I live in a small town of about 8000 people. It was recently named Atlantic Canada’s Best Place to Raise a Family and I would mostly agree given that my husband and I opted to uproot our lives 7 years ago to move back and raise our two daughters here. We have great schools, amazing sports programs that have produced Olympic athletes, live minutes from breathtaking beaches and numerous lakes…it’s a pretty sweet place.
Early this week, Bridgewater celebrated it’s anniversary and as part of the celebration some town councillors strolled about town handing out cupcakes, a seemingly harmless gesture and one that brought momentary smiles to lots of people going about their daily business. I was a little disappointed to have missed out on the affair because all reports were that the cupcakes were fabulous. The fact that my oldest daughter, age 13, mentioned them means they must have been good because what 13 year old girl wants to talk to their mom about anything other than to ask for money and/or negotiate a ride somewhere?
Leave it to my town, however, to turn something as simple as cupcakes (and mini ones at that) into a scandal – and not the scandal I would have anticipated. I figured there would be concerns expressed by some about handing out cupcakes as the Town recently passed a Healthy Food Policy, but that apparently doesn’t warrant scandal status.
What does warrant cupcake scandal status here is having cupcakes made for a town’s anniversary by someone who doesn’t live in town anymore. I emphasize the word anymore because the baker who made the 3000 cupcakes actually did live in Bridgewater just a few years ago. (Her daughter was a good friend of my daughter when they lived here.) Said cupcake baker moved out of town to live with her mother when she and her former spouse separated so she would have some support raising her children and she began her small home-based business then and has developed an outstanding reputation, thus the reason she was approached to bake the cupcakes.
Some folks are outraged that someone from ‘outside of town’ was approached to bake the cupcakes when surely there must have been someone within town limits who could accommodate the request to make 3000 cupcakes for $1000 and …gasp…a local bakery allegedly was not even approached. The shame! Personally, I would offer a guess that no retail bakery would take on such a job given the time and costs involved for such a small profit margin – about 34 cents before expenses, but what do I know about baking? Not much other than how to burn stuff.
Personally, I’m not sure if I should be happy or scared that this is the best our town can come up with for a scandal. As someone who pays an insane amount of money each year in property taxes I have no complaints about the cupcakes. In fact, I’m glad they opted to go with a small home-based entrepreneur. Her postal code doesn’t matter to me.
There will always be ‘those’ people who find fault in the simplest of things. I choose not be one of them, especially when they involve cupcakes made by a single mom trying to support her family who used to live here but because of life circumstances no longer does. I feel fairly confident that those criticizing the town councillors for not shopping local shop outside of town from time to time for certain things themselves – perhaps to get a bargain or because someone recommended they check out a certain business so I’m not buying their argument one bit and find it hypocritical.
I wonder if cupcakes will become an election platform during the next municipal election?