(written for Quickbooks in response to their request for a story about community)
Diego, Ruby, Oliver, Messiah, Fiona, Ayano, Amelia, Jasper, Milo, Daya, Ocean, Marcus, Haile, Griffin, Nori, Nico, Evie, Elia, Yates, Ellis, Basil.
These are the names of the customers we call our Lifers. We are a wife and husband team who own a bakery in a small neighborhood, in a large borough (Brooklyn) of New York City. Our Lifers have two things in common. They are all under the age of 4, and they have all been coming to our bakery since they can remember. They are known to us and our staff by name, as well as by what they enjoy eating most at the bakery (Diego likes madeleines and Ruby likes cheese straws). We write their names on our stockings at Christmas, and on our cookies on Valentine’s Day. We have made their birthday cakes for the past 3 years, and we have printed t-shirts especially for them, that say “Cutie Pie,” “Stud Muffin,” and “Li’l Cupcake.” They like to watch us bake in the kitchen, and we like to see their noses pressed against the glass as they point, wave, and smile at us. They help us open the shop in the morning on their way to school (Oliver likes to carry the bench out, with almost no help from us), and they relax on our pillows with children’s books in the afternoon.
Our Lifers are our most loyal customers. They love what we do, they are excited to see and visit us, and they enjoy Eating! They make the long days go by with laughter. They keep us fresh, and force us to be creative and think of new treats to tempt them with. And because they are our most loyal customers, they are also our favorite customers.
Living in the neighborhood allows us to see our Lifers even outside of the bakery, and watching them grow over the past few years from tiny, newborn infants into walking, talking toddlers has been amazing. We recently added another name to that list of Lifers: Noemi, our baby daughter. We know she’ll be in good company.