Thursday, May 28, 2009
Cool Dallas vegetarian baker Covert Vegan Baking Co. folds, new bakery rises phoenix-like from ashes
Co-bakers Chris and Jennie are taking things in a wonderful direction under the fantastic new name "Tough Cookie Bakery."
DALLAS Covert Vegan Baking Company, the small but wonderful all-vegan baking company, is folding. Baker-owner Rachael McBride hits us the sad, bad news on her blog.
Recently I made the difficult decision to give up Covert Vegan Baking Company. It was not one I came to easily; in fact, it is something that I have been agonizing over for months. Truth be told, I have wanted to do this for some time, but have let myself be talked out of many times, both by myself and others. Though I haven't taken the time over the last year to update the blog, a lot has happened. Many times I wanted to come here and share the good news, but time has been an elusive luxury. Please allow me to explain.
I founded Covert Vegan Baking Company with the hope that I would be able to generate enough business to eventually be able to open my own bakery, and have gained a bit of notoriety in Dallas for it. At the same time, I've also been working at a demanding full-time job, so I've spent the last year really burning the candle at both ends. I had to stop taking orders from individuals because it simply became too much, so I limited the work to making things for Green Spot Eco Mart and Crooked Tree Coffee House (both of whom had picked up Covert Vegan products about a year ago). Even still, that was a lot to juggle along with work, and much of my free time was eaten up in my kitchen (no pun intended. Okay, maybe a little). My hope of drumming up enough business (and subsequent income) was possible, but there are only so many hours in a day, and so many batches of cookies that can fit into each of those hours. I had created a monster, but that monster was still my baby. I was exhausted, but I didn't want to abandon it.
The time had come for me to admit to myself that it was just too much. I've thought about it for some time, talked about it, agonized over it, and all I can say is that I know it's the right thing to do. For the last several months, I have been doing this simply out of obligation, not wanting to let anyone down- those who encouraged me to start in the first place, those who supported me so much, those who liked my stuff and would be sad to see it go, and especially the wonderful people at Crooked Tree. At the same time, though, I was no longer enjoying this thing I used to love, and was spending way too much time and effort getting nowhere. Life is not meant to be all work, so the time came for me to redefine my priorities. My only conflict was that I still wanted vegan baked goods to be available, but happily, that conflict was answered.
My friends Chris and Jennie, who are also vegan professional bakers, have taken the reigns. These two were trying to build their baking business as I was trying to end mine, and the serendipity and synchronicity were too compelling to ignore. It's a win for everyone that I am incredibly grateful for and relieved over. They have the time, the equipment, the space, the know-how, and most importantly, the desire and discipline to make this work. All I had was the recipes, which are now theirs, too. About two weeks ago, I delivered to Crooked Tree for the last time. I cried. A lot. Two days after that, Jennie delivered to Crooked Tree for the first time. Later that day, I hung out there and ate a cinnamon roll I didn't make for the first time in years. It was awesome.
In the last two weeks, I have had more free time than I have in a year. It has been such a tremendous relief. I get to rest, and yummy vegan baked goods are still available in Dallas. Chris and Jennie are already taking things in a wonderful direction under the fantastic new name "Tough Cookie Bakery." As for me, my days of being the Covert Vegan aren't ending; they're simply changing. After a little while longer of sitting around and enjoying my newfound free time, I plan to start writing again here in the sadly neglected Covert Vegan blog. My focus will be on making it easier to be vegan in Dallas- where to eat, what to avoid, things you might not think of, supporting green and vegan-friendly businesses, funny stories, answering common questions, etc. I hope this can become as well known as Covert Vegan the Baker was, but even if it helps just a few people, or maybe entertains someone, that would be nice. Still, do me a favor and subscribe, wouldja?
So, I guess that's about it. As Covert Vegan Baking Company fades into the horizon, Covert Vegan the blogger will start running her mouth. And as for Rachael...she'll be baking only what she wants, when she wants, and that will freaking rock.
Thanks to the dashing Eddie G. for tip!