This is the end .... of the year, my sweet friends. Time for analysis, reports, summaries which demand pragmatism & reality checks of an ongoing business ; even if a nostalgic abandon seems to move us towards the end of January 2013, when we'll celebrate our 4th St.Sugar anniversary.
So? How did we do ? How was our performance in 2012 ?
Well... What can I say? We did & we are doing exceptionally well. Considering that many businesses are feeling the crunch after the recession, plus the added pressure of an increasing competition for the best pitches & so many people becoming self-employed jumping the street food revolution bandwagon, we never did better.
Competition is good, competiton is great; it emphasises what is truly handmade, where the high quality is, it separates the trolls from the artisans putting the best on high horses.
There was a gap in the market 4 years ago in London & that gap is still there: upmarket patisseries in the tradition of the great French pastry chefs where beauty & superb craftmanship join forces together to turn food into art. It happens in Paris & Tokyo, a megalopolis like London deserves to have the same. In Britain the focus seems to be mainly on snacks & savouries, food to feed you, instead of
-food to please you
-food for food's sake, in the name of Aesthetics.
We are doing our bit to propose a new perspective. I'm sure we'll get there eventually.
In the meantime we had to make some tough choices in difficult times.
After displaying thousands of colourful giant French meringues in the Covent Garden Piazza & being, proudly, the first ones to start new street food trends over there - like our own version of Eton Mess during the summer & the hearthy combo of soups & artisan bread during the cold months, we had to leave that market.
Apparently, restaurants & cafes in the area were resenting our food challenge. Well... I am, nonetheless, proud, in few years of trading in Covent Garden,to have informed thousands & thousands of tourists from any part of the world about the existence of British classics like bread&butter pudding, Eton mess & tea slices.
When it's necessary to move on, you need to know what you stand for. I believe you need to have some ethics even in business because you cannot play a game without rules - as Kant said ; the starry skies above me, the moral law inside me.
We decided to turn down the invitation to attend a new high-standard farmers Market in Old Spitafields starting in 2013 on sat, in order to concentrate of what we have, represented by our regular & growing number of customers.
Moreover, who needs to grow, when you already trade in a road which was part of the Roman Empire : Roman Road Market!
Recently I've been maturing few ideas due to new economic & philosophical reads, with increasing environmental credentials floating into my brain. I am looking for a new, more resposible & sustainable approach in business,which puts producers & consumers face-to-face with direct & personalised offering & service.
Call me crazy, but I even came out with a new oxymoron :
Small is the new Big.
Enough said for 2012. Time to continue the Christmassy celebrations.
I'll leave you with some peace: