For those of you that are new to Top Shelf Cookies, we are new to Adams Village, but we've been OFD (Originally From Dorchester) since 2014. Operating out of a shared space for close to 7 years. We tried a few times to get our own space in shared spaces downtown and something always roadblocked us.
At the beginning of 2020, I had promised myself that in 2020 we would find a space that we could bake and sell out of or I was gonna have to call it quits. I'm not afraid of hard work, but a shared space is a challenge for the business we had grown and I spent a lot of the time in my car running from my home office, to the kitchen, to a storage unit, to deliveries...it was wearing me down.
So, when we looked at 516 Gallivan on March 11th, I could immediately envision it....but we had appointments at a few other spaces. When I walked out of the space and into my car, I got an email asking to put a standing office snacks order on hold indefinitely. We proceeded to look at more spaces and my emails and texts piled up with event cancellations and standing orders put on hold. I went to bed and the nightmare started for me and really all of us. Living through a pandemic is hard, running a business through a pandemic was not ever something we planned for. We quickly realized that we could spend forever applying and getting denied for grants or we could save ourselves. So, we did what we've always done. We worked our tails off and the orders kept coming. In June, I hadn't really been able to stop thinking of the place that was 1.1 miles from my home and how much I liked Adams Village. I finally realized if we had half a chance of doing a good business at Christmas we needed to pick our plan back up. We signed the lease and moved forward with our buildout and that was hard to navigate something new while trying to navigate a reduced production schedule due to social distancing. I didn't want to give up my dream job even though I felt like we were living in a nightmare. We kept pushing. We kept going, we didn't crumble.
I thought taking the paper off the windows on Wednesday would be the best feeling ever. It feels so far away to me at this point, I am overwhelmed, I am humbled at the people that came and supported us. It was wonderful to sell cookies again face to face, but then to hear from all of you the welcoming messages and the wishes of good luck. Our business neighbors also came out and fed and caffeinated us.
I will spend the rest of my days trying to repay the kindnesses to Adams Village that they have shown us prior to opening our doors and this past week.
Thank you so much for helping to make my biggest dream come true in a nightmare of a year.
With a grateful heart-
Top Shelf Cookies