Cupcake Forum

 
Go Back   Cupcake Forum > Cupcakes > Bakery Biz

Reply
#1  
Old 05-16-2013, 11:13 PM
Laura's Avatar
Laura Laura is offline
Moderator
 

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Staten Island, NY
Posts: 556
Default One Sweet Business: A Q&A With Butter Lane Cupcakes Founder Pam Nelson

From The Daily Muse: http://www.thedailymuse.com/entrepre...er-pam-nelson/

One Sweet Business: A Q&A With Butter Lane Cupcakes Founder Pam Nelson
by Erin Greenawald, May 8, 2013 0 comments
Pam Nelson didnt plan on having a food-related career. With a background in finance, she spent most of her 20s and 30s as an analyst, working for firms like Citibank and Merrill Lynch. She was happy with her job and may well have stayed thereif she hadnt been laid off during the financial crisis.

At that point, Pam and her friend Linda Lea, an Executive Producer of shows like Chopped and Sweet Genius, along with Maria Baugh, the Managing Editor of Food Network Magazine, had been talking about opening a cupcake shop together. After getting laid off, Pam went to them and said, This is the time to do it. She figured she would work on it for maybe six months or a year, and then shed go back and get a real job once the market rebounded.

That was five years ago. Since then, the ladies have opened Butter Lane Cupcakes, which has turned into a thriving business with two storefronts, a constant stream of delivery and catering orders, and incredibly popular cupcake baking classes. And, its turned into a (more than) full-time job for Pam.

We sat down with Pam to talk about the ins and outs of running a small food business and get her advice for anyone thinking of embarking on a venture of his or her own.


Since your background wasnt in food, was there a big learning curve for you?

I think that we were pretty smart about keeping it a very simple model. Theres no way I would take on, for example, a full-on restaurant. With cupcakes, your inventory is simplebasically a few dairy things and a lot of sugar and flourand our production model is very simple. We decided from the very beginning that we only wanted to make chocolate, vanilla, and banana cupcakes. All of the variation comes from our icing, which is much easier to work with. Keeping it simple really helped us as newbies.

Then, we learned from people who are really smart. I went into a test kitchen with a great pastry chef, and he really taught menot so much about the nuances of fine pastry baking, because we knew that wasnt what we were doingbut how to make a great vanilla cupcake, 1,000 times a day. You have to learn to make excellent quality at high volume, and it has to be really consistent.

Finally, weve hired great managers and bakers to handle all the production so we can handle the other things. The mantra in small business is, Work on your business, not in it. I think the fact that none of us are bakers has actually kept us from falling into that trap.

Do you still find yourself working in the kitchen or behind the counter at times?

Well thats the most fun part of the business. All you want to do is go over there and ice cupcakes. Thats kind of the fantasy that people havethat you just get to work in this bakery and make people happy. I go over there and do that two or three times a week because its fun and its good to stay in touch.

But the reality of business is that you have to focus more on things like sales, marketing, meetings, corporate customers, accounting, and vendor relationships. Its all of those other things that arent quite as romanticbut I think are still funthat deserve your attention as an owner.


How do you and your co-founders work together on the business?

Photo May 26 6 06 54 PM 300x300 One Sweet Business: A Q&A With Butter Lane Cupcakes Founder Pam NelsonI think really one of the big successes of the business is that weve all worked together really well and stayed friends. And I think a lot of that is because weve had really clearly defined responsibilities.

Maria is great at the sales and marketing part of it. Shes really into social media so shes been great with that, and also at e-commerce. Thanks to her, we have a ton of good relationships with FourSquare, CourseHorse, Google, Groupon, and Gilt. And Linda, with her experience in the food industry, has a great palette. So shes the one who will come in and work with the chefs on whats coming up on the menu. And then I handle the business sidethe day-to-day planning and execution.


Have you all had to adapt your business at all since starting?

You absolutely have to be adaptable when running a business like this. If you think that youre going to open a door and people are just going to start coming in and that your cash register is going to support all the expenses of a small businessthats a fantasy. Theres just no way. We were pretty smart in realizing, after being open for about five minutes, that walk-in traffic wasnt going to support us.

