Sunday, 31 May 2009

The End Of An Era

Today is the end of an era for our family. Sunday the 31st May, 2009 is the last day of owning and operating our bakery, Westbrook On The Rise Bakery.

We have been in business since the 20th December 1993, except for a 2 year break 1997 - 1999. It has been a long journey.

I sit here to write this morning, to record our journey for the sake of family history. The bakery has been a labour of love at times and also of hate at others. At this point we are glad for it to all be over. The time of small family business in this economic time is over. We have been bought by an expanding company that is based in Sydney. They have purchased this shop sight unseen, internet viewing only. That alone has boggled my brain! The new owner finally arrived yesterday to see his new business.

A bakery that operates seven days a week, with Brendon the only baker, except for some casual help three days per week has been a true test of our capabilities. Mental, emotional and physical. There is not a week goes by that we do have to change staff rosters in some way, someone always wants something different. We are exhausted.

This morning I went to the bakery early to take some last pictures. Brendon is a very good baker having won many, many awards along the way. This has been his creative outlet and together we built our business from a very small, rundown shop in a rural town to a large business with two shops and at times almost thirty employees. Eighteen months ago we sold our larger shop and have been operating the small shop only. This proved harder than we thought, with limited staff and the expectation to be open seven days each week.

As of tonight we are unemployed. I am excited and scared about the future. I know Brendon will find work easily. He has already been offered two positions and just has to decide which he will take. He will have about three weeks off first though. I have been considering my options and applying for administration work, preferably in a professional environment. My creative side is tugging hard though. Maybe I will be able to do both.
Waves of emotion keep engulfing me this morning. I do not know if I am happy or sad. Happy for me, sad for Brendon. He has loved being creative with his product and he is so good at it. I guess that is why he has been offered work so readily.
I think I am just exhausted. Mentally and physically. The work that still lies ahead of me to clean up the business side of the shop is almost overwhelming. I will forge ahead with it though, just so that it is over with as quickly as possible.
Stocktake this afternoon and some cheques deposited into our account tomorrow and that will be the end. Our freezer is loaded with some or our favourites to enjoy in the coming weeks, the children made sure of that - especially Daddy's sausage rolls!
Tomorrow is the beginning of a new life!


Bronny said...

Good morning my friend. Thinking of you both so I read your blog. I was instantly reminded of a line in my favourite movie (You've Got Mail)- 'Closing the shop is the brave thing to do. You are imagining that there is something else out there for you.' Need any help this week? I am available to come and be your slave for the day! Call me. Bron.

Lorraine said...

best wishes for life after owning a bakery....hope all goes well....daunting but exciting times for you all....good luck...and enjoy that break before you plunge into something else...!

Deb said...

Leisa it is going to be aq huge adjustment for you and Brendan. I think you have done a very brave thing and have listened to your inner voices and sold when you have needed too. Now is the time for YOU. Adjust slowly and enjoy, less stress, more time together as a couple and a family.
big hugs.

Marilyn said...

Good luck with your exciting new direction. Change is scarey..but its only change. Onward and upward. Marilyn xoxo

Christy said...

Wow! That is a momentous step. Even with the ups and downs in your bakery business, I think you will look back on that time with joy. That you followed a dream. To last that long as a family business in this mega store world is a feat in itself.

The secret of live is to know the right time to start an endeavor and the right time to bow out

All the best for your future pursuits.


Bev C said...

Best wishes to you and your family. Enjoy your short break together. Happy days.

Connie said...

Wow, you are right - this is a big change that certainly affects your emotions and they in turn can leave you exhausted.

I agree with the previous writers - give yourself some time - don't be too quick to make the new decisions -

Find a place of refreshment before heading into the 'fray'!

Jelly Wares said...

What an emotional time for you and your family...
Here's hoping that the new direction you life is about to go on is as enjoyable and rewarding as the last...

Take Care
Jodie :)

Millie said...

Leisa, hope all is well & that you have enjoyed some much needed time off as a family. I'm sure your creative batteries are recharged & ready to go again. Do keep blogging, your posts are always so delightful.
Millie ^_^

Helz said...

One Door Closes...Another Door Opens.

Just Take Time to Smell The Roses Inbetween Leisa & All Will Be Well...

Judith Tetley said...

Take some deep breaths are free now....and a new journey is about to begin.
Life is good!

nicolette said...

That’s some life-changing decision you made, But I’m sure you will both find new ways to fill your days and earn the money!

I would be scared too, but I never regretted our plunges into new and unknown waters!

Take care!