ArchivedLogs:Baked Good Intentions
|Baked Good Intentions|
Baked goods and good intentions pave the road to hell and stomach aches.
<NYC> Happy Cakes Bakery - TriBeCa
Happy Cakes Bakery is a cheery little spot of vintage charm amidst the hustle and bustle of the Manhattan neighborhood, a refurbished pair of row homes that hardly resemble their previous selves - the front walls are almost entirely gleaming glass, with the logo of the bakery painted onto the top, and rainbows of cupcakes dancing along the edges. Eclectically styled, it seems homey and welcoming - if the cross stitched sign by the door wasn't obvious enough - "All are Welcome!" it reads, with the "All" underlined in a sparkling bubble gum pink and yellow dotted line, with the logo of the bakery, a cheery smiling pink and white cupcake, beneath the lettering.
Once inside, the walls of the combination bakery and coffee shop are covered in crisp clean white ceramic tile, with the occasional randomly placed tile with an color engraving of a tropical flower, or tile made of reclaimed China. Ambient music reminiscent of the Big Band era plays through the shop, loud enough to be heard, but not loud enough to make conversation difficult. Tables and chairs in a variety of sizes, colors, and styles fill one side of the room, none of them quite matching each other, but all of them seeming to work together. The other side of the shop is a long series of gleaming glass and chrome bakery displays, filled with colorful sweets and treats of every description. To one end of the counter is a gleaming chrome espresso machine with far more tubes and bobbles than is really necessary, but producing excellent espresso beverages. At the other end is the old style cash register, a chrome and cherry wood relic from a bygone age that dings cheerily with each sale. The wall behind the counter is covered in photos of a tropical island, as well as a pair of shops that look like a smaller version of this one, several including a pair of dark haired women.
The evening rush has died down, and only a few customers remain in the seating area of the bakery, the fading rays of sunlight bathing the eclectic little pastry shop in golden light. Hanna is working behind the pastry counter, the bouncy woman is swishing her hips back and forth in time to the music overhead in the bakery, she's bent over, rearranging the cupcakes and baked goods so that they can be more easily seen. She is wearing a bright blue wiggle dress that hugs her ample curves quite appropriately, and sensible shoes, her hair piled into a messy bee-hive style, making her look like something out of a 1950s calendar. Another woman stands over near the elaborate espresso machine, cleaning the coffee station up for the night - her skin is a deep earthy brown, while her hair is a massively thick braid of grassy green, and she wears a long cream colored sundress, beneath a crisp white apron.
Iolaus peeks through the door of the bakery and glances around, looking over to the women behind the counter and around the room. "Are you still open?" he asks, even as he steps through the doors with a warm smile. The door does not even shut behind him before he is followed by a tall man who glances around the room with a much more aloof look. Iolaus' companion is much more fashionably dressed than he is, in Hugo Boss' well cut lines to Iolaus' generic-brand white dress shirt and grey slacks. Despite the taller man's attractive features and nice clothing, it is almost impossible to actually find him interesting in any way, and he is quite quickly forgettable.
The sound of someone entering the shop, makes Hanna start, and pop up over the chromed counter, her face a cheery smile. "Hello! Yes, my apologies, we are open, come on in. We've still got a decent selection, and Jayna will be more than happy to whip up some coffee or non-coffee based beverages for you," Hanna offers with an apologetic shrug and a grin. At mention of her name, the green haired woman by the coffee station turns slightly and offers a polite wave, before going back to neatning her coffee cups and saucers. Hanna raises an eyebrow at the tall but decidedly forgettable man, but shrugs, having seen stranger things in this city. "What can we offer you this fine evening? I offer a two for one deal on cupcakes in the evening," the curvy woman says with a wide gesture to the chrome and glass cases.
"I'm not sure, actually." Iolaus confesses, as he approaches the case with an almost child-like enthusiasm. Or, perhaps, a preemptive sugar rush. "I'd heard good things about your sweets, and I came in search of... something!" he says, with a little laugh. "I can't imagine telling you that I'm looking for something delicious is helpful? Or sweet?" he asks, glancing down into the chromed cabinet. "What kind of cupcakes do you have?" he asks, flicking his attention back up to Hanna's face. "Something..." he trails off, waving his hand in the air for a moment before shrugging.
Hanna smiles, leaning against the counter top to look at Iolaus, "Ah - not an entirely unusual predicament for new customers, I am rather proud to say." She chuckles a bit, and leans over further, standing on tip toe to do so, reaching pointing out the cupcakes as she explains, "Well, we've got the spring cupcake, which is a cheery little chocolate raspberry cupcake with a vanilla butter cream and little gum-paste flowers. There's also vanilla cherry cupcakes, old fashioned devil's food cake with a dark chocolate ganache center and a whipped chocolate frosting, then there's the lemon lavender cupcakes, and I think we still have one or two vegan coconut cupcakes." She smiles, "If you want something super sweet, I'd go with the spring cupcake or the devil's food. If you like a little bit more of a rounded flavor, go for the lemon lavender ones." There's a devious little smirk on her face, "Of course, we do have take home boxes, too, so, you can always get more to go."
