Thursday, October 22, 2015

Introducing The Flavor Cafe

It's 4:45 AM, Wednesday morning, and Rowan Dunn has just arrived at her café, The Flavor Café.  Rowan has been in business for 3 years and built up quite a bit of clientele.  She managed to get a nice, but small space on a busy street in the city.  It's close to all the major businesses, including retail stores where many people shop. 

The café is only open Monday through Friday, from 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM.  Rowan operates her business with one regular full-time employee, Marisol Soto Cruz.  Marisol also has her own very small business baking and designing cakes and some desserts.  It's a great partnership since Rowan caters as well, mostly for events on the weekends.  Rowan enjoys cooking and baking, but not massive projects like wedding cakes.  So she leaves that to Marisol, unless the client decides to go with a different baker.

When she does take a catering job, she contacts the temporary/on call employees they have used in the past or a temporary staffing agency that specializes in providing kitchen and restaurant staff.

Rowan and Marisol met in an entrepreneur class they both attended four years ago when they were both starting out on their businesses.  Marisol decided it would be easier for her to work for Rowan with the steady café business and just have a small 'as contracted' business, rather than try to run a bakery on her own.  It has worked out well since they don't have to work weekends unless they choose to do so.

So, back to Rowan arriving at the café...

Rowan turns on the lights as she enters.  She likes to take a look around just to spot check that everything is okay.

Although she likes to check supplies in the evening before she leaves, she can't help but look at things again in the morning, just in case she missed something.  As she heads to the back, she looks at her menu stock on the counter to see if she needs to add more.  They look good, but she decides to take them with her to the back to add a few more.  Rowan goes into the kitchen where she takes off her jacket and puts away her purse.  

Rowan returns to the café area where she has brought out the inventory sheets for products and food supplies, along with a catering contract she is trying to wrap up and get out.  She just needs to check a few things with Marisol when she arrives.

After a while, Marisol arrives.
Marisol:  Whew!  It's getting really cold out there!  Good morning.
Rowan:  Hey!  Good morning! That cold is going make it a good day with coffee, tea and hot chocolate sales.  People like to warm up those bellies. 
 Marisol (laughing):  Yep, it sure will be a good day for hot drinks.

Marisol:  The combos menu (pointing to the menu on the wall) is staying as is next week, right?  'Cause I think those specials have been flying out the door.
Rowan:  Yeah.  I think people like them.  We'll talk about changing it up again soon with the holidays coming. 
Marisol:  Speaking of menus, where are the menus?
Rowan:  Darn it!  I left them in the kitchen. 
Marisol:  Well, I'm going to get started on filling up the case, so I'll grab them.
Rowan:  Thanks.

Marisol puts together some food trays and the grab bags of individual chocolate and peanut butter chip cookies people like to buy.  They are just enough to satisfy someone's taste.

Rowan:  So, I'm finishing up this proposal for the Davis wedding.  Did you decide on the cake and cupcake costs yet?
Marisol:  Yes, they are asking for two side cakes with the three stacked layers and the gold beads, right?
Rowan:  Yes, that's the one.
Marisol:  It will be $850.  The way they want the layout and the details are going to take me a while, but they will love it.  The cupcakes will be $1.50 each for me. 

Rowan:  Okay, so with my mark up to cover my costs, I'll put $950 for the cake and $2.25 per cupcake.   I'm going to get this out today.  I gave them a couple of options, but the cake is always the barely negotiable item with their requests.
Marisol:  It's always the star of the show.  Well, the star of the reception at least.  (Pauses for a minute.)  So, I'm thinking we should try a new pumpkin cookie recipe for the fall.
Rowan:  That sounds good.  The one we put out last year was okay, but a new one may be even better.
Rowan gets up and heads to the kitchen to put away the inventory sheets and the quote she was working on.  Then she and Marisol work on preparing food.  Some items need to go in the oven, some sandwiches need to be made and some need to be decorated. They work as quickly as they can, like always and then set out the most immediate trays in the case. 

