Friday, September 11, 2009
Please come visit the new home of The Good, The Bad, The Batter blog at Treet! If you get our RSS feeds here now, please switch on over to http://www.treetshop.com/feed/.
We are proud to announce that you are now officially only 3 steps away from having Treets at your front door- YUMMY! Also, this new site was quite the "labor o' love" so we have some special and super talented peeps we'd like to thank:
- The brilliant eye of Lean Stern of Leah Stern Photography
- The beautiful graphic design of Michael Russo
- The tech guru Kyle Spector
Without these three talented (both thoughtfully and creatively) people our site would only be a plain glazed donut and not the delicious eye candy that it is today! THANK YOU!
Enjoy, and we'd love to hear your feedback!
Friday, September 4, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Our new little southern bells of mini cupcake goodness will be making a "trial" run at Saturday's Farmer's Market. So, if you are jonesing for some sweet cream cheese icing, come visit us from 10-2pm at the UDC on the corner of Connecticut Ave and Van Ness!
Next up on the mini cupcake trials? "Gimme Gimme Gimme S'more!"
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
5:00am- Toss and turn until I begrudgingly get up to insert "Remember steel cut oats" into my "tasks" on my crackberry
7:00am- Do my best looking impression of the "Time to Make the Donuts" man, check crackberry, shower, brush, and head out to run errands before heading to the new kitchen
9:00am- Attempt to carry way to many boxes of goodies down the stairs to the kitchen...stop momentarily to reflect on sad lack of balance and arm strength...head into kitchen and get ready to "shake n' bake"
9:15 - 6pm - Bake up a storm: mix mini cupcake batter, bake, make buttercream, ice the mini's, bake off the Health Nut cookies, package, store, clean, tap dance, solve Michael Jackson death mystery, and head home
7pm- Mom and me make dinner for the family
8pm-11pm- Answer emails, attempt to think straight, dream up new recipes, marketing, marketing, marketing, and last but not least write beloved blog post
11pm- Rest up and get ready to repeat!
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009
"We hold these Treets to be self-indulgent, that all people shall enjoy them equally, that they are baked with delicious local ingredients, that among these are butter, eggs and berries."
Treet is happily whipping up some great American BBQ dessert favs (brownies) for tomorrow's festivities. I'm hoping that the sweets enhance the celebration of both our great nation and our right to the pursuit of happiness!
Happy 4th of July!
Monday, June 29, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
At 6pm the phone rang and the order was heard loud and clear,"Mini cupcakes [for the 300] by tomorrow". Suddenly, the serene scene of moments ago sprang to life with new opportunity! The chef and sous chef's were ready. Adorned with aprons, and armed with unbending spatulas and spirits they mixed on! In the end, the 300 were pleased, the chef's were proud, and the battlefield was at peace...until the phone rings again.
Treet was honored to be a part of a fabulous evening at the National Press Club celebrating,"The Official Launch Party for the BEST OF DC". Congratulations to Matthew Davis for his triumph of a book, and to Polished by Tu-anh for executing a picture perfect celebration!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
to share something sweet
and meet n' greet
what a treat!
For more of my poetry check out the upcoming blockbuster smash hit, "Shakespeare in Love Part Deux: Thoust Doeth Stinketh"
Seriously though- what has me so excited I've burst out into cheesy rhymes? Tomorrow night, Treet, will be making an appearance at two events at the same time! The first event is the previously mentioned- Women Opening Doors for Women Dinner, Voting with Your Fork! Making Sustainable and Healthy Food Choices. The second event is a cocktail extravaganza at the Hudson Restaurant and Lounge, celebrating the 1 year anniversary of our friend, Tara Silver's, successful PR business, Silver Strategy. Treet's that can expect to make an appearance: X-Ray Vision Carrot Cake Cupcakes, Crem Della Crem French Vanilla & Chocolate Cupcakes, and our super delicious brownies!
I know it sounds corny, but soup and corn bread is like a match made in comfort food heaven!
Monday, June 15, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Recently, my friend Leah Stern of Leah Stern Photography contacted me in regards to catering some Treets for her friend's baby shower. Leah gave me free reign to brainstorm fun ideas for the goodies...little did she know there is nothing I love more than "out of the box" thinking! I asked her for some muses so she provided me with the following nuggets of info on the parents-to-be:
- Big fans of the woods- trees, mountains, wildlife, etc
- The baby's name was a "labor of love" to come up with
- They are volunteer firefighters- which is an extremely big part of their lives
Unfortunately, as the creative juices started flowing the intermingling of the woods with anything to do with fire seemed a bit morbid- although I did think that s'mores cupcakes would be divine! So, I came up with a solution of combining #2 & #3- fireman hat cookies with the babies initials on the medallion.
