Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Money For Nothing

In business, there is always the drive to "make more money". Money can easily be the thing that shows success or failure, that gives the business a measure. It is easy to want more money, but what do I want it for?

I've been buzzing around in my mind wondering what to do next to make more $ - especially with the reality of the economy right now. Thinking about different ways to get cookies to the people, and to keep New Moon healthy and happy. My mind is a non-stop machine and I've been thinking around the clock; brainstorming myriad ways to market and sell the cookies.
Sometimes this can feel manic - sometimes it's not time to "sell" but time to dream, imagine, create.
Yesterday I took a really hard Yoga Class - I thought my hips were going to snap or something, and while in the resting at the end of class, with my eyes closed in the dark,  I realized this: Money has to have a clear purpose in order to be acquired. Money is energy, and energy is not static.
In my wanting for more I simply wanted more, but it was directionless. I can say "I want more money to be more successful, or to show more revenue" but what the heck does that mean anyway?
Ever notice when you need money to "pay the rent" or "take a trip to mexico" or "buy the blue coat with buttons" it seems to come?
That's because an intent was stated of what is desired. Intent is an arrow that needs to be cast into the future, to give the present some context.

The clarity in that moment nearly bowled me over;  I have to be clear of what I want money for, and the acquisition has to have a purpose - and better yet, if that purpose is something that creates goodness and balance - then whoa, that is ideal.

I want to move the bakery to a new home. New Moon needs a new space. We're outgrowing what we have and our current space does not reflect our maturity and evolution as a company.
So ya see - it's not actually money I want - it's change (I don't mean nickles and dimes, people). Money just happens to be the currency.

Hear that, Universe??

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Is There a Better Gift than Cookies?

Well, this year I FINALLY decided to do what other companies do: capitalize off of the Holidays...
(not really - you know Baker Babe is not a capitalist).
In actual fact - I decided to create a product that is the anti-thesis of the typical xmas gift.
I don't know about you - but I feel grossed out by how much waste is created in one single month of the year. Wrapping paper alone is enough to make any environmentalist balk.
So here at New Moon we are offering a gift that leaves no trace. That's right... eat the cookies and compost the container.
Guilt-free on so many levels - and since it's the New Year and all, we need to have as little guilt as possible riding on our coattails.

For those of you who are new to my posts - I will let you in on a little secret: I love creative projects! So these STARS cookies have been fun all-around.
First off - after I got the idea, I asked my baking team (the AMAZING Courtney & Helen duo) to do the R&D on the product. So they got busy baking and testing.
Then the lovely Toni at the order desk was offered a commission on every case she sells.
AND THEN - I decided that we would donate a portion of the profits (10%) to a local neighbourhood charity (the Stop Community Food Centre).

Not to be a total cornball - but this is actually a gift that gives. I think it's so cool that at this point in the game I can do stuff like this with the company, that it's not just about "making money" to get by or pay the rent, but about involving the team, being creative, and giving back to our community.

Did I mention that these are really yummy cookies too?? cute little chocolate and vanilla stars - spelt, dairy-free - you know the drill.

Now go get some.

