Befriend Your Baker

It’s happened to everyone. The week is going by as usual until your calendar app reminds you about the party you’re hosting this weekend. Suddenly, you realize you have no dessert and only 48 hours to find one. Mind racing through a map of your town’s stores, you think: “Is there a bakery near me?”

Although it’s a situation that happens to even the most meticulous planners, it doesn’t have to be a stressful moment if you are friends with the baker down the road.

Customer Service

It seems too simple to be true, but frequenting a small cake shop (as opposed to a grocery store’s bakery department) can alleviate your sweets stress. At these stores, it’s easier to get to know the staff, who will then be more willing to help you in a pinch. These shops also tend to have more products to choose from and bake everything from scratch. This means if you forget to order your desserts, you can usually walk in and create your own smorgasbord of tasty treats.

There are a variety of ways to become a favorite customer:

  • Be patient. Creating beautiful desserts takes time, especially if done on the spot for you.
  • Be polite. “Please” and ‘Thank you” go a long way.
  • Be open. You might have to choose from only what is available, so be willing to considering different options.

Community Impact

Utilizing your local bakery can also make a positive impact on your community. Giving owners opinions and feedback on their products helps them adjust to the tastes of their customers. Knowing what customers want is an integral part of business success, which means your quick cake stop keeps its doors open.

A Chance To Learn

Getting to know your local bakery can also help your skills as a novice baker. A good relationship with the staff can give you a resource to ask questions, get advice, and learn better ways to bake at home.

Although it’s always better to order ahead, befriending your baker could help in those surprise situations when you need a cake right away. It can also benefit your community and your home kitchen, too.

Fun Ways to Increase Morale at the Office

Your employees are your most valuable resource. It’s a proven fact that employees that are happier produce more and are likely to put in more effort. If you’re looking for fun ways to increase office morale, there are several ways to accomplish this. You may even find yourself enjoying them.

Get a Well-Stocked Break Room

The easiest place to implement immediate change is in your company’s break room. A well-stocked break room benefits everyone and is a great way to keep employees happy with coffee, snacks and vending machines. A good beverage service Pittsburgh PA will deliver, service and clean equipment you chose to add to the break room. You choose the coffee flavors you want, and you can even stage a voting so everyone gets a say.

Hold Regular Staff Meetings

Getting everyone together for regular staff meetings is an amazing way to keep morale up to par. To be successful, everyone needs to be on the same page. Meetings allow workers to air their concerns and get answers to questions. An atmosphere where everyone is encouraged to speak makes employees feel valued. 

Offer Perks and Incentives

Nothing makes for a positive office like added perks and incentives. They don’t need to be expensive. Occasional tickets to events, coupons or discounted memberships can make employees feel appreciated and takes very little effort.

Host a Workplace Outing

Consider implementing at least one optional outing per year. This might be a barbecue, a night at a game or even an amusement park. Take a poll to see what ideas people come up with. A fun day out has everyone returning to work feeling refreshed and ready to work hard.

Better for Business

The way you treat your employees has a direct effect on business. Morale should be a priority. A positive work place runs more smoothly, is more productive and makes it more enjoyable for employees and customers alike. 

Four Ways To Bring Your Vacation Home

Everyone loves a vacation especially where travel is involved—the best trips offer a good balance of relaxation and activity, education and excitement. Ideally, you find ways to relive the best parts of the trip after you have returned home. Here are four ways to do just that.

Tastes

Choose eateries with markets attached and bring home a few goodies. For example, if you are in the Boston area and want to try craft beer and wine andover ma, bring home a six-pack of your favorite brew or that bottle of wine that went so well with dinner. If you have delicious pancakes in Canada, relive part of your trip by buying a bottle of maple syrup.

Sounds

In Chicago, take a video near an elevated train while a train is passing overhead; get cars honking in New York City. Instead of settling for the routine selfie with that cool family in your tour group take a quick video of them saying hello, especially if they have a charming regional accent. If you hear some great musicians or comics in a club on vacation, download more of their work to listen to later. It will turn your daily commute into a drive down memory lane.

Sights

Museums are known for their fabulous gift shops, where you can often find reproductions of their most treasured pieces. If you loved seeing the Mona Lisa for ten minutes at the Louvre, you will surely love seeing a print of it every day at home. Think outside the box, too. Take pictures of iconic gondolas in Venice—but also turn your lens to the tiny doors for residents’ boat garages.

Touches

All travelers have been there: forgetting to pack warm clothes on a visit to Ireland necessitates the purchase of what is now a favorite sweater and a wardrobe staple. In a country known for alpaca wool, purchase a poncho; in a region renown for silk, get a scarf. Even kitschy souvenir shops can be treasure troves. So yes, as cliché as it may be, buy the T-shirt.

3 Tips for Hosting a Successful Dinner Party

Sometimes dinner in is just better than dinner out. Time is endless, and you can sit and listen without the scampering of waiters or the background noise of other diners. In fact, the home provides a chance for relaxation, private conversation and home cooking. If you’re interested in hosting a dinner party for your friends, consider the following to help the night go smoothly.

