Wednesday, September 16

It's been few months...



Wow, this feels weird. It has been months and months since I sat down to compose a blog post. The reason for it? A little update. I have received numerous emails asking where I went and what's happening with Ollie Cakes.  So this may be long winded, but I will fill you on my life lately!




First off, I no longer have black hair and I have glasses! Mads is now in preschool 4 days a week for about 3 hours a day. And the boys are in 1st and 3rd grade. I mean HOLY CRAP right? Mads was in my belly when I created this blog.... now she's 4 and in school!?



Owen has grown into a little man who now thinks he is old enough to do ALL the things. Chase is growing like a weed and over coming a lot of his setbacks at school. Stevie is doing amazing things at work, and is happier than I have ever seen him. We spent all our free time this summer and basically lived on our boat with the kids. Over all things have never been better in my personal life. I am amazed every time I stop to think about the four most important people in my life.

I am really that lucky.



As most of you know, I started working on opening my own bakery, Ollie Cakes back in March. I kept quiet about it for awhile, and then made the announcement in May that we had an address and were opening this summer. Unfortunately almost 7 months later and we are not off the ground, and I am not sure when and how we will open. 

We rented a commercial space last spring, got to work. Hired contractors, got our funds together and started getting our ducks in a row with the city of Manchester. Unfortunately, our plans were rejected, and what the city was going to require us to do was going to cost another $25-30,000. We tried every possible route, unfortunately we could not double our investment without going into major debt.



Later in the summer, I found a new location in Derry, NH. Leased that space, but we ran into some issues with the landlord. He wanted us to invest 10's of thousands of dollars into his building and refused to do anything to get the space up to code. Major things like adding a heating system, replacing rotting sills, updating the hazardous electrical.  So after consulting with the fire inspector and building inspectors for the city, we had to walk away from yet another lease. 

At that point, I won't lie, I felt defeated. I still feel defeated every now and then. I have lost money, I have invested so much of my time, taken time away from my family and so far have nothing to show for it. I never expected it to be easy, but was truly hit with how hard it is just to get the place open! I have never not succeeded at something I've put my heart into, so this entire experience has been eye opening.

There are a lot of people out there that are enjoying this, the "I told you so" people. I have kept pretty tight lipped about what's going on for that reason. I feel embarrassed, and a bit heart broken. I was so sure we were on the right road when deciding to open a bakery. Seven months later,  and I am left here questioning everything. 

So what does all this mean for Bakeaholic Mama and what is the future of Ollie Cakes? 

Bakeaholic Mama, will always stay intact, there are over 700 quality recipes here attached to stories that are a piece of my life. I poured 4 years and all of my heart into this. Maybe from time to time, when my heart is in it. I'll share a story or post a recipe.  But I've stepped away from most of the blogging community, because I have a hard time with the way it interferes with personal life.  I had to draw a line between my real life and my internet life. SO if you are a blogger or blog reader who was friends with me on Facebook, and found yourself as one of the 100's I  "unfriended" several weeks/months ago..... It is not personal.  I am just slowly drawing that line. 



As for Ollie Cakes... I worked some farmer's markets over the summer, found them to not be that profitable.... (actually not profitable at all). I have also explored the idea of opening a donut stand/truck. In some cases that can be just as costly upfront as starting a brick and mortar location. But with less risk obviously. My partner in crime and main investor (hubs) is not sold on the idea of vending. The laws are a bit trickier, we live in an area where it would be very seasonal, since we are snow covered much of the year. So for now, I have made a few small upgrades to my kitchen to make a workable space at home, applied for a homestead license, in NH this allows me to wholesale donuts to local stores and restaurants. I am also going to attempt some larger markets this winter if I can get in. Who would have known it's not that easy to get a spot at local markets! Yikes.... Anyways, keep your eye open on the Ollie Cakes Facebook page, if I have any updates on locations or dates I will share them there.

A huge thanks to those who have been cheering me on during these past few months. Your encouragement keeps me from throwing in the towel. 

34 comments:

  1. I'm rooting for you, Carrie. Love the red hair and glasses - you wear them well!

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    1. Thanks so much Amy! Hair color may change again... not sure about this reddish tone.

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  2. <3 I'm so glad to see a post from you. I've missed your posts. Fingers crossed for things to work out. Totally sending you all of the good vibes and luck that I can! I'm sorry things haven't worked out yet (yet being the key word). I have total faith in you! <3 This doughnut thing is totally going to happen.

