One morning a few months ago I sat up in bed and thought, “Valentine’s Day! Eureka! Why don’t I have a special-edition box for Valentine’s Day?”
Valentine’s Day 2022 is the one-year anniversary of me meeting the love of my life through Sheer Ambrosia Bakery, so every order placed this February will come in a beautiful SPECIAL-EDITION box, which features the same Sheer Ambrosia branding you know and love but with stunning dusty rose and chocolate brown colors!
I invite you to celebrate love in all its forms with me this month by placing an order for the ones you love, or simply treat yourself! I’ll be happy to fulfill your order with the Sheer Ambrosia flavor of your choosing, of course, but I’m also making an extra-special recommendation, which happens to be February’s Flavor of the Month and one of my best sellers—Chocolate Almond!
Thank you for your business, and I hope your February is filled with lots of love, laughter, family, and friends!
LISTEN TO NPR MARKETPLACE ON FEBRUARY 14!
As you may or may not know, Sheer Ambrosia Bakery has been featured several times on NPR’s Marketplace with Kai Ryssdal. If you’ve never heard our stories, you can find and listen to them on our website. Our next visit with the show will be on Monday, February 14, where I get to tell a more personal story…how I’ve found true love and have Sheer Ambrosia Bakery to thank for it.
An Unexpected January Surprise
Usually right after the holiday rush, Sheer Ambrosia Bakery experiences what I call the “January New Year’s Resolution Lull.” Folks are all genuinely fatigued from partying and overindulging, and everyone craves a break from the sweets and treats. For as long as I’ve owned Sheer Ambrosia, I’ve used January to catch up on much-needed sleep and take care of all the household chores I let fall by the wayside during the months of November and December.
This year I got a very unexpected January surprise. I received an email from a (several times over) repeat client and a call from a new customer, both of whom wanted to treat their employees to Sheer Ambrosia baklava, the former to celebrate and support me and the latter to celebrate the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.
Ann Mond Johnson who is the Chief Executive Officer at American Telemedicine Association, a company from back east, like so many of you, found out about Sheer Ambrosia from NPR’s Marketplace. After hearing my first interview back in June 2020, she treated her staff to my baklava because in her words, she wanted to support a black, female entrepreneur and after hearing my story she knew she wanted to support me. But then she saw my packaging and tasted my baklava and fell in love with me even more. She has since ordered several times for business and personal life events and has said that each time the recipient of her baklava gifts have raved about how delicious it is. This past January, it was time to gift out treats again to her employees and one of her staff members Denise (thank you, Denise) suggested that they give baklava again. She said that it was unanimous: everyone raved about the baklava and wanted more. So, she treated her entire team of 15 to full 12-piece boxes each.
Todd Saunders, the president of Codale Electric Supply, wanted to gift his entire staff of 355 one piece each of Sheer Ambrosia baklava. Before moving forward with Codale’s order, I felt it important to meet with Jill, the assistant who was put in charge of placing the order. I didn’t want there to be any miscommunications or missteps. They have 14 branches across Utah, Nevada, and Wyoming and the logistics had to be planned out to the T. I didn’t want to let Todd/Jill/Codale down so I requested an in-person meeting. When I arrived for the meeting, I was amazed to see that Todd was there too! He not only took the time to attend our meeting, he also asked questions, listened intently to my story, and explained how important diversity and inclusion is to him personally. During his youth he had served a mission in southern Georgia where he grew to love and hold dear the Black experience and culture. He later described to me how he felt and his thoughts on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. He said, “I thought all day about the ‘I have a Dream’ speech. I thought about standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where Dr. King delivered that speech. It is sacred ground to me. I only wish I could have been there to witness it in all its power.” Todd was a very young man when he served his mission in Georgia and admits at the time he did see lots of tragedy and heartache but didn’t understand a lot of it. But now he says, “I see how I can make a difference. I may not be able to change the world, but I can change the world around me. God has put me in a position that I can make an impact on a lot of people. I plan to keep this up until the world is full of love.”
What surprised me more than the fact that this Utah-based company wanted to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday is that Todd, is Caucasian. In all of my 26 years living in Utah, I have rarely experienced a white person even mention the holiday to me much less want to celebrate it.
As you know, I have an ongoing promotion where I include a free 4-piece box of baklava with each 12-piece box shipped to help compensate for the fact that I have to charge for shipping. I’m still a small fish and don’t have the buying power that Amazon has, so I am unable to give free shipping at this time. At any rate when it came time for Ann to pay for her order, she refused to accept the discount for the 15 extra 4-piece boxes that I included with each order. Her exact words were, “Hello, amazing friend! Please do not give us a discount. We don’t need it, and I want to support your work 100 percent.”
I was blown away by both of these remarkable customers and, now, friends. Ann respects me and my hard work and looks for opportunities to use my company because she knows I will bake an amazing product for her and give her excellent customer service to boot, and she showed that by compensating me very generously. Todd showed a reverence for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday like I’ve never seen from a white person in my life! After the big order went out for Codale, Todd wanted to send out more and even bigger gifts to his colleagues of color…his “brothers and sisters” as he called them. It was a beautiful thing…something I am so proud to have been witness to and a part of.
We are living in a time when we often hear stories of white folks and folks of color clashing due to a lack of recognizing the shared humanity among us. I wanted to highlight occasions in my life when we do show mutual appreciation. The truth is, I have so many customers who don’t look like me who cherish and value me as a human being and Sheer Ambrosia for the delicious baklava I create. Were it not for these friends and supporters, I wouldn’t be in business.
Sometimes after watching the news, the future seems bleak with regard to race relations, but I will never give up on the idea that we can all live together in love, kindness, acceptance, and peace. I’m glad I’m not alone in that dream. Thank you, Ann Mond Johnson and Todd Saunders! I appreciate you and what you stand for more than you will ever know. And to all of my customers/friends, thank you for trusting me with your orders. Words just can’t express the gratitude I have for each and every one of you. I will continue to demonstrate this gratitude by baking for you the highest quality baklava that will ever pass your lips with the main ingredient being LOVE.
-Peace, Love, and Baklava Forever,