"Small Business Saturday" takes on a new meaning for me this year!

Happy Thanksgiving Eve, foodie friends!  I hope this post finds you doing well, and thinking about all the turkey, stuffing, and pie you'll be enjoying with family and friends tomorrow.  I'm sure if you are the foodie in your family (or in your friend group) you are already started on food prep! 

Thanksgiving is my FAVORITE holiday.  No stress over gift giving. Menu is set, traditions rule! It's all about family, friends, food and football (if the Steelers are playing ! )  Back in the day Black Friday was just that.. FRIDAY. It was a holiday for us girls who loved to shop at 6 am at Walmart and head to IHOP for breakfast before hitting up Bath and Body Works for that gift tote full of goodies!   Now it has crept into our THURSDAY...  honestly, it started weeks ago when I got my first "Black Friday GOTTA DEALS. com email on Halloween.   Now we look at the online sales, order those Christmas presents from the comfort of our THANKSGIVING table... you get the picture.  

This year, I'm not thinking about Black Friday, as much as I am "Small Business Saturday".  I realized that this year, I AM A SMALL BUSINESS!  I had the week off from my two nights of classes at Frontier Kitchen and had the time to think about the fact that I spend a lot of time working on this small business, and getting it off the ground.  I had my commercial kitchen inspection.  I am food safety manager certified now, thanks to an entire Saturday spent with Cassity and the other awesome folks in my class who studied and stressed over passing that test.   I've spent countless hours working on pricing, costing, accounting, business plan writing, and basically going outside my comfort zone of baking to make this dream a reality.  

I've listened to other small business owners share their stories of the path they are on, and sometimes how that path has changed course a few times. I've been given valuable advice from Brenda and Cassity at Frontier Kitchen, advice I will take with me long after the course is over.  I've been reminded to not compare my beginning to someone else's middle, thanks to Little Miss Whoopie, (a hero who wears an apron!).  

I've met hard working people in my class who are all in my foodie boat.. trying to navigate the path to owning and operating their own small businesses.  We get how hard it is. It's working your day job and then working on the business at night.  And weekends. And in any spare time you may have in between working, caring for a family and keeping up with life. Losing sleep and keeping the faith that its all worth it in the end. 

My journey these past few months (years really)  has led to me where I am now. I've worked and sold my baked goods at a farmer's market. I'm working on a  business plan. I have a working website and can post on social media.. those are small for you tech savvy folks but huge to this girl who just wants to bake.  

My holiday season is taking on a whole new meaning this year.  I'll be thinking of the other small business owners working overtime to fill orders, satisfy their customers needs, and spread holiday cheer to their community. All while competing with the big box stores that offer loads of discounts and cheaper prices.  

Take a hour or so on Saturday to get yourself and your weekend visitors to small local shops and see what cool products they offer that you can't find online.  Maybe they are online and you just don't know it... until you've visited them in person to appreciate how cool their shop really is! 

Once your shopping is done, go ahead.. log off. Hang up and hang out. In the kitchen!

Gina 

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