January 9, 2013

Sugar & Spice Sweets Update

As most of  you know, 19 months ago I was baking up a storm! Jeremy and I honestly thought that we were doing everything "the right way" when it came to Sugar and Spice Sweets and the licensing. The Rockdale Citizen ran an article about the business in the paper and the next day I received a call that shut my business down! It was heartbreaking at the time. Jeremy and I knew that I could just bake again and fly under the radar, but we wanted to do things the right way. If the county said it was illegal then I wasn't going to do it until it was legal! I really didn't think that I would ever bake out of my home again. I just figured that I would bake again professionally once the girls got older and I could purchase a bakery.
As soon as I was shut down Jeremy began looking into how to go about changing the laws in Georgia and Rockdale. He found a group of home bakers that had done a lot of work trying to make changes in Georgia. In September of 2012 the state made some changes and baking in the home was allowed! As soon as that happened Jeremy contacted the commissioners in Rockdale and started to press them on the issue locally. He had countless conversations and we attended board meetings (Jeremy even spoke on the behalf of S and S Sweets at one of them) in order to make sure home baking was permitted in the county.  In December 2012 Rockdale County changed the law in the county in order to allow home baking!!  
So much has happened in the 19 months that I've been out of business. God has really revealed a lot to me about my priorities and the business over the past 19 months. The time off really gave me the time to take a look at the business and how much time it took away from my family and Him and how much stress I piled on myself over it.  God also blessed us with baby girl number 3 during the 19 months off....a complete surprise to us! Looking back at everything, this break has been such a great one for my family and for me. God really knows what He's doing even if we don't always understand why at first (or ever).
So, two days ago the Department of Agriculture called me in order to set up a time for them to come out and "inspect" the kitchen. You will see a little later why I put the word inspect in quotes. They were going to be in Covington-the next county over-the next day (Wednesday) and wanted to know if they could come by that afternoon! I said yes but then freaked out once I got off the phone. My plan was to clean the kitchen this week, but it was a little bit of deep cleaning each day. Now, I was going to have to do a major deep cleaning in 24 hours! So, I got to work. Once Jeremy got home he got to work too :) We decided that it was a great excuse to really deep clean/ reorganize everything......refrigerator, freezer, oven, stove top, microwave, cabinets, kitchen island, counters, pantry, light fixtures, tile floor...... It was madness! 
Yesterday Jeremy was scrubbing the floor with an abrasiveness cleaner and I was trying to get the rest of the house in order. He came to me and said, "I need your help. I cannot get the floor cleaner to come off of the floor. I've been trying everything and I just can't get it all to come up. It's now drying and we need to get it off of this floor." So, we finally came up with a solution that worked. He brought the outside hose in and squirted the tiles and grout while I vacuumed up the water with the shop vac! Thankfully, he had moved EVERYTHING out of the kitchen so it was easier to maneuver the vacuum around to get the water up. When I took the girls to school this morning I was noticing that my back was sore....then I flashed back to all of the intense frantic vacuuming that I did yesterday with the shop vac and I realized why I am so sore! We got it all done and everything looked amazing when all was said and done. 
So, around 1pm the doorbell rang and the two inspectors came in. No joke, they took one step into the kitchen and said, "Looks good. I don't think we're going to have any trouble." And that was it....honestly!! I said with a smile, "So, you don't have to check anything?". What I wanted to say with a very angry face was, "Listen here, my husband and I have cleaned this kitchen top to bottom for you two! You better at the very least get your white gloves on and do some inspecting!!" So, there was no white glove inspection, no opening drawers, no checking temperatures, no measuring, no ingredient check, NONE OF THAT. Just a look and some small talk and they were on their way. I am super glad that I have a spotless kitchen and I am even more glad that the inspection was so easy. 
So, Sugar and Spice Sweets is back in business.....to God be all of the glory!  

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