Let's Clear Things Up
With a service like mine, I know there can be many questions that are not always provided on the main site.
Browse through this list of FAQs and let me know if there is anything else I can answer by reaching out on our contact page HERE.
QUESTIONS ABOUT SUBSCRIPTIONS
What Does Subscribing mean?
As a subscriber, you pay upfront for a specific number of savory loaf or sweet treat credits, to be ordered from my weekly menus over the course of a 15-week subscription cycle (either August-December or January-May). Click here to see subscription levels and pricing. The rate at which you use your subscription credits is flexible depending on your needs, but all credits should be used up within the indicated subscription time period. The subscription menus are the same as the market price menus, although in a few instances, a special item offered may require two credits for ordering.
A new menu with "This Week's Bread Options" will be sent out via email and posted on Facebook and my website on most Saturday mornings during the school year. The deadline for orders is 10 am on Tuesdays.
Pick-up is Friday afternoons, 3:00- 5:30 pm at 1509 Elm Street, Hays, Kansas. You can also have your order delivered by purchasing home delivery when you subscribe. Home delivery time is 5:30-6:15 pm.
Market Price or Subscription... which is right for you?
You don't have to have a subscription to order from Cathy's Breads. Many of my customers order occasionally, using the Market Price Menu. However, if you think you'll order at least 5 savory loaves, or 3 sweet loaves, during the 15-week period, consider subscribing and save 5 to 25% off the market price (depending on the type and level of subscription ordered).
In addition, subscribers are given priority when ordering limited items or during very busy weeks (holidays).
What if I have a Savory Subscription, but want to add a Sweet to my weekly order?
If you’d like to order an item not on your subscription, simply order that item from the Market Price Menu and choose a payment option instead of inserting the subscriber's promotional code.
What about home delivery?
Cathy’s Breads offers an optional home-delivery service to subscribers only (available for purchase when you set up your subscription). Delivery occurs between 5:30-6:15pm on Fridays, and is only available within Hays city limits.
If you have the time/ability, I encourage you to pick up directly from my home…you get to see everything that was baked that Friday, AND, often there are samples of breads and sweets that may show up on a future menu!
Can I increase my subscription size in mid-cycle?
Yes, you may increase your subscription size by paying the difference between levels. If you run out of credits but don’t want to increase your subscription size, you can just use the Market Price Menu to order.
How do I order?
You have several choices:
1. For Market Price customers: Click on Market Price Menu link under the Online Orders tab. The week’s menu will appear. Select each bread/sweet you’d like to order and add it to the cart. Feel free to add questions/special requests in the space provided. Continue to Checkout to pay for your items. Online payments are by credit card or PayPal. You may also elect to pay cash or check at pick up by selecting the "Manual Payment" option. Click Submit and your order will be sent to Cathy. An automatic confirmation will be sent to the email address you provided during checkout. If you did not receive a confirmation, please contact Cathy directly to make sure your order was received.
2. For Subscribers: You will be given an access code when you set up a subscription. When you want to order, use the Market Price Menu page to add items to your cart. At checkout, there will be a space insert your access code, which will zero out the total. If your order exceeds your subscription credits, you should order the extra items in a separate cart and choose a payment option. Feel free to add questions/special requests in the space provided. Click Submit, and your order will be sent to Cathy. An automatic confirmation will be sent to your email address provided during checkout. If you do not receive confirmation, please contact Cathy directly to make sure your order was received.
What if I don't want to order online?
If you are not comfortable placing an order online, just contact Cathy by email or by phone to place it directly. Cathy will return an email confirming your order. Please make sure you receive a confirmation from me. If you don’t find one, please call me to confirm that your order was received. I don’t want to disappoint anyone! Payment can be made by a PayPal invoice or at the time of pick up.
Where and when do I pick up my breads?
Breads are available for pick up on Friday afternoons, from 3:00-5:30pm, at Cathy's home--1509 Elm Street (corner of Elm and 16th Streets). Please be aware of the No Parking signs on the east side of Elm Street.
