Matthew was a regular Errand Solutions customer. Whenever he needed something done right, and on time, Nichol was his point-woman. One day, he came into the Errand Solutions office with a larger request than usual.
“One of my best employees has a birthday tomorrow,” he told Nichol. “Greta is the hardest working woman, and I know that she doesn’t do a lot by the way of treating herself. I thought I’d get a cake for her.”
“How nice!” Nichol answered. “What kind of cake did you want to get for her?”
“Well, her favorite fruit is raspberry,” he said, “so I was thinking a chocolate raspberry cake.”
“Yum.” Nichol was a little jealous of Greta, who would be able to eat the cake once it was done. “How big?”
“A half-sheet should do it,” Matthew said. “That way she’ll have some and can share with some people. If she wants to,” he added, laughing.
Nichol laughed with him, but she knew it wouldn’t be an easy order to place. A half-sheet cake was more work for the baker, and would cost extra, but that wasn’t the real problem. Chocolate raspberry wasn’t a standard flavor of cake; the baker would have to custom make it. Never one to give up on a challenge, Nichol looked up the number for one of the best bakeries in town and placed a call.
“What size?” the bored voice on the other end of the line asked when she asked to place a cake order.
“A half-sheet,” Nichol said. “I’m going to need it delivered tomorrow.”
“No problem, but that’ll cost extra. What flavor?”
“Chocolate raspberry.” Nichol was met with a moment of silence.
“I’m sorry, but I can’t do it,” the voice finally answered her. “That’s a custom flavor, and I can’t do a custom flavor and a custom size in that time frame.”
Nichol hung up with that bakery and tried another. She met with the same result at several bakeries. After a frustrating hour of trying to haggle with high-end bakers, she came to a realization: if she took the delivery out of the bargain, maybe a baker would take the order.
The last bakery on the list was Nichol’s favorite bakery. It was the place she went to for all of her personal orders for special occasions, and she was on friendly terms with the staff. She had thought it would be nice to go to a more prominent baker with her order, but, upon reflection, she thought that her personal relationship with this particular baker might help her situation.
“Hello, Nichol!” She was met with a cheery voice when she placed her call. “What can I get for you?”
“I have a customer who needs a half-sheet cake by tomorrow,” she said. “He wants a chocolate raspberry flavor.”
“The size and the flavor I can do,” the baker said, “but the delivery might be an issue.”
“I was thinking that I could pick it up when it was ready,” Nichol said.
“In that case, no problem! Swing by tomorrow morning and we’ll have it.”
On her way to work the next morning, Nichol stopped at the bakery to pick up the cake that Matthew had ordered for Greta. It was beautiful. It was a white chocolate raspberry mousse cake (they let her taste a sample while she was there – it was delicious) with red and white buttercream frosting. They had even decorated the edges of the cake with pieces of freshly cut strawberries, pineapples, and kiwis. After showing the cake to Nichol for inspection, the baker placed the cake in a neat white box and tied it up with a red ribbon.
Nichol delivered the cake to Matthew when he got to his office at 10. “It’s beautiful,” she told him. “They gave me a sample of it, too, and it’s delicious. Greta’s going to love it.”
The next day, Nichol received an email from Matthew with a picture of Greta’s face as she opened the cake box to find her birthday surprise. Having tasted the cake herself, Nichol knew that Greta was in for a fantastic birthday.