It’s hard to believe, isn’t it? I’ve been writing this blog for the past ten years, and it all began because my then web designer Gord suggested it’d be a good thing to do. I recall saying to him I didn’t know how I could possibly write about fruitcake every week, but he suggested I could write about all kinds of things.
He gave me good advice, too. He said the blog shouldn’t be in the style of the vocational rehabilitation reports I’ve spent decades writing, nor should it be the smut-filled raucous e mails I sent to him. Gord said the blog should be somewhere in the middle.
So in the spring of 2006 I began and found I enjoyed it tremendously, and have continued ever since. It’s like a running letter to someone who lives far away and can’t be reached in any other manner. Kind of the way the world was just a few decades ago when one waited weeks for a letter to arrive from overseas.
Of course there have been quite a lot of changes on Hall Road in those ten years. All three of the original band of dachshunds, Arnie, Mojo and Ricky, has died. The cats have surprisingly remained the same all this time.
Mom’s partner Gerry and my pal Liz died. Denis and I divorced. Both boys got married.
All manner of strange and wonderful hobbies have begun, such as having a greenhouse in which I can start prize-winning dahlias, and keeping bees. Last year as you know I was stung silly by those little critters, yet I persevere.
The business has been a roller coaster ride of ideas and accomplishments. I began with one product, Totally Decadent Fruitcake, which I sold by word of mouth. By the next year people opposed to glace fruit asked if I could make a fruitcake with dried fruit instead. I did that, and called it Okanagan Harvest Cake. To appeal to wineries, I later made a smaller version and called it Okanagan Fruit and Nut Bar.
Soon I was in Urban Fare in Coal Harbour, some Buy-Low stores, Stongs Market in Vancouver, Edible BC on Granville Island, and locally in many stores and wineries. I was featured in a series CBC Radio did on small business, and was contacted by The Bay and asked if I wanted to supply them with fruitcake. I declined stating it would likely kill me.
All along I had at most one baking helper, starting with Sharon, then Gord, and finally Marilyn. I really couldn’t see myself able to bake more than the four thousand Marilyn and I did at the peak in 2007 and the thought of expanding didn’t appeal to me.
Another idea I had was to make chocolate bark, as I’d bought dried cherries from Oliver and thought that’d make a great product. However, after standing there tempering chocolate a few times, I had my web designer take it off my website.
Two years ago I decided I’d reached my original goal, which was to have a solely home-based business. I told the stores I wouldn’t be selling to them any more, and have returned to the two original products, selling to faithful customers locally and via the site.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.