This Baker Was Told Not to Speak Spanish With Colleagues, So She Started Her Own Cake Company That Values Employees Just As Much As Customers

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My daughter’s birthday this 12 months used to be a large deal. After two years of dwelling via a virus, we in any case felt relaxed sufficient to host a birthday celebration along with her closest pals. In her eyes, the birthday celebration simply needed to come with cupcakes. So we grew to become to The Cake Girl and its Crave’n Cups and ordered a number of flavors, together with my daughter’s favourite discovery: Chocolate Overload.



The Cake Girl

“As a tender woman rising up in Puerto Rico, I had an obsession with candies and baking,” stocks Kristina Lavallee, founder and CEO of The Cake Girl. “I might beg my folks to take me to the grocer simply so I may just see the truffles and baked items. Surprising and delighting any individual with a cupcake would turn out to be my lifestyles’s calling.”

Baking continues to have its second. Our obsession with gazing truth presentations the place bakers race to take advantage of lifelike shoe cake or get a hold of essentially the most leading edge flavors does not appear to be slowing down anytime quickly. The U.S. baking business, which incorporates roughly 6,000 retail bakeries and three,000 industrial bakers, generates greater than $30 billion in income once a year. And despite the fact that the share of Americans who determine as health-conscious has just about doubled prior to now 5 years, lets all use a second (or two) of indulging our candy teeth.

This marketplace used to be what Lavallee used to be desperate to faucet into when she began The Cake Girl in 2009. Her fashionable Crave’n Cups (which have been successful with my daughter, her pals and their folks) put a brand new spin at the conventional cupcake. They’re made up of layers of cake and frosting in jars that send national from The Cake Girl’s headquarters in Tampa, Florida. Flavors come with Chocolate Overload, Unicorn, Cookies ‘N’ Cream, Lady in Red, Cookie Butter and extra. Lavallee additionally gives gluten-free and vegan choices.

“I’m on a venture to percentage my interest for baking with the sector,” Lavallee says. “I proceed to construct my trade all in favour of one cake, and one buyer, at a time.”

Here are 3 of an important courses she’s realized in additional than a decade of doing trade.

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“Word of mouth is your most powerful advertising and marketing software.”

Lavallee’s adventure to construct The Cake Girl began in her kitchen. “I used to be making truffles out of my area for family and friends,” she remembers. “I realized first-hand what many say: Word of mouth is your most powerful advertising and marketing software. Friends would refer pals, and I could not stay alongside of the entire orders folks had been soliciting for. That’s once I knew we needed to scale The Cake Girl.”

When Lavallee moved to Tampa and were given married, she and her husband persisted to push the emblem out of doors in their circle of family and friends. They went to fairs and farmer’s markets. Word about The Cake Girl persisted to unfold. Customers mentioned they’d pressure an hour to get to the farmer’s marketplace to buy Lavallee’s well-known carrot cake. “We stored experimenting prior to launching a meals truck, after which in the end a brick and mortar retailer,” she says. “My recommendation to marketers is to construct a robust group of enthusiasts prior to you scale too rapid.”

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Image Credit: The Cake Girl

“I do not want somebody to ever really feel like they do not belong.”

Early in her occupation, Lavallee labored at a bakery the place she would lend a hand out an aged colleague. The lady simplest spoke Spanish, so Lavallee would translate requests they gained from shoppers into Spanish for her. Lavallee remembers receiving strict orders from a then-supervisor: “You cannot discuss Spanish right here. You want to discuss in English always.”

Lavallee used to be floored. “Suddenly, I used to be prohibited from talking in my first language and serving to a colleague, or for that topic, speaking with shoppers in Spanish,” she says. “From that second, I knew I might by no means deal with my workers the way in which we had been handled. I’m all in favour of construction a trade the place everybody can carry the most efficient model of themselves to paintings and really feel they belong. How you deal with your workers is solely as essential as the way you deal with your shoppers.”

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“I would possibly not sacrifice high quality for amount.”

In one in every of her first company jobs, Lavallee labored at Publix, the place she realized to make truffles rapid. “We had been all in favour of pace and amount; if a buyer sought after a cake, we might whip one thing up in half-hour to cause them to satisfied,” she stocks. “At the similar time, the main points and high quality topic for truffles. As I educate my crew, you’ll be able to by no means sacrifice high quality. Because when shoppers come to us, they be expecting the very best quality, and we all the time ship on that.” That’s why each and every of The Cake Girl’s Crave’n Cups is personally hand-packed, and the label at the backside of the jar is signed by way of the baker who made the product.

Focusing on high quality has without a doubt paid off for Lavallee and her crew. The Cake Girl has tripled its trade over the last 3 years regardless of the pandemic. As Lavallee appears to be like to the long run, she’s enthusiastic about discovering a strategic spouse that may lend a hand her develop and scale the trade around the U.S. within the type of franchises. “We need a spouse who has the similar degree of dedication to handing over fine quality merchandise,” she says. “I would like to carry the enjoyment of Crave’n Cups to high-end grocery shops and outlets around the nation in order that everybody can revel in the enjoyment and pleasure your daughter felt at her birthday celebration.”

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