Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chapter 3: In which a business gets a name

The market master of the Waverly Farmers Market was probably a little thrown when he was first approached by the colorful swirl of two enthusiastic girls, arms loaded with sun ripened tomatoes.  He was most likely stunned into a mild stupor when they insisted on space for a booth where they would be selling vegan baked goods.  He seemed skeptical at first, but was too kind to turn away the charismatic girls in hand sewn polychromatic aprons and knee-high rubber boots.  He promised them a space for a fee and the girls merrily skipped back to Kate's apartment to make salsa and come up with plans for their new business.
"We need to have meetings, like real business meetings."  Emily decided.  Kate agreed.  Dressed in their most business-like outfits, they met the next day at 7pm.  First, they needed a name.  They pulled out a large dusty dictionary and began to scan through the words.  They made lists of words and read them aloud.  They said so many words aloud that they all began to sound funny.  Soon, they were only laughing and not really working.  It is important work, naming a business.  After hours of deliberation and word fueled delirium, they finally had a name.  picnic.  With a lowercase p and no period at the end.  After that, they were very tired, so they ate some cake and went to bed.
Over the next several weeks, the girls began to work out their plans for picnic.  They held meetings every other night to work on the business.  On the in-between nights, they worked on recipes.  They tested many different cakes, frostings, cookies, and even came up with a good recipe for blueberry fritters which they painted with lemon glaze.
Finally the week of their first farmers market arrived.  They took off work on Friday and slept in.  When Emily awoke, she headed to Kate's armed with all of her baking pans and mixing bowls.  They got to work right away, mixing, pouring, baking.  They went on like this until they were very very sleepy.  Then they decided to do shifts.  One would nap for thirty minutes while the other kept things going in the kitchen.  After all the baking was done, they began frosting the cakes and icing the cookies.  It was 6 am on Saturday when they were finally loading everything into the car.   They pulled onto the blocked off street just as the sun was beginning to rise.
It was absolutely freezing outside.  With stiff hands, the girls set up two long folding tables and draped them with four beautiful floral vintage tablecloths they had borrowed from Kate's aunt.  They set out a picnic basket and filled it with napkins, straws, and various coffee condiments.  They set up five metal multicolored folding chairs and carefully laid out the desserts on the table with the corresponding signs held up by picture frames.  It was a beautiful sight and definitely piqued the curiosity of the other vendors.  Once everything was set, the girls pumped some coffee from their vintage floral air pot, lifted their coat hoods, and stomped their feet to keep warm while they anxiously waited for the first customers to arrive.
After the first person came up to their booth and walked away with a peppermint panda, another person arrived.  And on it went until a line had formed.  The girls' carefully planned speech had to be dropped as they realized they barely had time to speak to one person before they had to help the one waiting behind them.  They couldn't count  money or chop strawberries fast enough.  They were warmly recieved; and, in spite of their fare being entirely vegan, they had developed a following of vegans and non vegans alike.  The girls agreed that the best part was having people walk away eating their cookies and cakes, only to have them return a few minutes later to buy more.  As the last hour of the farmer's market drew to a close, the girls collapsed in their chairs and looked at each other in a wide-eyed amazement.  Picnic was a success.
Unfortunately, there was only ever one photograph taken of the picnic booth and it has since disappeared.

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penny for your thoughts?