Saturday, January 23, 2010

Weekend Post: The Other Baby (our bread baking business)

I have decided to share our story with you of how we met and how we have taken a road less traveled into the baking business. I wrote our story for the business and thought it would be something fun to post on the Archangel Reflections on the weekends. I wrote the story geared more towards customers, so it is not as "spiritual" as my writings for this blog. I am sure some of you will find part of your life in this story and others who are thinking of starting their own business might be completely scared away from doing so! This story is the other side of how my faith has grown. Not only through motherhood but all of the hard times of starting our own business as well. There will be 10 parts to this story, so here is part one. Today is the anniversary of our first date, 11 years ago! Enjoy.

People always ask how in the world did we get into the baking business. It’s long and complicated and I always hate to bore people if they really don’t care; therefore, people can now read our story at their own discretion. I am also writing our story for you to look at the Village Baking Co. bread sitting on your table or on your kitchen counter top a little differently. For one, bread is a beautiful and romantic food that has been nurturing people physically and spiritually for thousands of years. We feel honored to carry on this ancient tradition in such a modern, instant, and processed world. For each pour of water, pinch of salt, cup of sugar, and measured yeast, you will find a developed product full of history, passion and integrity. Little did you know that every step of our journey thus far had you in mind. On this journey of the road less traveled each stop sign, road block, flashing light along with our sweat, tears and fear, you were in the back of our minds. We wanted to share our passion and love for bread with others. So with this story, you will come to know all that has taken place to bring our loaves of bread into your home. So pull up a chair, a crusty baguette, a glass of wine and enjoy reading about a divine intervention, falling in love, chasing dreams, being flat broke, laughing at mistakes, and just being plain crazy.

I grew up on a century old farm and ranch in the Panhandle of Texas. I lived out on the golden Texas plains where I worked cattle on horseback, showed pigs in 4H, drove a tractor in my bikini top and shucked corn during harvest. Little did I know that five hundred miles away was my future husband, Clint Cooper. Clint grew up in Colleyville, TX, which is in the heart Dallas Fort Worth. This was before Colleyville was considered the “burbs”. It was a small town where Clint road his bike everywhere, fished in his backyard pond, played baseball in the pasture and went duck hunting just a mile away from his house. A good old boy and a country girl Texas Tech bound in the fall of 1995. Both having deep roots of a loving family who taught us the basic necessities of life….good morals, a strong work ethic, & perseverance in all things.

Our story began on a cold Thursday night, January 22, 1999 in Lubbock, Texas. We were both in our senior year at Texas Tech. My friends and I were at our regular Thursday night hangout, Conference CafĂ©. We were sipping on $1 schooners of beer (oh, those were the days) and chatting about Christmas break when I glanced at the front door. In walked this dark-haired dream with old worn wranglers, a button-down plaid polo shirt, dirty boots, a scuffed leather belt, and a dirty white cap. To make a long story short, after staring a hole through him, the waitress brought me a beer. I told her I didn’t order it and she went onto say, the guy in the white hat did. He later pulled up a chair and the love story began. He was a dream come true…..a good-old boy who loved to hunt, drove a dirty pick up truck with his chocolate lab by his side, good looking, and a complete gentleman. Funny what us country girls like in a man. If you were to ever tell me that night that he would be a baker some day and I would become a baker’s wife, I would have laughed in your face! Oh, how life is so unpredictable!

After falling in love and graduating in August 1999, Clint landed his first job at Dell Computers with his new business degree. I, on the other hand, took an internship in NYC with an interior designer. We parted our ways but kept the romance alive through letters and email. I was offered a job with Victoria Hagan Interiors but found myself yearning to get back to Texas as I sang Merle Haggard while walking down Madison Avenue. Clint welcomed me home at the Austin airport with a six-pack of Shiner bock and lots of kisses along with a few tears. Hunter, the dog, was happy too. I worked in Austin for a while and Clint thought life in the real world was pretty easy with his six- figured job just months after graduating. We took in every aspect of living in the Hill country. On Saturday mornings we would get us a cup of CC’s coffee and head to lake Austin where Clint, Hunter and I would have coffee in the kayak as we floated down the river. Almost every Saturday night we were at a different dance hall. Dressed in our boots and jeans, we ate BBQ, drank beer and danced the night away to old fashion country music. On Sunday mornings after Mass at St. Mary’s, we would change into our fishing gear and head to Llano, TX, just an hour outside of Austin. There we would fly fish, picnic and read books on the bank of the Llano River. After a relaxing afternoon, we would head into town at sunset and eat at our favorite place, Cooper’s BBQ. We basked in the glow of falling even more in love those several months in Austin. To be continued........


Frugal Jen said...

What a beautiful story! I can't wait to read more.

amwz photography said...

so fun... oh, you need pictures with all of this... but your writing is so picturesque I think my vision might just be enough..
oh, young love!