It’s 2 days before Christmas, late at night. My daughter, Alli, and I are working late to finish up Christmas Eve orders for pick-up in the morning. It’s quiet in the bakery except for my Pandora station playing some of my favorite carols from “back in the day”. I’m putting together cake rolls for some orders. A memory immediate springs to mind of being a young girl in Grandma Finley’s kitchen. She’s making a jelly roll, much like I’m doing right now. I remember watching her turn it out onto the tea towel and rolling it up. After a little while, she unrolls it and spreads jam all over it. The jam, of course, is her own homemade jelly. I think it was strawberry. She sprinkled the finished jelly roll with powdered sugar. I’m icing mine to look like a log.

I love it when those memories spring up! The cake rolls I worked on tonight were requested to be done custom, each one. One was confetti, with the request of Christmas sprinkles. The others were chocolate, with cream cheese and cherries for the filling, iced with chocolate icing to look like logs. We do custom orders at GaylaCake. I know it takes more time, more ingredients, and sometimes, more patience. But this is what I was raised to do… to go the extra mile for people. This is what I want GaylaCake to reflect… a simpler time, when neighbors treated neighbors with baked goods, when spending time in the kitchen was a pleasure instead of a chore. I want my customers to come in, smell the homemade goodness coming from the back of the building where the ovens are humming, and feel like they are once again in a simpler time, and smile at the memories.

JOY. I talk about it a lot. “Don’t let anyone steal your joy!” We all have differing ways we experience joy. With each person I’ve hired at GaylaCake, I’ve told them I want them doing the job in the bakery that gives them the most joy. That joy then carries over to our customers. For me, this is most important. If my team ceases to be happy to be at GaylaCake, serving others, doing what they enjoy doing, then GaylaCake ceases.

My parents and grandparents also taught me about Christ, and I have the JOY of experiencing Christ daily! My prayer is that you know that same JOY!

Custom orders for Customers. Going the extra mile. Doing what Grandma and Mom would do from their kitchens… sharing goodness, sharing happiness, sharing joy. Merry Christmas to you, one and all, from a very tired, yet very JOYFUL bakery owner!