Last week I finally got out of my own way and put on my very first Cheesecake Tasting event ~ here's a rundown of how it went!
I can't begin to tell you what took me so long to do it really! Probably a mixture of fear, not knowing what I'm doing, and worry. I was also going to put on the event with the help of someone who made out they were great at this sort of thing. Once I realised that they were about as useful as a chocolate teapot (!), it actually became the thing that put a rocket up me, and made me realise that "Marcia, you've got this!" So thank you DCJ!
The other thing I realised was that for me fear, worry or doubt can be good in terms of making you want to maintain high standards and put on a great event for your guests, but that's the only real value they serve. Once you've got your idea, sprinkle it with copious amounts of determination, commitment and passion, and you've got a great recipe for success. Passion in particular carries you a long way, always shines through, and people can always feel it; it adds to your authenticity ~ in spades!
The other thing I didn't realise as well was that despite all the prep I'd done, I still needed someone to help me bring out the cheesecakes and take pictures, while I was attending to my guests. I was blessed with that help from two amazing women, Nicola, hostess with the mostess, and Ayesha, photographer & Videographer extraordinaire ~ Thank You!!
I always wanted to make this a regular event, so I was so blessed to receive great feedback from my guests, and will take away lessons learnt to make the next one even better! A short poll of my guests helped me decide whether my next event was going to be another Cheesecake Taster with different cheesecakes, or a Truffle Tasting event. The Truffle Tasting won hands down. So, that's a whole new set of skills for me to learn to make that one great too, but isn't that part of your life's journey?!
I haven't set a date yet for the next one, but when I do if you want to be one of the first to get an invite, you can either sign up to my newsletter at the bottom of the page, or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Things We Do For Love...
The wooden platters that the cheesecakes are served on became a labour of love for me, but I did get rewarded!
I saw the idea on an episode of The Great British Menu whilst channel flicking, and I became obsessed with the idea of having them at my event. I immediately got on the internet and started searching for some, never imagining that they'd be so hard to find. Well, they were! I started out ordering some from eBay. I don't know if I got my measurements wrong (very likely for a not great with measurements woman like myself), or they seller described them wrong, but as you can see what arrived wasn't quite the size I needed for proper platters.
They arrived in time for my first Cheesecake Tester though. My Cheesecake Tester was an idea I had when an opportunity came up to collaborate with some lovely women I'd "met" in my go to wellbeing Facebook group. The idea was that we all come together to provide a free taster of our wellbeing services and find out more about our passion for our businesses. This is a great way to actually experience a service and get to know the person behind the brand. You're then in a much better place to know, like and trust them, and recommend them to others.
I really had a fantastic time, putting names to faces, and tasting things like reiki healing and hypnotherapy. I used the opportunity to float my Cheesecake Tasting event idea, and as you can see from the empty plates, it went down well, despite my teeny, tiny wood platters!
Back to the odyssey of finding my ideal wood platters! After much fruitless searching I got in touch with a contact who put me onto someone else who was able to fashion these for me. I little bigger than I'd visualised, but hey when you're working with nature! Made from ash, horse chestnut and sycamore, I was able to get them sliced, but that was going to be it. If I wanted them sanded and varnished in time for my event, I'd have to do them myself. Never being afraid of turning my hand to whatever's necessary to get the result I need, I got stuck in!
I found a great work space just down the road from me, called Leeds Hackspace, a space for people that like making things, full of really helpful peeps who help you on your making journey! To begin with I wouldn't say "I liked" having to finish these platters off. As I got know more about working with wood, I found out that they hadn't been cut very well to begin with, making sanding much harder and longer than it needed to be. Also, because of the wet weather, some of them had also split, so I had to learn how to repair them with a new slice of wood (the image on the right). This mishap did turn out to give me some great ideas though!
The Universe works in mysterious ways, and all this aggravation was clearly it's way of teaching me something. I couldn't see it at the time, but the experience has given me some great ideas for how I can make the platters a key part of my business, with some great branding and bespoke ideas - so watch this space. Ultimately, by the time of my event, I'd actually enjoyed the whole experience, and I've added some more creative talents to my list of skills.
Below is a video of just the tiny amount of the sanding I had to do to get my platters ready - just a tiny amount! I was rewarded by nothing but praise and positive feedback, reminding me that some things are worth putting in all that effort for!
So that was my very first of many Cheesecake Tasting event! It had the desired effect of giving my brand some great exposure, and beyond that I've met some great people along the way, got to be a great host to some lovely guests, and learned some new skills - I can't ask for any more than that!
Watch this space for news of my next event, a Truffle Tasting, or email me at email@example.com to be the first to find out when it's launched.
For your peace of mind, Abundance Foods is: