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Bakery Story

Bakery Story App

For dessert lovers with entrepreneurial fantasies of managing their own bakery, there is a new virtual evil with no caloric penalties for consuming it:  an app for the iPad called Bakery Story. The app has also somehow managed to attract the attention of my daughter, though hardly for very long. It's a quick fix experience anyhow.

The object of the game is to have happy customers and earn virtual money so your business can grow. The experience is a mindless social game of tapping the iPad to "prepare" baked goods and to design a brick and mortar business, all while keeping customers fed and happy (plus occasional gift giving to your virtual "neighbor" bakeries).

The folks who developed the game didn't take it the direction I hoped. What by title alone seemed to promise a creative outlet for recipe development (Lemon thyme caramel tarts, anyone?) instead offered a game that is worlds simpler. I am not desperate to participate in it, but it has become something I tend to keep up with as if it's dishes or laundry--the kinds of things you need to survive while working full-time, being tired often and parenting (and blogging occasionally). OK, my bakery is more aesthetically pleasing than my laundry pile!

As the weeks flew by and I tried again and again to get this post done, something happened. All around me, I began to become aware of the real bakery stories, corporate, independent, and local.

Here is what having a bakery is like in REAL life (in varying degrees):
  • Au Bon Pain- remember them? Harvard Square, 1990. Boston summer rain. The chess masters that would sit outside and play? Ahhh. Nevermind. Anyway, they got bought by Panera. Cool on them for pioneering the pay what you can concept. But in my excitement about their Strawberry Hot Cross Buns, I raised my camera and was shooed away (no photos allowed). Really?
  • Donsuemor. Susie sings in the Revels. A baker and a soprano. Music and baking sounds (and tastes good to me). Their madeleines are exquisite and what they do, they've always done fabulously...and it's nice to see they are expanding!

  • Starbucks. They didn't start as a bakery, but look at any store anywhere in the world. There is lots of consistency in all the pastry choices you find. I wonder who developed their very cool Red Velvet Whoopie Pies in honor of their 40th anniversary last month?

Even though social dessert recipe creation isn't yet a game, the virtual experience for now is something my daughter has picked up. She likes the music of the app (it is truly atrocious) and she likes to practice her near complete sentences as she observes the customer flow through my bakery (she's under 2):  "The people...happy." "People...are hungry."

Well, Little Bug, so are the cats. So let's go feed them their dinner and call it a night.

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