fanny & jane this summer

Before I tell you my big Fanny & Jane news, I have to share this shot of the Greenpoint Food Market that was featured on the New York Times Dining Blog today! You can see Faryn and me right there in the middle! (She’s in plaid and I’m behind her.) Mom! The New York Times!!!

Unfortunately, the related article isn’t so exciting. It explains that the beloved, “scrappy and creative” Greenpoint Food Market is canceling its June 26 event, due to New York City health code requirements that GFM vendors may not have been meeting.

It’s a real bummer that this fantastic market is going to be skipping a month. Fanny & Jane has participated for the last few months and it’s been a great experience. But I have faith that JoAnn Kim, the market’s founder, will be bringing it back in no time. She’s a savvy young woman, and the GFM vendors who stand behind her are nothing short of innovative, ambitious and talented.

Anyway, on to our own Fanny & Jane announcement!! I have some interesting news.

Faryn and I (and Kevin, who does more than his fair share for the biz) have decided to put the bakery on a summer hiatus. We’re going seasonal!


1. THE HEAT. There’s no good way for a small operation like ours to be making, shipping and delivering chocolate or melt-able sweets in the summer time. We’ve been doing it up until just yesterday and even that was really pushing it. For instance, I delivered sweets to the (fun! fabulous!) Blog Out Loud event last night in an awkwardly heavy cooler filled with ice packs. (Check out that link for some great shots of the event and our sweet treat table.) And even the ice pack method is a dangerous game when it comes to making sure the desserts arrive deliciously intact. This is our first summer with the bakery, so we’re learning!

2. THE PROCESS. It’s time to step back from the biz for a few months. I feel good about this decision, it feels right – it’s time to reevaluate exactly what we’re doing here.

We’ve had a ton of success since we went full speed ahead with the bakery last fall. We promised ourselves at the time that we’d just do the holidays, and then reassess. We learned a lot and had a fantastic (and exhausting) experience in December. Then 2010 came, and we kept going.

It’s been over eight months since we’ve given this our all. There are pros and cons, but either way, it’s time to take a minute and make sure we’re headed down the right path, without the daily and weekly challenges of actually baking the sweets distracting us from reevaluating things.

If I’ve learned anything in the last year, it’s that there is always time and room in business to step back and reassess what you’re doing. Businesses that aren’t willing to change, or aren’t able to embrace the unexpected are likely to fail. Flexibility is king when it comes to running a company.

We were not experienced business women before the bakery. You know – many of you have witnessed our journey from the beginning. And we’re still learning every day how to be entrepreneurs, own our own company, make room for other pieces of our careers, and make it all work.

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, Faryn and I both do a lot of other things besides Fanny & Jane. We’re sketch comedians, which can be a full-time job some days. Plus Faryn has a day job. (Although, she’s on a summer hiatus right now! Woot!!) And I do…whatever the hell else I do.

THE POINT IS , we both have fistfuls of goals and aspirations and we need a break from this one, even if it means turning down orders for a few months. There are certainly risks to this decision, but like I said, I know this is the right move. And the hot, sticky, melty summer is the perfect time for it. Make sense?

I can say that we absolutely love making sweets for you, and we are thrilled that you love them. The connections we’ve made with customers, other vendors, cafe owners, dessert lovers, bloggers and entrepreneurs alike have been wonderful and unexpected.

Expect Fanny & Jane back in your lives in the fall. We don’t know exactly when, nor do we know in precisely what capacity.

I can’t wait to find out.

And thank you, as always, for your undying support.

daily dessert – sweet melissa

I had such a great weekend – I really needed it. I usually work on the weekends, but I decided to let myself off the hook so I could usher in the season properly.

On Saturday, we cleaned the hell out of the apartment, which always feels amazing. We collected five huge bags of shoes and clothes to donate and made some promises to each other about keeping up on our chores so we can maintain all our hard work.

Sunday was a day of complete leisure – a picnic in Prospect Park with my friends from The PIT, lots of drinking and eating and playing games. It was a blast. I slept hard Sunday night.

