Wednesday, March 3, 2010

An avalanche of cookies

Three or four nights a week I bake five dozen cookies.

I swear, we are not noshing these cookies three meals a day and snacks between.
They are for the little cookie jar at Expertec Automotive Repair, Mr. Dirtywrench's one year old new business.

Starting a business in a toilet bowl economy was a leap of faith. Finding employees wasn't much of a problem since they were lining up at the door- applications in hand, tool boxes on the truck- by the dozens. Bringing the customers through the door was another thing.

Automotive repair is one industry that suffers with a poor reputation. Sometimes with good reason. There are some places out there that are unscrupulous and people know that they are at the mercy of a car repair business when their vehicle is broken down and they don't know for sure whether the repairs recommended are the ones that are truly needed. Mr. Dirtywrench has witnessed and blown the whistle on fraudulent service himself and wanted to create a place where people felt comfortable having their work done; where they knew they could trust the technicians and the service writer. Being entirely open and honest about service and repairs has been a key to gaining that trust.

No one has more integrity then Mr. Dirtywrench. His customers have followed him wherever he's gone with his tool box. The first few months of business were quite interesting as people were astounded by the free-bees at Expertec, like windshield wiper replacement and scan diagnostics. Some clients brought in vehicles that had already been diagnosed elsewhere to test the integrity of their service. This is a small town and word very quickly spread that there was a new place in town with value and integrity.

One year later, by the grace of God, business is booming!

But what has that got to do with cookies? Well, in an effort to make their customers comfortable, there is a coffee table in the waiting area. And a jar of homemade cookies. Apparently people don't get homemade cookies often enough because these are quite popular. And let's not forget Donut Fridays too. There's nothing like some sugar to bring people in the door. Would you believe that there are people stopping by just for cookies and a few minutes of chatter with the staff? Friendly place this Expertec. Good marketing strategy, no?

I hear cookie stories every day: parts delivery people who gorge on cookies in multiple daily visits, people who call ahead to find out what the cookie of the day is, clients who fill their pockets or coffee filters with cookies on their way out the door. Cookies are good therapy too. When someone is having an anxiety attack over their broken down vehicle, the response is....have a cookie. It seems to be working. There were a few days when the cookie jar became empty and they refilled it with goods from the grocery store. The response: What? We can get these anytime! Where's the homemade?? And forget about the fancy varieties, they want the old fashioned favorites like oatmeal raisin, peanut butter, snickerdoodles and ginger snaps. Chocolate chip still holds the number one position but they disappear faster than the Road Runner.

So....I bake and bake and bake.

I have to bake at night for several reasons:

1. Who has time during the day?

2. Late hours aid the will power to resist the aromas from the oven. (Really, it does.)

3. After bedtime there are fewer people reducing the numbers of production.

So excuse me while I go fill up the cookie jar...again.

1 comment:

  1. Mmmmm... cooookieeees...

    There really is something about homemade cookies, though. They're seem to be the most ultimately comforting and addicting of all treats, I think. (Well, tied only with ice cream, perhaps.)


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