Mystery Guest

Mar 17, 2017

This episode's Mystery Guest, Autumn Stanford, just started an interesting late-night business. Can you figure out what it is before Ophira and Jonathan?

Heard on Judy Gold: Very Special Episodes

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

While Elyzabeth and Kris get ready for the Final Round, it's time for us to play a game called Mystery Guest. A stranger's about to come on stage. Jonathan Coulton and I have no idea who this person is or what makes them special, but our puzzle guru John Chaneski does.

JOHN CHANESKI: That's right. Ophira and Jonathan will work together as a team to figure out our mystery guest's secret by asking yes or no questions. Mystery guest, please introduce yourself.

AUTUMN STANFORD: Hi, my name's Autumn Stanford, and I just started an interesting business.

CHANESKI: OK, Ophira, you ask the first question.

EISENBERG: Interesting business. OK, does your business involve interacting with other people?

STANFORD: Yes.

EISENBERG: Interesting that that was a pause.

JONATHAN COULTON: Pause.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Autumn, as part of your business, do you make things?

STANFORD: I do.

EISENBERG: And I imagine people are buying these things.

STANFORD: Yes.

EISENBERG: OK, just to be clear 'cause, you know, the people are alive.

STANFORD: Yes.

EISENBERG: OK, good.

COULTON: That is a weird question.

EISENBERG: Well, no, not based on our past experience.

CHANESKI: You never know.

COULTON: Are the things you make, are they food related?

STANFORD: Yes.

COULTON: Are they baked goods?

STANFORD: Yes.

EISENBERG: Are you selling these out of a storefront-like location?

STANFORD: Yes.

CHANESKI: I have to say that one of the things that makes Autumn's business unique is not the storefront aspect of it. It's a storefront plus something else.

EISENBERG: So - OK, so it's some sort of dessert-like thing, but the way I'm getting it you're saying is a little bit more interesting than just going to a store. Like, it's coming via a bird or something like that.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Yeah, it's cakes delivered by bird. It's one of those things.

EISENBERG: Is that your business, cakes delivered by birds?

STANFORD: No (laughter).

EISENBERG: 'Cause I'm investing. OK.

COULTON: But it's something in addition to the storefront that's interesting.

EISENBERG: OK.

COULTON: Do you have a - Autumn, do you have a sex dungeon in your cake store?

STANFORD: I don't, no.

COULTON: OK. It was worth a shot. Is there delivery involved?

STANFORD: Yes.

COULTON: There is delivery involved.

EISENBERG: OK.

COULTON: This is a high-speed cake delivery service?

STANFORD: No.

EISENBERG: No? OK, does the cake come way later than you were hoping?

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Is it a very slow cake delivery service?

EISENBERG: (Laughter) Slowest.

STANFORD: It comes late.

COULTON: Cake in about a year.

EISENBERG: What?

CHANESKI: It comes late.

EISENBERG: It comes late?

COULTON: Is it 24-hour cake delivery?

STANFORD: Close.

EISENBERG: Wait a second, she just said...

COULTON: Twenty-three-hour cake delivery?

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: She says it comes late.

COULTON: It comes late.

CHANESKI: They're baked goods that are usually paired with a particular drink.

EISENBERG: OK, so it's like a coffee and a doughnut kind of thing. Is it a doughnut?

STANFORD: No.

EISENBERG: All right.

COULTON: Is it a cookie?

STANFORD: Yes.

EISENBERG: OK, it's a cookie. It's a cookie.

COULTON: It's late-night cookies and milk.

CHANESKI: That's it, Jonathan. You got it.

COULTON: It's a late-night cookies and milk delivery service.

CHANESKI: There you go.

(APPLAUSE)

CHANESKI: That's right. Autumn is the owner of Brooklyn Kolache, a bakery. She just started Bake Sale, a late-night service delivering freshly baked cookies and milk. She wanted to do something for the community, so a percentage of her profits go to the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger.

EISENBERG: Oh.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Autumn, we meandered so far away from the wonderful and, like, simply nice thing that you do. Nice job. Nice job for getting there. We're like, she's got whips and chains.

COULTON: Yeah.

EISENBERG: It's midnight, you want a cake.

COULTON: The sex dungeon was definitely wrong.

EISENBERG: She slaps you in the face, says it will come later. I don't know where we were going. But what inspired this business idea?

STANFORD: You know, the bakers and I all talked. And we started talking about doing late-night cookies. And nobody was really doing it in North Brooklyn. So we were playing around with names, and somebody said Bake Sale. And I thought, well, a bake sale is a fundraiser. And so we started looking at different fundraising components, and that's how it all came about.

EISENBERG: And what kind of cookies are you making?

STANFORD: We make monster cookies and...

EISENBERG: What are monster cookies?

STANFORD: Monster cookies have everything. They have, like, oatmeals and M&M's and...

CHANESKI: What's your most popular cookie? I think you have something called the ube crinkle?

STANFORD: Yeah, we have an ube crinkle. My spouse is Filipino. And it's a crinkle cookie, but it's made out of ube, which is a purple yam that's very popular in the Philippines.

EISENBERG: Yeah. And what's the latest time that I can order cookies and milk to my house?

STANFORD: The last order has to be placed by 1:00 a.m.

EISENBERG: Placed by 1:00 a.m.?

STANFORD: Yeah.

COULTON: There are many nights where I would want somebody to deliver...

EISENBERG: Are you kidding me?

COULTON: ...Cookies and milk to me at that hour.

EISENBERG: Absolutely.

COULTON: Even if I was asleep, I would love for somebody to...

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: ...Come into my room and wake me up with some hot cookies.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) And just shove a cookie in your mouth?

COULTON: Just shove a cookie in my mouth and I'll go back to sleep.

CHANESKI: Now, we can't get out of this without asking, what's kolache?

STANFORD: Sure, a kolache is a slightly sweet yeast bread that's stuffed with a sweet or savory filling. And they're originally a Czech pastry. But most people know them from Texas. There's huge Czech populations in Texas. And so in Texas, a kolache's almost like a doughnut. You can find it at grocery stores or fancy bakeries.

CHANESKI: And they have roadside kolache in Texas, is that right?

STANFORD: Yeah, so most people who get kolaches do it when they're traveling between major cities. You'll go into, like, a Czech town and it started off as these small bakeries with a gas station attached. And then there's sort of a rivalry that happens - some of these kolache bakery gas stations. And so they've kind of gotten bigger and bigger. And now they're, like, these mega complexes where people go and they buy a bunch of kolaches and they refill their gas, they use the restroom.

EISENBERG: So you're bringing the kolache love to Brooklyn.

STANFORD: Yes.

EISENBERG: Thank you so much. Everyone give it up for our mystery guest Autumn Stanford.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: (Singing) Well, I guess it would be nice if I could touch your body. I know not everybody has got a body like you. But I have to think twice before I give my heart away. And I know all the games you play because I play them too. Oh, well, I need some time off from that emotion, time to pick my heart up off the floor. Oh, when that love comes down without devotion, well, it takes a strong man, baby, but I'm showing you the door 'cause I've got to have faith. I've got to have faith, because I've got to have faith, faith, faith.

I've got to have faith, faith, faith.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Jonathan Coulton.

(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.