On Leadership, Enterprise, and Blueberry Wheat Cakes

Blueberry Wheat Pancakes

How’s your logic? I ask this because I used to assume everyone operated from the same rational perspective. Then I tried to eat a blueberry wheat-cake and my world changed.

Enterprising Product

One day I had friend talk about a restaurant that had “the world’s best blueberry wheat-cakes.” He said that he would drive for two hours each way to eat these delicious breakfast treats!

He passionately described the fresh blueberries and the unique hearty taste he experienced. With his commentary, I was intrigued.

But somehow, I got side tracked and forgot his suggestion. I put his recommendation on pause…

A Second Recommendation

About two months later, a different buddy told me that he was coming to town from a different city about 90-minutes away to eat at the same restaurant that I remembered served the same blueberry wheat-cakes. I asked why he was stopping there.

He explained that this restaurant had an incredible breakfast dish that was like pancakes, but that it was made with wheat and blueberries.

He said that it was just incredible!

I said, “Do you mean blueberry wheat-cakes?”

Immediately his eyes lit up and he said, “Oh wow, you must have had them then!”

That Good? Really?

At this point, I was baffled. I thought that “I have friends who are driving long distances on weekends to eat a specific dish that I had never tried.

All I could think was that blueberry wheat-cakes must be incredible and the restaurant must be amazing.

I came home that night and told my wife that we MUST eat these blueberry wheat-cakes. Clearly not understanding my unbridled passion for the very specific dish, she kind of looked at me like I was crazy and said, “ok, let’s go in a couple weeks.”

On a Mission

Blueberry Wheat PancakesAbout six weeks later we arose early and headed to get our blueberry wheat-cake on.

As we drove to the restaurant, there was a palpable anticipation in the air. We walked up to the counter and I proudly ordered. The woman behind the counter quickly replied this:

“We don’t serve those anymore. What else can I get ya?”

I was shocked. There clearly must have been a misunderstanding. I was coming to get the dish that apparently had made the restaurant famous.

I said:

“Oh no, I said blueberry wheat-cakes,” making sure to slowly enunciate each syllable.

She said:

“Yea, I heard you the first time. We stopped serving them a few weeks ago.”

Whaaa? I asked how the restaurant decided to stop serving such a wildly popular dish, explaining that I heard that people were driving in from over 100 miles away just to eat it.

More Convo…

What ensued ranks right up there with some of the great mysteries of our human existence.

She said:

“Yea, it was a heck of a problem. We had people waiting for over two hours to get their orders. The line was out the door. Our kitchen was constantly slammed with that one specific order. So, we decided to stop serving them.”

I seriously thought she was messing with me. I said:

“You have got to be kidding me. The blueberry wheat-cakes were so popular that you decided to stop making them?”

“Yep,” she said.

Moving On…

I stood there irate, confused and genuinely upset at this travesty of capitalism.

Exasperated, I exclaimed this:

  • “You’re in the business of selling food to people who want to buy it right?”
  • “Why didn’t you raise your prices?”
  • “Why didn’t you add to your kitchen staff?”
  • “Why didn’t you expand to a larger location?”
  • “Why didn’t you franchise?”
  • “Why didn’t you create a blueberry wheat cakes app for smart phones?” (Okay, maybe that one was a little far-fetched)

About half-way through the fifth or sixth recommendation she interrupted me saying this:

“Look, if you want to order something, do so. If not, I need to help the next person in line.”

I looked up confusedly at her and said,

“I’ll take the breakfast burrito.”

I could explain the absolute maniacal logic used to make the decision… but I think you get the point.

Think about your life and business. Do you have any blueberry wheat-cakes? Are you missing opportunities because of your perspective?

Still to this day, I wonder if I shouldn’t buy the recipe and set up a blueberry wheat-cakery next door. Hhmmm…


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Brent Beshore is serial entrepreneur & owner of AdVentures (#28 on 2011 Inc. 500)
He blogs on Entrepreneurship & serves Startups, including a Digital Talent Agency
Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Web | Blog

Image Sources: coffeefun.com, housebeautiful.com


2 responses to “On Leadership, Enterprise, and Blueberry Wheat Cakes

  1. They have the opportunity already and they just threw it away! They should have at least sold the recipe for a very good price. Great story anyway.


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