Blue gets up super early Monday morning and heads to the bakery. He knows Heidi said he didn’t need to but he wants to help her for the first day and get the soup prep done.
The bakery is having a soft opening so they’re not expecting huge crowds, they are having a big re- opening party on Saturday. Heidi is alone when he gets there doing the bake for the day. When she has a moment they sit and run through the staff roster and Blue suggests when he can come in to help
“Tad goes back to school next week so I can be more flexible then. Let me make everything this week and train them next week. I need to make a big pot for home for today too. Could I bring Ella and Nick in to see how you run things? It would do them good to see a real days work. I have no idea how they got away with so few chores at home.” Blue says shaking his head.
“But you say they’re nice and don’t come over as spoiled, just clueless.” Heidi says.
“Yeah I guess. I think they can do more than they let on but don’t want to. Are you sure an ice-cream place wouldn’t infringe on you too much?” Blue asks.
“Nah, people will choose where to go for coffee and where to go for food, the town can sustain a few more coffee places. Your idea of the kid’s parties was a good one and not my idea of fun.” Heidi grins.
“If they are mostly supplying their own shop and a few local places I think they can spend some time working out their market. I was wondering about making things very local. Heidi’s coffee flavor, Tad’s fig and rose, Gladys Raspberry sorbet. Like the soups putting the name of the main supplier as the name of the flavor or naming it after the person who came up with the combo, prominent locals favorites.” Blue says.
“Works well with the soup. But what about when you get supplies from multiple farms, like strawberries?” Heidi asks.
“l figure more than one type will have strawberries in, and we can cover most people, not all at once, but through the range.” Blue says.
“You can have a premium on the kid’s party, they can pay to have a flavor named after the kid and it debuts at the party.” Heidi says.
“I’ll talk to Tad. We’re going to need staff to make the ice-cream. Did anyone you interviewed but not take on seem to fit the bill? We’re not ready yet, but I’d like to bring in someone early on.” Blue says.
“Do they need to be full time?” Heidi asks.
“No, and as they have great freezer facilities at the farm it doesn’t need to be early mornings or anything like yours.” Blue says.
“I met with several women looking for part time work around school, they were all good I took two on and kept the others on a reserve list. A couple of them would no doubt be happier working out back than in front. When you have a job ad ready I’ll send it on.” Heidi says.
“Perfect. Gladys has a few people waiting in the wings but I need a firm budget from Mr Baxter.” Blue sighs.
“Fig and rose sounds amazing. Not for kids parties though.” Heidi laughs.
“But perfect with a slice of our lemon tart.” Blue says.
“Oh yes.” Heidi grins.
They get everything ready and the first of the new staff members arrives an hour before opening so Heidi can refresh them on espresso machine and where everything is. The first hour is slow but a couple of people linger over coffee which makes Heidi so happy.
Then they have a crazy rush, word has spread that they are back open. Orders come in for soup and sandwich carry out from local offices and they are rushed off their feet right through until 2. They have a small breather and the local teens arrive for complicated coffee drinks.
Blue is fascinated how the atmosphere changes through the day. He’s cleaning up in the kitchens when Heidi comes to get him.
“Hi Blue, I thought we could have a chat.” Arnold Baxter says and Blue grins.
“Coffee?” Blue asks.
“Do you have any soup left?” Arnold asks.
“A little spicy potato I can reheat.” Blue grins.
“Perfect, it is freezing today.” Arnold says. Blue pops out back and heats some soup and grabs himself a water and sits down.
“I guess you need an update on the business.” Blue says.
“The kids are enthusiastic and have been pouring over pictures and designing things but they seem as directionless as ever. I have seen the plans you have written up and Tad’s costings and of course I have tasted the amazing samples. It seems like you and Tad are doing everything and my two are treating it like an art project.” Arnold says.
“Neither of them can make a decision. We’ve given options, told them next steps and made a million suggestions. Tad and I had no idea they had no business plan. I thought I was just going to be fixing their recipes and Tad would be getting experience in a farm’s diversion line.” Blue says.
“Understood. I had no idea they’d no real plan when they bought all the equipment. They seemed to know how many mixers and how much freezer space they needed and I threw money at them I’m ashamed to say.” Arnold says.