And today, Monday, I did some work in the morning, went to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in the afternoon (pictures later this week!), and met up with my friend Daniel for a stroll in Park Slope and a fantastic dinner in the early evening.

On our stroll, we walked by Sweet Melissa Patisserie – I’ve seen it a dozen times but I’ve never been inside. Today I left my real camera at home, but I snapped some shots with my phone – it’s such a cute little bakery.

We ordered two small bite-sized items: a delicious little Florentine and a thumbprint cookie. Both were excellent. I’d love to go back and sample some more of their yummy treats. Plus, they sell ice cream, coffee, have an adorable seating area AND a back garden!

Sweet Melissa Patisserie
175 Seventh Avenue (btwn 1st & 2nd Streets)
Brooklyn, NY
(They also have a Carroll Gardens location.)

I’m ready for June to begin tomorrow! I’m looking forward to a great week.

daily dessert

Look what Kevin brought home yesterday! I didn’t even know they made this. I love the Joe-Joe’s from Trader Joe’s, they’re like Oreos!

Obviously the ice cream version is divine.

We haven’t had ice cream around here for a while. I have to be careful or I will eat it all. 🙂

stupid brain

I took the day off today – something I don’t get to do as often as I thought I would when I quit my desk job last year.

I’ve been working a lot of hours lately – writing, baking, performing and rehearsing. I can’t wait for those hours to be fewer some day, but for now I am building something. It takes time!

It’s hard for me to take a day off – it gives me anxiety. I feel like there are things I could be doing, should be doing, like opportunities and paychecks are slipping through my fingers. It’s kind of ridiculous. So today, instead of staying cooped up in my house on the computer all day long, I decided to shut my own stupid brain up and enjoy the beautiful, warm spring Saturday, guilt-free.

five months later – where I am now

(Photo by the very talented Eric Michael Pearson. And yes, I wore that outfit on CBS too. I guess I need another nice outfit…)

Harvard Sailing Team was in the Cosmopolitan Magazine blog tonight! These videos just won’t stop. It’s nice. Definitely nice.

Here’s an article I wrote on Gather about the hot press HST’s gotten in the last two days alone.

For my part, I’m having fun with this ride, for sure. I’m also in the midst of learning how to juggle all the stuff that’s popped up lately! Between the bakery, writing for Gather, writing for The Examiner, Harvard Sailing Team, The Baldwins AND Jen+Steve, my life is busy right now! It’s lovely of course, because it’s a wonderful kind of busy filled with all the things I like to do in my life (!!). But you still have to learn to make time for it all. Until yesterday, I hadn’t exercised in a week. I’m still practicing how to strike the balance.

On Thursday of next week, I’m headed to Chicago for the Chicago Improv Festival with Jen+Steve. We were featured in Time Out Chicago yesterday. Pffft. Very nice. Thanks, Chicago! (The other team we’re going with, Swords, was featured in the Chicago Tribune!)

(Photo by Eric Michael Pearson.)

It’s fun to learn to adjust to this new busy lifestyle. I remember the months of January and February, which were dark, cold, boring months when I was so un-busy that I did a 30-Day Yoga Challenge! Ha.

Tomorrow night is an HST show – looking forward to it! We have some great stuff lined up. I mentioned on here a couple months ago that I was taking a 3-month hiatus from the team. Well, hiatus taken, and I’m “coming back” a bit earlier than expected.

Other news? Faryn wrote a great post about Fanny & Jane at the Greenpoint Food Market. If you live in NYC and you haven’t been to the GFM, you should come. You guys! It’s totally cute and great. They’ve got live music. It’s indoors, which is not quite as fabulous as being outdoors in the warmer months, but it’s not that big of a place so you can do the whole thing in less than an hour, and the atmosphere is so fun and lively, you barely miss being outside. So many fabulous, up and coming Brooklyn food vendors present their wares at this market, and most offer free samples.

Last, but certainly not least in this update, I took a yoga class today for the first time in a very long time. It was bliss. And I also hung out with little Otto Grimwood today, who always reminds me what being in the moment looks like.