to "emily", wherever i may find her...

As you can imagine, I get a lot of emails. Many are pre-orders, donations requests, offers of stuff to sell/ stuff to buy, and then there are some that are feedback of varying tone. :) Most of our feedback is pretty good, some are complaints, and some are a little baffling actually.

I got this email this evening and responded, but the would-be customer must've mistyped their address into the contact form because my response keeps bouncing back. (if you're out there, I hope you see this post, as I don't want you to think you're being ignored.)

Her email is on a topic that has concerned me for awhile and it's a problem I don't know how to fix. I've copied her email ("emily" is a fake name, used for the Simon and Garfunkel reference) and my response. Did I say the right thing? I always struggle with emails like this. I ask myself "am I too forthright? Do I really have to put it all out there all the time?" Sadly, I tend to not be able to help myself. I always end up feeling that no matter how much someone's critique might get under my skin (or just make me go "whaaaat?"), I still end up feeling that if it meant enough for them to write me about it, it should mean enough for me to give them an honest answer. I don't know... thoughts from you, dear friends?

Her email:

I just wanted to say that I'm disappointed in the inability of Muddy's to handle the popularity that comes with making such delicious cupcakes. Went in earlier today and the line was to the door. Unfortunately I had to pick up my sister and couldn't afford the time to wait. It seemed to be moving SO slowly (the people in front of me were complaining about not moving for several minutes) so I decided to try later.

Checked back later and yall were completely out of cupcake selections :(

What you do is great, but I wish you could keep up with yourselves. I have a baby shower at work tomorrow that I needed cupcakes for, and was so disappointed to not have Muddy's. To rectify the situation, I decided to try Gigi's, where it was much more accommodating. I understand this is a small business, but it's extremely frustrating for customers to be put in this situation.

Just wanted you to know.

And my response...

Hmmm. To be honest, I'm not entirely sure what to say...

We are a small bakery and have never claimed otherwise. We did build an entire separate kitchen last year in order to better satisfy our customers' demand. Our staff has tripled in the last two years. We currently have as many bodies as will fit in the space baking and our ovens are on for over 20 hours each day. We accommodate over 500 guests daily and most are smiling.

I love that so many people enjoy my baked goods. However, I don't have any illusions about how many hours are in a day, how hard I can work a staff, or how long it takes to make product. We do gladly accept pre-orders and take as many as we can until we are booked. At this point making more goods would come down to taking on a third lease, purchasing more equipment, and the responsibility for more people's jobs... and it's not a step I take lightly (as I'm sure you understand if you have your own family to provide for).

As for Gigi's being more accommodating, I'm genuinely glad that you were able to get what you needed and were pleased with your experience there. We don't claim to be able to please everyone and have no control over how many people walk through our doors each day. I suppose we could double the prices and cut corners on quality in order to shorten the line, but that doesn't really seem to make sense.

I do appreciate your feedback, but it comes down to this... just because I have a good product doesn't mean that I have an obligation to make it available to everyone all the time. My primary responsibilities are to do my best to provide good jobs to my employees, do the best work I can, and provide for my family in a way that both honors the Lord and serves my community. So far I think I'm doing a pretty good job of it, but I'm obviously biased.

You are entitled to your own opinion and you certainly have no obligation to agree with mine, however you did take the time to write me and I feel that you deserve an honest reply.

Thanks again for your thought and don't hesitate to send feedback anytime. I truly hope that if you don't find what you're looking for with Muddy's that you are able to find a good fit somewhere. Have a pleasant evening, and thanks again for taking the time to write,


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