One piece of advice that I can give you quite willingly and which you should take to heart is if you enter the cupcake business, you need to pick a partner who understands you.  My husband and I bring different strengths to the table.  We work together often in a small kitchen which is about 10 by 10.  Once my husband was discussing with some male customers how well we got to know each other in such a small space and he stated something like, “If you can stay in the same kitchen in this small area, baking together, washing dishes….”  Several of the men smiled at his joke but I appreciated that some of them were thinking “wow” and not willing to make a comment.  The truth is that baking with another person gives you a comfort level.  Often the other person has quirks or an understanding which forces you to up your game.  Then again, sometimes, we like to bake, decorate alone.

The past week, we have met some interesting customers including a couple looking for a “cache” which is some kind of game or application.  They discovered us and came in for a cupcake at Cupcake Cache.  We had a very big dog without a collar visit us early one morning and park in front of our store and not leave.  That was interesting.  We have had some interesting happenings outside our door including another customer from another store who leaned against our door several times last week while speaking loudly in French on the phone.  No kidding! Florida is home of the weird and the wacky.  I was in the back and when I came out; there she was leaning against our front door so no one could enter.  I went over, opened the door and asked her in French, “May I help you?” I am not sure which surprised her more:  the fact that I spoke French or that I opened the door.  And she did this several times! Weird.  Sometime the very little respect for our small public space bothers me and if you don’t speak up, it continues.  I may have cursed in French also.

We have had some interesting visitors including men trying to sell perfume, meats, sea food, etc.   There have been people walking up and down our small sidewalk arguing at times and leaning against our windows.  I have lived in so many foreign countries immersing myself in the language and the culture that I try to not step on their culture.  Each country has so many different stop lights.  For example:  in the United Arab Emirates, you can go to jail for swearing in public or for verbally attacking a business or a person on social media.  There were some incidents while, walking across the crowded street, being crowded by packs of men which at times made me want to swear but I am pretty certain I didn’t out of fear and respect for the other culture.  I did most of my travelling and working in other countries in my 20s and early 30s, so by the time I met my husband, Michael we had seen the world from somewhat different perspectives.  His training as a military analyst was very different from mine as a wandering English Instructor.  We often clicked when I would tell him some of my stories of being in South Korea during riots and when some North Koreans  defected, the visit to Israel while they were bombing, and my entry into France(Sorbonne) with my visits to my university contact living in the Algerian community.  It is interesting the different perspectives just like baking together in the kitchen, we don’t always see the same picture, but we end up on the same page.  It is just how we arrived is different.  I realize reminiscing that I had blinders on and was absolutely fearless while pursuing my adventures.  During those days, Michael was building a career in the army and raising a family.  The meeting of minds is in the kitchen.  Over a cupcake, we break bread.  And when times are challenging and out mettle is ruffled,  there is a helpful mantra with the words:  “This too shall pass.”

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