It's something I've thought very hard about and planned over the last few months...it wasn't a decision I've taken lightly and it's been very emotional telling my incredibly loyal customers - many of whom have ordered 5, 10, 20 or more times!
Whether you've bought multiple or just one box over the almost 5 years of Sugar Moon, you've contributed to the success of my small business and for that I'm so grateful. It's grown and grown and is now the busiest it's ever been.
So - why am I closing?! Well, that success is the main reason. Not everybody knows, but Sugar Moon is me alone. I literally do everything from the shopping to the baking to the wrapping and packing, handwriting the gift messages on the postcards (and taking the photos for the postcards and tags too) before finally seeing the boxes off at the post office. Not to mention the admin associated. I wanted it this way, and it's been brilliant - but it's all snowballed! I am extremely fussy about attention to detail and customer service (as I hope you've noticed!) and I would hate to ever have to compromise on any of that.
Why not hire someone...or several...to help? Well, here's where Nancy Silverton comes in. It was while watching her episode of the Netflix series 'Chef's Table' (third volume, if you're interested!) that I realised I felt about Sugar Moon the way she did about her La Brea bakery. She got so busy that she had to start making the bread - previously totally handmade - by machine. And when she saw the machines kneading and stirring, she knew it wasn't her business any more. I love every aspect of the Sugar Moon brownie process, and would hate to give any of it up! Plus, like many small business owners, I'm a control freak and I know (having employed people in a different past business) that no one would care the way I do about it...because it's like a baby to me!
I also decided not to sell, for a quite similar reason. The brand identity and whole ethos behind Sugar Moon are so ME...it's very special to me and I would hate to give it over to someone else and see them change anything about it (as they undoubtably would...and have every right to!)
There are other reasons. I'm currently in training to be a psychotherapist...this is hard work and will take up more and more time. And also the platform that hosts the website is shutting down soon, which would mean a complete (and expensive) rebuild. It just seemed to be the right time.
I am keeping the kitchen on, and also the wholesale side of the business (which is more easy to predict and flexible) If you're ever in the Aylesbury area, then you will find my brownies at several places - including The Works (in High Wycombe too!)
So - THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! For making Sugar Moon the joy it's been. For letting me be a small part of so many joyous (and sometimes sad) occasions in your lives and those of your friends and family. I have made so many friends through the years.
If I decide to come back - and the brand (and recipes!) are mine, so I can do that - I'll be sure and let you know.
I wish you love, luck and everything good xx