It’s All In The Family!

Jul 14, 2010 No Comments

Chrissy, Jen and Katy are the owners of Bake Sale based in LA. These girls, two sisters and a cousin, are making it work. By keeping their business accessible, original and absolutely delicious, there is no place in the country that cannot share in the “Bake Sale.”

bark

Their products are decadent cupcakes, both regular and mini size, moist bundt cakes with cream cheese frosting, along with their uber popular and heavenly “h” bark. Read how this family birthed bakery is making some “sweet” moves.

When did you ladies start Bake Sale?

C, J, K: We started in July/August of 2008, so this summer will be 2 years. Of course, with family holidays and birthdays we had the opportunities to bake before that, but “officially” began almost 2 years ago.

How old were all of you when you decided to open up “Bake Sale?”

C, J, K: Chrissy – 35, Jen – 33, Katy – 31

Describe each of your personalities and why you think your personalities mesh well together.

C, J, K: We are all very honest and very passionate. We also have a sense of humor, which you needbake-sale because it can get pretty crazy and the work can be so physically demanding. I think we all try to be very aware of the other’s feelings all the time. When one person is having an off day, the other two try to step in and help out. Being family, it makes things easier. It’s not always easy and we have definitely learned a lot about each other, and ourselves. But, at the end of the day, I think our respect for one another has grown and our ability to be honest with each other has gotten a lot better.

Was there one thing in particular that made you all think “it’s time to open up a company?” If so, what was it?

C, J, K: We had been asked by friends and family for years “when are you going to sell these things?” And we had all talked about it half-heartedly for 6 years or so. In early 2007 we started to talk more seriously about it and just decided to go for it. We decided to let our friends and family know and used word of mouth to see if we could generate business. The response was amazing from the start.

How are you related to each other?

C, J, K: Chrissy and Jen are sisters and Katy is our cousin.

Did you ladies always know this is what you wanted to do for a living?

C, J, K: No! Just something that came about as we started taking goodies to more parties (having kids, etc.) and hearing it more and more from people.

Do you have a shop? If not, where do you bake out of?

C, J, K: We rent a commercial kitchen from a caterer in Culver City. Everything is online.

How do you advertise?

C, J, K: We don’t do any advertising (don’t really believe in it). We have been extremely lucky with editorial/press coverage and the rest is word of mouth.

Do you have other employees besides you 3? If so, what do you look for when hiring and how do you keep your employees happy?

C, J, K: We have a handful of folks who work for us part time. And up to 10 or so that help during the busy months (October – January). Some are family! It’s nice to keep it in the family when we can, but we do have non-family members. We just look for people with a good demeanor and sense of commitment. We try to be fair in what we pay. And we also try to keep sweet tooth’s satisfied! Always nice to take home treats to their families!

How many hours do you put into work per week?

C, J, K: Oh Goodness… Anywhere from 30-80 depending on the week and orders! There are always things to do!

Do you 3 have different tasks each day?

C, J, K: Yes and no… we have strengths and weaknesses so we try to plan on our strengths. Also, our schedules require that we each pitch in different ways and at different times of the day. It was also a little trial and error. Once you going on things, you realize that there are some things you do better and some things that you don’t.

What’s a typical day for all of you?

C, J, K: Depends on the day but most days consist of baking, phones (customer service), emails, billing, shipping, marketing research, website info and/or changes, vendor relations, banking… not necessarily in that order!

What does the rest of your family say about you 3 going into business together?

C, J, K: They are extremely supportive and understanding. Our extended family is really big, but also very close. We are lucky.

What challenges did you have to overcome to get to the point you’re at now?

C, J, K: Starting the site from scratch and the time that it took to get everything up and going was a challenge. Also, feeling like we were excluding others (cousins, sisters, etc.) who could just have easily had been partners, was hard.

We managed our time more efficiently by splitting up the different tasks between the 3 of us into subcategories according to each of our strengths.

The family details worked themselves out. Almost everyone in our family is a baker and they kind of work for us now. The rest are okay with just helping out during holidays.

Describe your goodies to us.

C, J, K: Really fresh and super home-tasting. Our “H” Bark is very original. We don’t think there is anything else out there like it and people go crazy for it. And our Cupcakes and Bundt cakes are amazingly moist, with just the right amount of frosting on each. Everyone comments on that… “Not too much… Not too little.” People can’t believe how moist everything stays, even 2-3 days out (if it lasts that long!).

What’s the trick to getting along while running a successful family business?

C, J, K: Being honest and respecting other people’s feelings. Also, being able to step back and see the bigger picture. The day to day (hour to hour) is such a grind, you have to be able to remind yourself that you are building and growing.

What is your most popular confection and why do you think it’s such a hit?

C, J, K: “H” Bark is popular because it’s insanely good and ships nation-wide so people like to send it as gifts. As for the Cupcakes/Bundt cakes, our Chocolate “Stuffed” and our Red Velvet are probably the most popular.

What goals are you ladies striving for?

C, J, K: We are looking into huge mass production of our “H” Bark so we can sell it at various retail outlets throughout the country. Exciting (but scary) stuff… FINGERS CROSSED!

What should we expect of Bake Sale within the next couple years.

C, J, K: We are going to rule the world of confections! Just kidding… hopefully we will be more readily available nation-wide with the same homemade top-quality product.

What do each of you LOVE the most about having this company?

C, J, K: We love that we started this from nothing and have made so many people around the country so happy with our goodies. It’s really neat to hear feedback from people about how much they love things.

Edited by: Bridgette

BAKE SALE, LLC
310-839-3452
Cities, Los Angeles, She Walks The Talk, Sweets
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