Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Maternity Pics

Our friends, Stephen & Kelli Spurlock, work with Burmese refugees in Thailand.  (Kelli actually grew up down the street from Steven... talk about a small world!)  Anyway, they live about 6 hours away from us in Thailand, but frequently come to Chiang Mai for meetings and retreats.  It's been fun building a friendship with them and we always look forward to their visits.

Stephen just moved into a different role within their organization and is now in charge of photography and media.  He wanted some "extra practice" behind the camera, so he asked if he could take some maternity pictures of me & Stevo!  I, of course, was super excited. (duh.)  While Steven on the other hand... well, let's just say on the way to take pictures he asked, "Now, what exactly is the point of maternity pictures?"  (To which I really didn't have a good answer...)  Nevertheless, he was a good sport and I'm in love with our pictures!  Thanks, Spurlocks!

*And yes, I posted these same pictures on facebook, but this is for the grandmas/grandpas out there who aren't familiar with that part of the cyber world :)

4 weeks and counting!  We're so excited to meet you, William Takashi!! :)

The Evolution of Uuai Pawn Bakery :)

As things rapidly progress with Pawn and Uuai Pawn Bakery, I thought I'd take some time to document the journey thus far.  It's been fun to look back on how small it started (literally baking one batch of plain bagels on a random Tuesday afternoon just because I was hungry...) to what it is today.   And while it's still a rather small business, it's definitely gone through lots of changes and growth!

As we continue to think of options for businesses here in Thailand and dive into market research, I have personally had a lot of fun pursuing the expansion of this bakery.  Regardless of whether or not anything BIG comes of it, I'm just thankful for the afternoons we get to spend with Pawn developing new recipes, teaching her the ins and outs of how to run a business and naturally deepening our relationship.  

Thanks, God, for the fun and delicious opportunity!

Watching her make her first batch of bagels.  
The process is really quite fascinating... and time consuming!

Once the bagels have risen (twice!), they get boiled.  
I think that's what gives bagels their chewy consistency.

Once they're boiled, egg washed and topped with their topping... in to the oven they go!

And then hopefully you end up with something as pretty as this!
(Warning: I have tried to make bagels 3 different times now and they have never turned out as pretty as when Pawn makes them!  These suckers are a labor of love!)

Our first 3 flavors that we sold: Plain, Sesame & Cinnamon Sugar

First Saturday selling bagels!

She only had 5 orders her first week (which were mostly our friends), so she delivered them using the basket on her moped.

Her first sale!  She was so proud of herself!
She sells 6 bagels for 100 baht (roughly $3.00).

As we started getting more orders, we also added more bagel flavors.
This was our first attempt at our whole wheat bagels!

Typical Saturday morning... Pawn's bagels rising all over our kitchen!

Soon her little basket wasn't big enough to deliver all her orders, so Steven made her this cool delivery box!

But soon after that, her delivery box was even too small so our Suzuki became the new mode of delivery!

 After whole wheat, we started making chocolate chip and cinnamon raisin bagels as well :)

The girls having fun in the kitchen with our new Uuai Pawn aprons... :)

...while Steven works with her every week to balance her ledger! 

She splits the week's revenue into different envelopes: money to buy more ingredients, her wages (she makes $1.50 per batch of bagels), rent (to use our kitchen, gas & oven), and profit.  
We've also started a "savings account" for Pawn where we encourage her to save a little bit of money each week from her wages.  To give her some incentive, we match whatever she has saved on a quarterly basis.  We're hoping this will allow her to have enough money to pay for her daughter's school, unexpected medical expenses, repairs on her moped, etc.

Trying out some new recipes is always fun!
Our thai teacher (the one in the middle) even helped out that day.

The past few months we've added some "deluxe" flavors!
This is Steven's favorite, Jalapeno Cheddar!

One of our most popular flavors, Cranberry Walnut!

And my personal favorite, Apple Streusel!  (I think it tastes like Panera's Cinnamon Crunch bagel)

Her orders every week are growing!

We now have to pack them in the trunk and back seat of our SUV :)
Some new treats we are considering selling as well...
Cherry Toffee Almond Bars :)

Granola bars--Pumpkin Cranberry White Chocolate ones in particular!

Granola :)  
(Granola and granola bars are extremely expensive in Thailand and are usually not very good!)

And as of last week, Uuai Pawn Bakery has officially started selling granola.  It's been a huge hit!

As you can see, it's been a ton of fun watching Uuai Pawn Bakery grow.  (Although... it's not quite as fun watching our waistlines also grow from all the recipe testing!)  The thing I love most about what we're doing with Pawn is the opportunity it brings to deepen our relationship with her.  Yes, she is making more money.  Yes, she is learning valuable skills.  But more so, she is the one blessing us with her friendship and life-on-life interaction.  We are learning so much from her.  And we consider it an honor and privilege to work along side of her.