Dearest Loved Ones,
It is with great excitement for the future- and with deep gratitude for the past- that I would like to share some really big news with you: I have decided to sell Short Street Cakes! I have long considered this move, and I know now that it is time. Each of you, my friends and family, employees, partners, colleagues, and customers, have stood by me and helped to make Short Street Cakes what it is today, and for that, I will always be grateful. Now I am asking for your help and support in finding the leader or leaders who will take the Cake Shop into its next phase of growth!
It has been almost nine years since that first summer on Short Street- when I began baking wedding cakes out of my home kitchen with baby Jasper underfoot. Those years will remain some of the sweetest (and also most challenging) of my life. It has been six years since I moved the business into the shop on Haywood Road, and embarked on the journey of owning a brick-and-mortar bakery, with all of the tears and joy that go along with working hard alongside some of the finest people humanity has ever wrought. It has been three years since Cake Ladies was published, and two years since I began teaching classes in entrepreneurship at Mountain Bizworks.
It is now time for Short Street Cakes to expand. We are absolutely bursting at the seams in our current space. We have never been stronger financially, our product consistency and quality has never been higher, and our systems are tried, true, and fully functional. We have a dedicated staff of nine highly-trained, competent and effective managers and bakers. We have secured the lease on the beautiful storefront space next to the shop, and the Cake Shop is perfectly poised to use the additional space to create a beautiful community café, as well as host events, classes, and have extra storage, office, and customer seating space.
It was in planning for this expansion that I came to realize: I am not the one who is meant to take Short Street Cakes into its next phase. I know that the Cake Shop needs and deserves a leader that will be singularly focused on the success of this expansion. I know that I love the Cake Shop, and I also know that my heart and my work is leading me in a different direction. Professionally I am being called to write, to travel, and to teach. My work teaching and coaching entrepreneurs at Mountain Bizworks and Birds Eye has been compelling, and exciting, and I want to be available for more of it. Spiritually I am being called to do more direct social justice work. Personally I feel the call to grow more food at home, to spend more time walking out-of-doors and traveling with my family. And I have come to realize that in order to commit myself fully to this path of professional, personal, and creative growth I must lovingly let go of the Cake Shop.
I believe that there is someone, somewhere, with the dream, the resources, and the capacity to take Short Street Cakes, make it theirs, and grow it to it’s fullest potential. I ask for the support of the community and the guidance of Spirit in finding this person or family, and for a smooth transition that will lead to the highest and best outcome for both parties, as well as the benefit of the staff of the Cake Shop and the community at large.
So, dear friends, please consider this a call for offers. I will be selling the business by owner, at least to start, in hopes of reaching those in our community who may be interested first. I hope to have a transition plan in place by the summer, though I’m in no hurry and happy to wait as long as it takes to find the best fit (I know that it is against conventional wisdom for a business to inform its customers and employees of a change like this, but to me, I wouldn’t feel right making this kind of change without the full participation of the community that has made Short Street Cakes what it is).
CUSTOMERS PLEASE NOTE: there will be absolutely no break in continuity in regards to orders, wedding cakes, or ongoing contracts. We ask for your continued support as customers as well. As a testament to their integrity, all of Short Street Cakes’ staff members have committed to staying on through this transition. To honor their commitment and ensure the best outcome for them, I intend to participate in a thorough, thoughtful, and deliberate process of transition, supporting the new owners every step of the way. Interested parties can contact me for confidentiality agreement and an overview at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To each of you, my family, my community, I extend my deepest, most sincere, most humble gratitude. Again, I say: there would be no Short Street Cakes without you. What a wonderful dream it is!
With love, appreciation, and hope and excitement for the future,
PS: Please join us to celebrate the amazing past 6 years we have shared together, and toast the future at Short Street Cakes’ 6th Anniversary Carnival Circus Mardi Gras Party and Benefit Raffle! The Raffle will feature amazing items from the Asheville community and all proceeds will go to Chess and Garden-related enrichment programs at East-West Asheville’s community elementary school: Hall Fletcher Elementary. Tuesday, February 17th from 5pm until… at 225 and 227 Haywood Road.
[EDITED: OUR PARTY WAS POSTPONED DUE TO WEATHER, AND WE ARE NOW CELEBRATING OUR 6 YEAR ANNIVERSARY ON FRIDAY, MARCH 20TH! WE HOPE YOU CAN JOIN US. -JR]