Can I share something with you?
I’ve been feeling a little lost lately.
I think this whole new blog has left me feeling turned around and upside down.
Let me explain. I want to take you back to the humble beginnings of Joy the Baker.
See that picture up top? That’s my first site. Oooh me Oooh my. Pretty precious, right? I set this site up two years ago so I could start selling wedding cakes and wholesale baked yummies to coffee shops. I played the wholesale and wedding cake game for a hot minute. I chugged along on my own for a few months before it became clear that food costs and kitchen expenses made it hard for me to even break even. That’s when I started working in other bakeries and restaurants. Phew. That was relief.
Then a magical thing happened. It really did feel like magic. I discovered food blogs. It’s like fireworks went off in my head… as silly as that sounds. Stories plus pictures plus recipes… plus you just get to be yourself at every moment!? Holy heck! In! I wanted in!
Here are some of my very first food photos, taken when I was working as the Head Baker at a tiny bakery in Burbank. These shots? Taken on my camera phone at 4:30 in the morning. You think I’m kidding. I’m totally not kidding. That’s some good glisten on those cinnamon rolls, right? Thank you camera phone macro mode!
Want to see my first post? Ha! I know it’s around here somewhere. Here!
Above is one of the first pictures I took with a fancy camera, a Canon 40D. I propped an Ikea lamp up in the background… that’s what is creating that yellowish glow. Not exactly ideal, I now know.
Can I just say… I was beyond mortified when I discovered that someone had found my blog and left a lovely comment in the days that followed my first post.
The thought of someone finding this space and reading my words absolutely terrified me.
But it didn’t terrify me enough to actually stop posting, and posting, and posting… and posting… and posting some more.
So here I am… almost two years later, still working a day job, cooking, blogging, throwing picnics for hundreds of people like you, and introducing a whole new look with loads of new content into my space.
Can I be honest? That’s what we do here, right?
This whole redesign is a big, scary thing for me. Many, many months ago I thought I might like to start a separate blog… one about my silly life and all the silly things I do. I then thought… ‘Hey! Why not put my food and my life all together into one big ol’ fun site!?’.
Here we are many months later, I’ve hired designers and fired designers. I’ve begged coders to meet deadlines and battled hosting companies to get where I am today. It feels like I’ve built a house, then set it on fire… then had it built all over again… but, really… less dramatic than that and without the fire.
I’ve gone from taking pictures with my camera phone to running an entire site and keeping up with designers and coders and hosting and CSS and CPM and IE6 compatibility and… DUDE! This mess is complicated!!! Bourbon. Where is the Bourbon? Also doughnuts. I need doughnuts!
Am I whining? I’m totally pouting right now, aren’t I?
It’s just that sometimes things become far more than you expected… even when you’re trying to expect them.
I’m telling you all this… I’m showing you where I’ve come from and showing you how we’re right at the beginning of where we’re going, because I have an unreasonable desire to share with you the overwhelming, scary and totally exciting nature of this endeavour. Oooh Internet, how you fussy up my emotions sometimes.
So we’re in this together right? I couldn’t have nearly as much fun with this space if you weren’t here to share it with me.
Thanks for being here for as long as you have… even if it’s only for the past two minutes. Thanks for adjusting to all this change I’ve thrown at you.
Thanks for being patient as I get my footing here, yell at my hosting company, recharge the batteries on my camera…. and do some freakin’ dishes.
And hey! Let me know what’s working for you here… and what makes you sorta wanna yell and scream (in a bad way). You matter. I’m listening, unless it has anything to do with my use of the ‘…’, then I’m not really listening. Holla back.
Sometimes I wonder how it’s possible for people who look like they’ve “got it all” to be so down. Then you realize people think the same thing about you. I closed down my pathetic little blog, it was taking up too much time, with hardly any feedback, and the site templates were crappy.
So I see people like you, people who’ve “go it all!” Silly, nobody really does. It’s nice to see a humble perspective, even the best stars go shooting off sometimes or dim down a little. Just for a while! Nobody’s perfect. And I’m rambling. See? Not perfect. Anyway, I just wanted to say that your real-life, down-to-earth (lots of hyphens going on here!) posts are one of the best cures for my petty teen angst, don’t stop :)
I stumbled upon this post after searching for “coffee cake” on your site. I just started a food blog and I’ve never worked in a bakery or professional food setting, but boy, am I learning…and it’s all driven by my sweet tooth. But the point of this is that, it’s nice to see how you started and how humble you are. I absolutely LOVE your blog, it’s my go-to and I recommend it to all. Thank you for being all that you are :)
I enjoyed looking at your site. I like to bake more than cook. My husband does most of the cooking, but I’m getting inspired to cook more after looking at foodie blogs. I like that you can see the process and it makes for a good read too. I’m currently battling colon cancer and find that baking can be great therapy for me. I’ll put your site in my favorites and look forward to visiting it again and trying some of your recipes. Thanks Joy the Baker.
Joy…I don’t blog. I don’t have a blog and I never read blogs…except yours!!! It started out with “happening upon” your Crannberry Banana Bread – I found the recipe and that was that! Months later, I was wanting to bake something new and yummy, and I decided to get on the internet to look around. As I was searching endless recipe sites, unsure if I could trust the ratings (yes, I’ve made the recipes with the 5 stars from 10,000 people, and some have been awful!!), and I thought about that simple bread recipe! The recipe that I loved, and so did everyone else. The recipe that one woman shared, and I felt I could trust her opinion and taste. Luckily, I kept the recipe on my “Favorites” list, and it led me to your blog once again. Only this time, I stayed on…I explored! I read, and kept looking around, and loved what I saw! I don’t like the computer much…but almost daily, I am drawn to your site! I can’t wait to try soooo many recipes, and I love reading your whimsical tales of how you found the recipe, or invented the recipe, or whatever! So, with all that said, do what you will, keep up the amazing recipes, share with us as you will…but I know you have tons of us who will stick with you, whatever you choose to do!
Joy, you are a breath of fresh air! Love your new design, so bright and happy (we need alot of this don’t we?). I’m getting use to it but love it more now that you have the latest back on top again.
I follow you as often as I can and only wish I were a fly on the wall in your kitchen while you create all the goodies you share with us. Missed being able to come to your picnic but loved the coverage you gave it.
Keep up the great work and know it is not in vain!!!!!
Thank you so much Joy for this post! That is exactly where I am right now. We ARE right at the beginning of where we are going! I love your posts, your recipes and your divine inspiration! I wish I was in LA to gobble up your goodies, alas I have to recreate them in Atlanta. I’m glad you continue each morning with such love,passion and dedication. I look forward to your future and AFFIRM your success!