A big THANK YOU to Leah Stern of Leah Stern Photography for supplying the cookie pics!
Friday, June 5, 2009
CA (Coffee Anonymous): Hi, Theresa! Tell us about him...
ME: Well he is the greatest dad! He flew all the way in from Tucson, AZ just to help his little girl open her Treet shop. Since, he's arrived we've had all sorts of meetings with local vendors for various products from paper to butter. I started getting concerned though when we had an abnormally high amount of meetings with coffee roasters...in fact at least one everyday for the next two weeks! With each meeting my father's eyes got wilder and brighter with the vast amount of samples. From Colombian to Aramaic and Jamaican they are being brewed constantly (I think my coffee machine is almost on the skids)!
CA: Well it seems he is just sampling so he can find the best product for your shop. Why all the concern?
ME: That's what I thought, until I got home yesterday and found him hanging from the light fixture, shaking and holding his twelfth cup of french roast! I tried to knock the cup away from his hand but it seems that the java jacket has molded permanently to his fingers, just like a good pair of Birkenstock shoes! I fear the worst!
CA: We suggest you lock the coffee up and warn the neighbors! Also try making a decision on your preferred vendor ASAP so his supply dries up.
Monday, June 1, 2009
A $15 donation to Homeward Trails includes a free glass of wine or beer. 10% of wine and food sales goes directly to Homeward Trails. The patio space faces into a courtyard, so bring your dogs for some fun canine competitions!
What: A relaxing summer evening, live music, a free drink (with your $15 donation) and some goofy games for the dogs!
When: 4-9pm, Sunday, June 7th
Where: Grand Cru Restaurant & Wine BarIn the courtyard behind Vapianos4401 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22203
Why: To help save homeless animals!
1) Fair and Square: Treat employees and customers kindly and with respect
2) Never Throw Stones at Glass Houses: Stay focused on your own vision, values and team in order to be successful
3) Be a Horse of A Different Color: Stand out among your competitors offering customers something unique and special
4) You Can Catch More Flies with Honey Than Vinegar: Set the bar for customer service towards anyone and everyone associated with your business (i.e. vendors, lawyers, contractors, farmers, patrons, etc)
5) There is always a "Plan B": No matter what, strive to make your business the best it can be!
...and last but not least
6) Take A Penny...Give a Penny: Take time for causes, give back to the community, and help conserve Mother Nature
...which leads me to the point of this post (finally)...as part of my business each month, Treet will feature a "Do-gooder" (i.e. charitable organization) for which a percentage of proceeds from a special item will go too. I will also assist these Do-gooders with advertising in any way that I can...which leads me to the next post....
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
In fact, it makes me a little bitter to know that I spent all that money and four years of time to learn about retailing and marketing when all I really needed to do is buy a year round "magic" pass at DisneyWorld. From a retailing/marketing perspective Disneyland is my sensei and I its lowly Ralph Macchio! From the moment you step off the plane in Orlando, as a consumer, they have you hooked. Informational (i.e., promotional) videos while you are stuck on a bus for 1/2 hour, branded key cards that second as your park tickets and third as a credit card, mazes of branded/themed merchandise you have to walk through just to get out of a ride....the list of marketing genius goes on and on!
I would be doing a disservice to my food oriented blog if I didn't mention the Disney delectables. From Mickey shaped rice crispy treats to filet mignon - Disney has you covered! I recommend the turkey legs and churro (not together)....delish!
I only had two major gripes as a consumer: (1) Disney is renowned for their customer service... yet we could hardly wrangle a "have a nice day” out of most of the greeters. In these tough economic times it is key to pump up the customer service and make sure you are showing gratitude to your loyal customers! (2) The prices were as steep as the Tower of Terror ride! For example, to buy our hilarious picture of our terrified faces from the Tower of Terror a 8"x10" was over $20! To purchase a bottle of Dasani water you're looking at throwing down at least $2.50. I think instead of M-O-U-S-E, Disney should start spelling out R-I-P-O-F-F. Look, everyone expects high prices from the happiest place on earth, but to make us feel better about it shouldn't our totals be followed by an extra chipper "Have a Nice Day"?
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
SunTrust is my bank, because it truly supports the small business owner from start ups to established companies (unlike the "bank of opportunity"). One major plus of doing my business banking with them is that they host panel discussions on a regular basis covering important/timely topics for small biz owners. Today I attended my first. I was interested to see what the speakers had to say, but it was at the Mandarin Oriental and free breakfast was involved too!
