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The Sugar Shack
Dear Alyssa Arnold,
Thank you for applying for a job at our company. I am disappointed to tell you, there is currently no available position suitable for your expertise. We receive hundreds of applications and...
Crumpling up the letter, Alyssa realized she was sick of it. She was sick of the filling out job applications and long interviews. She was sick of the sweaty palms, shaky hands, and crumpled suits. No one said getting a job in public relations was easy for a recent graduate, but no one mentioned it would take a year and a half. Her parents had been expecting so much from her and now they were disappointed to see her floundering like this.
Walking out of the door, Alyssa grabbed her jacket and drove into town. She needed to clear her head and just get out and away from this mess. Looking for a parking spot, she noticed a new store opening where the old cafe was. Interested, Alyssa got out of her car and walked closer. She noticed a young woman standing just outside the building, checking the mail.
“Hi, is this your store?” Alyssa approached the woman.
“Oh, hey there!” She turned around. “Yeah, I just bought this place and figured the town could use a bakery. Do you live nearby?”
“Yeah, just outside of town.” Alyssa smiled, immediately warming to the stranger’s cheery nature. “Do you live around here, too? I haven’t really seen you around town.”
“Oh no, I’m new to this area, I just moved in to the apartment upstairs. I don’t think I caught a name?”
“I’m Alyssa. And you are?”
“Chloe, hold on.” Chloe leaned over to pick up a stack of boxes that had just arrived.
“Here, let me give you a hand.” Alyssa picked up a box and helped Chloe carry it into the bakery. She was surprised to see it clean, but completely void of furniture and decorations. “Are you all alone in your business?” She inquired.
“Yeah,” Chloe sighed, “I know I need the help, but I just need some time to settle in and get to know this place. It’s not like me to move so fast and starting a business is so hard. I don’t even know if it’ll be successful because I barely have any experience in entrepreneurship, let alone a degree.”
“You know, I could help out some days,” Alyssa offered. “I don’t really have a job right now, but I love baking and I majored in public relations, so I have the degree you need.”
“Really?” Chloe instantly brightened. “That would be awesome! I hope you don’t mind if we get started right away.”
“Sure!” Alyssa set the boxes down and pulled out a pen. “Do you have a notebook that I could use?”
Chloe ran into the back as Alyssa inspected her surroundings. The bakery was clean and seemed in good shape, it just needed some serious decorating. This was like any girl’s dream come true, a job dedicated to baked goods. Alyssa couldn’t believe her luck, to get a job with such a friendly person. Chloe seemed so much better than the all the stuffy people she had met during her interviews.
When Chloe came back, Alyssa and her sat down and began planning the basics of the bakery. Chloe had already ordered all the equipment and had a basic outline for the baked goods she wanted to sell; she was just concerned about marketing and finances. Delighted she had finally been able to use everything she had learned in her multiple college classes, Alyssa took charge and began organizing and working with Chloe like she had been in the bakery business her entire life.
Spending hours with her head in financial and marketing books, Alyssa enjoyed her work. As she and Chloe went over the list of desserts their bakery would be selling, Alyssa was disappointed by the lack of cupcakes. To her, the ultimate girl snack was a cupcake. How can the epitome of baked goods for all females be unacknowledged on the menu? Alyssa knew she had to change this so she decided to approach Chloe.
“We have a problem.” Alyssa stated.
“Yes we do! The city refuses to let us put up posters in the park.” Chloe scribbled furiously in her notebook, “And Lana won’t be here the morning of the opening so we just lost one baker.”
“Cupcakes.” Alyssa stated as she grabbed Chloe’s notebook. “I’ll call the city tonight and convince them to give us permission and I’ll find another baker.”
“How are cupcakes our problem?” Chloe said disbelieving.
“We have three types of cupcakes on the menu, none of them extraordinary. How do we run a bakery, right in the middle of town, with only three cupcakes on our menu? It’s impossible and suicidal for our business.”
“Alyssa, I am knee deep in bills, bakers, and annoying city officials, cupcakes are the least of my problems!” Chloe looked on the verge of tears, “We’re using my family recipes which do not include a lot of cupcake recipes. I’m no Cake Boss; I can’t just whip up a recipe that will be a complete hit with the grand opening in three weeks!”
“Fine,” Alyssa sighed, “I’ll do it. But I know it won’t be easy.”
“Thank you! And if it seems impossible, then just don’t worry about it, we have bigger problems!”
“Like putting up posters in the park?” Alyssa teased.
“Well, I doubt cupcakes are of so much importance!” Chloe shot back.
“Oh, get back to work!” Alyssa tossed Chloe her notebook and left, intent on her new task.
After countless taste tests and countless more recipes, late nights and early mornings, Alyssa had the perfect cupcake. The Bombshell, she labeled it. It was the most amazing combination of rich chocolate and raspberry with a molten chocolate center and a candied raspberry on top. Working tirelessly, within three weeks, she and Chloe had all the details for the grand opening finalized and were ready to open their new bakery, The Sugar Shack.
The day of the opening, Alyssa, Chloe, and a few of Chloe’s friends were all up at the crack of dawn, baking desserts of all varieties. Alyssa worked tirelessly on each Bombshell, working to make it the best. They had everything ready and began preparing the bakery. Cleaning, organizing, and decorating, the women were exhausted by the time it was time for the opening.
The customers were pouring in. They just couldn’t stop. All the varieties of desserts attracted a wide range of customers, all eager to see the new place in town. They tried every dessert, but they kept going back to one. The Bombshell was the first to be sold out and Alyssa worked in the back, making more and more to please the endless customers. By the end of the day, their profits were extraordinary and Chloe deemed the day successful.
Alyssa fell into bed, happy with her new job and successful day. All her hard work had paid off and she was happy to finally have a place to belong. She was doing something she loved and she was good at it, now it was just time to break to her parents that she was working at a bakery.