Capitalist Extraordinare

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

The Irony of Freedom

I have worked my b-tt off for years and years. And not just my b-tt; my mind, my heart, my awareness - everything has been working overtime for New Moon Kitchen.
And I always said - "I want to build up the business so I can be an artist". And now here I am - with of course,  always growth to be had, but with the freedom to truly design it the way I want to.
For years I was a technician in my business - baker/bookkeeper/delivery girl/manager/sales rep/quality control/head of marketing. I did all jobs, all the time.  While my friends were in university or travelling, I was building the business, hoping that my investment would one day make sense.  And it has - but here I am, sitting atop an actualized goal and I don't know what the heck to do with myself!!!!
There is a beautiful story in the book called "the book of embraces" (Eduardo Galeano) about a hamster who had been in its cage all its life, and one day the cage was opened, but the hamster stayed in the cage trembling with the "fear of freedom".
I wonder now if the idea of "being free" (and what is that anyway?!) was what drove me all those years to bust a--. There has never been a moment where I wanted to give up on the business, even when I was down to the last drop of energy and something had broken and some baker had quit and I just couldn't do anymore. I knew I was doing it for something special, and I never resented the business.  
It makes sense now - as I look around at the amazing staff that I have, at the awesome products we make every day, the harmony that is inherent to New Moon. It's a beautiful, successful business!! 
So now what??
Now - oh now - I'm still wearing lots of hats - but they are a different kind. In fact, I'm wearing hats I've never worn before; singer, writer, entrepreneur. These hats make me nervous - I don't "know" what to do next. Does anyone have any idea what it's like for a Type A person to "not know"?! 
To be honest - I think the business is offering me some time to figure it out, to maybe even acknowledge what I have achieved, maybe rest this wild mind of mine...
Not sure yet. On the edge of my seat though.... will keep you posted.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

I Baked my First CD

6 years ago a really huge thing happened in my life. It felt like a crossroads and looking back now, it most certainly was.
My best friend and business partner, Susanna, decided to leave the biz and go back to school. I was 25 years old and suddenly faced with a huge decision to make; 'Do I want to run this business by myself? Do I want to make business my career?'.
I was in panic mode all day - I googled other Cookie Business Owners and looked at their pictures saying to myself "But that's not me! I don't want to be that". My stomach was all knotted up.

That evening I had to pick my friend up from the airport, my dad and I drove together. He listened patiently to all my woes and fears and concerns.
"But dad! you know I've always wanted to be a writer and a singer, I don't want to get trapped in business!!"
He calmly replied "you would be foolish to sell your business. It is successful, and it supports you. The key is to make your business a vehicle for you to be able to do what you want to do. Would you rather be a starving artist?"

Well. I am so pleased to announce the launch of my first album: Come Fall.
Recorded in part at New Moon Kitchen, 2 1/2 years in production, with New Moon's support all the way.
We're celebrating with a huge CD release party at the Gladstone Hotel on Sept 30.

Dad - you would be proud.

Monday, 15 September 2008

New Moon Cookies Under Fire

hello all
I am writing this post in case anyone came across a certain slanderous blog entry about us that has been circulating the internet.
If you'd like to see the whole story, there was a follow-up article from TreeHugger which tells both sides of what went down in the Cookie War. You be the judge.

And just so Baker Babe here can make this clear:
Our product is 100% animal-product free
The refined sugar in the chocolate chips we use is not processed with animal char
the vanilla in the chocolate chips does not contain a petrochemical
And we do not hide ingredients from our customers

We have found a chip that uses pure vanilla - and we will be switching over.

It has been a very disappointing experience dealing with this Bad Press - but it has also been a great learning.
Do you know that feeling when someone says something untrue about you - and you have to defend yourself - and it's frustrating because you know you've done nothing wrong?
Well - that was what went down with this. It had all us Baker Babes acting as warriors. I know it's just a silly blog in the middle of the ether on the web - but geez - somebody messed with my baby! And Baker Babe was not happy about that.

If anyone has any questions about the Cookie War - please email me:

Monday, 8 September 2008

Cookies Under Fire!

For those of you who are interested - I wanted to put up a post about some things that have been going on via the web last week.
I blogged about this a few days ago - but just incase there is anyone out there who saw the story and wants some answers - here is the story.
for those who want the history - go to:

long story short:
what came under fire about our dear little cookies was that the chocolate chips we used had refined sugar in them (and that refined sugar uses animal bone char in them) and also vanillin.
We did some research and got official statements from our supplier that there was no animal bone char in the sugar - and no petrochemical in the vanillin.

we were also accused of "hiding" the ingredients in our cookies.
This issue is more relevant, I think, than the other accusations and I feel deserves an explanation to anyone who is curious as to why the ingredients of the chips are not on the bags.
When we designed our packaging in 2004 - the labeeling laws were less stringent in Canada. Especially for companies making under $1 million in revenue annually.
Since then Canada has changed its laws - unfortunately, we still had many many thousands of bags to use up.

