inspired by this tumblr post by sharmasandcorgis.
The grand opening of Lady Whistledown Café went surprisingly well.
People started coming when they first smelled Sophie’s enchanting freshly baked cookies. Sophie had learned to make it through Mary. But of course, a talented baker that she is, Sophie modified Mary’s recipe and made it better. Kate could not comprehend how her petite friend thought of it. Her stepmother’s recipe had already been excellent. But Sophie’s cookies are out of this world, they were crunchy outside and perfectly gooey on the inside. It is the perfect cookie, truly!
Before they opened, Kate could not stop worrying, even though she had already known that they have enough money to keep their current lifestyle and the café’s operating cost for a year even if they don’t make any profit. However still, she worried her ass off. Money is important, yes, they need it to survive. But she is mostly distressed because if this does not work out, it will ruin Sophie’s spirit. Sophie is not a delicate flower, that much Kate knew. Sophie can withstand pain and trials of life proven by her relationship with her family. But still, Kate wouldn’t like it if her best friend is sad. She is determined to make this café work. Whether she like it or not. Sophie is a hardworking and dedicated person; she baked cookies every morning without fail. Not only that, she also bake everything else the Café served, well except the coffee. So, Kate had made up her mind 2 years ago, since that fated night, that she would move heaven and earth so that they can keep this café forever and ever.
Sophie is more spirited on expressing her ideas yes, but Kate is the one who made sure Sophie’s plan sailed smoothly. She had a fun time managing their legal documents, finances, and ordering supplies. Kate is thoroughly grateful for Sophie’s friend, Michael, the one guy who almost become their barista. He provided them with interest free loans to buy those expensive coffee machines, the loan that they can pay back anytime. It saved them from borrowing a loan from the bank. Nevertheless, Kate being from an immigrant family, determined to pay their loan back to Michael every month without fail. She felt a sense of pride and she would like to prove to her ancestors that she is capable, and she will surely make her way in the world.
Kate also had a fun time creating packaging logos and maintaining their social media. She is quite surprised she has the talent for the arts. If, one could consider social media art. But she rather thought Lady Whistledown Café’s Instagram profile looks neat and very aesthetically pleasing. Before, Kate only used Instagram to see what kind of person she was about to meet, while having zero interest to post herself publicly on the platform. But now, after some experiments and experience in learning about social media and its strategies, Kate is more open to the idea of posting about her life. She had remembered they day she posted her very first picture on Instagram. Edwina called her within 5 minutes after she posted, inquiring if she is alright. “Are you finally not living under the rock, dear sister?” was what she said to Kate.
It was Saturday, which marked the end of their first week. They had agreed to close the café on Sundays because they do need some rest. With café hours being quite long. Sophie wake up every day at 4am in the morning to prepare the baked goods, while Kate and Penelope would stay in the café from 8am to 9pm. They definitely need rest. They had finally survived the first wave of customers that day. They would be very busy from 8am to 10am every morning, with a lot of passersby dropping in to buy energy elixir (or coffee) while going to work.
At 10:30am, Sophie had already gone back to their apartment after the surge subsided to take a nap before deciding on next week’s menu. Sophie had this idea of changing the menu every week to keep the customers “on their toes”. On the other hand, Penelope was roasting some beans to prepare for the lunch time surge and Kate was faithfully sitting behind the counter with her laptop, waiting for another customer while doing their weekly finances.
The café’s front doorbell chimed, and a customer walked in. Kate looked up from her laptop and saw a dashing (and to be quite honest strikingly handsome) young gentleman walking towards the counter. Kate got up from her seat and smiled.
“Hi! What can I help you with?”
“Well, I’m here within the first week you guys opened. You must be flattered.” He stroked his hair arrogantly “But what can I say, I am a sucker for teeny tiny cafés.”
“Surely you know me” The young man scoffed in disbelief.
Kate furrowed her eyebrows and looked at him dead in the eye, does she ought to know him? who is this prick thinking he is oh so famous? And right then and there Kate decided that she detests this man.
He had a questioning look on his face, “Anthony Bridgerton, @AntBrig on Instagram, food critic?”
Kate still got her brows furrowed and Anthony still maintained his exasperated look. Kate just could not stop thinking about stalking him on Instagram and making fun of this “wannabe” critic with Sophie later tonight.
Kate sighed and finally said “I’m sorry sir, I do not know you, now please what can I help you with?” forcing her smile.
Anthony glared at her, “Pardon me for my rudeness miss.. ” He looked at her nametag “..Kate, one latte and one chocolate chip cookie please.”
“Okay, that would be 3 pounds.” Anthony silently gave her his money and searched for a seat. He finally settled on the corner window seat beside the coffee roaster.
“Oh my god is it him?” Penelope gawked behind her, amazed at the sight.
“Who?” Kate questioned Penelope.
“Anthony Bridgerton? The most followed Instagram food critic in London? His comment can make or break a café Kate.”
“What?” Kate scoffed “Who decided that?!”
“He came from a very affluent family you see, and he also give excellent honest reviews, oh my god I’m so nervous, did he order any drinks Kate?”
“Yes, one latte” Kate said while eyeing Penelope confusedly.
“Shit, okay. Let me make the best latte of my life, no pressure.” Penelope went back to her coffee station and started crafting the latte with extra care. Meanwhile Kate reheated Sophie’s famous cookies per her exact heating instruction and served it on a plate. Penelope is nervous, she wondered if she should be too. When the latte is ready, Kate put the cookie and the latte on a tray and walked over to Anthony’s seat.
She smiled sweetly this time, even though she does not like the guy, she needed him to write a good review for their café. Not that she believed that he would somehow make the customers stop coming (people has their own opinions! Not everyone is going to listen to him!), but she would rather not risk it.
She placed the cookie and the latte slowly on his table, “one latte and one chocolate chip cookie, I hope you enjoy it.”
“Well, I would’ve enjoyed it more if the service is this nice ever since I walked through the door.” Anthony said with a smirk.
Kate glared at him. Oh, hell nah! “Pardon me for my confusion, I do believe a person doesn’t have the capacity to know every person in this whole world.”
“Of course not, but someone who is serious in the business would know who they should respect within the industry.”
Kate was furious. How dare he judged her devotion! She could not stand this human being, and for the love of god, she would really like to choke him in his seat right now. If it was not for Sophie, for Penelope, and for this bloody café, she would have. She really needed to behave for their sake. So, she pushed down her anger and replied “Pardon me for my indifference.”
She turned her back and “accidentally” stepped on Anthony’s toes on her way back to the counter. She smirked victoriously.
When she reached the counter, she refused to even glance at his direction. Preferring the numbers on her laptop screen at the moment. Kate usually like to glance to her customers enjoying the coffee and Sophie’s brilliant baked goods. But no. Not this person. He could choke himself to death on his cookie and Kate could not care less.
Kate only brought her eyes up from her laptop 25 minutes later when she heard the doorbell chimed once more. No one came in, it meant someone had left. She turned her head to that insufferable git’s seat. He’s gone, leaving his empty plate and empty latte cup. Kate got up to collect the plate and cup from his table. She had felt extreme pleasure when she stepped on his toe, but she could not help but wondered if this place is going to be ruined. She really hoped not.
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