Soul Bazaar

Paul’s OrangeTwenty Layer Cake, & more. Paul’s Dream in the making.

January 28th, 2011

Here is the story. How it all started.

It was in October of 2008. The boys and I were driving to North Carolina, from Washington DC. They were visiting from the West coast, and we were on the way to see their father, Jenny and the kids. The boys’ oldest brother, Mike, also was joining us from Chile with his adorable wife Marcela. It was going to be a familiar feast. One of those memorable family reunions. We live all spread over the country and is not easy to gather everybody in one spot.

I was happy to have the boys with me for 10 hours straight on the road, alternating the immense pleasures of listening to their music, my jazz, with conversation about thorough evaluation of the past year and their plans for the next year. They were living together at the time. We were all talking about life and its lessons in general, or in relationship with our recent experiences, the way we do it, thinking and feeling out loud. Even though this time I was more the listener than the active talker.

You see the scene? We’ve been on the road for a while already and that is when it happened.
“Mom, I have a dream” – said Paul with certainty- and paused.

I looked at him, waited in suspense and anticipation because knew this sounded very serious. He never pronounced those words before like that…”What is it” -I finally asked-after a long sigh adjusting to the emotional context of the statement.

-“I want to pick up your dream, the Luzma’s 20 layer cake, exactly where you left it. I want to pick it up exactly where dad messed up because of his problem with money and gambling. I want to pick it up from there…”- He continued- …and take it to the next level”.

Now he is looking at me with his serious brown eyes through the black framed glasses. The afternoon sun reflecting the prism of colors in part of his left lenses. He is sitting in the left seat in the back. We pause for a moment. His image at that moment is frozen in my mind.
Now, tears are coming out of my eyes, I am deeply touched and mesmerized by what I have just heard…after a period of silence I attempt to ask… Really?

-“Really, mom”.-

“Would you help me with that project, mom”? I don’t think is fair to prevent the world from enjoying that magnificent cake! –he continued- with the voice of passion and determination!

I have to say, actually I would have not imagined this in a thousand years…I had long buried that dream and now seems so far away, and yet so near through my son’s experience. It was surprising that it took root in him in spite of the fact that I let it go so long ago.

“Of course Paul! Thank you ! It will be a great honor! I am speechless!!! Thank you again! I love the idea!!! There is business history and a proven product…

So we are talking around the end of 2009, right?” –“Yes!” -he said. (Turns out it is the end of 2010. Sigh)

“That will be a great project where we can include Millennials and get creative”.  I said….pensive. My brain starting to connect the vision in my mind. The name, the business model, and the marketing tools have changed so much since 1985… We left it open. Last year, while I was in Chile, he finally decided the time was right and he was travelling back from Colorado. He arrived to Washington DC before I did.

Now, looking back…the truth is that my Entrepreneurial mind was dreaming that cake enterprise when I conceived him, was pregnant with him…until he was about 3 years old, when I closed the business. I owned a Luzma Cakes in Cristal City, in the Washington Metropolitan area, in the 80’s. He grew up seeing feeling and eating those cakes.

He had had a little taste of my dream. I was pregnant with him at the time I was actually dreaming and manifesting it. I guess… well, a lot more than a little taste. It was my dream with all my intensity at the time. The ones who know me know about my intensity. LOL .

I spent most of last November and December in Chile due to my parents’ death. My father died on November 6th and my mother died on December 6th at the same time. 10:35 am. But that is another story.

This year in the beginning of the year, Paul and I made the cake together for the first time at a mutual friend’s professional kitchen . It was January 6, 2010. One month after my mother’s death. (It felt like my mother was there.)

It was one of those evidences showing up like a coincidence. Suddenly, while we were making the cake, I started remembering and telling Paul the story of how it happened when we came to this country. It all started with the idea and the moment when I made a huge Orange Twenty Layer cake for my mother’s Christmas party.

It was Christmas 1984, she usually had these gorgeous and memorable parties with chamber music to give well use to the stainway piano in her music room, great food, beautiful decoration and presentation. She usually invited around 60 people. Her guests were mainly from the different Embassies.

This time, we used the left overs of the cake, cut them in samples and brought them with the intention to sell to the hotels in town. Before we knew, we had sold cakes to the Marriotts,  Sheratons, Shoreham and even the National Press Club. They were including them in their menu, their brunch or their latest even we were getting instant orders. Worth around $2,000.00 per month in cakes from our little apartment.

I told Paul the story of how his grandmother would go out with me, equipped with samples, her glamour, her elegance, her hat , her royal ring and gracefully would hand the plastic container presented with a crispy white dollie to the chef at hand, saying something like: “This is what my daughter makes, try it”.

Then she proceeded to gift them with her best smile and waited with the confident and certain grin of anticipation of someone who has an unsurpassable product and knows it. Then , invariably the chef would smile with surprised satisfaction, finished the piece of 20 layer orange cake, and started commending the delicious product, already figuring out how and when he could insert it to it fit in his menu and or event planning, excited to surprise his clients with the innovative dessert.

This is the kind of product that has to be presented with a sample. A sample will speak louder than a thousand words. This is why…It is made with very thin layers of the most delicate buttery dough sprinkled with natural vanilla beans , alternated with a refreshing crystalline orange cream. Resulting in a blend of the sweetness of vanilla and butter, with the invigorating freshness and sourness of of a natural orange. Almost like a reminder asserting the sweet and sour life in one orgasmic bite.

When you taste it, you will thank Paul. He is the one who wants to share the Orange Twenty Layer Cake with you. Remember? “I don’t think it is fair to prevent the world from enjoying that magnificent product.”

Let’s go to the Business Model now. A Soul Hangout Venture. We need all your ideas! Paul’s Cakes. The first Soul Hangout tribe business venture.

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