Businesses Who Can't Keep Their Word . . .

Lounge By liz at sugar Updated 28 Oct 2014 , 2:47pm by liz at sugar

liz at sugar Posted 26 Feb 2014 , 12:29am
post #1 of 34

I'm less than two weeks away from the opening of my bakery in our new city indoor market.  I was the first one in there, two weeks ago, building out my space, as soon as the contractors got the majority of their work done.


Getting really tired of other businesses who can't keep their word - have equipment getting delivered, they give me a date, repeat the date, send e-mails with the date . . . the date comes and no equipment.  :(


Plumber coming to hook up my sinks - tomorrow.  That was 4 tomorrow's ago.


Ethernet connection ran, except the actual outlet that you need to plug into . . . really?


I am used to businesses overpromising and underdelivering, but it gets tiresome when it happens every day for a week.  I guess I just wouldn't do that to my customers.  If I were ordering cake and my baker pulled this, said baker would probably be starting a thread about my rants about now. :)


So guess what?  They will all be there tomorrow, installing appliances, installing internet, plumbing sinks, all on top of each other in my tiny space.  :)  Lol.  Think I'll get in there too, and just generally be underfoot.



33 replies
liz at sugar Posted 26 Feb 2014 , 12:36am
post #2 of 34

AHere is a shot of my area mid construction. I'll post another one next week with the glass case on top and the back bar in place.



AZCouture Posted 26 Feb 2014 , 12:42am
post #3 of 34

Well, sorry for all the hassle, but that's looking awesome! Good luck!

morganchampagne Posted 26 Feb 2014 , 12:43am
post #4 of 34

Its beautiful so far! Congrats on all of this, even if the contractors are playing with you haha. I hate that too. IF you say you're gonna be here with my sink..BE THERE WITH THE SINK!! I feel you, girl

liz at sugar Posted 26 Feb 2014 , 12:48am
post #5 of 34

Thank you both!  Ready to be done with this part and just start baking.



mcaulir Posted 26 Feb 2014 , 12:58am
post #6 of 34

I love your colour scheme!


Yes, very annoying when people can't be where they say they will. Hope it all goes more smoothly from here on.

cakesbycathy Posted 26 Feb 2014 , 1:27am
post #7 of 34

The threat  of taking your business somewhere else is a great motivator to get them there ;-D

liz at sugar Posted 26 Feb 2014 , 2:07am
post #8 of 34


Originally Posted by cakesbycathy 

The threat  of taking your business somewhere else is a great motivator to get them there ;-D


Unfortunately, my city is full of businesses who have made the list of companies I won't call back.  Would be great to actually have two competent businesses vying for my money!!  Have learned to do a lot of things ourselves because of this.



liz at sugar Posted 6 Mar 2014 , 11:46pm
post #9 of 34

AHi! Thought I would post a mid-build update photo - have equipment and glass case in, still waiting on back bar and decorative lighting to go in tomorrow. I start prepping tomorrow, so we will be tripping over each other!



sadiep Posted 7 Mar 2014 , 12:05am
post #10 of 34

That looks fantastic! Was the glass case custom built or a standard item? 


Congratulations - I'm sure it's been a ton of hard work. I hope they get outta your way soon!

liz at sugar Posted 7 Mar 2014 , 12:55am
post #11 of 34

Hi sadiep - My local glass shop made the glass case for me.  They worked with the company who makes the frames to produce the size and configuration I wanted (longer than standard, with no support in the center front).  They really did a nice job, I am pleased with it.



MBalaska Posted 7 Mar 2014 , 3:01am
post #12 of 34

that's all normal when you're building.  Nothing out of the ordinary. It's exactly the same with home building, or refurbishing a place.


I don't know what a new city indoor market is.....unless if it's like the Pikes Place Market in Seattle, Washington.

