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Summertime News

Hi Everyone,

I hope you're all having an excellent summer! While our oven has been idle for much of the summer months, there is more than enough things going on to fill up the time. It's to the point now where I wonder how we ever got any baking done last winter!

Why We're Not Baking #

For us, the summer has been spent on three big activities:

  • The Regina Fujioka Student Exchange: Ben's Japanese exchange program is in the 'Hosting' year, which means we hosted a lovely 13 year old girl named Misa Haragai in early August. July was spent fundraising and preparing for the 8 day adventure. I'm also in charge of communications between the 25 Canadian families who were involved, which meant building and maintaining a social website for everyone to communicate. I can't link to it since it's invitation-only (young kids = stronger security) but it's been working pretty well. The exchange truly was an outstanding and life changing experience for all of us, and the Japan trip is still a year off!

  • The Lakeview Community Association: As some of you know, Cindy and I have been involved in the LCA for 7+ years now and although we try to retire, most of our colleagues keep moving away, so we remain. I spent most of the summer planning a volunteer recruitment drive and revamping the LCA website. The recruitment drive is limping along (it appears we have to design it AND execute it) and the website is starting to crank along. My goal is to share information about the community at large, and have subscriptions so everyone can get updates in their email. If you live in southwest Regina, why not subscribe? If you live in Lakeview, and want bread again, why not volunteer?

  • The MS Bike Tour: To celebrate my forty-something birthday, Cindy signed the two of us up for the MS Bike Tour in Waskesiu on September 13. Today (August 24) we started training and seeking pledges. I was grateful for the strong frame on my bike because, unfortunately, my cycling regimen has been quite poor this summer. We're going to struggle through regardless.

Now, I'll be getting into the bread business in a second, but the reality is that we don't know when we'll be opening again.  What I will promise, however, is that if you pledge Mark or Cindy in the MS Bike Tour, there will be free bread for you.  Guaranteed by the end of September (unless you are away in September.)  Just click the links above (on our names) to learn more about the tour.

What About the Bread? #

I'm a member of the Bread Baker's Guild of America and two BBGA items really shaped my summer.  The first was my trip to Edmonton back in June which was pretty discouraging when the talk got down to the nuts and bolts of operating a small bakery in 2008.  That and I spent much of July following a discussion of all the risks and threats of running an undercover bread operation.  Not a pretty sight, which strengthened our resolve to either do this 'for real' or stop.

One of the problems I'm having is getting concrete information on what's acceptable facilities for 'home baking' that can be sold at bake sales, farmer's markets and the like.  I recently reached out to the Regina Farmer's Market folks to see what their rules are and hopefully that will help.

We've received a lot of support from our existing customers and new folks who want to be a part of the Orange Boot Experience.  Thank You!  There have been many days when we wonder if we're ever going to crack this nut, and your encouraging emails and visits make us want to keep trying.

If this sounds like we're on the fence, well, it is.  Sorry.  The path forward is as muddy as it was back in June.  But I think of you folks as our Board of Directors, who deserve to know what's going on and have the opportunity to provide some direction too.  Does the path forward seem really clear to you?  Please tell us!  If it requires some sitting time on the back patio, come on by!