when someone calls who needs assistance in placing an order for something more basic. Honestly, I feel like a ballerina whose lost control of her spins. I’m just rotating and rotating out of time with the music, but I have to make it to end of the measure.
I’m plugging away on organizing a quote for a variety of packages shipped to numerous places all with different labels and cards when the phone rings. It’s almost like my metaphorical tutu got snagged on a PVC pipe. I grab it and ask to help whoever is on the other end. They need my help to place an order for a 4-pack to arrive tomorrow.
Oh no – it’s the middle of the afternoon. All my bakers have gone home, the orders have been packed and I’m up to my ears in all kinds of stuff. I’m about to offer a counter delivery date (Next Day Air is very expensive and it makes my heart cry when people have to pay it), anything to get some time back to finish this quote, but then…
“My uncle really loves chocolate and we’d really like to send him some jars. He’s very ill and the doctors expect this will be his last weekend with us. I’ll pay whatever.”
My entire body froze. The music in my head drastically changed from the Flight of the Bumblebee to a slow drum beat. It was like I was out of my body, staring at myself from above. I was sitting at a desk scattered with copies of Excel sheets, highlighters, proposals for future orders, and inventory lists for our bakeries and retail spot. A bottle of aspirin sat off to the side next to two cups of unfinished coffee (Were they even mine???). It all suddenly seemed so unimportant.
“Hold on,” I said. I zoom to the kitchen and grab eggs, flour, cocoa, vanilla extract… Everything I would need to fulfill this order. We were waiting on an order from a vendor to delivery more cream cheese for frosting but I could run to the grocery store in enough time. Long story short: I told her we’d get it done. I fired up the ovens, baked a batch of chocolate cupcakes, whipped up some frosting, made the jars myself and shipped them out that day to arrive the next.
Back to the Flight of the Bumblebee.
It was then I realized (again) why I do what I do. It’s not for fame, justification, or even a steady paycheck (though that helps). It’s because I love what I do and I love how it makes people feel. It’s not just a cupcake; it’s a way for people to bond. Whether it’s sitting around a table test tasting different flavors with a bottle of wine and some friends, or rewarding yourself after a marathon (running or Netflix), our treats help people create memories. In this case, it was a niece’s desire to give her dying uncle one final pleasure.
You’ll never believe what happened next: that same person called me back several days later (to order more cupcakes). I was afraid to ask about her uncle so I didn’t say a word. But before she hung up, she told me that her uncle had indeed passed away that weekend. However, before he passed, he had received the jars. His nurse reported back to her that her uncle sat there with the greatest of smiles while he ate both jars.
I think I’ll just leave it at that. Buzz, Buzz.