Aside from free eggs and pastries, I learned a great deal from the speakers and the attendees. In particularly, from panel speaker, Steve Strauss, author of The Small Business Bible (of which I am the proud owner of a signed copy). Steve pointed out that increased marketing and innovation is key to your company surviving and thriving through poor economic times. In addition, small biz owners should go back to the 80/20 rule to find what proportion of time they spend on the parts of the business that generate the most revenue. Since, the 80/20 rule is admittedly one of the only things I clearly remember from college, I believe this is solid advice that I plan to keep close in my pocket as I enter the bricks and mortar business world this summer.
Aside from what I actually learned today, I'd like to highlight my favorite quotes from a few of the entrepreneurs in attendance:
"My exit strategy is spelled D-E-A-T-H"
"I'm in the business of making money. I don't do poverty"
"I knew there was something valuable to the chicken manure when I saw the heaps steaming"
It takes all kinds to start a small business...and if there weren't enough "horses of a different color" what a bland world we would live in!
Friday, May 15, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
So, this little side story leads me to my promised poll. As I discussed in my previous post, I'm doing my due diligence when it comes to the quality of my ingredients. I know I have my opinions, but I'd love some insight into my consumers. So, please take a second to click on this poll: Near or Far
P.S. I am proud to have worked in two Sesame Street references in the infant stages of this blog!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
So, I have asked some taste testers to do a blind taste test of the 2 types of cornbread (local and store bought). I'll keep you posted on the feedback, and yes, I realize this is far less exciting than Pepsi vs. Coke, but cornbread needs its 5 minutes of fame too!
Stay tuned for my next poll which will ask your opinion in the great debate of local vs store bought!
Friday, May 8, 2009
What is this place? The place that should have an "Enter at your own risk" sign outside? The location that could send grown men away in tears...it is... The Restaurant DEPOT!
Yes, yes, the name sounds innocent enough, but let me give you some perspective. We have all been to Costco, BJ's, Liquidators, etc. These giant purchasing extravaganza's are basically giant wholesale warehouses, where you know you're never leaving without having to strap things to the roof of your car, and spending at least $250. These shopping trips while fulfilling, can be somewhat chaotic since you are buying things in large bulk containers that tend not to fit in the average 4 door sedan. In theory, the DEPOT (as I refer to it in my nightmares) should be similar, but the merchandise is specific for those in the food business. Good idea, right? But something in this DEPOT has gone horribly wrong! Between dodging giant cans of tomato sauce flying of the shelves, and the plethora of fork lifts beeping there way over you teetering with hundreds of pounds of produce, it feels less like a bargain and more like the 5th Indiana Jones movie!
So, what is in this place that makes risking my life worth it? It's cheap, and instantly gratifying since you don't have to wait for delivery. Are these two things enough to keep me going back?
Honestly, not very often. I'm still recovering from my brief encounter yesterday....phewww!
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
The official definition of a baker's dozen by 1864 Hotten's Slang Dictionary reads, "This consists of thirteen or fourteen; the surplus number, called the inbread, being thrown in for fear of incurring the penalty for short weight". Since the way "inbread" is used as a baker's term here made me giggle, I decided to read on...
The definition behind the phrase came about centuries beforehand thanks to the strict regulations of the....(ready for this name)....The Worshipful Company of Bakers (I am not yet a member). Starting with Henry II this groups was tasked with the regulation of trade and bakers, which included a statute in 1266 that regulated the price of bread based on the price of wheat. Per this strict law, "Bakers or brewers who gave short measure could be fined, pilloried or flogged, as in 1477 when the Chronicle of London reported that a baker called John Mund[e]w was 'schryved upon the pyllory' for selling bread that was underweight." Note: my next order of research will be on the definitions of "schryved" and "pyllory".
So, there you have it: The inbread saved the baker's from being flogged, and in an effort to become more "PC" it's now affectionately called "the baker's dozen".
Monday, May 4, 2009
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I L-O-V-E the smell of coffee brewing! In fact, I'm pretty sure that if I were a cartoon the smell would sweep me off my feet, and float me toward it. Alas, I am unable to drink the devilishly delicious brew! So, I settle for the next best thing- tea!
It's "tea time" at Treet, and I'm very busy researching and sampling purveyors of fine teas. So, far my search has brought me from Bangkok to Paris and everywhere in-between (from the boring comforts of my home of course-sigh). I'm testing the taste differences in organic, loose leaf, silk sachet, paper sachet, machine brewed, etc, too.
