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This Baker Was Informed To not Converse Spanish With Colleagues, So She Began Her Personal Cake Firm That Values Workers Simply As A lot As Prospects

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My daughter’s birthday this 12 months was an enormous deal. After two years of dwelling by a pandemic, we lastly felt snug sufficient to host a celebration together with her closest buddies. In her eyes, the social gathering simply needed to embody cupcakes. So we turned to The Cake Woman and its Crave’n Cups and ordered quite a lot of flavors, together with my daughter’s favourite discovery: Overload.

The Cake Woman

“As a younger lady rising up in , I had an obsession with sweets and baking,” shares Kristina Lavallee, founder and CEO of The Cake Woman. “I might beg my dad and mom to take me to the simply so I may see the truffles and baked items. Stunning and delighting somebody with a cupcake would change into my life’s calling.”

Baking continues to have its second. Our obsession with watching actuality reveals the place bakers race to take advantage of real looking shoe cake or give you essentially the most modern flavors does not appear to be slowing down anytime quickly. The U.S. baking trade, which incorporates roughly 6,000 retail bakeries and three,000 business bakers, generates greater than $30 billion in income yearly. And though the share of People who establish as health-conscious has practically doubled prior to now 5 years, we may all use a second (or two) of indulging our candy tooth.

This market was what Lavallee was wanting to faucet into when she began The Cake Woman in 2009. Her standard Crave’n Cups (which have been a success with my daughter, her buddies and their dad and mom) put a brand new spin on the normal cupcake. They’re made up of layers of cake and frosting in jars that ship nationwide from The Cake Woman’s headquarters in Tampa, . Flavors embody Chocolate Overload, Unicorn, Cookies ‘N’ Cream, Woman in Purple, Cookie Butter and extra. Lavallee additionally provides gluten-free and vegan choices.

“I am on a mission to share my ardour for baking with the world,” Lavallee says. “I proceed to construct my enterprise centered on one cake, and one buyer, at a time.”

Listed below are three of crucial classes she’s realized in additional than a decade of doing enterprise.

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“Phrase of mouth is your strongest advertising software.”

Lavallee’s journey to construct The Cake Woman began in her kitchen. “I used to be making truffles out of my home for family and friends,” she recollects. “I realized first-hand what many say: Phrase of mouth is your strongest advertising software. Associates would refer buddies, and I could not sustain with the entire orders individuals have been requesting. That is once I knew we needed to scale The Cake Woman.”

When Lavallee moved to Tampa and acquired married, she and her husband continued to push the model exterior of their circle of family and friends. They went to festivals and farmer’s markets. Phrase about The Cake Woman continued to unfold. Prospects mentioned they’d drive an hour to get to the farmer’s market to buy Lavallee’s well-known carrot cake. “We stored experimenting earlier than launching a meals truck, after which in the end a brick and mortar retailer,” she says. “My recommendation to entrepreneurs is to construct a powerful neighborhood of followers earlier than you scale too quick.”

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Picture Credit score: The Cake Woman

“I do not need anybody to ever really feel like they do not belong.”

Early in her profession, Lavallee labored at a bakery the place she would assist out an aged colleague. The girl solely spoke Spanish, so Lavallee would translate requests they acquired from clients into Spanish for her. Lavallee recollects receiving strict orders from a then-supervisor: “You may’t converse Spanish right here. You must converse in English always.”

Lavallee was floored. “Instantly, I used to be prohibited from talking in my first language and serving to a colleague, or for that matter, speaking with clients in Spanish,” she says. “From that second, I knew I might by no means deal with my workers the best way we have been handled. I am centered on constructing a enterprise the place everybody can deliver the most effective model of themselves to work and really feel they belong. The way you deal with your workers is simply as necessary as the way you deal with your clients.”

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“I will not sacrifice high quality for amount.”

In certainly one of her first company jobs, Lavallee labored at , the place she realized to make truffles quick. “We have been centered on pace and amount; if a buyer wished a cake, we might whip one thing up in half-hour to make them glad,” she shares. “On the similar time, the small print and high quality matter for truffles. As I educate my group, you possibly can by no means sacrifice high quality. As a result of when clients come to us, they count on the very best high quality, and we all the time ship on that.” That is why every of The Cake Woman’s Crave’n Cups is individually hand-packed, and the label on the underside of the jar is signed by the baker who made the product.

Specializing in high quality has definitely paid off for Lavallee and her group. The Cake Woman has tripled its enterprise over the previous three years regardless of the pandemic. As Lavallee seems to the longer term, she’s inquisitive about discovering a strategic companion that may assist her develop and scale the enterprise throughout the U.S. within the type of franchises. “We would like a companion who has the identical degree of dedication to delivering high-quality merchandise,” she says. “I might like to deliver the enjoyment of Crave’n Cups to high-end grocery shops and retailers throughout the nation so that everybody can expertise the enjoyment and delight your daughter felt at her celebration.”

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