I started thinking about owning my own business around 2007.
What type of business should I start? I knew it had to be one that caters to children of all ages. I honestly had no idea what direction I was going to go when it came to owning this type of business. Until something finally clicked, I thought long and hard about what I had fond memories of from my childhood.
Isn’t life all about creating memories? What peaked my interest when it came to my memories? I had to think about my childhood and where I was most of the time and what I enjoyed doing at that time. It would be the times I went to work with my father. During this time I would play among-st our cake decorations. Dreaming about the Disney cake decoration and wishing I was there in that scene. I wanted to learn how to make all the background colors using the air brush machine.
I also enjoyed watching the cake decorators make up roses for the cakes. The pedals of the roses seemed impossible to do and as much as I watched them perform their magic, I struggled with understanding how they did something artistic with icing. When I got older I attempted and struggled making roses. The rose foundation was made with soft icing, and this soft icing base made it impossible for me to build from. As I spun the ‘nail’ to make the rose pedal around the center base, it would look like a circle around the base of the nail. Since, that time I had learned you must have a firm foundation for the pedals to rest on, which required a firmer icing. Much like our lives, we must have a firm foundation.
I thought long and hard about owning and operating a bakery. But, that is not the direction I wanted to go. Mostly, because, there is too much labor and expense involved in all that. Then, I thought what did I enjoy doing with my father? I do know it was us spending time together. Although, there was so much hustle and bustle at the bakery. I waited patiently to par-tack in something.
During the holidays I loved seeing all the product turn into a beautiful masterpiece to be sold. My most favorite items were the Easter bunny cakes; they were made with cake and filled with buttercream icing, then they were covered in a hard coat of chocolate. After the icing hardened they were decorated to look like a cute bunny. They tasted oh so good. Each bunny was adorable they had big floppy ears. I also, enjoyed the Gingerbread Houses and the large cookies with thick amounts of icing on them.
Summing It All Up
It was the holidays the time we all spent together. I ran with those memories and tested them at my daughter’s birthday party. Let’s just say that my daughter was my test for what I wasn’t sure was going to pan out. The birthday party was a hit, everyone loved the activity. I ran my business ideas by them. They encouraged me to move forward with my idea.
Let’s Go Shopping
I made a bunch of small investments; purchased a small convection oven to bake the cupcakes (it was too small). I bought icing bags, tips and decorations.
Seeking Out Bargains
I started looking for items that were for sale, most of my bakery supplies came from places going out of business. During this time I used my income to purchase all my start-up items. I bargained shopped, I bought thousands of dollars worth of stuff for barely anything.
I applied for the necessary business license to own and operate my very own business, which was rather exciting and nerve-racking at the same time.
Gotta Start Some Where
I started by doing my business out of my home which meant going to other people’s homes to teach the children how to make, bake and decorate.
Location, Location, Location
I left one of the events thinking about how much I enjoyed giving these children the experience of getting in the kitchen and baking to their heart’s content. Most of these children told me, my parents do not want me in the kitchen making a mess. It broke my heart hearing this from their mouths. Children need to know how to function in the kitchen. So, off I went with my mind full of ideas as I drove away. So, off I went making way for The Baker’s Daughter. I was not thrilled with my first business location, when it came to the amenities I had to work with but, I made the best of it.
The owners of the property wanted no food operation at this business location. But, when I told them what I wanted to do, they supported me. The owner’s became near and dear to my heart. I was at this particular location for about two years. During this time our landlord spouse passed away from cancer. After his passing their son took over for his father. When our lease was about to expire, we started looking for another location. My spouse at the time found two great buildings and another wonderful family for landlords.
I had the honor of being on the local news three different times, two of the three times were at my first business location and the other time was at the news station. A large local newspaper came out and took pictures and asked me a lot of questions about our family bakery business that we owned (Cramer’s Bakery) on Freeport Blvd, Sacramento, CA , the newspaper writer and photographer looked at some old bakery items including our family bakeries recipes. The large local newspaper ended up writing a large article in the local newspaper that ended up bringing me lots of business and requests to make some old recipes from our bakery, (this is another book that is in the works).
After the article was written, I received an email from an old lost friend because, her sister happened to read the article in the newspaper and asked my friend is this is the same Shonna? My friend and I were friends in high school but, something bad happened that caused us to lose contact. I will talk about this later.
The Baker’s Daughter new location was in Rancho Cordova, CA it was an amazing location. I was slammed with more business because of the location and the facility. Slammed meaning I was the sole owner and operator, I was working a full-time job, married, raising two children and going to college.
Ages and stages
I had no age restrictions when it came to children, this was a children’s place, one party at a time place. Children of all ages would celebrate their birthday, holiday festivities, school and homeschooling field trips. They would learn how to make, bake and decorate from a third generation baker, or should I say the baker’s daughter. I taught the children by using everyday kitchen stuff because, I wanted the children to know they can do this in their own homes too.
When it came to the children decorating their own cake, I would tell them your imagination is your only limitation.
I know this has been said by many, but, we don’t use our God-given imagination anymore.