During my most recent search I've come into contact with the people at Honest Tea (based in Bethesda, MD) and Harney & Sons (Upstate NY). I can not wait until I get my samples, so I can be whisked away again with exotic flavors like Pomegranate Oolong (oooh), Dragon Pearl Jasmine, and Moroccan Mint!
Catcha later Lipton!
Monday, April 27, 2009
Securing a retail location in a big city is like forgetting to hit the 57 (or hold the pickle) on a Heinz 57 bottle, and waiting in "real time" for the ketchup to slug out! Alas, if patience is a virtue I should be just about ready for sainthood by now.
So, here is my "baby steps" location update - I sent out an LOI (which is a Letter of Intent - oooh, so official sounding) to the Landlord of the location I have been "eyeing" (this is a clue). The LOI is basically your wish list of terms you'd like in your lease. You prepare it for the Landlord, and then they put big read strike-throughs in your wish list, and send it back to you :). That is where I am now - the ball is in their court, which means this could take as long as the NBA playoffs!
Friday, April 24, 2009
Recently, through the Homeward Trails organization I had the pleasure of meeting an up-and-coming photographer, Leah Stern, of Leah Stern Photography. She is not only a do-gooder (which I love), but she has a brilliant photographic eye. Via Leah (I'm such a poet), I was introduced to Chelsea, of Simple Pleasures Consulting. Chelsea's start up concept is a holistic approach to wedding planning where it's less about the stress, and all about the well being and happiness of the bride and groom. Chelsea has a 360 degree approach that will turn bridezilla into Buddha (but healthy and beautiful of course :) ). Last, but certainly not least, in the start-up talent pool is Clare, of Flowers by Clare. I met, Clare through a friend of a friend (one of those 6 degrees of Kevin Beacon type situations), and boy am I glad I did! Not only is Clare a wedding veteran (with 24 and counting under her belt), but she is a very gifted flower designer. This combo means she is the perfect person to have on your side for an easy breezy beautiful floral experience at your wedding or special occassion!
So, myself and the other three start ups have decided to join talent forces in sort of a Sisterhood of Start-ups (SOS). The SOS will not share the same pair of jeans, but we will work together to support each other's business ventures. It's such a unique and special thing to have a female support system in business, and I for one am looking forward to the next SOS luncheon!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
75 degrees and sunny + sitting outside people watching at downtown location + pasty white skin = I'M VERY BADLY SUN BURNED
Yep, that's right I have a horrible farmers burn since I was wearing sleeves and a v-neck shirt...silly, stupid, pale Baking Powder!
The "sunny-side" of my day, however, was that I was able to do some good research about my potential location. In fact, while I was crispy-crittering my arms, a friendly professional woman decided to share my table with me. So, I asked her what she thought of my concept for the neighborhood. She loved it, and thought it was just what the area needs! She also shared with me some great constructive advice regarding the traffic during August (potential opening month) due to Congress not being in session. In addition, she advised me to target the large building across the street from my spot since it is filled with lawyers looking for a good afternoon snack beyond Starbucks. So, office tastings here I come! I do hope she will be one of my first customers in the future! We shall see...the search continues!
Remember to take the cupcake poll if you haven't already: http://www.pollmonkey.com/p.asp?U=6702658127
I promise my next post will really be about - does size matter? I just wanted to build the anticipation :)
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
The Renaissance of the cupcake that started with Magnolia in New York has now spread it's buttery teachings south, to DC. Here, the cupcake is such a dessert phenomenon that I'm surprised they have not commissioned a new mural to be painted on the ceiling of the Library of Congress with buttercream swirls reaching out for the sprinkles of Hello Cupcake, Cake Love and Red Velvet Cupcakery!
In fact, I'm finding it hard to resist the temptation to jump on the band wagon since every time I tell someone I'm opening a bakery they immediately say, "Will you have cupcakes?". Thus, I ask you all for your opinions once again!
Click here to take my new poll: It's a cake in a cup...discuss
One major thing I can agree on with cupcake enthusiasts is the ease of making these cakes in a cup. In fact, the history of the cupcake teaches us that these little cakes where also called "number" cakes due to the easy-to-memorize "cup" measurements required for the recipe: One cup of butter, two cups of sugar, three cups of flour and four eggs plus one cup of milk and one spoonful of soda.
The major argument I have with cupcake people is this- does size really matter? Which brings me full circle to the theme of my next post...stay tuned!
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
The other reason I feel a kinship with "Fred the baker" is because it's time for me to "rise and shine" before 8am...NOOOO! Yes, I have to do my due diligence with the locations I am considering, which means I need to practically camp outside of them morning, noon and night to watch people traffic. Thus, "Theresa the 'not a morning person' baker" will start by scoping out the downtown area at 7am! Have mercy my morning cup of caffeine.........
