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“Yo, Who the f’ is this?” - The Bakery Is Non-Stop

As if the nation’s leading Broadway musical couldn’t possibly penetrate any further into society; here it is intruding upon most late nights I am up working on the bakery. I stated in my last blog post I would introduce you to the characters that have mentored and created The Shameless Bakery. My apologies for the length of time that has passed since that entry. Things have truly been non-stop though. It is an amazing, scary regiment of organization, chaos, and every emotion that comes with it. ​You would think in this resume of characters that is about to befall you that the leading ladies/men would be listed first. Ok, you are correct. So let us begin with the cast list for The Shameless Bakery. Supporting Cast YES! The supporting cast are the leading ladies/men in this endeavor. I and my husband may be the work force; but without this supporting cast there would never have even been the concept of this bakery brought to light! Friends & Family - From my parents, brother, all in-laws, and several very good friends spinning us ideas and listening to our endless list of “what-ifs” we could not be where we are today. For many, many, many, many, many (you get the point), years I have had friends tell me “You should start a business!”. And for all those many years I always responded with “what a loaded statement!”. After enough times someone(s) telling you the same thing over and over again though you finally start moving in the right direction. At the time though it may not seem the right direction though. Frontier Kitchen - In April of 2016 I met with Cassity Jones at Frontier Kitchen in Haymarket, Virginia. I had only stepped into a commercial baking environment a couple other times prior to this meeting. When your world of being a hobbyist is about to take a plunge into the world of a full-time business, the kitchen in this instance was the gut check. The honesty, patience, and knowledge Cassity presented that afternoon to myself and my husband during the tour was the first push of baby steps to be taken for the bakery. Later, in early September, I would meet Brenda Brown while attending classes. Between Brenda and Cassity’s advisement, all the ideas and plans I had been putting on paper were then quickly being worked into real life. Paper was turning into reality. Community Business Partnership Offices - The first time I walked into the offices in Springfield I was so nervous and quiet because I felt like “This is way over my head”. But I met several mentors there that first day. I attended classes and wrote so many emails (still do) with so many more questions. I absolutely should not be writing this is past tense. I still utilize their offices today and hope to for a very long time. Without the mentors and resources made available here I would not be as confident as I am today in my business. S.C.O.R.E. - In the very beginning there was S.C.O.R.E.; and there is still S.C.O.R.E. today helping me navigate the business end of the business. I have a wonderful mentor who I know I can reach out to any time and his support and knowledge spins me into more confident avenues of planning the future of the business. The resources made available on their websites have proven invaluable in setting a foundation for the business. Just as with the Community Business Partnership offices; S.C.O.R.E. is a resource I hope to continue to use through the growth of this business. Leading Ladies/Men Children - It takes a village to raise a child they say. It took my two children to raise me. They are a huge part of the bakery as they are a huge inspiration with their patience and kindness and inquisitiveness. Thomas R. Shankle - My best friend. My husband. My spell checker. My “it-broke-fix-it-please” guy. My “don’t-let-me-forget” guy. My “NO!-NO-MORE-SAMPLES-FOR-YOU!” guy. He is my partner in this business. His mechanical and logistical skills balance out my lofty ambitions and his support are what keep me going at the end of the day. He smiles through the highs and lows with optimism. I could continue to gush on his support but I need to give you the brass tacks of why he is a partner in this venture. He knows how to accomplish goals. He knows how to realistically accomplish goals. When the words come out of “I don’t know”; he finds a way to know and fast. He knows how to delegate and for this I am eternally grateful. Elisabeth A. Shankle - I come from a background in baking since I was a youngin’ sitting at my great aunt’s kitchen counter learning how she decorated cakes for her catering business. I took that love of baking and melded it with a love of spirits as I grew older. I feel blessed to also keep this love close to the community I am in by continuing to work with local breweries, wineries, and distilleries. I have won several awards for my creations. Each time I am humbled even more. I truly enjoy being able to highlight the greatness around me. As for how and why I can do this today - again, without the supporting cast I wouldn’t be here. I may not have a business degree or culinary degree; but those are just pieces of paper. I continue to attend classes and ask questions and build a support network of mentors to ensure this business grows. I remain humble and personable for each transaction. I may be the one producing the goods; but I cannot have a business without someone purchasing those goods and a lot more than just money goes into that equation. Thus concludes the cast of characters that make up The Shameless Bakery. It is a growing cast as any good business should be. Not all characters are present in each scene; but they are still there in the background supporting the business. To further quote from Hamilton, here are a few lines from “Wait For It” to close us out. “I am the one thing in life I can control, Wait for it, Wait for it, Wait for it, Wait for it, I am inimitable, I am an original, Wait for it, Wait for it, Wait for it, Wait for it, I am not falling behind or running late, Wait for it, Wait for it, Wait for it, Wait for it, I am not standing still, I am lying in wait”

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