“Tad, Abby and I have a plan. It came from something Gladys said.” Blue says and explains the ice cream shop idea and selling locally.
“That’s not going to pay back what has been spent easily.” Arnold says.
“No. But I think it would be a start. Tad would like to rent the equipment and space from you and have a go at getting a commercial line out there-I’m on the fence on that, feels wrong cutting your two out but if they go for the ice-cream parlor idea then well it might be good. Tad is graduating in May, and he is fully invested in getting the business going.” Blue says.
“Or the three of us could be partners. I set my kids up in another business and they have to buy their ice-cream from us. No offence to you and Tad but I’d like to talk to Mike before I sink more money in. To Abby too, see what she has in mind for premises.” Arnold says.
“You’re not opposed and you’re not mad at me.” Blue says.
“No you’ve confirmed my own feelings. Tad and Larry are involved in this monthly market idea too?”
“Yes, we all want that. I hope to sell my produce and cakes and pies. Get my name out there some more.” Blue says.
“Now, what about cheese?” Arnold asks.
“We’ve not even broached it with Ella and Nick. Ice-cream takes a little while, cheese a lot longer. I’d have loved to get it started with them, two types something soft and quick, not least for me to cook with and a hard cheese that takes time to mature. But I didn’t think the/ d go for it.” Blue says.
“I love the idea. It’s exactly the sort of thing I could do in retirement. My kids won’t take on the farm. I have a nephew who will, but he won’t wait forever, he’s snapping at me heels already. Come up with another plan, you and Tad and I’ll talk to Mike as I don’t want to steal his son if he has plans for him.” Arnold says.
“Look we can, but we’ve no real life business experience. I’d be a lot more comfortable if someone with real world experience could be involved. Also I don’t want to commit fulltime, not long term, I have my own dreams to chase.” Blue says.
“Okay. Let me talk to Mike. I do want you in at the start, for both. You’ve shown what a real worker you are and the soup is excellent. I want my name on that board as cheese supplier someday.” Arnold grins.
“I’d love it if you made good butter.” Heidi says wiping down the tables.
“Really? Who do you use now?” Arnold asks.
“We were using Tanners but they are no longer doing small orders and its too expensive to buy from a third party. So we’re on the lookout for a local supplier, I just haven’t had the time.” Heidi says.
“I know three or four who would love to supply butter and cream and have their names up. I’ll send them all in with samples.” Arnold says looking at Heidi and giving her a big grin.
“That would be perfect.” Heidi says.
“We all love what you’ve done with this place, this addition is perfect and we all want to be on the soup sign.” Arnold grins.
“We want all of you up there. Blue and I love turning local produce into tasty treats.” Heidi grins.
“You bot have a gift for it. Hey seeing these teens with their funny coffee, you should add some milkshakes to your menu and use Blue’s ice-cream and my milk. Just until the ice-cream shop is up and running.” Arnold says.
“We could have 2 flavors at a time and get people to vote for their fave. Get a feel of what works.” Blue says.
“I love that idea. You best get up and running.” Heidi says.
Blue is exhausted when he gets home, washes up the guys lunch things, makes some for the next day and flops into the bath to soak his aching legs and feet. As he’s crawling in to bed Andy calls.
“Hey Andy how’s things?” Blue asks.
“Oh man you’re naked.” Andy grins.
“Yeah just going from bath to bed.” Blue smiles.
“You look good. I’ve missed objectifying you.” Andy grins.
“You’re dating my twin.” Blue laughs, it hurts less to talk about Chris now he’s friends with everyone else again.
“Not any more. He dumped me.” Andy says.
“What? Are you okay?” Blue asks.
“Yeah, I called Clara to talk about the house and you know she laughed when I told her that you gave it to Gervais. Said you had good judgement. First time she’s acknowledged you since you left. She agreed Gervais needed a security deposit and she’s talk to him about the rent. I told her that Chris and I were in trouble and she encouraged me to break up with him. He overheard and went nuts, utterly crazy. Smashed up the room right in front of her and dumped me. I felt sheer relief.” Andy says.
“Good. Momma said I did good? Sorry I should focus on you.” Blue says.