"My stomach is hurting already," Iolaus teases back, lightly, eyes flicking down to the cupcakes as they are indicated in turn. "Hmm," he murmurs, fingertips tapping against the glass thoughtfully. "Alright. How about I take one of the spring cupcakes and one of the devil's food cupcakes for now, and then after I eat one, maybe I'll have some more." he says, smile flickering to a grin. "With the rest to-go, or I really will regret it, I'm quite sure." he says, taking a step backwards and lacing his fingers in front of him. "I can't believe I haven't been here before. My lawyers are just down the street, and god knows I'm spending enough time there, recently."
"Certainly, sir," Hanna says with a grin, grabbing a delicate looking China plate, balancing the two cupcakes so that the icings won't intermingle, "Here you go. You can pay up when you're done enjoying your sweets. Did you want some coffee or juice to go with that? Or even just a glass of water?" The mention of not being in the shop before gets a chuckle, "We haven't been open for that long. Only a few months - recent transplants to the city." She sets the cupcake plate on the counter for Iolaus, smiling brightly, "I think a few of the lawyers from the firm down the way have happened in here recently, or at least, a good number of men in suits have on lunch breaks. Word of mouth may not have gotten quite that far yet."
"I'd love an orange juice, if you had one. And the word of mouth got far enough to bring me down from Harlem." Iolaus says, picking up the plate and balancing it on his hand, even as he begins peeling back the paper wrapping on one of the cupcakes - the devil's food cake. "Well. My lawyers did that, and believe me, after meeting with some of them for several hours, I need all the sugar I can get." He winks at Hanna, taking a bite of the cake carefully over the plate to keep crumbling to a minimum - or, at least, to catch the crumbs that do fall. "Don't get me wrong - they're amazing, but... there's only so much legal speak I can take!" The doctor pauses for a moment to smile at Hanna. "New company, or just a new location?"
The request for an orange juice gets a quick nod from the barista, who vanishes into the back, returning in a moment with a bottle of some organic brand of orange juice, holding it out to Iolaus, "Here you go. If you finish it while you're here, there's a recycle bin right by the door, please." She offers a polite smile, and if Iolaus is close enough, he may notice that her hair is in fact no so much hair, but fine willow fronds, sprouting from her scalp in place of hair.
Hanna grins slightly, "Ah, lawyers, can't live with them, can't very easily start a business without them," she wrinkles her nose slightly, as though she were remembering an unpleasant smell. "We are new to the area, and this is the first bakery with this specific name. Previously, I owned a bakery just outside of Pearl Harbor, attached to my mom's cafe," Hanna explains, pausing momentarily when she mentions her mother, her eyes briefly fading to a deep blue color, before returning to a more natural brown, "Well, I couldn't run both shops on my own, and rather than live in her impressive shadow, I figured I'd spread some cheer and cupcakes elsewhere - and, heh, New York seemed to need it most."
"We certainly do. I think it's the snow that does it," Iolaus says, taking another bite of his cupcake. He, in fact, does notice the willow fronds sprouting from the woman's head, but he catches himself from staring in time to accept the orange juice. "Ah - thank you, very much," he says, smile sparking back to its full warmth as he takes a sip of it. He glances once more at the not-hair on the barista's head before turning back towards Hanna. "Or the misanthropy. Either way keeps you in business and making delicious cupcakes, so I'm not about to complain." Om, nom, cupcake. "How is it going? I'm in the middle of starting a venture myself - though, a non-profit, so a little bit different. Still, always interested to hear from a fellow businessperson." Networking!
At mention of snow, Hanna shivers in memory, "Ah yes. Snow. I can honestly say that may be the least favorite part of the city. Misanthropes, ass-holes, and general grumpiness I can deal with, but oh the weather. I arrived in the city just in time for one of the larger storms last winter." She shakes her head, and smiles, watching as Iolaus tries to not stare at Jayna, as though trying to determine his intent in his curiosity. "Business is doing well. I've yet to recieve any death threats so far, people enjoy the cupcakes, and I think I've managed to brighten a few people's days for just a little bit via baked goods. So, overall, quite good." The mention of the non-profit gets a quirked eyebrow from Hanna, and she looks curiously at Iolaus, "Non-profit? Mind if I inquire as to what kind?"