Wishing you great success,



liz at sugar Posted 7 Mar 2014 , 3:42am
post #13 of 34

Hi MB - It is like an indoor, year round farmers market.  Artisan food purveyors,  local produce and farm products, etc.  We are hoping it will work out in our community - we don't have a lot of foodies or cutting edge hipster types, and it may take a while for the market to gain the right mix of vendors.  But I am hopeful this concept will be a success.



sadiep Posted 7 Mar 2014 , 6:37am
post #14 of 34

ASounds like a great concept. And yes, similar to pike place. Thanks for the info Liz - it's an elegant solution to a clunky pastry case and and ugly sneeze guard at the same time. Good luck with everything!

liz at sugar Posted 17 Mar 2014 , 5:09pm
post #15 of 34

AThought I would add a final post to this thread featuring my finished space. Enjoying a couple days off after our first week open. After that, it is back to 13 hour days, 4 to 5 days a week. No real surprises, as I knew what I was getting in to. :)




Gerle Posted 17 Mar 2014 , 8:19pm
post #16 of 34

Beautiful shop.  Best of luck in your endeavor.  Hope you do really, really, well!

morganchampagne Posted 17 Mar 2014 , 8:34pm
post #17 of 34

AVery very nice!!! Good luck!

brendajarmusz Posted 18 Mar 2014 , 5:28am
post #18 of 34

A@Liz at Sugar, im so sorry to hear of all the chaos and setbacks but it will all come together before you know it and you will be able to look back at all the hassles, trials, decisions and hard work and hopefully laugh at it all. You will also be able to see all that you accomplished through it all. Congratulations on your place, its beautiful, warm and inviting from what i can see. I wish you all of life's best and wonderful blessings and i hope your business is very prosperous. Keep us posted on how everything is going. Wishing you nothing but the best and lots of luck to you my friend.

liz at sugar Posted 18 Mar 2014 , 11:54am
post #19 of 34

Thank you Brenda, Gerle and Morgan!


Yes, it all turned out well in the end!  The construction is done and I am open for business.  I am going in today to prep for the week.  I won't be around CC as much, but I appreciate all the advice and support I have gotten here from all of my virtual cake friends.  Hope I was able to contribute something as well.


Have a great week everyone!



Kimdarella Posted 5 Apr 2014 , 5:27pm
post #20 of 34

Beautiful store now it is all done!  Congrats!

hula1974 Posted 5 Apr 2014 , 5:42pm
post #21 of 34

ALooks beautiful and inviting Liz! Congrats!! Are you baking there or just selling?

liz at sugar Posted 6 Apr 2014 , 1:36am
post #22 of 34


Originally Posted by hula1974 

Looks beautiful and inviting Liz! Congrats!!
Are you baking there or just selling?


Hi hula1974 - Yes, I prep and bake everything in the space.  It is working out pretty well.



CindiM Posted 7 Apr 2014 , 4:50am
post #23 of 34



I love your new space.  I know what you went through.  We are a week from opening our new location.

Your set up is awesome and I want your cabinets.


You will have lots of fun.  Enjoy!

liz at sugar Posted 8 Apr 2014 , 1:43am
post #24 of 34


Originally Posted by CindiM 



I love your new space.  I know what you went through.  We are a week from opening our new location.

Your set up is awesome and I want your cabinets.


You will have lots of fun.  Enjoy!


Best of luck to you too, Cindi!



babyblue113 Posted 15 Oct 2014 , 6:27pm
post #25 of 34

Love your jealous and happy for you!

liz at sugar Posted 26 Oct 2014 , 12:31am
post #26 of 34

UPDATE:  Hi CC'ers!  Thought I would post an update 7 months later about my experience opening up a boutique cookie shop inside our area's new indoor farmers market . . .  turned out to be a bust.  Lol.  But I will share what I have learned, and what "speed bumps" I encountered.


