Terry O’Reilly has been baking and selling cookies in downtown Sacramento for 35 years now at Goodie Tuchews, and she marveled to me on Monday that not one new business owner, not even those launching operations right next door to her, has ever come and asked for her secret sauce.
“I’ve watched lots of businesses come and go. The space next to me has changed three times since I’ve been here over the last 10 years,” O’Reilly said. “It’s heart-breaking for me because I see people come in with their hopes on their sleeve basically. I see them hiring employees, and I think, ‘Oh, my gosh, how are you going to pay for all those people?’ ”
O’Reilly has been the sole employee of her business for 25 of the 35 years that Goodie Tuchews has operated. She founded the business with her father, Jerry O’Reilly, who used to deliver cookies around town on his bicycle back when the business was based over where The Grange restaurant sits now. Today, Goodie Tuchews is at 1015 L St., across from the Capitol. O’Reilly recently signed a lease for five more years.
“If people want to go into business, I’ll practically tell them my recipes,” she told me. “I mean, I’m so open about everything, but people don’t ask me. It’s so confusing to me. I’m a fount of information on downtown. They’re opening a place right next to me, and they could ask me, ‘What do I think about doing business in this location?’ Maybe they think I’d lie to them for my own sake, but I don’t feel that way.”
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Goodie Tuchews has flourished, though O’Reilly is open only from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. She never thought she would be there for so long, she said. Her father, who retired 25 years ago, turned 90 on Nov. 19, she said, the same day the business celebrated its 35th anniversary.
Her longtime customer Vince Vicari told me: “She only takes cash. She takes cookie orders ranging from one large pizza pie cookie for a birthday party to 500 lunchbox cookies for a political party. I really do marvel at the business she has made for herself.”
Moving to Canada? A number of Americans vowed to move abroad if Donald Trump won the presidency, so Ingrid Rosten and Kathleen Hendricks thought it was the perfect time to introduce this columnist to their new business, Finding My Place.
The two business partners help women explore opportunities to relocate to another country. Their website, www.findingmyplace.net, has more information.
“We do workshops and retreats that assist in the exploration process, to help them get a picture of what it is they’re looking for and to help make the decision about whether this is something they may or may not want to do,” Rosten said. “We do go-look-see trips where we go to various cities in the country. We meet with expats who are already on the ground.”
Rosten, who used to work for the Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance, said she became interested in the idea after she spent many years caring for her aging parents. After they passed away, she said, she felt as though she had lost what anchored her to life in the States. Rosten has dual citizenship with Great Britain and has lived in England, Spain and France. Her parents originally hailed from Peru and Germany.
“I felt like I’d lost my purpose after caring for my parents,” Rosten said. “Meeting with my friend Kathleen Hendricks, she and I talked about what we were going to do with ourselves in later years. That’s when we said we’d love to live abroad and travel. … Then we started to talk to other women that we knew, and lo and behold, there’s a whole bunch of women really interested in doing that and having that experience.”
Rosten and Hendricks are so far planning trips to Nicaragua, Spain and Portugal next year, and they will have workshops and retreats to help women understand whether such a move is right for them.