Our store is located on a pastoral Kibbutz. Part of the lore of an artisan bakery (or artisan anything, really) is that you weave yourself into the tapestry of your surroundings. We use local artists whenever possible, local foods, anything to keep us working with the community. So it is no surprise that we decided to open our business to coincide with the Kibbutz’s Annual Cherry Festival. And while that may sound organized and well-planned, I’m fairly certain it worked serendipitously and only because our electricity was turned on a day or two earlier.
But never-the-less there we were all shiny and pretty and newly renovated, fresh-faced and overly optimistic as we set out our lovely breads and baguettes and rolls and waiting for the onslaught to arrive. Know who we forgot to tell? The onslaught.
The cherry festivals and all the vendors were set up at the entrance of the Kibbutz and we were just a skootch further in. And the day was hot and no one knew we existed and the whole Kibbutz was closed to traffic so we just kind of hung out… a bit lost.
Enter our teenage son. Filled with the confidence of youth, a really pretty face and a business sense that is wasted in middle school, he figured it out within five minutes. He broke a baguette in half and handed it to his younger brother and told him to start eating. He then filled basket after basket with baguettes and waded into the crowds hawking our wares. With his younger brother munching on fresh bread, he’d quickly sell out and return and fill up and sell out and return and fill up.
There are certain moments that you want to capture and remember forever. And this is one and here is why: David and I had planned and planned and planned for this moment. We had left our career paths behind, we had invested our time our money our life into this bakery and into this moment. But when the moment came we were overwhelmed and underprepared. This was not the first time and it will certainly not be the last time. Crisis mode is when I flourish so I’m okay for that ride but David is a meticulous thinker and planner so this opening had the potential to freak him out. Instead, our 13-year-old and 11-year-old took the reins and ran with it. And hit it out of the park. They made us feel that this dream was a family dream and that they were in it with us. The vibe was great and people heard about the bakery from the boys and walked up. And we sold some things and met nice people.
I could end the story here and feel smug in the awesomeness of our family. Before you nominate us for parent of the year award and sign us up for a Hallmark afterschool special, the story ends this way. We sit down to Friday night dinner and said teenage boy gets frustrated with us for whatever it is that upsets a 13-year-old boy (his siblings, perceived injustice, dust, cutlery, air…) and he announces, “When I grow up, I’m going to open a bakery right across the street and take you down.” That, to me, is the essence of parenting. The never-ending roller coaster of awesomecrazyhard sometimes all at the same time.
These days, there is always something delicious simmering in the bakery kitchen. From time to time, it’s jam! People come in these days and order bread just so they can get homemade jam on the side. Stay tuned for our cherry jam recipe.