Iolaus glances once more in the direction of Jayna, then looks back at Hanna. "For once, no, I actually don't mind. I'm founding a clinic for mutants - some place that they can come and see doctors who will be able to understand their conditions and help get them whatever care they need, whether it is related to their mutation or just a checkup." The doctor smiles at Hanna, leaning in slightly as he teases, "I'd recommend avoiding the death threats. They're not quite as fun as they're chalked up to be."
It takes a moment for what Iolaus is saying to actually sink in to Hanna's brain, and for a few moments, she just blinks at him, her eyes for once gradually transitioning from one color to another, starting at brown, and ending up at a nearly entirely golden color as her smile returns to her face. "An actual clinic that will treat mutants as people? And not try and work on some sick and twisted cure for them, like we're all some rampant plague?" she questions timidly, pauses for a moment. "That has got to be one of the absolutely most amazing ideas I've heard. In a very long time," Hanna says quietly, looking between Iolaus and Jayna, before looking back to Iolaus. "Judging from the way you said that last part, I'm going to assume this is being kept a bit on the quiet side, yes?" Hanna asks, leaning against the counter, a bemused smile on her lips.
"It was," Iolaus shrugs his shoulders and takes another bite of cupcake, humming softly to himself. "Until the Daily Bugle outed it a couple months back. It was all over the papers - even had some international coverage. My getting arrested didn't help either, but that's another story," he says, waving the hand with the orange juice dismissively in the air, then quickly catching himself before he dumps orange juice all over the floor. "So, no, it's not exactly on the quiet side anymore, but it's not the sort of thing that you out and tell people you're working on unless you like getting beat up. That's why I have a bodyguard and all." He glances around the room, looking for the guard who is sitting primly in a chair, book open on his leg, still uninteresting. "Wherever he is."
Hanna shakes her head, still smiling, "You are a much braver man than most, sir. I will give you that." Her eyes, having settled back to their normal coffee brown and gold, track the flailing orange juice, more out of concern that he'd dump it on himself than anything else. "I was originally a bit nervous about the sign I put up," she gestures at the 'all are welcome' sign hanging just below the 'open' sign on the glass door, "I figured someone would give me grief about this being a safe zone, let alone employing those with obvious physical mutations." She glances towards Jayna, a look of contentment on her rounded features, "But, thus far it has only brought in good vibes, I guess. Or, thankfully, the Bugle hasn't decided to splash our mutant-friendly status over its pages. I figure that will come the first time I have to have someone escorted out for causing trouble." Tilting her head slightly, Hanna smiles at Iolaus, "Let me know if you need donuts or pastries for any meetings. I'll happily donate them to the cause."
Iolaus laughs and shakes his head, taking another sip of his orange juice. "No, not braver, just stupider." He says, winking once at Hanna. More seriously, he adds, "I'm sure they will, eventually. This city is not particularly mutant friendly, and there are a lot of people who dislike them very much." His smile fades slightly, and he pauses for a moment before continuing. "Be careful. If it gets out, it will get very complicated and very ugly, very quickly. Keep your insurance up to date, and watch your back." A pause, and the smile spreads once more. "And thank you for the offer."
Hanna listens to Iolaus's advice, her expression drawing a bit tight at the mention of complications and things getting ugly, "It is something I've," she pauses, apparently trying to think how to word this properly, "It is something I have considered having to do. Our insurance is good, though. I made certain of that." She glances towards Jayna, before offering a smile to Iolaus, "I may be a bit daft, or naive, as well. But I don't regret opening this place to be friendly and available to all. I know I've made a difference in at least a few lives, and that means the world to me." She sighs and smiles, "Regardless. I would like to help you. If you want something catered - a cake, cupcakes, danishes, anything sweet that is - let me know. No charge, because, well, I can't really offer much in the way of money - but I can donate services, at least."
Iolaus waves his hand and smiles at Hanna, even as he shakes his head. "I appreciate the offer, and I'm certainly not going to say no to more delicious baked goods. We'll see what we need as things get closer towards the opening day." He glances briefly at his watch, then back to the cabinet. "Mm. I think I'm going to need a box for the spring cupcake to go after all... and one of the lemon lavender ones as well?" he says, stepping forward to place the plate back down on the counter, minus the cupcake he quickly shoves into his mouth. He tugs his wallet out of his pocket as well, leafing through it before placing down a card on the chrome and glass.
Hanna nods and smiles, boxing up the cupcake in a crisp white cardboard box made to hold two of the treats, adding a lemon lavender one in to keep the first company. In the mean time, Jayna rings Iolaus up, swiping the card through one of the little digital phone readers, because antique cash registers don't really handle cards too well. "Thank you, sir. Have a wonderful rest of your evening, and best of luck with your endeavors," Hanna says with a cheery smile, handing over the neatly packaged cupcakes, a pink and white swirled twine fashioned into a functional handle for the cupcakes. "Hope to see you again soon."