About a year into the business, we decided to add cupcake classes. It just started from slow nights in the shop and the fact that customers started asking me about it. So I started teaching classes in our little bakery. Five people would show up and eventually 10 people were showing up. Once those started to sell out, we made the decision to take the store next door because we needed more space.

And then we ran a Groupon deal, thinking that we would sell 200 or 300 seats, and we sold something like 9,000. It was crazywe were calling them trying to figure out how to shut it down, we were cancelling vacations. We ended up having to hire instructors. It was really exciting because it basically launched a new business. I know Groupon gets a lot of criticism, but it has been nothing but a great thing for us.


Whats the most rewarding thing to you about owning a cupcake business?

Being in charge of my own thing. I think almost any small business owner will say that. Its great to have a paycheck coming inand Ive worked in the corporate world and I loved my jobbut at some point theres some sort of powerlessness in not knowing who your next boss is going to be, or not having control over what your next project is going to be. In small business, the good news is that its all yours. You control your destiny and get to make the decisions.

Of course, the hard part is that its all yours. Its on you to make the rent and to make payroll, and if sales arent where they should be, its your job to scramble. If you talk to any small business owner, the phrase that they understand best is making payroll. And thats a challenge, especially in this economy.


Whats the thing people find most surprising about your job?

I think theyre shocked that Im not fat. I actually lost weight when we started the business. For one thing, you just live on caffeine and worry for the first two years of it. And second, its an extremely physical job. I drag around 50 pound bags of sugar, go to Restaurant Depot, and run up and down the stairs at our shop about 1,000 times a day.

I think people are sometimes surprised by how hard is the work is. There is a misconception that this can be a retirement job. As satisfying as it is, its still a round-the-clock job. Even when Im at home, I wake up thinking about it, and I fall asleep thinking about it.


What advice would you have for someone thinking of starting a food business of his or her own?

I would say be realistic, but maintain your stubborn optimism. Youre creating something out of nothingand its your job to convince others to believe in it. When everyone else says its crazy, a small business owner has to keep pushing it up the hill. Adapt your model, try new things, but never give up on your core idea. First you survive, and then you thrive.
Reply With Quote
#2  
Old 05-17-2013, 12:22 AM
tinhyeumau2112's Avatar
tinhyeumau2112
Guest
 

Posts: n/a
Default

CHUYÊN THANH LÝ PHÒNG GAME - THANH LÝ PHÒNG GAME-

CHUYÊN THANH LÝ PHÒNG NET - THANH LÝ PHÒNG NET


CHUYÊN THANH LÝ KHÔNG NG?I S? LU?NG T?I TP-HCM





D?ch V? Thanh Lý phòng game G*a Shock Cao Nh?t TP-HCM


Luôn Báo G*a Thanh Lý Phòng Game Cao Nh?t


- Ch? báo giá thanh lý khi quý khách g?i v*o s?


0988.418.456 Mr: Long Yh: thanhlyhcm_vip@yahoo.com.vn


+ Phòng nét b?n dang kinh doanh nay c?n thanh lý


+ Phòng nét - phòng game b?n c?n nâng c?p c?u hình m?nh m? hon


+ Phòng nét b?n dang ho?t d?ng c?n thay d?i l?i h? th?ng dã cu k?


+ Phòng nét - phòng game không có nhu c?u ho?t d?ng c?n thanh lý


Chuyên Thanh Lý phòng gameHCM v* các t?nh lân c?n: Long An, Bình Duong, Bình Phu?c, Biên Hòa, D?ng Nai, Vung T*u, Bình Chánh........


Các d?ch v? thu mua laptop cu , thu mua máy t*nh cu giá cao t?n noi


Thu mua máy t*nh hu h?ng , thu mua linh ki?n máy t*nh, linh ki?n laptop giá cao


Hình th?c Thanh Lý Phòng Nét, Phòng Game nhanh g?n báo giá v* t?i t?n noi thu mua


Thanh toán ti?n m?t m?t l?n, vui v? nhi?t tình, tu v?n t?n tình khi d?n thanh lý


B?N HÃY G?I NGAY KHI B?N CÓ NHU C?U C?N Thanh Lý phòng game


V?i hình th?c mua nhanh g?n, dúng h?n, thanh toán ti?n m?t m?t l?n.