Clean Early in the Day

Although your friends love you ( and probably your food ), they also want to feel comfortable with the surroundings and your kitchen. Ensure that by providing a tidy home. Pick up the main house before you fix the food and well before guest arrival. You don’t want to let dust and chemicals near the eating area. It can be unsettling to smell bleach while fine dining. Giving yourself hours ahead of time, allows the aroma to dissipate.

Neatness in the Kitchen

Next, pick up after yourself as you prepare the meal. The kitchen isn’t off limits, so you don’t want flour on the floor or smudges on the door. Have dishes scrubbed and counters washed. During those last minute preparations, don’t forget to use commercial aprons. Cloth aprons often gather bacteria and stain easily whereas the vinyl ones wipe clean.

Plan a Satisfying Meal in Courses

Don’t rush people. Start the evening out with a relaxing time in the living room. Serve one or two simple appetizers. Stick to finger food, and try not to go too heavy. Just enjoy some banter as you nibble. When guests are ready, head into the dining room and serve your next course. Soups and salad make for light (and healthy fare). The entree can certainly go heavier. Provide a protein, veggie and starch. Make sure you’ve asked ahead of time if anyone has food sensitivities or allergies, and plan accordingly. Cap this off with a sweet dessert. These can range from warm brownies to a decadent cake. 

By the end, bellies may be full. Hopefully, though, you’ve cherished the conversation and the delectable meal.

3 Things Every Food Entrepreneur Needs To Keep in Mind

If you have a vision for starting your own food business, there are a few practical considerations you need to keep in mind. This article will walk you through three important steps you need to take to make your good food dreams a reality. 

Determine Your Equipment Needs Early On 

Even businesses focusing on traditional, handmade products will have some kind of machinery that keeps their operation running. Whether it’s a walk-in cooler or an industrial oven, determine what equipment your business needs to thrive and create a maintenance plan for that equipment to make sure that your delicious food products will be consistently delivered to your customers. Research service providers in your area before you open up shop. A simple web search for commercial kitchen appliances Florida can give you the information you need to protect your business from costly equipment failure disruptions. 

Establish Multiple Sourcing Relationships 

Your food business will rely on other companies to supply ingredients, uniforms, napkins, cookware and everything in between. Get to know the suppliers in your region, and form friendly relationships with multiple sourcing options. You don’t want production to grind to a halt because your only butter supplier had an unexpected shortage. While you learn about suppliers in your area, find out if your customers value sourcing criteria like local, organic or gluten-free. Having this information and these key relationships at your fingertips will position your business for success when opening day arrives. 

Know Your Strengths and Plan for Your Weaknesses 

When you first start out, it’s likely you will be wearing multiple hats and doing a lot of the production, marketing and administrative work yourself. It’s important to know what your strengths are and to plan ahead to make sure you have the support you need for the areas where you feel less confident. Being an entrepreneur requires individual gumption, but you don’t have to feel alone. Reach out for the resources you need to succeed. 

Don’t let the logistics keep your food business dreams from coming true. Use these three tips to start your business on the right foot. 

Shellfish for Sale

Buying food online is becoming more and more popular, but when it comes to ordering such delicate products as fish or other fruits of the sea, you should always be sure that you shop fresh seafood.

Buying food online is becoming more and more popular, but when it comes to ordering such delicate products as fish or other fruits of the sea, you should always be sure that you shop fresh seafood.

If you have decided to buy something really tasty and unusual, then shellfish is exactly what you are looking for. What is shellfish? This category of sea creatures includes mollusks, shrimps, lobsters, crabs and so on. Now, shellfish is often regarded as gourmet food because it costs lots of money in restaurants. But it shouldn’t stop you from tasting delicious and rather healthy dishes because you can always cook them at home if spotting fresh shellfish for sale available on the Internet. Bank on it, it would be much cheaper but still delicious.

One of the most popular and desirable representatives of shellfish in the world is crabmeat. Its delicate flavor and texture will never leave you indifferent. There are plenty of variants on how to cook crabmeat. Among the most delicious recipes, you may find crab cakes, crab balls, grilled or boiled crab with vegetables, stewed crab meat with sauce or vegetables. True gourmets have to try chicken breasts stuffed with crab meat, steamed crab legs with different herbs like basil or even crab tacos, burritos and enchiladas.   Why shellfish? Like many other kinds of fish, it is full of vitamins and minerals essential for our bodies. But no other fish has the amount of protein that shellfish boasts. Despite the fact that it is full of protein, it is also low-calorie, which is an obvious advantage. Due to this, shellfish is an appropriate food for both athletes and ordinary people who want to grow muscles without an increase in calories. Another plus of shellfish is Omega-3 fatty acids, necessary for adequate functioning of human organs. Unfortunately, we usually lack them. Other important nutrients shellfish contain are vitamin B12 and selenium.