“Honey no, it was a big deal. She didn’t say anything after that but I think she saw the fun in your revenge on her and your siblings. It was weird like her mask slipped for a minute. Anyway unknown to me Dylan had already filled the application in for the three of us and given him the whole security deposit. He told Bea and Chris that the lease was going to be in his name and they had to go. So Bea and Chris have moved in with Grant, Birch has moved in with Spence.” Andy says.
“And you’re okay? I mean really okay?” Blue asks.
“I am. I really am. I wondered if I could come and visit one weekend. I have no Friday classes, how cool is that? I’s love to give you a big hug and talk and see your land. Please Blue I know I’ve fucked up loads and I want to make it up to you.” Andy says.
“I don’t know. I really want to show you this place but I don’t trust you to not tell momma here I am.” Blue says.
“Okay. I understand. I need to work on earning that trust.” Andy nods.
“Yeah, maybe in time but not too soon.” Blue says.
“Thanks. You are looking super good.” Andy grins.
“You just miss my honey cakes.” Blue says.
“No don’t say it, its torture.” Andy grins.
“Good night. Take care of yourself.” Blue says.
“You too. I love you Blue and I am so sorry.” Andy says.
“We’ll get there.” Blue smiles.
Blue falls asleep with a smile on his face. Typical that his momma is impressed when he’s fucking people over, playing her game.
Blue sleeps late and has barely anytime to do his yoga. He’s just put the lunch on as Tad arrives to take him to work.
On the drive Blue tells Tad about his talk with Arnold.
“He came to see dad after, brought Abby with him too. He asked that we don’t tell Ella and Nick about the ice-cream parlor idea, that we stick with trying to get their heads into the business as there is no guarantee that the store will work.” Tad says.
“Did he talk about being partners?” Blue asks.
“Yeah suggested 40 him and 30 each us 2.” Tad says.
“That’s too much, he has had a huge outlay and I don’t want to sink all my money into this.” Blue says.
“That was what dad said. He didn’t want you to lose all your money. They’re working on it. I think we should bring Larry in too.” Tad says.
“Yeah. I am out of my depth business wise and I’m not all that interested. I know if I ever get my wine business going I’d bring someone in for that side it just doesn’t interest me. I’m kind of pissed that so much is expected of me. This was meant to be a cooking job.” Blue laments.
“We can’t do it without you. I think we need to stress that you are here as the creative one. You’ve had the ideas. I love the local names plan, it’s so you.” Tad says.
“Thanks. Come on lets go and deal with rock and boulder.” Blue groans and Tad rolls his eyes.
They have another trying day. Nick is being precious about his clothes and doesn’t want to prep the fruit for the test batches.
“You live here, go change.” Blue suggests, not understanding the problem.
“I’m really feeling my outfit.” Nick says and Tad bites his cheek to stop laughing.
Ella dumps a bowl of strawberry ice-cream on Nick’s head and giggles like a fool. It’s funny but Blue is angry as hell at the waste, especially as they haven’t been able to try the batch at all.
“For fucks sake you two should just fuck off. We’re not you’re fucking slaves. Either get with it and take it seriously or fuck off and don’t come back. Get out. Get out and don’t come back until you know what the fuck you’re doing.” Blue roars at the pair making Ella cry.
Tad stares at Blue in disbelief, where has this tiger come from?
Ella runs out the room and Nick follows.
“Man I have wanted to do that for ages.” Blue says slinking to the floor and putting his head in his hands.
“I’m jealous, I wish it had been me.” Tad says and put a splatter of the ice-cream on Blue’s nose.
Blue grabs the bowl of chocolate from the side and scoops some out and puts it straight into Tad’s mouth.
“Mmmmmmmm.” Tad grins and feeds Blue some vanilla, licking the mess from Blue’s chin.
Blue lift’s Tad’s shirt and puts a cold spoonful on his belly.
“Arrgh that’s cold.” Tad exclaims.
“Good job I have a hot mouth.” Blue says.
They lock the door and continue feeling and licking. Blue rolls Tad over and buries his tongue deep in Tad’s ass.
“Mmm that’s good.” Tad groans.
Naked and sticky they lick, suck and fuck, rolling around the floor in a highly unhygienic manner. They need to remove all their tension and fuck is it fun. Blue can’t get enough of Tad’s ass, and Tad is enjoying a good suck on Blue’s baton. They try and keep the noise down but don’t care about the mess until they look around satisfied and wonder how the hell they are going to clean up.