Owner and Chief Baker at Cupcake Goodness
Opened in January 2015 originally in Whitby and now has moved to a new location in Oshawa. BACD stopped in to chat with her and to ask her some questions and advice to share with you.
Carla, why did you think you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I always had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to have my own small business. My mum used to think I was crazy but it was just something I always wanted to do. I almost bought a bakery when I was 18 but the bank would not give me the financing. I studied to be a pastry chef and started with Hudson’s Bay at their Zeller’s food stores. At the time, they did not have a position in the kitchen so I started in the buying department and then got promoted to Associate Buyer. While working full time for over 15 years at Hudson’s Bay, I still baked cakes and cupcakes on the side believing one day I could open my own bakery!
How did BACD help you get started?
I wish I had come to you sooner! You helped me with my business plan, cashflow forecast, marketing plans and general connections so that I could be ready to apply for Futurpreneur funding. You have been so helpful in your advice and guidance. I recommend that if you want to know about starting and growing a business – go see BACD!
What has worked for you in marketing your business so far?
I planned a great Grand Opening, gave out free mini cupcakes, advertise in the Snap Whitby Newspaper, sponsor different events, run events in my store in the evening and promote heavily through Twitter and Facebook. We sell cupcakes and custom cakes but we also have coffee, tea and other beverages with a few coffee lounges and free wi-fi for our guests. I have a promotion for Toonie Tuesdays and sell different flavoured cupcakes on Tuesdays for $2 – I have people messaging me on Facebook and Twitter to find out what the flavour of the day is!
My best seller is the Vanilla Salted Caramel Cupcake – I’ve sold more than 500 of those already!
I also co-market with other companies and that creates brand awareness for both of our businesses. I stay up to date with food trends – for the summer I am making Maple Bacon Cupcakes and Spicy Cupcakes.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own business?
Connect with BACD! Investigate all the costs of starting up – for example, would Rogers open a business account for your store without a security deposit? Do you need first and last month rent, can you negotiate a deal with your landlord? Signage cost $6500 for my store – that was not in my budget! Find people in the same business who could give you advice and guidance. Spend your money on your marketing and believe in yourself.