The joy of the job
I can honestly say that running a gluten free bakery is an emotional rollercoaster. I never could have imagined when I started this journey, just how intense this job could be. Maybe it’s an unavoidable consequence of running your own business that you can sink so low at every mistake or failure, but those lows are more than compensated by the highs and elation when the bagels look amazing, when someone leaves a great review, when a customer cries with happiness while tasting our bread.
Feedback from our customers is certainly something that keeps Mina and I going through the tough times. Sometimes it’s a written review on facebook, sometimes it’s literally tears. I love how people always look embarrassed and apologise for getting so emotional over bread/doughnuts/samosas. But we have to reassure them that they aren’t the first and they won’t be the last. Why do our customers cry? Because living without something you love is hard. It doesn’t feel hard on a day to day basis. You get used to it. You try to put it to the back of your mind and pretend it never existed. But when you suddenly, unexpectedly have it back, you are just so darn grateful.
Here’s one of many stories that I keep in my heart for the difficult days.
A woman came into the bakery one Saturday morning with her sullen looking teenage son, he was maybe 15 or 16. With rather forced jollity she began asking him what he wanted, pointing to the brownies, doughnuts etc. Barely looking up from the floor he shrugged. With more coaxing he eventually conceded to a brownie. She bought 6. With more coaxing it was followed by a bagel and a whoopie pie. They left with about 12 of each. I was just restocking the display when she poked her head back around the door. ‘I’ve left him in the car. I told him I’d forgotten something’ I was a little confused as to what she wanted. ‘He was diagnosed as Coeliac when he was a toddler. We’ve always been really careful with his diet, but recently he’s just been so fed up about it. He’s going out with his friends, to MacDonalds and just eating like everyone else. He’s been so ill and I’ve been so worried. But this morning, he woke up and said ‘mum, can we go to Wildcraft today?’ He’d seen you on Facebook. I just feel like he’s finally accepting that he isn’t like everyone else, but at least here he can feel normal, he can choose whatever he wants and know it’s all safe. I can’t tell you how relieved I am’.
That is our job. How great is that?!