I mentioned last post that we’d be discussing stories, and used macarons as an example. Seems like a good place to start. Or, seemed.
Then the macarons didn’t work out. Then Easter happened. Graduation is around the corner. I was even planning on documenting the macaron failure, but that didn’t happen either. I wish I could say my own technological ineptitude got in the way of this documentation (this is a common, if also truthful, excuse). But it wasn’t the reason this time. I just didn’t manage well.
Anyway, I haven’t forgotten about this blog. I’ve just been… stuck. Fear of failure and not realizing something’s/your potential is not an uncommon feeling. But maybe it’s worth writing about within this blog’s context. After all, this blog is supposed to be a behind-the-scenes! The premise – a less manicured, unfettered look into Uppercrust – is supposed to take some of the pressure off!
When I first started as Uppercrust’s owner, one of our servers, Raphaela, suggested we remove the tablecloths from our outside tables. This was a good suggestion. The tablecloths are challenging to clean properly, difficult to store, and don’t communicate Uppercrust’s ideal aesthetic. (Our bare tables don’t do a better job with the last, but that’s a different story.)
Still, Uppercrust’s monolithic stature made any changes feel enormous, even these relatively small ones. Without seeming brash, we’ve mostly gotten over that. Guests have too many suggestions, we’re too eager to please, and we notice when you really like and REALLY DON’T like something we’re doing.
This Yelp review is an illustrative example:
3.0 star rating 9/10/2018
While I see the Upper Crust as one of the best things about Gainesville, I have to point out when they shoot and miss. I appreciate the way the new owner has expanded the selelctions, oh those cinnamon buns, there are a couple of duds. The ciabatta is inedible, I threw most of it away. The “honey cake” is not “honey cake” as advertised. It is more like a spice cake, not dark, moist and moderately sweet. Gave that away.
For sure, assuming our Rosh Hashanah Honey Cake would be understood as what it is – a spice cake – was presumptuous and unconsidered. And while I might disagree with the categorization that the ciabatta is inedible, I don’t doubt that the loaf this gentleman had while we were on our third run wasn’t as he or we intended.
We got better, though. Hollie just tossed off an absolutely incredible batch of ciabatta yesterday, with a picturesque open crumb and well-calibrated sourdough flavor (check out the picture below!!)
And we pressed the pause button on the honey cake. We’re a better bakery now, and that’s because we: a) stared at the potential of failure in the face and acted anyway; b) accepted that when we try new things, they won’t go as we wish, and some guests will have bad experiences with them; and c) learned and adjusted.
Here’s to hoping this blog goes the way of Uppercrust. Thanks for reading.