I do apologize if anyone feels undersold by this - the

Sunday, 31 August 2008

You Can't Please 'Em All...

So this funny thing happened today that has inspired me to do some blogging.  And wow, it HAS been awhile.
One of my fabulous "baker babes" has been reading up on some blogs related to food & vegetarianism etc... She ended up sending a gift package to a Blogger out in California to pitch a company write-up.

Well, the plan kind of backfired because the Blogger decided to write some pretty slanderous things about our company! wow. got me all fired up.
This blogger is a vegan and was very upset with our choice of Chocolate Chips because they contain Refined Sugar and vanillin.
So I am reading this blog which is very "bold" (let's say) and ooooh - I am getting all fired up because well, New Moon is my baby!! and who does this person think they are and blah blah blah.
I had to take a deep breath and have a little think about how to respond. So many things flooded into my mind in response to the "chocolate chip attack".
Yes, we use a chocolate chip that contains refined sugar, but it is the best quality chip we could find that is dairy free, nut & peanut free, and Kosher Parve. 
If anyone out there knows of a manufacturer that is all those things + 100% vegan - shoot me an email.
It really got me thinking about how difficult it can be to please everyone. We are in the process of creating a gluten-free cookie and man, trying to make a YUMMY gluten-free cookie without dairy, eggs or nuts is HARD. but we're getting there...
At the end of the day - we are about making a quality product. We are about creating a great company, promoting goodness, and having a blast as we climb the cookie ladder.
And yes - there will probably be many people who don't agree with some of what we do, or who don't like our cookies, or who think "baker babe approved" is a silly thing to put on a bag of cookies.

oh well. you can't please 'em all. 
but at least my Nephew Elliot likes 'em (see major cuteness above). 

xo bb

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Planting Seeds

A girl like me is always looking for inspiration. It's part of my job. I have to look forward, think ahead, dream into the future. All that good stuff.
New Moon had a stupendous weekend at the Green Living Show. We sold out of cookies and I had to drive up to the bakery and steal our back-stock just to keep the customers happy! The coolest thing (for me) was the fact that all the Mooner staff ran the booth with me. I felt so proud to have such awesome, enthusiastic people working with me and making New Moon grow. 
Part of my plan for the weekend was to leave the show in the Mooners' hands on the last day and drive to Chicago with my best friend (Shoshanna - you all may remember her, she's in the New Moon archives. The co-founder!).  
The pull to Chicago was for the Global Food & Style Fancy Food Show. I'd read up about the show and wanted to see it for myself.
I loaded up my little car with cookies, plenty of mix CD's and we hit the open road to Chi-Town.
The show itself is a whole other blog post in itself - but man, there were at least 1000 vendors all selling their "latest and greatest" products. Samples were flying left, right and center. There are only so many cheese sticks and chocolate covered Goji berries a girl can eat...
As I wandered the aisles of that massive show I felt so clear in my direction. It reminded me of my dream to take New Moon across the nation and into the states. Spread the love, as it were.
And it wasn't that the show was inspiring per se - in fact, there was so much crap food in there it could have been enough to scare me out of the food industry. It was the pure feeling of knowing that I can do what I dream to do, and that I have an amazing product to offer people - in good consciense!! 
Highlight of the show was over-hearing a conversation that a buyer for a very big (health food!) supermarket chain was in the aisle behind me. I grabbed my wheeled-suitcase full of cookies and chased him down.
"Can I give you some cookies?" I offered, out of breath.
He accepted, checked out the package and told me which distributor to get. Then he gave me his card. I know it's a small thing - but I planted a seed. And I was just flying after that!
That's how we dream the future, right?