A few posts ago I hinted that I had an update to share~ Well I think I’ve made you guys wait long enough, so here goes~
As you guys probably already know, for the past 2 years or so, I’ve been selling baked goods online. It all started out with me selling vegan thin mint cookies through this blog, and then in the fall of 2011, I set up a separate website and got a business license etc, and it became legit! Since then, a lot has happened and I’ve had the pleasure of sharing vegan baked goodies with so many wonderful people~ I’m so grateful for all my business partnerships, and also for all my individual customers who have supported and allowed me to follow this baking passion that I never really knew I had.
So with the bake shop slowly but steadily growing, I’ve been feeling that it’s time to move forward and take the next step. I have a friend, Yona, who is also an independent baker (not vegan) and cook, and I’ve mentioned her a few times on this blog. We are both currently working out of our home kitchens, and while this is convenient, it also has many downsides, one of which is not having any separation between work and personal time/space. I never thought I’d say this but I actually miss having a set schedule where I get out of my house and commute to a work location or office, and I also miss having coworkers! There are a ton of other reasons which I won’t bore you with, but anyway, after a lot of talking, Yona and I decided to create a baking studio together!
Starting at the very beginning of this year, we began actively searching for studio space. We checked several locations all over Seoul. Back in February, we actually came super close to contract-signing on one location near Hongdae, only to have it completely fall through. That was a bit of a shock and set back for us, but we picked ourselves back up and continued looking.
And now I have some big news!!! After months of searching and feeling frustration on numerous occasions, we finally found a great little spot in one of the back alleys of Itaewon, and we signed the contract. The space is great for what we want to do, and in a good location. And now construction and renovations will be starting any day now!!!! What?! Yes, I’m totally overwhelmed and quite the ball of stress these days, but I’m super excited too! I wanted to share the news as soon as we found the place, but I was nervous and decided to wait until things were more finalized first.
So this is really happening. I know some of you thought I was opening a storefront~ Although I would love to do that, we will be focusing on setting up the workspace first. Yona and I have both been dreaming about having a proper commercial kitchen to bake, work on a bunch of recipe-testing, do some food photography, meet customers, and just work together in a bright, creative, professional environment. So that will be our focus for now, and depending on how things go with the studio, perhaps we will set up a small storefront in the future. One thing at a time? :) While this news may not be as huge as you were expecting, even moving into a baking studio will be a huge step forward, and I hope I can manage everything responsibly.
Phew~! This whole thing is quite overwhelming, especially for someone like me who has limited Korean fluency and business experience. I definitely struggle with fear too, but I’m gradually learning to overcome that. This whole bake shop project has been a total learn-as-you-go experience for me. Still is. Many times I feel out of my depth, but when I get positive feedback from a customer or I see Koreans’ growing interest in vegan baking, that is so gratifying and it makes me want to do even better, work even harder. Just as it is with this blog, the online bakeshop has been a labor of love, and with the support of my readers and customers, it has been able to grow from nothing. *tear* So thank you everyone! :’)
Anyway, in closing, I’m expecting the next month to be a crazy nail-biter, but it’s also very exciting~ I’ll try to keep everyone posted on the progress, and once the studio space is fully set up and the dust has settled, we’ll invite y’all over. Maybe we can have a veggie event there or something. :) So much room for activities!