Ch?c ch?n B?n s? h*i lòng khi tìm d?n chúng tôi.


N?u B?n có nhu c?u mu?n trao d?i, mua bán laptop thì ngay bây gi? hãy g?i cho chúng tôi


chúng tôi r?t hân h?nh du?c ph?c v? b?n.


Chúng tôi luôn mang d?n cho khách h*ng phong cánh ph?c v? t?t nh?t !


Thu mua máy t*nh t?n noi - Tu v?n t?n tình - Mua bán nhanh g?n


N?u có khi?u n?i v? phong cách ph?c v? c?a nhân viên thu mua vui lòng liên l?c du?ng dây nóng 0909 107 789 Vinh.


Chúng tôi luôn luôn ghi nh?n m?i ý ki?n dóng góp c?a khách h*ng nh?m nâng cao ch?t lu?ng ph?c v? t?t nh?t !





chuyên thanh lý phòng net | chuyen thanh ly phong net | thanh ly phong net | thanh lý phòng nét
Reply With Quote
#3  
Old 05-17-2013, 12:39 AM
tinhyeumau2112's Avatar
tinhyeumau2112
Guest
 

Posts: n/a
Default

CHUYÊN THANH LÝ PHÒNG GAME - THANH LÝ PHÒNG GAME-

CHUYÊN THANH LÝ PHÒNG NET - THANH LÝ PHÒNG NET


CHUYÊN THANH LÝ KHÔNG NG?I S? LU?NG T?I TP-HCM





D?ch V? Thanh Lý phòng game G*a Shock Cao Nh?t TP-HCM


Luôn Báo G*a Thanh Lý Phòng Game Cao Nh?t


- Ch? báo giá thanh lý khi quý khách g?i v*o s?


0988.418.456 Mr: Long Yh: thanhlyhcm_vip@yahoo.com.vn


+ Phòng nét b?n dang kinh doanh nay c?n thanh lý


+ Phòng nét - phòng game b?n c?n nâng c?p c?u hình m?nh m? hon


+ Phòng nét b?n dang ho?t d?ng c?n thay d?i l?i h? th?ng dã cu k?


+ Phòng nét - phòng game không có nhu c?u ho?t d?ng c?n thanh lý


Chuyên Thanh Lý phòng gameHCM v* các t?nh lân c?n: Long An, Bình Duong, Bình Phu?c, Biên Hòa, D?ng Nai, Vung T*u, Bình Chánh........


Các d?ch v? thu mua laptop cu , thu mua máy t*nh cu giá cao t?n noi


Thu mua máy t*nh hu h?ng , thu mua linh ki?n máy t*nh, linh ki?n laptop giá cao


Hình th?c Thanh Lý Phòng Nét, Phòng Game nhanh g?n báo giá v* t?i t?n noi thu mua


Thanh toán ti?n m?t m?t l?n, vui v? nhi?t tình, tu v?n t?n tình khi d?n thanh lý


B?N HÃY G?I NGAY KHI B?N CÓ NHU C?U C?N Thanh Lý phòng game


V?i hình th?c mua nhanh g?n, dúng h?n, thanh toán ti?n m?t m?t l?n.


Ch?c ch?n B?n s? h*i lòng khi tìm d?n chúng tôi.


N?u B?n có nhu c?u mu?n trao d?i, mua bán laptop thì ngay bây gi? hãy g?i cho chúng tôi


chúng tôi r?t hân h?nh du?c ph?c v? b?n.


Chúng tôi luôn mang d?n cho khách h*ng phong cánh ph?c v? t?t nh?t !


Thu mua máy t*nh t?n noi - Tu v?n t?n tình - Mua bán nhanh g?n


N?u có khi?u n?i v? phong cách ph?c v? c?a nhân viên thu mua vui lòng liên l?c du?ng dây nóng 0909 107 789 Vinh.


Chúng tôi luôn luôn ghi nh?n m?i ý ki?n dóng góp c?a khách h*ng nh?m nâng cao ch?t lu?ng ph?c v? t?t nh?t !





chuyên thanh lý phòng net | chuyen thanh ly phong net | thanh ly phong net | thanh lý phòng nét
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT. The time now is 12:24 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.