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    1. I miss some things about blogging... others not so much. Perhaps I'll do some #30DaysofPumpkin again ;)

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  3. Still rooting for you, Carrie. I know a way will present itself. {{{Hugs}}}

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    1. Renee, thank you for your continued support! It means a lot.

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  4. I am still rooting for you and Ollie Cakes. Keep at it. Good things happen (eventually) if you work hard enough. It was (and still is) a great idea. One of these days it will all come together. Hugs!!

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    1. Lori, thanks so much! Your support as always meant a lot!

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  5. Rooting for you girl! I know this will happen eventually... Hang in there!

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  6. I have to admit, I panicked a little bit back in May when you made your big announcement. I'm relieved that this site isn't going anywhere! You've shared so much good stuff over the years and I refer back to your posts often. I'm sorry to hear that Ollie Cakes is not happening for you the way you hoped it would, but don't give up....donuts always find a way :)

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    1. Oh gosh, I'd never get rid of this piece of internet! Just moved on to new things.

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  7. This is my third comment but I can't see the others. LOL, all I said is you rock, I miss you, and if you were closer we'd so be selling your donuts in our grocery store.

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    1. I do not know why this always keeps happening. People have such a hard time commenting here... Anyways thanks so much your kindness and support. Move east with that cute crew of yours. Our kids would have a blast together and be an awesome kind of chaos.

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  8. You've got this. It will happen and a story with adversity is a much better book anyway!

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    1. PS I had Dill Pickle Soup AGAIN this weekend.

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  9. I am so proud of everything you have accomplished and I'm proud to call you a dear friend. Never let the "I told you so" crowd make you so much as even bat an eye because they are simply jealous. YOU are amazing and something amazing things take time. I have no doubt that everything will work out exactly as it is supposed to. PS - I love the glasses.

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    1. I couldn't deny the fact that I am old and going blind... it had been years since I had renewed my prescription. And thanks for so much for all your support! You always have been a good friend and I <3 you.

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  10. I'm rooting for you too Carrie! I admire you so much for following this dream and not giving up! And you look so happy...that's what's important!

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    1. Thank you so much Jo-Anna! I am pretty happy <3

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  11. Good luck Carrie! If you ever set up shop down in Plymouth let me know - would love to try some of your donuts!

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    1. Does Plymouth have a good donut shop?????? I've fallen in love with the South Shore all over again this summer. I'll be in sailing around Plymouth Harbor all weekend..... maybe we'll run into each other ;)

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  12. This will come together for you, I just know it will!

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  13. If anyone can make Ollie Cakes a reality in some form or another, it's you. Keep plugging away toward that dream. On another note, I really admire your stepping away and dedicating more time to family. You'll never regret that decision.

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    1. It has been an awesome few months hanging with the kids with no blog crap to do.... not city inspectors to meet with, and no recipe testing! Yet I still want to make donuts.... am I crazy? I must be!

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  14. If anyone can make Ollie Cakes a reality in some form or another, it's you. Keep plugging away toward that dream. On another note, I really admire your stepping away and dedicating more time to family. You'll never regret that decision.

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  15. When you said 'I've never not succeeded at something I've put me heart into,' I know you're going to succeed. Maybe it has to be a bit of a struggle so that when you do get up and running, you will never take it for granted. These things have a way of working themselves out. I believe in you! And I can't wait to see you succeed!

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  16. I've been wondering what happened to you girl! I am so sorry to hear about your struggles, but the struggles truly make the victories that much sweeter!

    Thanks so much for keeping us updated and I know you can gonna kick ass with this, it will just take time! XOXO!

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  17. I'm sorry about the setbacks, but keep following your dreams. Your blog was one of the first ones I started following when I started blogging. Based on what you have done with your blog, from the determination you display, I'm sure you will get Ollie Cakes off the ground in whichever form of business it was meant to be. Good luck to you!

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  18. You are wonderful and I have no doubt that your dream will come true! I'm here for you anytime you need me and I still dream of your donuts! :)

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  19. Just saw this today!! Keep on keepin' on girl .. big dreams never die. . they will sometimes take a long ass time to come into fruition but it will happen. Never give up, if this is what you want. and your kids will learn to dream big and work hard because of what they see you doing now. In the meantime, I do hope you are able to get into local stores and restaurants. Fight on sister.

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  20. Best of luck! I hope you can find a great location to lease and whatever else you need to get going. The hardest things seem to be what we really want to do :)

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