It's tough to fail. But necessary. And in my opinion, there's an art to failure.
Today I want to share with you a story about a year-long failure. A year-long failure and challenge that may have directly impacted your orders.
When we first opened the Bakehouse in March 2020, we worked extremely hard to develop a 100% sourdough brioche dough that would be used for our cinnamon rolls. Over the course of the last year, we've had huge ups and downs with the outcome of our rolls. You may have seen this variability if you’ve been around for a little while.
One day they would come out looking beautiful. Big, full of air, with a fluffy mouth-feel.
Then we'd follow the exact same recipe the next day... tight, dense, disappointing. The flavor was still delicious, but the whole experience lacked the "fluffy, cloud-like" texture.
So we continued to ask ourselves, “Why?”
How is it that the exact replication of the same recipe, ingredients, steps, and process, could result in such drastically different outcomes from one day to the next?
THE ANSWER... the daily and seasonal variability of temperature and humidity in the Bakehouse. Something that was unfortunately quite out of our control.
The variation in our cinnamon rolls continued to happen sporadically over the first 6 months of being open, with a lesser occurrence over the last 6 months. Nonetheless, each time we implemented our "Refund & Replace" policy, which is our golden standard for any error that happens with our products.
When it comes to running a business, disappointing customers is one of the hardest things we face. We strive for a high standard of excellence, and when we don't meet these expectations... well, it can be hard.
Failing always costs something. Whether that’s time, money, energy, or emotions. Generally, when we fail it costs all of these things. But it's going to happen.
So if we're going to fail, how does one artfully fail?
To us, the art of failing is about embracing the failure and reframing it as an opportunity for growth. It means taking time to reflect on what happened and seek new processes to mitigate the mistake in the future. And then make new mistakes as we continue on the pursuit of growth!
Over the last year, we continued to tweak our process and were able to achieve greater consistency with our cinnamon rolls. However, in this situation, we realized it wasn't just about creating a new process. There was an investment that needed to be made in order to be able to control the factors that were otherwise out of our control.
It's called a PROOFING CABINET, and it maintains a consistent temperature and humidity that is optimal for the proofing (fermenting) process of sourdough. It is a significant investment, and as a start-up business, it takes time to be able to afford these investments and know that it's the right thing at the right time.
So why am I sharing all of this with you today, fully exposing the failures we’ve had as a business? It’s because although I'd love for us to be flawless, that’s an unrealistic goal. The reality is...
Failure has to exist for growth to take place.
In order to continue pursuing our mission and vision for Voyageurs, we must push our own limits, which inevitably means we will keep failing and learning along the way. And we hope you’ll continue to walk this path with us.
Our passion for growth fuels every loaf of bread and cinnamon roll we bake, and it means we’ll continue to bring you the highest quality product we can possibly make.
Keep pursuing your own path to growth, and don't be afraid to fail. Embrace the journey, my friends.