On March 11th, 2020. I was standing in the middle of a space. It was mostly demoed, but it had some remaining infrastructure that could be useful to us if we decided to take this spot for the home of Top Shelf Cookies. It was hard to imagine what it would look like as a cookie shop instead of the pizza shop I drove by almost daily for the last few years.
But, in my mind I could imagine it being a big open concept kitchen with a counter wrapping around it The existing ledge for seating would be filled with neighborhood kids who could watch us bake and their parents could maybe just have a couple minutes to themselves.
For me, I loved the idea and the neighborhood and selfishly - I lived 1.1 miles away. I started imagining walking to work on good weather days. We left the space and started to move on to our next stop. My phone started to buzz with emails and texts and none of it good news. Events were cancelling, offices were closing, recurring orders were being put on hold. We moved on through our real estate tour and I couldn't seems to get a spark of how any of the spaces would make a good home for Top Shelf Cookies. It could have been me balancing the bad news I was getting, but I didn't love anything we saw like I loved our first stop. When it was all said and done, we looked at all the spaces and by the time it was over we lost 80% of our planned revenue for the next month. I went to sleep imagining what my little shop might look like just over a mile away from my home in Lower Mills. I tried to push all the bad news of the day to the back of my brain, but I couldn't. I just started crying. I felt like I would lose everything I had worked so hard to build and how cruel was it that I was standing in the middle of my next big step when it all started to crumble.
What happened next? Well, online sales made up for the lost events and closed offices and schools and we made it work by working hard. I kept trying to remind myself that this would be temporary. Eventually it became clear that working in a shared space was going to be a challenge during COVID and that we should maybe move forward. We signed our lease in July and I had really hoped we would be open by the holidays. Some of the delays are COVID related, some were me not fully understanding the process.
So here we are a year later and we're very close to being ready to fling open the doors and serve Adams Village (and beyond) cookies. It looks better than I imagined and even though I'm not sure that we'll be able to have kids watching us in our little fishbowl bakery right away...I'm looking forward to it soon. Seems like we're getting closer to being done with COVID.
The way we've had to work the last year has been incredibly inefficient and super stressful. I'm not afraid of hard work, but this last year has worn me down (I'm sure everyone feels this way) and it's hard to keep working so hard and not be in the space quite yet.
We have floors and walls and our equipment came in and I'm DYING to make cookies in our new space. I love everything about it. My landlord told me the other day that it looks like a million bucks. I hope you all enjoy it and love the space as much as me and my small team does.
So, the update again is SOON. We have a few more things to do to pass a couple inspections and then we should be up and running.
In the meantime, we continue to appreciate and need your support. We are still limited in what we are able to produce, so buying gift cards and Top Shelf Cookies gear is super helpful to us. We look forward to serving you in Adams Village and we look forward to not selling out of stuff so frequently.