Have you ever met someone who quit their corporate job to open a business in a field that they are not passionate about? Well, now you have!
I grew up in a bakery and although I loved indulging in my mom’s delicious cakes, I wanted to be different. I was going to go off to college, get a degree, and work for the government or in corporate America. Fast forward a few years…I started baking to supplement college expenses and income while building my corporate career, but never ever intended to do this full-time.
While in college, I traveled the world, from China to South Africa and many places in between. I was on a quest to prove that government support to build sustainable small businesses will stimulate any economy to improve living conditions for the masses.
I’ve consulted and assisted many startups and small businesses over the years in areas from registering a business to growing sales.
Ok, I know what you are thinking. What in the world does this have to do with a bakery?
In the Beginning
I decided that in order to truly walk in my passion, I needed to subject myself to the emotional and physical joys and pains of a small business. I can consult for hours from a high level corporate eye and an MBA education, but I knew that working in the trenches would make me a better consultant in the future.
In August 2013, I made the leap of faith and gave up my company car, gas card, health insurance, and steady income to join this world of entrepreneurs and have been determined to make this bakery a success by any means necessary. In fact, the consultant is now the apprentice as I am constantly asking for advice from my network of successful business owners.
Our Mission and Purpose
Our mission is to grow and expand in order to employ as many people as possible. Yes, there are bakeries on every corner and in every grocery store so what makes us different?
Simply put, we don’t have to be the best bakery in town; we just want to provide good cakes at an affordable price.
We have taken many risks and employed sales and marketing methodologies that most home based bakeries will not. This drive is the reason why we have increased sales by welcoming over 800 new customers in only 12 months, maxed out my home kitchen, and are working with culinary schools to potentially employ their students.
The biggest challenge that we face today is keeping up with our growth. We think big and we act big but we are still a one woman operation who enlists help from family and friends often. In order to grow we need to expand. Last year we found the perfect location for our business’ expansion, but were denied by a multi-millionaire landlord because we were $3,000 short on our start-up working capital sheet and were purposely very conservative on our sales forecast. We were told that we need to inflate the numbers to pass. I refused and so we are back in the market for the perfect location that will not over extend our business.
As many of our pictures depict, we are very involved in our communities. Especially in the warmer months; it is almost impossible to keep us inside. August is our favorite month of the year because we donate over $1500 worth of custom cupcakes each year to ‘Back to school Festivals’ all over Atlanta. Our brand has been built largely on our presence in the community.
This entrepreneurial life is an emotional roller coaster, but we are having fun and are excited for what the future holds!
Follow my journey at http://biglessons.wordpress.com