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The Gift

I inherited the bakery from my father. We never had a great relationship, during the last years we barely even talked. I had a different job. When the business I worked for closed a few months ago, I couldn’t find another job. The moment was very bad and if you were more than forty years old, anyone was willing to hire you. My father had been sick for a long time, but he continued with his bakery, coordinating his pasrty chefs and the people working behind the work bench with his usual, annoying authority. He got worse and he reached out to me, he wanted me to go and talk to him. I didn’t want him to leave me regretting our bad relationship. I hadn’t seen him in a long time, he surprised me in a very bad way. Eyes carved by the time and the disease, few hair and his face, streaked with many wrinkles, a look that showed how much he was suffering. His voice was nothing but a whisper, I had to get real close to hear him, he took advantage of it and he hugged me. I was moved, tears in my eyes. That man, rude and authoritarian, always miser about affectionate gestures was consumed, like a candle lightened up for too long. He was fading, just like that and just a little humanity had kidnapped his heart. he was dictating one last will: take the reins of the bakery. He guaranteed that his co-workers would have helped me, I just had to direct them. I accepted, feeling almost forced. I didn’t have a job,nor prospectives, I remembered something about the way my father dealed with the bakery, I worked there when I was very young, and it was right after a fight in there for a problem of the bakery, that I decided to turn my back on everything and follow my path; I was just eighteen. I started right after that talk, I missed having a job, even though staying home with nothing to do makes you lazy I didn’t want to waste time and all I wanted was to feel useful. The bakery was the same as before, something was new about the furniture, buti t had the same perfumes, the same pastries. It was kind of sad and dark. It smelled like an old thing. The customers, too, were old people with habits, and crazy slow rhythms, even the momments were the same I heard when I was young: too sweet, we’re going to get all dirty, it’s sticky, the coffee is too high, too low, too cold, too hot, too much, too little. EVrybody asked me about my father, they didn’t really care about his sickness, he didn’t have friends, it was just something to talk about. I felt like I had to do something to change the customers without losing the usual. I had to re-new it. More light. More color, let’s change the placemats, let’s put some flowers. After every little change I stood right under the entrance sign and I stared. Nope, not quite yet, something is missing. The problem are the windows, they are light up, actually they are beautiful, but not enough. What do I do? The net was my passion, so I sit down and searched using words like ‘sweets’, ‘cakes’, ‘bakery’. I couldn’t find anything that could change something. www.martypack.it Luce Bowl, the first thing I saw. I laughed: I was looking for more light, I found it. I searched the site, after the Luce Bowl I saw the Arya Bowl, fun name, good product, I wanted to put ‘dad’s specialty’ in there. The pirottini where a surprise, I thought about Alfonso, the customer that was always annoyed because he got dirty everytime he took a bite of his babà. I thought about how much the Onda Bowl could change the presentation, I could stack them and that would have been even more interesting. I decided to place a small order, I included the monoportions, I couldn’t choose the shape, so I ordered the mix. When the products arrived the old pastry chef, Saverio, wasn’t really sure about using them: he had always used the ones made of carton, he couldn’t understand why I wanted to meke that change. The young apprentice loved that news and convinced his boss to just try them for once and baked a few mignons with fruit that he then placed on the monoportions. The window was divided in two: a side with the old containers, the other with the cakes placed on the products of Martypack. I made them with extreme care and called the chefs to show them the result. Even Saverio thought that the ‘new’ window was more beautiful. It’s been six months now. We are used to the Martypack containers nopw and we are getting used to the new customers, too, starstruck by the new window and convinced to come back by the quality. The bakery goes great, I sarted baking something new. Everybody is feeling just fine and everybody has a smile on their face. During this time my father left me, I thanked his just a moment before he could fade away and I apologized. Thank you dad, you gave me the best present you could , even though I’m not sure I deserved it.