This months editorial is going to be just a little different. A few months back I was talking to my lovely friend Brian Fishman and he was telling me his story about how wonderful our community is. So this month I thought I would allow him to take over the editorial as I think it is just a heart warming story about how our community can really come together!
Hope you love it as much as I did,
Hugs, Shags xoxoxo
In light of all the bashing, name calling, tutorial stealing, misunderstandings and basic negative behavior I have heard about and even been witness to, I am taking over this month’s Gazette to spread joy and tell you a little story.
I am not well known in the cake community. I’ve never been on a cake show or a live cake competition but I know a lot of people. Now you will get to know me. My name is Brian Fishman. Together with my wife Jennifer we run a small but busy Dessert and Cake company called Sweet Karma Desserts, located in Plainview, New York. I’ve been in business for over 13 years, I feel I’ve grown technically and emotionally throughout those years. A lot of my growth can be attributed to the company I keep. The individuals that I have had the pleasure to call friends in this industry have become family. Ill cut to the chase. I’m definitely not the healthiest person you’ve ever met but not sickly. I’ve overcome Testicular Cancer, a multitude of Life threatening car accidents, a strangulated hernia that spiraled out of control landing me in the hospital for over a month and most recently the strangulated hernia reared its ugly head all over again. I tend to work myself under extreme pressure (like most of us crazy cakers), my wife says that it’s the craziness that drives me….cant disagree. I am the only decorator in my shop, I have a Baker, I have a Pastry Chef, even a part time pot washer, but if it needs decoration it’s gotta come through me. We can have some pretty insane weeks at the shop, lots of flowers, figures, sculptures, cut outs..blah blah blah.
The story gets juicy….just wait
I’ve been feeling a little twinge in my stomach, slightly familiar but not exactly the same as before. It’s a Thursday night right before an insane cake weekend. I’m handling a monster over 125#, in and out of the walking a few times. I’m a big guy, not weak so this is easy peasy (so I told myself). I had to run an errand so I left the shop and headed to my destination. Once there I immediately break out in a cold sweat and my stomach starts to hurt. I finish up the errand and head back to the Bakery to put the final touches on the “monster”. I show the customer, we pack it up and off they go. I go and sit down in my office, telling myself “I’m ok, it’ll pass”. It didn’t. I said goodnight to my staff and I headed home. When I got home, I went straight upstairs to lie down and hopefully try and feel better. Nope, not happening, I yell to my wife “I really think I need to go to the hospital” off we went. Waited to be seen in the emergency room then into the exam area. We waited for a while then I saw a familiar face, the surgeon that operated on me 5 years prior, Dr. Josephs, a kind soothing man that was genuine and cared about the people he took care of. He examined me and said “yup, we know what we have to do”. My wife at this time was in semi-panic mode, my mother held my hand and my son cried at my bedside. I was to be operated on for a hernia that was rapidly crushing my intestine and it was life threatening.
As I lay in bed recuperating from this life threatening blow to my life I can't help but think about and thank the people that make my life worth living. My life friends and family know I have had quite a few scares and made it through, I guess cause the light on this side is so much brighter than the one on the other side.
So Thursday night right before one of my busiest cake weekends. My wife Jennifer Blau-Fishman the rock she has become dealing with my health, dreaded what was to come. My surgery was performed at 3am and lasted 4 hours. This time, no complications all went smoothly but I, Sweet Karma's resident artist was out of commission. What to do? Immediately on the phone with my 2 other pillars, Theresa Siegel and Charles Tola, pillars, no, angels is what they are. The calls went out to all who could hear, to the friends, hell they aren't friends they are family, in my closely knit and mutually respectful community. To Jennifer and Theresa's side rushed reinforcements....to these people my eyes well with tears of joy, their selfless acts warm my heart and fuel my soul. My endless thanks and gratitude go out to my own battalion of SUGAR ANGELS : Charlie Tola, Dominique McGrath, Jean A. Rettmer Schapowal, Roseann Filosa Atkins, Farnaz Roozparast, Christina Moda all working tireless to get my work done and wow my clients. My staff, the tireless Taylor D'Argenio and Armando Almorin for all you've done and continue to do. Robert Ellinger for offering whatever was needed to help. I love these people. I love Them! Thank you for what you did and continue to do to help me, my family and Sweet Karma (I guess I really did choose the right name for my business).
These “Angels” did what they had to do to help me and they all know I would do no less for each and every one of them, this is how our “community” should be. The stealing of customers, undercutting of prices and bashing of others needs to stop. We should not be thinking of each other as competitors, but as friends there to support and care for each other with loyalty and respect. You never know when what happened to me, happens to you. Where will that leave you and your business? For me, my family and Sweet Karma it meant that these loyal friends were there to save my business and keep it going without a hiccup. My wife says it ran smoother, lol. So today I gave her my notice, anybody looking to hire a cake decorator? (only kidding)
The moral of all this is : “Life is too damn short, quit your whining and belly aching, love those around you, put good out and it will come right back, believe in karma!”
And remember what we do is make people happy, I’ll take that any day!
Plus add in my new motto, "Sometimes Whipped, Never Beaten" which is now inked to my arm.