After they are finished setting up, Rowan checks supplies again. 
Rowan:  I ordered some pumpkin flavored creamer.  That should be arriving soon.  As long as we are getting ready for holidays, we should work on the Christmas plans too.
Marisol:  Check!  I have some ideas.

Marisol works on setting up the register, ensuring there is enough register tape and change.
Marisol:  Do you want me to go to the bank and make the deposit this afternoon or are you going to do it?
Rowan:  I'll do it since I have to go to the post office to drop off the quote.  I may as well stop there too.

Rowan preps the coffee, but doesn't push start.  She likes to wait until 10 minutes before 7:00, just so the coffee is as fresh as it can be. Customers can bring their own cups and pay for a fill up or they can pay for a 'to go' cup.  Marisol takes a look at the tissue used for the food to see if she needs to get another box, but it's pretty full.

Rowan:  As soon as the croissants come out, I'll make those sandwiches and the case will be all set.
Marisol: Yep, it looks like we're good to go.

Rowan:  Cool.  So that gives us a few minutes to talk about your date this weekend. Date number two, right?
Marisol:  Yes, just number two.  I'm not in a rush.
Rowan: Do the kids still get upset when they know you're seeing someone?

Marisol:  No, I think we're finally past that.  Besides, they never know until I'm three months in, which barely happens.  I think since they see that their father is with someone now and it looks like they may be getting married, they have decided they're not being fair to me.
Rowan:  Well, you know boys can be over protective sometimes.  You have the triple threat over there.
Marisol (chuckling): Yes, that's them.  We'll see how it goes.  I'll keep you updated.  Speaking of which, when will you be dating again?

Rowan:  Well, I haven't quite met anyone since Tony who interests me, but as soon as I do, I have no problem with going out.  I don't want my life to just be about my business.
Marisol:  Good for you.  I'm going to go wash my hands and grab the gloves and some more tongs.  It's almost time to start the coffee and open the door.
Rowan:  Okay.  I'm right behind you.

Thanks for stopping by. ~ Jaye


  1. Cute cafe! I would stop by there for sure! Want to here more about Marisol's date and her boys!

    1. Thank you, Phyllis. More to come.

  2. 4.45am? Man, that is early. I wish I could look so good that time in the morning. Sweet cafe =0)

    1. That is early, Pepper. But I guess that's the price to pay for running a business that opens at 7 AM. Thank you!

  3. The cafe is great and all the accessories make it look even more real. The girls are very organised, love their uniforms as well :-).

    1. Thanks, Linda. I think I took longer on the small items than putting the walls and floor together. But I think it was worth it.

  4. Hi, I'd love to see more of these two, they are a great team. The cafe is so cozy, the girls here would like to drop by to have a cappuccino after shopping!

    1. Thanks, Billa. Tell the girls they are welcome to pop in and enjoy everything at a discount. They won't be disappointed.

  5. Love Love Love!! Please reserve me a daily table! Your cafe is super fly and I love the atmosphere. Looking forward to...........

    1. Thanks, Brenova. The girls will keep an eye out for you. Everything is delicious.

  6. The shop looks great! The partnership sounds like a good one. Looking forward to seeing their business flourish. Great photostory!!

    1. Thanks, Georgia Girl. They're hoping to move into a bigger place one day, but as long as they keep the dough rolling in (and rolling out...LOL!) they'll be fine where they are.

  7. That's a sweet looking business (pun intended)! I enjoyed the down-to-earth conversation between the two.

    1. Thanks, Muff. They seem to be a good duo.

  8. Lovely story. They seem to have quite the little business there. Nice to be in business with someone you can trust and can work with.

    1. Thank you, Vanessa. I hear they make good food.

  9. Love the matching uniforms (very professional) and all the other small details. Marisol sounds like an interesting character. I look forward to seeing more of her.

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