What if I'm going to be out of town on a Friday?
You can order the bread/sweet and invite a friend to pick it up for you, or you can order the bread/sweet and have Cathy hold it in her freezer for you.
If you choose the last option, you will need to pick up your bread by the following Monday. In either case, please let Cathy know in advance.
What happens if I forget to pick up my bread?
Cathy will try not to take it personally—it’s a rare Friday when everyone remembers!
Cathy will email/text you a reminder, and if necessary, arrange an alternate pick up day/time. Cathy usually freezes items which can’t be picked up within 24 hours.
Items ordered but not picked up are still considered a purchase, and Cathy will require payment (or count it against your subscription). SO PLEASE, REMEMBER TO PICK UP YOUR BREAD!
What's the best way to store, freeze or reheat my bread?
Cathy's breads have no added preservatives and should be eaten promptly, ideally within 2-3 days of baking. (Baguettes should really be thought of as a daily bread and eaten the same day they're baked). Breads stale most quickly at temperatures between 32F and 52F, making the refrigerator a bad environment for bread.
For artisan loaves with crunchy, chewy crusts, store at room temperature, cut side down on a wooden cutting board. (If bread out in the open air bothers you, then store it cut side down in a paper, not plastic, bag).
For softer breads (or sweetbreads), store at room temperature in a plastic bag. Bread will keep 3-5 days unless the weather becomes extremely hot and humid--not often an issue given our western Kansas weather!
If breads become lightly stale, they can be refreshed in the toaster or by reheating in a 350F oven for 5-10 minutes.
If you want to preserve your bread longer than a couple of days, wrap it (whole or a portion of it) in aluminum foil, then put it in a plastic bag, and freeze it.
To reheat frozen bread: Thaw frozen bread on countertop overnight without removing wrappings. DO NOT DEFROST IN MICROWAVE.
For crunchy-crusted breads, once thawed, remove the wrapping and put in preheated 350F oven for 5-10 minutes until crust re-crisps (avoid overheating).
For enriched breads with softer crusts, keep loaf wrapped in foil and put in preheated 350F oven for 5-10 minutes just lightly warmed.
What if I need an extra loaf at the last minute?
If you decide you need more loaves after the order deadline, contact me! Sometimes I bake an extra or two as back-up.
PLEASE NOTE—Fridays are usually crazy, and I generally don’t check my email till the afternoon. The best way to reach me is by text: 785-639-3060
Cathy also posts availability of extra loaves on her FACEBOOK page!
What state regulations are you required to follow? Are you inspected?
While this isn’t a frequent question, I think it’s an important one for folks to know about. I operate as a home-based food business under the Kansas Farmers Market Regulations. No licensing is required for production and sale of “non-potentially hazardous food items” (i.e.—items which don’t require refrigeration such as bread, cookies, fruit pies, etc). These non-potentially hazardous items may only be sold to the end-consumer (no sales to middlemen such as coffee shops). Items requiring refrigeration (“potentially hazardous foods” such as cheesecake, cream pies, custards, etc) are only allowed for sale no more than 6 days per year (April to March calendar year of the Kansas Dept. of Agriculture). What is considered potentially hazardous is based on a matrix of PH levels and water activity levels. Some items, like my smoked gouda walnut baguette, could only be offered six times a year. A bread with Parmesan cheese, however, would not be considered hazardous due to its low water activity level. With this in mind, I will usually group my “hazardous items” on the same days (often showing up on my holiday menus). Please understand that I take every precaution to maintain proper and safe food handling and storage conditions regardless of the day!
Other regulations required of home-based food businesses are related to labeling, packaging, cleaning of food contact surfaces, and health of food workers. For more information, here is are links to the KDA’s Kansas Farmers Market Regulations and the Kansas regulations for Sanitation and hygiene requirements for exempt food establishments.
As always, feel free to ask me about any concerns or questions you may have.