Monday, March 4, 2013

Supply and Debate

We have a small downtown area. It's not thriving. We're trying to get it there, but it's struggling right now. A brave little bakery opened down there, and they actually are staying pretty busy, I think. We go in there quite a bit, they must put something addictive in their cupcakes.

Sometimes they run out of cupcakes. On Sundays, they say they are open til 4pm or until they have no more cupcakes. Seems fair. My husband at first thought this was a little uncool, that they run out of product, that you run the risk of not having what you want there. We talked about it a little more. Is it? Is it a bad thing to sell out, or worse to have to throw stuff out at the end of the day? Obvious answer.

At a small bakery like this, you can't always predict how a day will go. Maybe there's a run on cupcakes, but then maybe it's a slow day, so how do you gauge? Make WAY too many, stock like all the big stores do with way way too much... that's a waste of resources. Let's think about it. What IS better?

Some people will look at it from the opposite way, of course, you know they will. Because, they want what they want and they want it now. Heaven forbid the store be out of what they want when they took the time and bother to stop in. Such an inconvenience. There was a time where you couldn't have everything right at your fingertips all of the time. You learned to be the early bird, or to be smart (well THAT changed), or to do without until you got it the next time. Or planned ahead. Go figure. But some people will say, "They ran out and I went through all the trouble to be here? I'm never coming here again if they can't have enough for ME!" And the store will have lost that person's business forever. So make too much and throw it out? Or because we are in a small town and we realize that sometimes running out can happen because it's a small business, and we play the odds and forgive them, say, "Hah, I'll catch you next time!" and realize that if that's the worst thing that happens to you, your shop ran out of your favorite cupcakes, that you're doing OK.

Did we value things more when there was a risk of missing out on things? When there wasn't so much excess? When we had to think, when we had to plan, when everything wasn't so easy and accessible? I ask this over and over, I know. Because we're still doing it.

I applaud that tiny little place for running out, even if it's just 11am and WOW how many did they make anyway? I hope their business steadily grows so that if they end up making more and more, they still sell out every day. I hope we can learn to value things again.

I don't really see it happening, but I can hope. I mean, it happens to me here and there... hoping. Sometimes it hits me. Of course, then I come to my senses again.