"Dad, these tortillas...they are SO salty. Why are they so salty?" I question mid-chew, as I sit in the backseat of the car. He asks for a piece to try, and then he is quiet for a moment. He begins to shake his head back and forth, in a sense of confusion and mutters how this salty tortilla could be. Mom and I begin to question, "Did you forget that you put in the salt and then added extra unknowingly? Did you measure too much? Did the recipe mix unequally and it only is this dozen that is unreasonably salty? He shakes his head more vigorously, and replies, "No. No. I measured everything right. I made the recipe exactly right." He's just as stumped as we are. We go about the day, but every hour or so, we return to the topic of the salty tortilla. We are all very bothered by this occurance.
Come to find out, the whole batch is ruined, all 56 dozen. And, come to find out, it has nothing to do with a mistake that we made or anything that we really had control over. It was the bakery owners that made the error, and even though they admitted to adding more salt without our consent, they were unwilling to refund us or make another batch "on the house." In all points of business, the people involved must be honest and willing to make amends for mistakes made, however costly they may be. There are different ways to learn in life, and one is by seeing how NOT to do things. Created Whole will always be committed to honesty, quality, and integrity, unlike some in the business arena.
The frustration with the current bakery we are working under has risen significantly over the last year. The owners have increased the price per dozen that we pay to make our tortillas at their facility, a price that is unreasonably high. The going rate gives us little added benefit. We are only able to make tortillas on their schedule, and at their convenience. The relationship seems fragile, breakable. We are caught in a tight-rope, scared to make a misstep that could send our baby business plummeting to sudden death.
The three of us (Tim, Brenda, and Kara), share equal responsibility (for the most part), for the decisions made within our business, but as the daughter (Kara), I look up to my father as the leader. He is intelligent and extremely capable, and it's really because of him that this business began. I have been at the point of breaking for quite awhile, not wanting our business to continue like it has. We are stuck in limbo, because without production, we cannot grow. Without growth, in all honesty, it's time to ask the question, "What the hell are we doing?"
I hate it when something happens with our tortillas, because I am so emotionally attached to the success and the quality of Created Whole. I think one makes better decisions when there is not the emotional attachment, but the attachment is an indicator of how much I care. We all care. I think, somewhat ignorantly, and it's easy for me to say, "Let's grow." I don't know the feeling of debt. I don't really know what it's like to fail. To jump completely in, with nothing and no one to fall back on and not look back. To me, the concept of just diving head-first into waters that are murky and with depth unknown, seems much more rewarding than hanging out in the kiddie-pool with rubber duckie arm bands. Sometimes, I think that Dad is just fine with the kiddie pool. I become angry that he's not doing anything (which is a completely unfair and a wrongful accusation. People are not the most rational when angry.) But, I see that he does care, maybe even more than I do.
With the latest bakery frustration, I feel thankful. Maybe this will be the last straw for Dad. Our goal was for him to be the full-timer in our company by the end of the summer. It's almost the end of the summer, and I think that we are all at the end of our patience with our current situation. So, this time, the frustration that we are experiencing may just be the catalyst to take us into the big markets that we keep dreaming of. So, maybe this time, this frustration can be a good thing.