Didn't know where to post this and I need to be able to talk this out.
I live down the street from a local orchard and has spoken on occasion with the owner and his daughter. Well I told them that I make fresh bread, cakes and pies. Mostly for my family. Well long story short he gave me some free produce and said show me what you can do. I baked him tons of stuff and then he asked me to be the Head Baker at his bakery! OMG I was super excited still am. He has given me free rein on designing the kitchen and planning out the menu. Oh this is important there are no decent bakeries in my small town. Trust me I looked around, there is one and it's a joke they are over priced and don't taste that good. Right now it's only a seasonal thing since I would be using his left over produce, stuff that isn't that pretty to be sold on the shelves.( apples, cherries, peaches that sort of thing) That's not a big deal to me anyways.
I guess I am just stressing cause it's a really really small town and people are already coming up to me and saying 'Oh your the new head baker for the orchard. can't wait to see what you make!' I don't know these people yet they know me. I am more nervous than anything else, cause other than owning the bakery it's just one step from dream. It's all those doubts what if they don't like this or what if I totally completely fail.
I guess I am more worried about the menu than anything else. Has anyone else been stressed about their menus? Or am I just over thinking all of this.
Wow! Congratulations! I would be just as excited as you are right now if that were me!
However, I also understand your nervousness, as I too would stress over a decision such as menu planning.
I grew up in a small town and live in one that is bigger now, but it still carries a lot of small town feel to it. That said, I think the menu advise I would offer would be to focus on mainly traditional or local favorites. I'm in the south, so I would do traditional fruit pies, cobblers, turnover (fried) pies, etc. Even if you put your own spin on traditional/favorite items I think small town folks are much more likely to buy something that is familar and comfortable to them.
Hope this helps even if just a little.
Have you ever worked in a professional kitchen before? You sound a little green at this. I was the same way before I worked in a few kitchens.
When you mentioned designs was that designing the kitchen also? If so, have you ever done such a thing. There is much more to designing a commercial kitchen than people realize. I might have misread this.
Considering the venue you could easily do a rotating/changing menu.
Coloradoflower, I've been baking a good 50 yrs and I can still get stressed over my baking not looking or tasting perfect.
Shoot, you could've been head baker at the Orchard for the last 10 yrs & I bet you'd still stress over your goods not looking or tasting perfect. It comes with the territory so to speak.
What needs to be remembered, is nobody is perfect. They can be successful, in demand, but they'll never be perfect. Even high end bakers/pro decorators are not perfect and you can bet your boots still get stressed. Maybe not as stressed as someone starting out, but I doubt very much they'd ever be stress free.
You/I, all of us, can only strive to be the best we can be with the talents we're blessed with.
You take great pride in your breads & pies, now you have the oportunity to show others how great they really are.
That means taking a big breath and going for it, stress and all.
ps.. Here's a print out (thanks to a fellow caker) I have on my work area wall. It's very good to have around.
Thank you everyone for the kind words and advice.
Mkolmar actually I have actually for last 5 years. Not totally green but I have never been the person in charge ie menu planning or anything of the sort. I have designed a kitchen before in my life! But the owner is walking me threw it all. So it helps that he has done this before.
Again thank you
I actually am going through a similar situation and I am nervous as I can be. I'm so excited to be getting paid to do what I love as I'm sure you are. Good luck and try to have fun with it!
All I can say is Good Luck. It's sounds like a lot of stressful fun and I am jealous!