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
As promised here is the link to poll #1:
I will be attempting one poll per week on my blog from this day forward in order to gain a deeper understanding of what makes cookie monsters crave cookies! With your feedback you will help "Treet" create the yummiest most outrageously scrumptious cookies in DC (or even the whole world...woooow)!
So, I hope my powers of persuasion have convinced you to participate in my poll. If not I will have to try harder next time!
Monday, April 6, 2009
Friday, April 3, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
In my search for the ultimate bakery locale in DC, I've been introduced to locations in areas called Glover Park, Georgetown, Downtown, etc. All of which have that cozy relateable namesake, or general direction in their titles which I can Wiki too find out more about. So when a location in....are...you..ready...for...it...Crystal City...was brought to my attention I immediately thought, "Does the Wizard live there? And does he have a good chocolate chip cookie recipe?"
Come to find out (to my dismay) the Wizard does not live there (or maybe he does, but is unlisted), and it is not even in DC! In fact, it is located in Arlington, VA. Crystal City is a small area near the Pentagon, Reagan National Airport, and downtown DC. It hosts over 27k commuters per day and 17k visitors per day on the weekend.
So, you learn about somewhere new everyday in this business. And who knows, perhaps if I ride into town with a horse of a different color the people of this "Emerald" City will embrace me?
Monday, March 30, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Cher: No, she's a full-on Monet.
Tai: What's a monet?
Cher: It's like a painting, see? From far away, it's OK, but up close, it's a big old mess.
And why is this babble relevant to my bakery business? Because the term and definition so brilliantly quoted here describes what it's like to look for the "perfect"(i.e., non-Monet) Treet location in DC. See from the outside the location looks good - foot traffic (check), good window space (check), able to have a bakery on premise (check), etc., etc. But this is prior to opening the doors, or should I say the "flood gates" (insert loud screams of horror here)!
Today, I learned a great lesson from two very wise women "in-the-know". Even if you are in love with a location, if the actual building is a Monet, you have nothing but a "big old mess" - not a profitable business. So, sometimes the "Van Gogh" location is better - at first site it seems a bit confusing and more of a hassle, but after a second look it has great depth of potential, and a lot more monetary value!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Seriously, who has time for sweet sweet sleep when I have to get a business up and running by summer...eek! This week besides the R&D, I've been contemplating locations, and I'm close, but no cigar yet! See the biggest issue is what type of business I want to have: A) Daytime office crowd with potential for some college students (weekdays only) B) The after dinner pre-party 20 something crowd (weekends and nights) or C) The "family time" crowd (after school and weekends). What's my preference? I stick with my tried and true motto, "The more the merrier"! But sadly, that does not solve my dilemma this time. So, on tomorrow's agenda- walk through of a type "A"....to be continued
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
So, today I'm rolling up my sleeves and diving in to some cookie recipe development for my shop. As I flip through my recipes I keep stopping at my old faithful and personal fav, peanut butter (PB). As I contemplate tempting fate, I think about what PB ever did to deserve a bad rap...who's ever heard of King's PB anyways? And I haven't eaten a Reeses or Keebler Elves (those creepy tree dwellers)cookie in years! Alas, whenever I bring up the topic of featuring a deliciously all natural PB cookie in my shop I get an "eek" or "is PB safe". So, I've done a little research in order to help preserve the integrity of my beloved butter from a nut. Here are some helpful links to the FDA in regards to the peanut recall, and to an article about where the evil peanuts first hailed from.
So, now I turn to the readers to see your thoughts and opinions on PB. To PB or not to PB? That is my question!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Any-who I thought it was appropriate for my first official blog entry. I've also attached a well themed article from Newsweek: "Striking Out On Your Own". It's a very interesting read that encourages those with an entrepreneurial spirit to keep on trucking during these grim times...and that is exactly what I intend to do! I hope it may potentially ignite the ingenuity in some of my readers who have so many fabulous talents and passions they'd love to pursue!
Today "Treet" was officially introduced onto the Information Super Highway (remember when it was called that?). It's just in it's infant stages since I'm in the midst of a photo shoot still...and by photo shoot, I mean me trying to look as slim as possible in my impossibly over sized chef's jacket next to deliciously chocolaty brownies. So in the meantime, here is the link so you can save it to your favorites (remember this blog to...it's a keeper!): http://www.treetshop.com/
In the words of Bartles and James...."I thank you for your support". Remember to keep checking in to see what I'm cooking up.......