Monday, March 16, 2015

Small Business Feature: Sweet Georgia Peach Bakery

Today we have the honor of showcasing a local small business! We absolutely love the owner of Sweet Georgia Peach Bakery, Stephanie, and her family! We are so inspired by the way Stephanie juggles business life and family, all without sacrificing either! Please visit her here. She's made amazing goodies for our families and we can't wait to order from her again!

Photo Credit: Laura Ryan Photography
Where did you learn how to make such delicious treats?
"My twin sister and I were brought up by our grandparents. My Grandmother, Mildred, taught me everything I know when it comes to cooking and baking. The decorating came later, I loved baking by cake decorating was not my forte. We are a basketball loving family and I learned from Michael Jordan on this one: 'I worked on my weakness until it then became my strength'. It has been almost 9 months since Sweet Georgia Peach Bakery's inception and at this point I am confident in my decorating, but baking will always be my passion, as I feel like my Grandma is here with me every time I pull out my mixer."

Photo Credit: Laura Ryan Photography

What inspired you to start your bakery?
My greatest inspiration is definitely my Grandma, but there are many others. I believe that this is my calling, my way to give back to society, and that my Grandma is smiling down on me from heaven knowing that I am happy doing what I love. Being a military spouse, I knew that I wanted to do something that 1) wouldn't take me away from my children on a regular basis, and 2) could travel with me so that I did not have to start a job over every time I moved. Until a year ago I did not even consider that I could take my greatest passion and turn it into a career. It was then that my oldest daughter put in her 'order' for a grand cake and I learned that I could do something with the skills that I had started to develop.

Do you have a favorite cookie or cake recipe?
I use all my own recipes and I'm constantly developing new ones. I believe that my favorite recipe is my chocolate chip cookie recipe because I developed it based on a 'super secret' one that a dear friend in South Carolina gave to me. I would love to one day share a recipe, but this one will definitely remain to secret! I will, however, give y'all a few pointers to make delicious chocolate chip cookies: 1) Use both white and brown sugar, equal parts. 2) Cream the butter and sugars until extremely light and fluffy, don't worry about over doing it with beating until you add eggs and flour! And 3) you want to add more chocolate chips than you think, there should be several in every bite.

Photo Credit: Laura Ryan Photography

Photo Credit: Laura Ryan Photography
Photo Credit: Laura Ryan Photography

 What is your favorite type of event to cater to?

I love to see the faces of the little ones when they smash their cake, especially when it is captured in smash cake photo shoots. These little ones are a major reason why I love what I do. I would have to say, though, that my favorite are the donated cakes that I do. I love providing a dream cake to a child that may not otherwise get one. I love giving and although a cake seems trivial compared to other contributions, I believe that making a child feel special and loved is crucial to development of character. I also love that I can focus on baking and work on creativity (because it does not come naturally for me) without the pressure that comes along with a paid order.

Photo Credit: Laura Ryan Photography
What advice would you give others who are trying to start a business?
Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life! Cliche I know, but nothing rings more true. I believe that it is not in God's will for us to go through life being a slave to our jobs. I believe that when you find your true purpose in life you will have a joy that can't be found anywhere else. Does that mean that you will always be happy in your job? No, just take a peek into my life on Friday night when I had six cakes due on Saturday...not fun! The satisfaction that comes with a job accomplished is worth the trouble though, and I am always ready to start again for the next
Photo Credit: Laura Ryan Photography

Do not start a business in debt! Build up little by little. It may take awhile to get where you want to be, but in the off-chance that it isn't wildly successful, it will not add financial strain to your family. I have plans to open a storefront eventually, and know that debt may come with that, but until then I have a successful business that does not involve debt payments. I am happy to enjoy the fruits of my labor even at this early stage.

I also would like to add that bringing up your child will always come first! You will never look back and think, 'Wow, I wish I would have worked more.' You will most likely think that you should have spent more time enjoying your family and children. No business opportunity will compare to your family. 

God Bless, 

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