Summertime is Planning Time

Posted by Celia Strickland on

Summer months are often the slowest baking months when it comes to generating orders.  By mid June, graduations have ended, weddings have all but waned away, and everyone seems to be off to the beach.  The fourth of July pops in to make an appearance, but for the most part, summer is a time to step back, relax, and rest up from the flurry of spring orders. should not rest on your beach towel for too long! Whether you are a hobby or cottage baker or own a brick and mortar shop, now is the time to plan and prepare for the busy fall and holiday season to come!  Depending on where you live, back to school activities can begin as early at the first week in August.  Then there is Labor Day, fall festivals and markets, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and before you know it Christmas and Hanukkah are here. Makes me tired just thinking about it all.  Let's look at how we can prepare now to make the last months of the year stress free.    

No matter what the task, organization is key to a stress free operation.  The same holds true for bakers in any role.  Let’s make a list of the areas in which we can get better organized to accomplish a stress free (or at least a stress managed) season.  

  •  Make a list of baking projects you want to tackle in the next few months.
  • Plan and design cookie collections for upcoming events.
  • Clear, purge, and organize your baking area.
  • Order and stock supplies for packaging and shipping your goodies.

Make a list!

August typically means students are heading  back to the classroom with new teachers and staff.  If you are a hobbyist baking for your family, make a list of people who you will want to send a special treat to in appreciation for their dedication to your children.  Are there birthdays, showers, or family reunions on the horizon? Add those to your list as well.  

If you bake professionally, take a look at past years to see what is up ahead.  If you do not have a baking calendar, get one!  Plot out space and set deadlines for orders for an efficient schedule. Look on social media for notifications of farmers markets, festivals, and craft shows.  These events are very lucrative for pop up shops.  Get your applications in as soon as possible and add them to your calendar.  Then when custom orders begin to come in, you will be ready to effectively schedule them.  

Design those fabulous sets!

Now is the time to plan those well coordinated sets that look to impress your guests or clients.  Take the list you created and begin to think about what kind of sets you will need.  Individual theme cookie gifts of one or two cookies packaged in a unique way are a thoughtful surprise to someone special and a big seller at markets or pop up sales. Begin with a focal cookie cutter and stencil set with a cute quote to relay your thoughts and pair it with a matching accent cookie.  

Themed sets for events and holidays are always fun, too.  A well put together platter of cookies usually includes a plaque with a cutesy quote, a few themed shaped cookies with a detailed design, and one or two basic cookies that coordinate with the theme.  Sweets from the Soul has a full line of cookie cutters and cookie stencils as well as cookie stencils with matching cookie cutters to choose from when creating your sets. 

 Make a tray full of cookies to celebrate baseball season for your favorite little league or school team.  Celebrate the new school year with a platter of cookies!  These cookies will certainly impress your kids' teacher on the first day of school!  Check out all of our Cookie Themed Sets for ideas.  

 We also have a nice collection of Cookie Sticks for quick gift sets.  Package a set in a clear bag with a ribbon to gain that wow factor at your market store or for a class gift exchange.

 Outer order contributes to inner calm.

Whether you have a large room in which to create or your entire baking space is contained in one cabinet in your kitchen, a well organized and clean space is important to your success.  So let’s start with our supplies.  Pull out all of your flavorings, colorings, and dry ingredients and check the expiration dates.  Throw away anything that is expired or is just taking up space and is rarely used. Get rid of all of those bags of flour and chips or bottles of sprinkles, and put them into stackable containers for easy storage in a lower cabinet. The Station Bakery has some wonderful ideas as she cleans, purges, and organizes her pantry.    

Maybe you only have a small space for your supplies. A baking cart may be just what you need to bring order to your baking. Everything you need on a portable cart that can be tucked away in a corner when not in use. 

The packaging says it all!

Once you know what you will need to bake, don’t forget to think about how you will present your creations.  There are so many possibilities.  Pinterest has loads of packaging ideas.  

The Dollar Tree is a great resource for inexpensive packaging. While they have a good selection of trays, bowls, and bags, think out of the box. Flower pots, tins, or coffee mugs make a great presentation of a set of mini cookies to your favorite person. A toolbox can be personalized to hold a dozen tool cookies or a specially designed set of fishing themed cookies. Draw interest to your market booth with sweetly adorned craft jars full of drop cookies or mini brownies.

If you are a baker for profit, you will want to stock up on boxes, bags, and ribbons for your custom orders.  Amazon is my go to place for just about everything.  Cookie bags or pastry boxes can be bought in bulk at a competitive price and can be delivered quickly and free with a Prime account.

 So lay back in your favorite chair by the pool, grab a tablet, and plan away the day.  Take the stress out of the upcoming cookie season with a little planning and Sweets from the Soul.



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