It would be an understatement if I were to begin this sentence with "we have been busy here at The Cupcake Cottage", so I will just jump right in with, "I have some very exciting news to share with you, so here goes..."
About 18 months ago Juaquin and I were inching closer to the end of our five year lease for our little bakery. We took a few moments and marveled at how quickly time had passed since opening the doors of our cupcake bakery in September 2006. We also forced ourselves to visit memories of nervousness and hard work that went into creating this business. Creating, and literally, building this bakery (with an approved commercial kitchen) was no easy feat, but with the help of our three amazing children, Joshua, Jana and Seth and the ever trust and faith in God, we turned a vision into a reality! We set out to earn a living through baking and selling cupcakes and we have done it.
So here we were, at a cross-roads, considering the direction of The Cupcake Cottage, and two things really stood out: 1) the demand for our cupcakes was strong and continuing to grow even with NO effort to advertise and 2) as long as we continue to bake from scratch, each day were were open, and NEVER compromise that baking practice this bakery could continue and, more importantly, grow. The real question we face was, "are we the ones to continue and grow this business to the potential we knew it possessed? "
We began doing our homework by considering growing it ourselves. We visited other locations for lease, considered additional employees, considered new flavors of cupcakes, considered growing 'the brand' and on and on with considerations. We knew the business could grow, but we also considered where we were in our personal lives.
Our three children (who were instrumental initially in helping us create this sweet spot) were growing up. Joshua had graduated from UT, married his darling Sarah, and they were making their way in Austin. Jana was nearing the completion of her education at the Air Force Academy and engaged to be married to her sweetheart, Stephen. Seth was working and plugging along with his college education. And,...that nagging desire to move out of the city and into the country was growing for me and Juaquin. So much so we had increased our 'Sunday drives' to other days of the week.
By August 2011 a decision was made. We would sell The Cupcake Cottage business! We visited an attorney and began hashing out details of this sell. I created a blog post that 'advertised' the selling of the business and we began to quietly get the word out that the bakery was for sell. Over the years there have been plenty of people that had inquired about our business so there were enough 'leads' to get the word out about this sell.
The following nine months we encountered a number of wonderful people interested in purchasing the business. Various reasons kept any of these folks from committing completely and we knew it was just a matter of time before the next person that was meant to own this shop would come along, so we waited. Baking continued as usual at the shop and we were very grateful that we were not desperate or in any hurry to sell.
Finally, in May, my brother Joe emailed me asking about the status of the sell and asked if it would be alright if he gave our contact information to someone he knew that might be interested in the business. I said "sure". The rest, as they say, is history. Over the next few months we worked toward getting the business and the many aspects involved in such a sell, sorted out, and as of Monday 1 October 2012, we are no longer the owners of The Cupcake Cottage.
It goes without saying that this has been an emotional process. We have no doubt that selling the business is the right direction, and we have no doubt that The Cupcake Cottage can carry on, but when I found myself crying without reason a couple of weeks ago while cleaning and clearing the shop I asked Juaquin "why am I so upset when I KNOW this is the right thing to do?" As always, my dear husband set me right with his words and replied, "because, Sandra, you took a vision of nothing and made it real...much like when we had a baby and nurtured and directed that baby into an adult...it is a good, but sometimes tough emotional journey." He was stating what I already knew, but boy-oh-boy am I glad I have him to state the obvious for me time and time again.
What I am also realizing is that I have completely underestimated the emotional reaction I am having to you, our amazing and deeply appreciated customer. So many of you have become more than a customer to us. So many of you have become our friends, our confidants, our concern and we will miss seeing and catching up with you over the counter. That doesn't mean we will forget you. In fact, I look forward to keeping up with loads of you because you and yours are in our thoughts and prayers and will remain there for a good while.
Finally, on to the joyful and most important part of this lengthy post: The Cupcake Cottage (of Fort Worth, Texas) will carry on! We are so incredibly grateful that someone has stepped up and recognized the value in this sweet spot. So much so that they are determined to carry on and invest their time and energy into sustaining this cupcake bakery for YOU and the community of cupcake fans. We hope you will embrace and encourage them as they learn the ways of the bakery, and do their best to keep the tradition of baking from scratch alive and well in west Fort Worth. I will not include their names here as that will be a chapter they can create with you!
Thank you for taking time to read this post and thank you for supporting our mission these past six year! For now...
Peace, Love & Cupcakes,
Sandra (and Juaquin) Bradshaw
We would love to hear from you and hope you will email us with your contact information at: firstname.lastname@example.org