The Little Daisy Bake Shop

What's in a Name?

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet…”

That may be the case for Shakespeare, but for a business that statement doesn’t always ring true. I’m not sure that, “Butcher Surgical Center” is going to succeed, no matter how skilled the doctor. “Lumpy’s Gym” doesn’t make sense, and you better not entrust your valuables to “Butterfingers Moving Co.”

The name of a business is more than just what’s written on the door. It sends a vibe. It tells you what kind of experience you can expect. A customer knows that Voodoo Doughnuts is going to be more edgy than your traditional donut shop. My friend Christina’s new children’s clothing company is called Primary.com and it’s exactly that: your kids’ primary articles of clothing, in basic colors, for a low price, all for primary school kids. Another friend, Nancy, owns Parcel on Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair, and her store is a wonderful collection of vintage objects, fine stationery, and the most unique wrapping materials you’ve ever seen. When you get something from Nancy it’s more than a package. It’s a parcel.

For years, I had a clear picture of the kind of bakery I wanted to open: a cheerful, bright, old-fashioned place that was quaint and sweet, without being frilly. Daisies are a good match. I love their simplicity. They are classic and not pretentious. And they’re happy.

I’ve always been drawn to daisies and they’ve been a part of a few integral areas of my life. When I lived in Chicago and then in New York City, I regularly wrote to my Grandmother who lived in my hometown of Portland, OR. I had a daisy stamp that I pressed in blue ink and then adorned the top of each note card. The same blue daisy from the stamp was on our wedding invitation, and simple arrangements of fresh white daisies filled our reception.

So when it came to naming the business, I knew I wanted the idea of daisies to be part of it. The original name of the bakery was, in fact, Blue Daisy Bake Shop as an homage to that blue daisy stamp. I had a logo designed and placed on the front window. I paid for a new blue awning with Blue Daisy Bake Shop etched onto it, and I ordered business cards. I registered the name, too, only to find that there is a Blue-Eyed Daisy bakery in Georgia. To avoid any conflict down the road, I had to change the name in order to register and protect my new trademark on a national level. That little mistake cost us thousands of dollars. Oopsie Daisy!

The Little Daisy Bake Shop
I was so close to our opening date and I was devastated to have to rename my new business. I went back to the drawing board and played around with all different names. I considered hundreds of different names, but it always came back to “daisy.” I started thinking about my tiny, 500 square foot bakery space, and how I was just one person starting out in this big bakery industry . “The Little Daisy” was a perfect fit. I chose Bake Shop instead of Bakery because I felt like the former had a more old-time neighborhood ring to it. I registered the new name, redid the awning, the logo, the business cards and the front window.

It turns out that Daisy is an even more appropriate name for a bakery than I originally thought. We bake everything from scratch every morning so while the phrase “fresh as a daisy” comes to mind, there is actually an even stronger connection.

A friend of mine, and customer of the bake shop recently shared with me that the word daisy comes from the Old English word dægesēge, which mean’s “day’s eye” as used here in this excerpt of Geoffrey Chaucer’s poem The Legend of Good Women:

In which I thought I might, day by day,
Ever dwell, in the jolly month of May,
Without sleep, without meat or drink.
Down full softly I began to sink;
And leaning on my elbow and my side,
There the long day planned I to abide,
For no reason else, no lie you see,
Than there to look upon the daisy,
That for good reason men do name
The ‘day’s-eye’ or else the ‘eye of day,’
The Empress, and flower of flowers all.
I pray to God good may her befall

Daisies are named “days eye” because they go to sleep at night and open at dawn as the day is beginning. And so it goes with the bakery. The bakery’s ovens rest at night and then even before the sun comes up we are busy at work creating scones, muffins, cookies, cakes, cinnamon rolls and more.

The Little Daisy Bake Shop
It’s more work than I ever imagined to re-create the store each and every day but that’s what we do. A future post will reminisce more about the 21-hour days put forth to get the bakery off the ground. That’s the kind of effort it took to get started, but it’s also that kind of effort that earned us a place in the Montclair community and beyond.

The Little Daisy Bake Shop
Now, the name “Daisy” has become more than a business name, but also a nickname for me. When people realize I own the bakery they say, “Oh, You’re Little Daisy!” Kids call me “Miss Daisy” and then go into fine detail about what their next birthday cake is going to look like. When I played in a one-club golf tournament, my teammates thought it would be fitting to name our foursome "Driving Miss Daisy." During workout classes dfit owner Daniella loves to yell “C’mon Little Daisy, move faster!” (I’m moving as fast as I can Daniella. Believe me.) Daisy is now part of my everyday life, and I love it.

The Little Daisy Bake Shop
So there's more behind the name 'daisy' than you might have thought. That word is a big part of my life every day, and it always makes me smile. And I hope it puts a smile on your face whenever you walk in, too!
The Little Daisy Bake Shop