24 May 2009
Well She Was an Amercian Girl
Yeah, I'll admit I've always been a Tom Petty fan. And by far one of the greatest moments in my personal rock 'n' roll history was when Tom took the stage with Axl Rose at the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards for a duet of Free Faliing. I was a big GnR fan back in the day - heck, Paradise City and Welcome to the Jungle are on the Ipod playlist I run to - and sheepishly admit to following Axl on Twitter. I have no idea if it's really him but some of his updates certainly make me laugh. Oh how the mighty have fallen so far. Which brings me to the subject of today's post....
Last week I had an order from a French woman who frequently does parties and workshops with kids. She had contacted me cause she buys cupcakes for these events from a local cupcakery. She told me she wanted to explore some new options; I heard through the grapevine that the guy at her current cupcakery is a real jerk and that she felt his products were not up to par. But that's another story.
When she came to pick them up, we got to talking and I mentioned that my cupcakes were real American-style cupcakes which I believe set them apart from the other Parisian cupcakes. What is a real American-style cupcake you may ask? Well, in my mind, it's the cupcake I grew up on in the good ol' US of A. Real moist and flavorful with a rich, creamy buttercream. Is it sugary? Hell, yeah! But not like the tooth-hurting sweet that you can barely get through. I'm talking yummy, melt in your mouth sweet where you can't wait to get to the next bite...or the next cupcake.
IMHO, this is a pretty stark contrast to the cupcakes made by French people for French tastes. I'm not a hater. Just trying to explain the cultural differences. The French cupcakes I've tried (and there are only a handful of bakeries making them) are by and large made like a quatre quart - which is close in consistency and taste to an American poundcake - and frosted with a buttery flavored cream. They tend to be drier and less sweet. I'll be diplomatic and say they are not better or worse, just different.
So getting back to my customer, she told me that she really wasn't a cupcake fan, she thought they were a passing fad and she only got them for the kids. So why was I surprised and very disappointed when she wrote to tell me that the cupcakes were cute and the kids adored the decorations but in her opinion, they were too heavy and she would have preferred something a little less sugary? It was the first time a customer had taken the time to write me with negative feedback and I hate knowing that someone ate one of my cupcakes and wasn't satisfied with it. For me, the joy comes not only from baking and creating but from the joy I give other people who eat my cupcakes.
I thought of writing her an apology but decided to sleep on it. Then I read a post on Retro Bakery's blog written by its owner Kari Haskell out in Las Vegas. Kari is spunky and sassy and she gets my vote cause she always incorporates lyrics/songs into her blog posts. The cold hard truth is you can't please all the people all of the time; as Kari says you need a thick skin to work in this biz. "You have to keep going and trust in your product." Which I do!
So you know what? I'm taking this to heart and moving forward (Thanks Kari for the words of wisdom!). And to everyone out there in Paris tonight, you like all-American, filled with sugary goodness, sink your teeth into cupcakes that will leave you craving for more? Look no further than Little Miss Cupcake! Oh yeah, all right!