More cakes than I can count. Enough cookies to fill several boxcars. Pies, pies, and more pies. Pounds of Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole, a plethora of Poulet, fountains of fudge, bunches of bread and on and on and on.
And none of it means absolutely anything without customers. Especially customers who have become friends. Those very special customers who regularly enter. The customers we worry about when it’s been a while since we’ve seen them. The customers who have made us a part of their celebrations and special occasions. The customers who have made us a part of their plain old Tuesday nights and Thursday lunches – a part of their lives. We ask about your “mama and ‘nem” and you ask about ours. Customer that aren’t customers anymore – they have become friends.
And none of it means absolutely anything without friends. Those friends who cheered when we began this journey. Friends who helped start the dream. Friends who continue to stand and cheer and support and love. Friendship is one of the greatest blessings God has given us. That great Creator who fearfully and wonderfully made us all, who blesses us and blesses us again, saw fit to bless us even more with the ability to love and be loved by friends.
And none of it means absolutely anything without family. My poor family! They have listened to my tirades, borne through all-night baking sessions, shared my tears and shared my joys. They were there at the beginning and, I’m confident, will be there throughout the ride – however long that might be. These cakes and pies and cookies have put two girls through school, helped out through their college years, seen one through a wedding and one through nursing school.
And none of it means absolutely anything without my God. My God who has seen fit to allow me to live out a dream My God who has placed people in my path to help fulfill my dream. And my God who loved me so much that I have a hope beyond this dream to an eternal home.
So many people have walked through those doors at 1207-F East Forrest Street. So many friends, so many family members, so many strangers. And each person has played a part in the building of a dream.
I must lovingly mention Mike and Nikki Ogles, who have done more for me than even they know. My parents, Ronald and Judy Chandler, who have loved and supported me even when I didn’t deserve it. My children, Emily and Blake Persell and Erin Schrimsher, who have borne the brunt of it all. Also my church family who have helped out when I needed a hand and have been my most loyal customers. And, all of my employees, both past and present. I’m so afraid to name everyone for fear of leaving someone out. Thanks to them, things somehow, got done.
So today, on the 10th anniversary of the opening of “Suzanne’s Bakery and Eatery”, I want to say thanks to all who have prayed for, worried with, helped out, laughed with, cried with, encouraged, listened, advised, and bought with us for the past 10 years. It’s been quite a ride!