Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Home-Based Bakery Expectations vs. Reality

Hello Home Bakers, Cake Enthusiast & Readers,

As you all know my Adventures of Cake Girl blog documents recipes for Cake Girl the home-based bakery (baked to order vegan & gluten-free sweet delights). I began Cake Girl about 5 years ago. Cake Girl is still a work in progress, I haven't devoted my full attention on Cake Girl because I had been focusing on finally finishing college and obtaining my BA degree. Right after high school I was totally lost, I knew I loved cooking and baking. I took college courses on and off thinking that college is something everyone takes, just like elementary, junior high and high school. After attending community college on and off and realizing at the time that I wanted to pursue my passion, so I applied to Le Cordon Bleu for their pastry and baking program. This was the best decision I've ever made. 

During my pastry and baking program, I did my externship at Babycakes in 2010. It made sense for me to want to bake vegan sweets because I was a vegan at the time. Babycakes now called Erin McKenna's Bakery taught me that baking took patience and love. Baking vegan, gluten-free and even sugar-free was completely different from your everyday gluten based flour. 

When I was baking there, I didn't understand the process of coming up with recipes. How difficult it must be, especially when you are deriving recipes to focus on a small niche of people at the time were actually gluten intolerant. Although my presence at the bakery was short, my experience has taught me nothing is easy but working hard only means you are getting closer to a result.

After Babycakes, I decided on Cake Girl. I knew that even though there were a few vegan bakeries out there, there is still a large population that needed and wanted vegan & gluten-free sweets. Although my expectations far exceeded the actually reality. For one, thought I was ready for everything that was about to come to me. I didn't really plan out the logistics of pricing, delivery fees, contracts, a set menu, website, or ordering. I only had the name Cake Girl and an email. I did artwalk events and sold my products through small pop-ups. In the beginning my expectations was to do both days of artwalk and bake for the event the night before. The reality was that I was exhausting myself. I would bake and package everything the night before, sleep for 3 hours and sell for 8 hours at the Cake Girl pop-up.  And repeat the same routine for the next day. The only help was my boyfriend who assisted me. I didn't mind working hard and giving up sleep. But the reality was I lacked planning and time management. Though through these life experiences, I am able to build my business and give it a better foundation. I am always learning no matter how small the learning experience. The more I work out the kinks of my business and the more time I focus on mu business the closer I will be to my end result and what I consider reality.

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