Thursday, February 17, 2011

My First Advertisement

This July, Augusta Vegan Bakery will turn two years old! To prepare for this milestone, I have a long list of goals and ideas I'm hoping will help the business continue to grow and flourish. One goal of mine is to spread the word about the bakery. It doesn't matter how delicious or wonderful your product is if no one knows about it! I thought a great place to start would be advertising through blogs that have a similar focus and ethical standing to my company.

My first ad!

Recently, I came across a new blog that fit my criteria perfectly: Rose Pedals Vegan Weddings. Not only am I thrilled by this blog as a vegan bride-to-be, but as a business owner, too. Rose Pedals features all kinds of wonderful and inspiring content for those planning a vegan wedding. So far, I've been impressed by the blog's content, and I'm looking forward to reading more in the future. It seemed like the perfect fit for my first ad, so I went for it! Fiancé and I used one of my newer photos to make the banner ad. We wanted something simple and pretty, and I'm pleased with how it turned out. The ad went live yesterday! Below is how the ad looks on Rose Pedals.

A screen grab from Rose Pedals. You can see my ad on the right!

I'm excited to see what happens now. Maybe there won't be much of a change at all, but it can't hurt to try, and I've got to start somewhere. My fingers are crossed! In the meantime, definitely do check out Rose Pedals Vegan Weddings. There's a bunch of great articles up already, and I'm sure they'll keep coming!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope everyone is enjoying a lovely Valentine's Day today. I'm feeling pretty festive myself, and am looking forward to having a quiet dinner with the fiancé this evening. In case you need a little Valentine's inspiration, here is a little something sweet to help you out: homemade chocolate truffles!

I made these little yummies last year for Valentine's Day, and they were positively decadent! They're easy and fun to make, too. You can find the recipe on my old blog, here.

What sort of deliciousness do you have planned this Valentine's Day?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hearts for Valentine's Day

You may have noticed that one of my favorite colors is pink. My blog is pink, my KitchenAid Mixer is pink, and most of my cooking utensils are pink! Obviously, it was about time for me to make some pink cookies. Lucky for me, I was approached to make some Valentine's Day cookies by a buyer on Etsy. She had ordered my Holiday Sugar Cookies, and thought it might be nice to have some for Valentine's Day, too. I wholeheartedly agree! Here are the cuties I created for her. 

As adorable as fully decorated cookies can be, they are a challenge to ship. When I make them, I allow them to dry fully first (usually overnight). Then, I package them very carefully. After some trial and error, I found that the best method for avoiding breakage and smudging is to wrap them individually in waxed paper. It's a bit more waste, unfortunately, but it ensures that the cookies arrive safely and intact. Obviously, I can never know exactly how they'll arrive to my customer; sometimes items arrive with a bit of damage if the postal carrier happens to throw the box around more than usual. Luckily, though, nine times out of ten the yummies arrive safely and in perfect condition!

Decorated sugar cookies are by far the most delicate thing available from my shop, so I wanted to try out some new methods that might make shipping and handling a little simpler. Though I never made them growing up, I have been aware that sugar cookies are also often made with thinner icings that harden completely when they dry. So I did some research, and decided to give the icing from this recipe a go. Unfortunately, I didn't have any corn syrup on hand, so I had to substitute with the closest thing I had: agave syrup. Things did not turn out as pretty as the picture.

Icing bubbles and crackles

As you can see, when the icing dried, lots of impurities started showing up, and it sort of looked like it had a bad case of freezer burn. Not pretty!

On the plus side, it was really easy to adjust the color with this icing, and I think I created a pretty nice ombré effect with the different shades of pink. Another plus is that they dried nice and solid, so stacking them was a breeze. Also not to be ignored was the taste. They really were delicious with this icing recipe! I think I'll give this a go again soon (St. Patrick's Day shamrocks?), and this time using corn syrup, and making extra sure everything is completely blended. Perhaps those adjustments will yield more attractive results.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine's Day!