Started out great for me, lots of traffic. lots of special orders, lots of hours, but also very exciting.  Shared our building with 5 other food/drink vendors, and what was supposed to be an "indoor farmer's market".  Turns out the organizers of this endeavor had absolutely no retail experience, no grocery experience, and honestly, didn't even have much experience as landlords.  So even though I was supposed to be a small, supporting "department" in this market, it turns out the owners didn't have any money to finish a LOT of things, including buying groceries.  So we are in a huge, somewhat empty building and the 6 supporting departments end up pretty much being the main attraction.  Yikes.  So, we started experiencing a steady drop in traffic, almost immediately after opening.  Red flag number one.


Red flag number two: Somehow these people pissed off all the area farmers, so they have a hard time getting fresh produce in.  The whole point of the place, really, kind of down the drain.  So they start bringing in "stuff" - not really artisan items as was the plan, but more "crafts" which is a generous description for some of it.  Not the kind of place I thought I would be renting space in.  Find out later that the owners of the market have NO BUSINESS PLAN, NO MARKETING PLAN, and NO MONEY LEFT.  So they are grasping at straws.  Do you know all the people on this site who tell you to get that business plan written?  This is the reason.  And the people who tell you to have 6 months of money in the bank?  Yep, these people somehow missed this, too.


Red flag number three:  I notice that their AC system doesn't seem to work, or isn't on???  Find out later that either they or their architect did not know what kind of cooling and heating to provide for what is essentially a grocery store.  My cookies are getting soft, can't make meringues without them getting sticky.  The small amount of produce they have rots quickly.  So they bring in a humidity meter.  Well now it makes sense: 80% humidity.  Well, mold starts growing at 70%, so how safe is it to sell food in 80% humidity?  Forget cakes, cream puffs, etc. - no way I was going to take a chance selling something that could have bacteria growing on it.  So I bring it up, and they bring in two industrial de-humidifiers, and that is their long term solution.  Can't hear myself think, but at least they get the humidity between 50 and 60%.  But they can't afford these, so they are gone within a few weeks.


So I see a lawyer, find out there are numerous problems with my lease (they didn't register their business name with our Secretary of State, and never signed any of the vendor leases) and the lawyer says they aren't keeping up their end of the bargain.  So I am out of my lease 4 months early. Thank the lord.  Moving my display across the street to our restaurant, where I will sell pre-boxed cookies and bars.  Building a commercial kitchen in an unused addition on our house, and moving production there.


I did experience a lot of positives:  created a brand with a loyal customer base, got some great sales statistics on price points that are successful, and met a lot of great people.  Gained special order customers including large weddings, which are a great thing to focus on for the future.  But learned that when you write your own business plan (which I did) you can never guess all of the "threats" that exist that can undermine your business.  I would have never guessed that the group who spent $2 million dollars redoing this building had virtually no money set aside for operating expenses or cash flow.  They literally have enough money to make it to December at this point.  Never guessed I would have humidity issues sidetracking my ability to produce a quality/safe product.  But you never know until you try!!


Just wanted everyone to know that it doesn't always turn out super, complete with rainbows and unicorns.  Sometimes you have to stop, take an inventory of how best to proceed, and do it. :)



BrandisBaked Posted 26 Oct 2014 , 10:12pm
post #27 of 34

ASo sorry things didn't work out as you hoped. :-(

-K8memphis Posted 26 Oct 2014 , 11:16pm
post #28 of 34

Ayou lasted longer than i did except the guys i rented from were effing liar crooks -- pardon my french --

i really do hate you went through this -- glad you are already processing the silver from the linings -- it's certainly hard earned --

best to you -- onward & upward

-K8memphis Posted 26 Oct 2014 , 11:21pm
post #29 of 34

Aone other thing -- i was So Happy for you and i'm really disappointed that happened -- all while i love your new plans -- sniff sniff anyhow

liz at sugar Posted 27 Oct 2014 , 1:08am
post #30 of 34

Thanks Brandi & K8!  A month or two ago, I was a little more pissed about it all, but I am over that, and ready to move on!  Three of the other vendors had already given up and left, so it was going to be hard to stay much longer at any rate.  I was fortunate to sell enough to recoup my investment, so that is where part of my silver lining is coming from. :)



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