The Boss Deal - Penny Wylder
“What do you think of this?” Vanessa passes me half of a cupcake, and we both take a bite simultaneously. “Well?” she asks while still chewing. “It's cherry vanilla with a cream cheese frosting. Thoughts?”
“Do you really need me to tell you it's delicious?” I ask, popping another bite into my mouth. “It's fucking amazing, Vanessa.”
“Seriously, it really is.” Wiping my mouth with a napkin, I smile at her. “Is this going to be the cupcake of the month for April?”
She nods, leaning over and whispering to the girl behind her booth at the yearly cupcake convention. “Push this one, we want it to get an organic reach if we can.” The girl nods, and Vanessa grabs a napkin too, and wipes her fingers. “So, I've got some big news.” She smiles wide, flashing her perfect white teeth.
“Oh yeah, what's that?” I'm still licking cupcake off my fingers as we peruse the convention, checking out the competition.
It's the annual Baker's Dozen Convention in NYC, something Vanessa and I have gone to every year since college, and since we became partners in her business.
Vanessa owns a little bakery on the east side, Get Baked. It's the most popular bakery in all of NYC. There's a line out the door from the time it opens to the time it closes. People from all over the country come to get one of her cupcakes and I'm lucky enough to be the marketing expert that puts the spotlight on her.
“Well,” she says, cupping her hands and letting them fall in front of her waist as she turns to face me. “Get Baked is about to get a boost.” Her smile spreads from ear to ear, and she reaches out to take my hand. “We're expanding.”
“Expanding?” I ask, not sure if I hear her right. “What do you mean expanding?”
I know what it means. But it's like I need to hear her explain it, so I know this is truly happening. She's mentioned it before, but never had the cash to turn her dream into reality.
“Well, I reached out, took a big gamble, and I got an investor. The bakery has so much buzz right now, I thought why not try and branch out while we can. So, we're going to open up three more bakeries, two here in New York and one in New Hampshire.” She squeezes my hand and grins all giddy.
“Oh my God, are you serious?” She nods, her smile growing even broader. “Holy shit, Vanessa, that's incredible”
She wraps her hand tighter around mine. “There's more.”
“More?” She nods. “All right, well, spit it out, what is it?”
“I want you to manage all the marketing for the new stores.” She bites down on her bottom lip, lids squinting as she waits to see my reaction.
“Yes you, of course you, Misty,” Vanessa says as she chuckles. “Who else can do what you do? No one. You're half the reason the bakery is doing as great as it is. The other half is my incredible skills of course, but you're right there with me.” She gives me a playful nudge.
It's an easy decision for me, I don't really need to think about it at all. We're a team, and I'm not going anywhere.
“I'm in. I couldn't imagine not being a part of this.”
“There is one catch, though.” She thins her lips as she gives me a tight, awkward smile.
“All right, what is it?”
“You're going to have to work with the investor.”
“Wait, what? Why? Aren't you still the owner? Shouldn't it just be us?”
“Yes and no. The investor is really hands-on, and I don't blame them. If I was putting this kind of money into something, I'd want to be right there too. Don't worry, I still have the final say, and I'll still ask for your opinion. We didn't get this far by not knowing what we're doing.”
I'm quiet, and she senses my reserve. “Look, I don't need an answer right this second. Take a day or two, think it over. I’ll understand either way, no matter what you decide.”
I nod, giving her a genuine smile. “I don't need to think about it, Vanessa, I'm in.”
Her eyes light up with excitement as she starts to bounce in place. “This is going to be so incredible! We have to celebrate, let's go hit the town. What do you think? Want to go get shit faced in honor of our new adventure?”
“Hell yeah,” I say, balling up the napkin I'm holding and tossing it into a garbage can.