Another Look: Let Them Eat Cake


In conjunction with this morning’s post, we present a rebroadcast of this interview with a renowned business leader. William Sola oversees franchises all across our country and around the world. This interview was first broadcast on June 1, 2010.

* * *

Reporter: Hello, today I’m with William Sola, great, great, great grandson of Jack Sola, founder of the Sola Bakery Company. Thanks for joining us today, Mr. Sola.

Sola: My pleasure.

Reporter: You are the latest in a long line of Solas to have inherited the Sola Bakery business. if I understand correctly, your company is now being run in quite a different way than it was in the past. Can you tell us about that?

Sola: That’s right. we operate strictly on a franchise basis now — you tell us you want to run a Sola Bakery, we verify that you’re a believer in the Sola name, and boom! there you go, you can run your own Sola Bakery.

Reporter: How do you go about helping these franchise owners get started in business?

Sola: We give them the book.

Reporter: The book?

Sola: That’s right, the Sola Bakery book.

Reporter: I assume that this book contains all the directions one would need to get a bakery going — specific steps for setting up a business, company policies, the unique Sola recipes, all of that?

Sola: No, not really. The book is more like a history of Jack Sola and his family. It lays out his roots, the background of why he started the bakery, and then tells about his life, his sayings, and especially the sacrifices he made to start the first Sola Bakery. It also tells the exciting story of the early growth of the business, and several letters that the first company managers wrote to bakeries around the area to help them with their specific problems. Oh, you can find bits and pieces of various recipes in there, and fragments of policies and procedures. but mostly, it’s the story of Jack Sola and what he created.

Reporter: It doesn’t contain specific company policies and the actual recipes for baking Sola products? How then do you maintain quality control? How do you make sure one Sola cake is like another Sola cake?

Sola: We don’t care too much about quality control or consistency. We pretty much just give new owners the book and let them go. They’re on their own then. We think the book contains enough principles to keep them straight and faithful to the spirit of our founder, but they are free to develop their own recipes and run the business any way they want. This has led to a whole new, exciting era in Sola Bakery history, and we are celebrating it with our new slogan.

Reporter: And what is that?


Reporter: Oh my. But, doesn’t that confuse people? Doesn’t it bother you that people don’t really know what to expect when they buy a product from a Sola Bakery? And what if they get something really bad, or even harmful?

Sola: Actually, we like it that people don’t know what to expect — it adds an air of spontaneity and excitement that we think is great! Here at headquarters, we just say, “LET THEM EAT CAKE!” and then wait to hear the thrilling reports from the field. If a customer isn’t satisfied with her local Sola Bakery, we figure there are enough other franchises in the area. We don’t care if she tries them all until she’s satisfied.

Reporter: So, the “Sola” name really doesn’t indicate what kind of a product you’re going to get.

Sola: That’s right. What we can guarantee is that it will be a “Sola” cake, no more, no less. Beyond that, it’s up for grabs. And we like it that way.

Reporter: And there you have it — William Sola, President of Sola Bakeries, telling us that, when it comes to Sola Bakeries and Sola cakes, it’s a surprise in every box.

Good night, and GOOD LUCK.

14 thoughts on “Another Look: Let Them Eat Cake

  1. This post really seemed like one of those “you had to be there” moments. I get what “sola” is in reference to, but the rest of the “parable” seems to intentionally shut out any reader who wasn’t at some point up to their ears in fundie church culture.


  2. Off topic: Four Days and Counting until October 1st, when the annual Devil’s Holiday Satanic Panic officially begins. My writing partner told me this morning of some woman in Charisma Magazine selling special amulets engraved with the name “JESUS” to protect you against the Halloween Demons. She jumped the gun by at least four days.


  3. And the Vicar from St. Mary’s church next door was overheard saying, “I’m so glad I carry my pack of Tridentine breath mints. It removes the dryness of stale Sola pastries.”


  4. Sola fide, sola gratia, sola scriptura, solus christus, soli deo gloria, and now {{{New Improved}}} sola confectiona???

    OK, Mike, we get it; evangelicals are fruitcakes.

    I do love a good satire, though.


  5. Somehow I got in the wrong bakery. I saw where you have an emphasis on the “right motions.” Somehow I thought sure it said “right emotions.” That’s what I really want, something to warm my insides, and maybe bring a tear or two. I’ll go down the street.


  6. I walked into Pnematos Lakelandus awhile back wanting some bread. I got pushed around a bit and walked out with a new wife. Strange…


  7. Yeah, well I have been over at the Pneumatos bakery where they do it with flair. The chefs come and go, and like the wind our recipes are refreshing. In fact, we do not believe in recipes, it is a damper on creativity and inspiration.

    The original Pnematos bakery started in 33AD and fell into disuse, only to be rebuilt in the good old US of A at Azuza Street.

    Lately though, some of the clients have been reporting Pneumatosis intestinalis, which has led to a new and improved branch called Pnematos Lakelandus.


  8. That’s why so many of us are going over to Paradosis Bakeries. The pastry chefs at Paradosis have been trained by the Paradosis family themselves, going all the way back to Jack showing Panji and Robert how to beat the butter into the dough for the mil’ojas.

    The problem is that the Paradosis famlly has been just as lax at quality control as the Solas. There is often too much emphasis on making the right motions while rolling out the dough and not enough attention paid to the quality of the dough being produced.


  9. “If a customer isn’t satisfied with her local Sola Bakery, we figure there are enough other franchises in the area. We don’t care if she tries them all until she’s satisfied.”

    But there are so many different Solas! How will I ever try them all?


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